child support in australia

What is Child Support and How it is Calculated?

Infographic courtesy: Infographic blog

I personally feel child support is the most crucial of all the monetary settlements a separation case may see. I found this relatively simple expression of child support infographic, so sharing here, adding little more explanation for clearer understanding of my readers.

Child Support is basically a financial provision made to child/ children under 18 years of age, who are born or adopted in the marriage or de facto relationship of the parents.

Until the child / children turn 18 years of age, they are dependent on the parents for care and financial assistance. Hence, it is mandatory for the parents to provide adequately for their children until they reach an age where they start supporting themselves.

The child support amount is either paid periodically or in one lumpsum.

Child Support Assessment

How do you assess child support amount? The Human Services Department of Australia’s official website has detailed guideline about how child support is assessed.

I’ll try to condense it for a quick read and understanding. If you have time, I suggest do read it fully.

Child support amount is assessed by Child Support Agency, which is a Government organisation that come under the purview of Human Services Department.

Child Support amount can be arrived at by three methods:

  1. Calculating a certain percentage of income to pay as child support with the help of Child Support Agency.
  2. Having an agreement that mentions how much child support each parent is paying.
  3. Applying to court for ruling child support amount to both the parents.

The child support amount is calculated based on:

  • Parents’ income
  • Age of the child/ children
  • Personal care each parent can provide to the child/ children
  • Cost of the child /children care in Australia at current time (based on various research studies)


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The combined income of the parents is considered while calculating child support.


Income of a parent – Self-support amount ($21,622) (please consider the updated amount as per the Human services Department) = Income available to pay the child support (let’s call it as Income 1)

Income 1 + Income 2 = Total available income for child support

How to arrive at percentage of income?

Here, Income1 / Total available income for child support = x%

Income 2/ Total available income for child support = y%

The x & y % are the income percentages of the parents, that can be utilised towards child support.

The personal care provided by each parent decides their share of child support


The child support agency goes by the 9below care and cost table to decide the % of contribution towards child support by each parent.

The rule is simple:

The less a parent is involved in providing personal care to the child/children, the more child support he/she must pay.

And the opposite for the parent who provides more personal care to the child/children, he/she pays less child support.

Care time Number of nights in a year % of Care % of Cost
Below regular 0 to 51 0 -13%  Nil
Regular 52 to 127 14 – 34% 24-25%
Shared 128 to 237 35 -65%

Add 2% after 35% till 50%

50-51% till 53%Add 2% after 53% till 65%

This fall anywhere between 25-75%

Primary 238 to 313 65 – 86% 76%
Above Primary 314 to 365 86 -100% 100%


*PS: The cost percentage of the child/children depends on the age and the current expenses on an average incurred by parents on child/children in Australia.

Now, Cost % of a child – income % of parent = Child support %

If the Child Support %, calculated as above is negative, the parent must receive the child support by the other parent, as the care cost exceeds the caregiving parent’s income.

If the Child Support % is positive, it is multiplied by the cost % of the child, AND THE FINAL % is THE FINAL CHILD SUPPORT % payable by one parent to the other.

I understand all these calculations are blowing your mind. You can of course take a professional’s help. There are some good Child Support Consulting organisations in Australia, who assign you a dedicated representative to advice and work through the child support arrangements and negotiate with the Child Support Agency.

Knowledge is empowering! If you know the calculations yourself, you will not be lost when actual process is taking place.

When the child / children turn 18 years, the child support arrangement can be terminated.

The below clip, is provided to help you with more details on Child support.

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