The CSA uses a formula that mathematically evaluates how much a parent should pay for their child. Factors the CSA take into account when evaluating their assessment include:
- How many children are involved and how old they are
- The income of the parents
- The amount of time the child or children spend in each parents care
A CSA assessment will typically change as income changes from year to year.
Following an assessment by the CSA, the parents can either pay the amount due privately (i.e. directly to the other parent) or the CSA can collect the payments on behalf of the child. If child support payment is made directly between the parents, we recommend keeping detailed records of the payments made (including who received the payment, who the payment was for, and the amount which was paid).
For more information on child support payment methods, please see the Australian Department of Human Services website.
If you feel you are paying too much child support, or that the assessment is unfair or inaccurate in any way, there are circumstances where you can apply for a CSA assessment to be varied. For example, a variation might be reasonable if you are solely responsible for paying for your child’s private school, your child’s special needs or your child’s special talents (for example, elite athleticism). Another example is where the child has an unusual earning capacity, such that they generate their own income.