A One Stop Shop for Family Law in Australia
Child Support is financial support for a child under 18 years of age.
Child Maintenance is financial support for a dependent Child over 18 years of age.
Adult Child Maintenance can be payable when a child is studying, has a physical or mental disability or has a serious illness.
Child Support is not payable for a Child who has married or entered into a de facto relationship.
Child Support payments are monies transferred from one parent to the other parent to help raise their children.
Most Children of separated parents in Australia are covered by the Child Support Scheme.
The Child Support Scheme is managed by the Child Support Agency (a Federal Government agency).
Parents can reach their own agreement about how much Child Support should be paid.
If such an agreement is reached it is normally documented in a Child Support Agreement.
Read about when payment of Child Support will stop.
There is a difference between Child Support and Child Maintenance. If you don't know what the difference is, you can read more in our fact sheet What is Child Support and Child Maintenance.
If you need to know who must pay Child Support, you can read more in our fact sheet Who is liable to pay Child Support.
We also have a separate fact sheet answering the question Does Child Support have to be paid.
Whether you arrange to have child support paid privately or collected through the Child Support Agency, you will need to know what to do to arrange for Child Support payments to start. This is explained in our fact sheet What is the procedure & steps involved for Child Support payments.
How much Child Support should be paid is commonly an issue between parents. There is a method the Child Support Agency use to assess Child Support which is explained in our fact sheet How is Child Support Calculated.
If you do not agree with the decision made by the Child Support Agency when they assessed the amount of Child Support to be paid then you should read the fact sheet What if I disagree with a Child Support Agency Decision.
Most commonly paying parents arrange to pay their child support from their wages, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. More significant lump sums can be paid, including a lump sum payment being made by the transfer of a house or unit. Read more in the fact sheet Can I do Lump Sum Child Support Payments.
Some parents reach agreement about how much child support should be paid. there are different types of private agreements you can enter into. Read more in the following fact sheets:
Other Questions answered in the Child Support Section
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