Child Support: How to claim child support?

I’m not sure I have met anyone who isn’t confused by the in’s and outs of how they figure this one out!

But we are going to attempt to shed some light on the subject for you and hopefully you leave this blog informed and having a better understanding of how to calculate and claim child support!

So they (being Family services) calculate who pay’s child support and who receives child support through an 8 step formula.

Work out each parent’s child support income

Adjusted taxable income – self support = Child support income

Which poses the next question what is adjusted taxable income?

Adjusted taxable income can include:

  • taxable income
  • foreign income
  • tax exempt foreign income
  • total net investment losses
  • total net fringe benefits
  • reportable superannuation contributions
  • certain tax free pensions or benefits
  • superannuation income stream benefits including both taxable and non-taxable components.

In laments terms it includes all of your income whether it is a car provided by a business (fringe benefits) or lump sum super payments or income from a superannuation stream (stock market, property etc).

Family tax benefit, childcare benefit and childcare rebate are not taxable payments.

  • Work out the parents combined income.

For example $70,000. + $40,000 = $111,000 (combined income total)

  • Work out each parents income percentage by dividing each parents income by their combined total.

$70,000/$111,000 = 0.63

$40,000/$111,000 = 0.36

  • Calculate each parents percentage of care
  • They work out each parents cost percentage using the care and cost table. Which considers how often the children are in your care each week, fortnight, year.
  • They then subtract the cost percentage from the income percentage of each parent. So say one parent has the children every weekend, this is classed as regular care and their child support cost percentage would be 24%. This sum would then look something like this for

Parent A:

63% – 24% = 39% which is called the “child support percentage”

This result will determine if a parent pays or receives child support.

If there is a negative percentage that parent is assessed to receive child support.

If it is a positive percentage, that parent is assessed to pay child support.

  • If you are the parent with the positive child support percentage then again you will be referred to the costs of children table to calculate the cost of the children.
  • They then work out child support payable based on costs and percentages.

This is decided by multiplying the positive child support percentage by the costs of the child. Which is then payable to the negative percentage parent.

All in all there is some sense to it and a general sense of fairness once you wade through all the equations and tables.

It really does come down to though, how you probably already assumed it worked. And that is the parent who earns more but has the children in their care less often will probably end up paying child support.

If you have a 50 50 care/work relationship then you will probably find your child support split to be somewhat similar.

If you want to figure out your child support costs or payments you can use the free online rate estimator on the centrelink website.

Practicing being kind and supportive to one another and your financial positions will make you all winners in the end!

What happens if one partner is not paying child support that is owed to another, How do you claim child support that is owed to you?

The Department of Human services is responsible for collecting and enforcing payments that have been registered with them to collect.

The DHS can arrange salary deductions or regular payments to them. If debt is accrued or the parent who should be paying child support is not paying, then they have the power to take them to court.

If the DHS was responsible for collecting on your behalf and your case was registered with them, then they will be responsible for collecting the debt on your behalf.

If you had a private agreement then you will be responsible for collecting the debt from the paying parent yourself.

There is always help at the other end of the phone you can contact the:

Child Support enquiries line on 131 272 Monday –  Friday from 8:30am – 4:45pm

Child Support feedback and complaints line: 1800 132 468

Child Support payment hotline: 1800 241 272

how to claim child support

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