Meredith Lawyers

How is child support calculated in Australia?

The Department of Human Services is responsible for determining child support and notifying parties of how much exactly they must pay or are entitled to receive. Generally, the information used to calculate support is as follows:

  1. Taxable incomes of parents;
  2. Percentage of nights each parent has the child(ren);
  3. Number of children aged under 13 and number aged 13-17; and
  4. Information on any other dependents.

How it works

Child support payments are calculated using a complex formula (though it’s called the “basic formula”), and the principles are for calculating child support payments are as follows:

  1. Each parent’s responsibility to meeting the costs of children.
  2. Costs depend on the number and ages of children.
  3. Higher income parents are required to contribute more.
  4. A parent gets credit for covering expenses while caring for the child(ren).
  5. You pay support when your Income % > your Cost %.

In the final calculation, child support is calculated as the Costs of the Children multiplied by the difference between your Income % (share of combined income) and your Cost % (credit for time with the child(ren)).

You pay child support if the result is positive and receive support if it is negative. However, you never have to pay if you have at least 65% care.

An assessment contains an annual figure, an amount which must be paid each month, and the current balance. Assessments can be altered to account for special circumstances through a Change of Assessment review.

For more information on the legal processes involved in Child Custody, please contact our experienced team of Divorce lawyers in Sydney today on 1300 537 306  or send us an email at

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