Change of Assessment

There is no doubt that at some stage during your child support case with the Department of Human Services, Child Support, you will encounter the Change of Assessment process where you or your ex applies to have the current assessment reviewed or amended.

In some circumstances, there is a level of strategy required to implement a successful change to your assessment with the Department of Human Services, Child Support. Unless you have a thorough understanding of the Child Support Legislation, a successful outcome is a difficult and most perplexing process for a lot of parents.

If you believe your current child support assessment is unfair, you can seek for a departure determination directly via the Department of Human Services, Child Support.

The advantage you have with us is that we are Ex-Child Support staff members who have the inside knowledge of the internal procedures, and decision making thought processes to implement a change to your child support liability. We can also show you the defense mechanisms should you be on the receiving end of an application to have your assessment amended if your ex lodges a Change of Assessment (COA) application. In some cases, a part 6a objection (an objection to a COA decision) may be necessary to have the COA decision reversed. Sometimes, it may be necessary to lodge a COA to over-ride the current COA decision as the part 6a objection timeframe of 28 days has well and truly expired.

We can show you the defense mechanism should an application be lodged against you and you do not want a change.

Change of Assessment outcomes we have won for our clients:

Please Note:

The Change of Assessment outcomes we have facilitated for our clients below have not been amended in any way and the results are completely real and not fictional. We have omitted certain details due to:

    • The Privacy Act AND;
    • Our Intellectual Property which was required to achieve these results which were based purely on the clients' expectations from us.

Do you want your ex's income to be reviewed and increased?

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).

        1. The Issue: He wanted us to assist him with the COA application to have the Receiving Parents' (Female) income reviewed.
        2. We prepared the COA application with the assistance of the client.
        3. The Result: The receiving parents' income was increased from $45,719 to $88,512 which reduced his annual liability from $13,893 to $5,064 and a decrease to his arrears of $722.17.
        4. Change of Assessment Notice of Decision Reason 8 for Receiving Parent's (Female) Income.

Our Client: The Receiving Parent (Female).

        1. The Issue: She wanted us to assist her with the COA application to have the paying parents' (Male) income reviewed.
        2. We prepared the COA application with the assistance of the client.
        3. The Result: The paying parents' income was increased from $47,219 to $99,000 which increased the annual liability from $5,564 to $17,472 and raised a debt with the paying parent of $11,869.59.
        4. Change of Assessment Notice of Decision Reason 8 for Receiving Parent's (Male) Income.

Do you want your ex to pay half or 100% of the school fees?

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).

        1. The Issue: He wanted us to assist him with the COA application to have the receiving parent (Female) be forced to pay 50% of the school fees.
        2. We prepared the COA application with the assistance of the client.
        3. The Result: The annual rate payable was decreased by $1,682 (and compunded annually for the next 3 years) to incorporate the costs for the school fees until the end of schooling.
        4. Change of Assessment Notice of Decision School Fees for 50% split.

Our Client: The Receiving Parent (Female).

        1. The Issue: She wanted us to assist her with the COA application to have the paying parent (Male) be forced to pay 100% of the school fees.
        2. We prepared the COA application with the assistance of the client. It was initially refused so we prepared a part 6a objection to the COA decision.
        3. The Result: The annual rate payable was increased from $14,552 to $20,000 annually to incorporate the costs for the school fees until the end of schooling.
        4. Change of Assessment Notice of Decision School Fees for Paying Parent to pay 100%.

Are you the Paying Parent and want your ex's income to be reviewed and increased even though the Receiving Parent is working cash in hand?

Our Client: The Receiving Parent (Male).

        1. The Issue: He wanted us to assist him with the COA application to have the receiving parents' (Female) income increased on the assessment due to working cash in hand work.
        2. We prepared the COA application with the assistance of the client.
        3. The Result: The annual liability of the paying parent was increased from $1,636 to $8,000 and a debt of $530.34 was created which was owed by the paying parent.
        4. Change of Assessment Notice of Decision Reason 8 for Paying Parent (Female) cash-in-hand Income.

Are you the Paying Parent and want to be the Receiving Parent (without doing a care change)?

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).

        1. The Issue: He wanted us to assist him with the COA application to have the receiving parent (Female) become the paying parent.
        2. We prepared the COA application with the assistance of the client.
        3. The Result: The annual liability of the paying parent ceased and the receiving parent became the paying parent who was now liable to pay $3,648 annually and a debt of $797.77 was created which was owed by the paying parent.
        4. Change of Assessment Notice of Decision role reversal.

Are you the Paying Parent and seek a reduced income on the assessment being used so taxable incomes are not used and there are no estimate reconciliations? (there are many "Reasons" for which you can apply under)

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).

        1. The Issue: He wanted us to assist him with the COA application to have his income reduced for child support purposes.
        2. We prepared a COA application under Reason 8 with the assistance of the client. It was refused, so we prepared a part 6a objection to the COA decision.
        3. The Result: The annual liability of the paying parent decreased from $24,528 to $13,858 and reduced his arrears by $5,114.83.
        4. Part 6a objection Notice of Decision Reason 8 reduction of income on assessment.

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).

        1. The Issue: His income was set by a COA Decision under Reason 8 at $230,000 about 4 months prior to him engaging our services and therefore could not lodge a part 6a objection as it was outside the 28 day timeframe.
        2. We prepared a COA to over-ride the current COA decision under a different "Reason". The "Reason" being Reason 7.
        3. The Result: The self support amount of $23,523 was increased by $86,219 to $109,742 which reduced his income from $230,000 (as set by a COA decision which was in force) by $109,742 which equals $120,258 ($230,000 - $109,742).
        4. Part 6a objection Notice of Decision Reason 8 reduction of income on assessment(3).

Has a COA Decision set your income due to "earning capacity" even though you are not working?

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).

        1. The Issue: The receiving parent (Female) lodged a COA under Reason 8 to have his income reviewed.
        2. We prepared the part 6a objection to the COA decision with the assistance of the client.
        3. The Result: The income of $110,000 (as set by the COA decision) was reversed to $7,961 (estimate of income) which reduced the annual rate payable from $21,872 to the minimum annual rate which is approximately $365 a year or $1 a day.
        4. Part 6a objection Notice of Decision for incorrect income in use.

Has a COA decision SET your income and the extension of time request for the objection been rejected?

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).


Do you want your income to be reviewed and backdated to have your correct, much lower income to be used as you forgot to update the Child Support Agency?

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).


Is the child on the case earning an income?

Our Client: The Paying Parent (Male).


A defense mechanism for an adverse COA decision.

Our Client: The Receiving Parent (Male).

        1. The Issue: He wanted us to assist him with an objection to the COA decision setting his income at $234,000 until a terminating event occurs (approximately 8 years) and set the PP’s income at $80,549 until 31/12/2016.
        2. We prepared the part 6a objection to the COA decision with the assistance of the client.
        3. The Result: His income was set only until 31/10/2016 (approximately 1 month as opposed to 8 years in the original COA decision) at $234,000 AND and set the PP’s income at $81,500 until 31/10/2016.
        4. The Part 6a objection decision.

Determinations that can be made via a Change of Assessment or Departure Determination

Read moreRead less

          1. Where:

(a) An application is made to the Registrar relating to a child in the special circumstances of the case;

and

(b) the Registrar is satisfied:

(i) that one or more of the grounds for departure mentioned in subsection (2) exists or exist;

and

(ii) that it would be:

(A) just and equitable as regards the child, the carer entitled to child support and the liable parent;

and

(B) otherwise proper; to make a particular change under this Division; the Registrar may make a determination.

Grounds for departure determination.

 

        • For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(b)(i), the grounds for departure are as follows:

 

(a) that, in the special circumstances of the case, the capacity of either parent to provide financial support for the child is significantly reduced because of:

(i) the duty of the parent to maintain any other child or another person; or

(ii) special needs of any other child or another person that the parent has a duty to maintain; or

(iii) commitments of the parent necessary to enable the parent to support:

(A) himself or herself; or

(B) any other child or another person that the parent has a duty to maintain; or (iv) high costs involved in enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with, any other child or another person that the parent has a duty to maintain;

(aa) that, in the special circumstances of the case, the capacity of either parent to provide financial support for the child is significantly reduced because of the responsibility of the parent to maintain a resident child of the parent;

(b) that, in the special circumstances of the case, the costs of maintaining the child are significantly affected:

(i) because of high costs involved in enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with, the child; or

(ia) because of special needs of the child; or (ib) because of high child care costs in relation to the child; or

(ii) because the child is being cared for, educated or trained in the manner that was expected by his or her parents;

(c) that, in the special circumstances of the case, application in relation to the child of the provisions of this Act relating to administrative assessment of child support would result in an unjust and inequitable determination of the level of financial support to be provided by the liable parent for the child:

(i) because of the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of the child; or

(ia) because of the income, property and financial resources of either parent; or

(ib) because of the earning capacity of either parent; or

(ii) because of any payments, and any transfer or settlement of property, made or to be made by the liable parent to the child, to the carer entitled to child support or to any other person for the benefit of the child.

High costs involved in enabling parent to care for a child.

(2B) A parent’s costs involved in enabling the parent to care for a child can only be high for the purposes of subparagraph

(2)(a)(iv) or (2)(b)(i) if the costs that have been or will be incurred, during a child support period, total more than 5% of the amount worked out by: (a) dividing the parent’s adjusted taxable income for the period by 365; and (b) multiplying the quotient by the number of days in the period.

(2C) If a parent has at least regular care of a child, then the only costs that can be taken into account for the purposes of subsection (2B) are costs related to travel to enable the parent to spend time with, or communicate with, the child.

High child care costs.

 

        • (3A) The ground for departure mentioned in subparagraph (2)(b)(ib) is taken not to exist unless: (a) the costs are incurred by a parent or a non-parent carer; and (b) the child is younger than 12 at the start of the child support period.

 

(3B) Child care costs for a parent can only be high for the purposes of subparagraph (2)(b)(ib) if, during a child support period, they total more than 5% of the amount worked out by: (a) dividing the parent’s adjusted taxable income for the period by 365; and (b) multiplying the quotient by the number of days in the period.

(3C) Child care costs for a non-parent carer can only be high for the purposes of subparagraph (2)(b)(ib) if, during a child support period, they total at least 25% of the costs of the child for that period.

Matters to consider for purposes of subparagraph (1)(b)(ii).

 

        • In determining whether it would be just and equitable as regards the child, the carer entitled to child support and the liable parent to make a change under this Division, the Registrar must have regard to:

 

(a) the nature of the duty of a parent to maintain a child (as stated in section 3); and

(b) the proper needs of the child; and

(c) the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of the child; and

(d) the income, property and financial resources of each parent who is a party to the application; and

(da) the earning capacity of each parent who is a party to the application; and

(e) the commitments of each parent who is a party to the application that are necessary to enable the parent to support:

(i) himself or herself; or (ii) any other child or another person that the person has a duty to maintain; and

(f) the direct and indirect costs incurred by the carer entitled to child support in providing care for the child; and

(g) any hardship that would be caused: (i) to: (A) the child; or (B) the carer entitled to child support; by the making of, or the refusal to make, a determination; and (ii) to: (A) the liable parent; or (B) any other child or another person that the liable parent has a duty to support; by the making of, or the refusal to make, a determination; and (iii) to any resident child of the parent (see subsection (10)) by the making of, or the refusal to make, a determination.

In determining whether it would be otherwise proper to make a particular determination under this Division, the Registrar must have regard to:

(a) the nature of the duty of a parent to maintain a child (as stated in section 3) and, in particular, the fact that it is the parents of a child themselves who have the primary duty to maintain the child; and

(b) the effect that the making of the determination would have on: (i) any entitlement of the child, or the carer entitled to child support, to an income tested pension, allowance or benefit; or (ii) the rate of any income tested pension, allowance or benefit payable to the child or the carer entitled to child support.

Proper needs of the child

        • In having regard to the proper needs of the child, the Registrar must have regard to:

(a) the manner in which the child is being, and in which the parents expected the child to be, cared for, educated or trained; and

(b) any special needs of the child.

Income, earning capacity, property and financial resources.

        • In having regard to the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of the child, the Registrar must:

(a) have regard to the capacity of the child to earn or derive income, including any assets of, under the control of, or held for the benefit of, the child that do not produce, but are capable of producing, income; and

(b) disregard: (i) the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of any person who does not have a duty to maintain the child, or who has such a duty but is not a party to the application, unless, in the special circumstances of the case, the Registrar considers that it is appropriate to have regard to them; and (ii) any entitlement of the child or the carer entitled to child support to an income tested pension, allowance or benefit.

(7A) In having regard to the income, property and financial resources of a parent of the child, the Registrar must:

(a) have regard to the capacity of the parent to derive income, including any assets of, under the control of, or held for the benefit of, the parent that do not produce, but are capable of producing, income; and

(b) disregard: (i) the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of any person who does not have a duty to maintain the child, or who has such a duty but is not a party to the application, unless, in the special circumstances of the case, the Registrar considers that it is appropriate to have regard to them; and (ii) any entitlement of the child or the carer entitled to child support to an income tested pension, allowance or benefit.

(7B) In having regard to the earning capacity of a parent of the child, the Registrar may determine that the parent’s earning capacity is greater than is reflected in his or her income for the purposes of this Act only if the Registrar is satisfied that:

(a) one or more of the following applies: (i) the parent does not work despite ample opportunity to do so; (ii) the parent has reduced the number of hours per week of his or her employment or other work below the normal number of hours per week that constitutes full-time work for the occupation or industry in which the parent is employed or otherwise engaged; (iii) the parent has changed his or her occupation, industry or working pattern; and

(b) the parent’s decision not to work, to reduce the number of hours, or to change his or her occupation, industry or working pattern, is not justified on the basis of: (i) the parent’s caring responsibilities; or (ii) the parent’s state of health; and (c) the parent has not demonstrated that it was not a major purpose of that decision to affect the administrative assessment of child support in relation to the child.

Direct and indirect costs in providing care.

 

        • In having regard to the direct and indirect costs incurred by the carer entitled to child support in providing care for the child, the Registrar must have regard to the income and earning capacity foregone by the carer entitled to child support in providing that care.
        • Subsections not to limit consideration of other matters.

        • Subsections (4) to (8) (inclusive) do not limit other matters to which the Registrar may have regard.

 

Determinations that may be made under Part

          1. The determinations the Registrar may make under this Part are as follows:

(a) a determination varying the annual rate of child support payable by a parent;

(b) a determination varying a parent’s or non-parent carer’s cost percentage for a child;

(c) a determination varying a parent’s child support income;

(d) a determination varying the parents’ combined child support income;

(e) a determination that: (i) the column in the Costs of the Children Table that covers a parent’s child support income or combined child support income that is, or is determined to be, greater than 2.5 times the annualised MTAWE figure for the relevant June quarter, is the column headed “2 to 2.5”; and (ii) the column is to apply as if the second dollar amount in the heading to that column did not apply;

(f) a determination varying a parent’s child support percentage;

(g) a determination varying a parent’s adjusted taxable income;

(h) a determination varying a parent’s relevant dependent child amount or multi-case allowance; (i) a determination varying a parent’s self-support amount; (j) a determination varying the costs of the children. Note: There are limitations on the Registrar making a determination that varies an annual rate of child support payable in respect of a child support case below the minimum annual rate (see section 98SA).

          1. In proceedings under Division 2, the determinations under subsection (1) that the Registrar may make are not limited by the terms of the application.
          2. A determination under this Division may make different provision in relation to different child support periods and in relation to different parts of a child support period.

(3B) The Registrar may only make a determination under this Part in respect of a day in a child support period, being a day that is more than 18 months earlier than:

(a) the day on which the application for the determination is made under section 98B; or

(b) the day on which the Registrar notifies the relevant parties under subsection 98M(1); if a court has granted leave under section 112 for the determination to be made.

(3C) If a court has granted leave under section 112, the Registrar may only make a determination under this Part in respect of a day in a child support period if the day is within the period specified by the court, under subsection 112(6), in the order granting the leave.

          1. The Registrar must give, in writing, the reasons for making the determination (including the reasons for which the Registrar is satisfied as required by paragraph 117(1)(b)).
          2. A contravention of subsection (4) in relation to a determination does not affect the validity of the determination.

Back to Top