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10 Reasons that May Allow You to Change your Child Support Assessment

A child support Assessment is calculated using a formula determined by several factors including, but not limited to, the incomes of both parents and how many nights of care each parent has with the child. We can help you by calculating the amount of child support you should receive, or will be liable to pay. Also, the Department of human services provides an online child support calculator you can use at:

http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/child-support-basics.

Once you have applied for and obtained a child support assessment, it is possible to make an application to vary, by increasing or decreasing, the assessment. A Change of Assessment form must be submitted to the Child Support Agency and it will be considered by a Registrar as to whether there are any legal grounds supporting the change of assessment.

A Registrar will only vary an assessment if, due to “special circumstances”, any one or more of the following 10 reasons are established:

  1. The costs of maintaining the child are significantly affected by the high costs of enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with the child – e.g. one parent has significant travel costs when spending time with the child.
  1. The costs of maintaining a child are significantly affected by the high costs associated with the child’s special needs – e.g the child’s care costs are high due to a physical or mental disability.
  1. The costs of maintaining the child are significantly affected by the high costs of caring for, educating or training the child in the way both parents intended – e.g. both parents intend for the child to go to private school.
  1. The child support assessment is unfair because of the child’s income, earning capacity, property or financial resources. 
  1. The child support assessment is unfair because the payer has paid or transferred money, goods or property to the child, the payee, or a third party for the benefit of the child.
  1. The costs of maintaining the child are significantly affected by the high child care costs for the child (and the child is under 12 years of age).
  1. The parent’s necessary expenses significantly affect their capacity to support the child. 
  1. The child support assessment is unfair because of the income, earning capacity, property or financial resources of one or both parents. – for example, the assessment is based on information that does not accurately reflect the parent’s true financial position.
  1. The parent’s capacity to support the child is significantly affected by their:
    1. legal duty to maintain another child or person;
    2. necessary expenses in supporting another child or person they have a legal duty to maintain;
    3. high costs of enabling them to spend time with or communicate with, another child or person they have a legal duty to maintain.
  1. The parent’s responsibility to maintain a resident child significantly reduces their capacity to support the child support child.

In some cases, you can also apply to the Court for what is known as a “Departure Order” if you are not satisfied with an assessment made by the Child Support Agency.

In the event you are concerned about child support, please contact Doolan Callaghan Family Lawyers who have the understanding, expertise and knowledge to assist you.

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