Child Support Calculators for single or multiple cases

Single case calculator

Multi case calculator


The Department of Human Services, Child Support's formula assessment, uses 5 factors when calculating payments:

  • Your income (see below for a range of incomes that the Child Support Agency could use).
  • The other parents' income.
  • The numbers of children.
  • The ages of the children.
  • The ACTUAL (not court ordered care level) overnight care level of the children.

As a general rule, the Child Support Legislation determines the Paying Parent as the parent who has less than 50% ACTUAL (not court-ordered care) overnight care. The amount payable increases as the paying parents' care level decreases and the income of the Receiving Parent decreases. We suggest checking your assessment letters. 

It is apparent that this method can be seen to reward the receiving parent financially by:

  • With-holding access of child/ren.
  • Minimising their income or simply not working at all.

There are other methods which can include a departure determination in which the amount payable can vary to incorporate travelling costs to visit the child/ren, medical costs, educational costs, whether the child is earning an income, extra contributions that are made to benefit the child/ren, child care costs, necessary costs for the parents to support themselves, the income/earning capacity and/or financial resources of the parent, costs involved in supporting a current spouse and their child/ren. Binding/Limited Agreements can also determine the amount payable.

This can cause a very hostile environment between the parents involved in the case in which the child/ren are the biggest victims.

If you are finding irregularities in your parenting payments, the answer to this question will most likely depend on whether the incomes for both parents are accurate (see below for a range of incomes the Department of Human Services, Child Support could be using), the ACTUAL overnight care levels for the child/ren are accurate (no, the Department of Human Services, Child Support do not use court ordered care levels) and also whether you have a debt with the Department of Human Services, Child Support.

ALSO

The Department of Human Services, Child Support has the powers to veer away from this methodology and increase or decrease the annual rate payable through a Change of Assessment process.

The incomes used to calculate the parenting payments for a parent is usually:

  1. Gross (before tax) taxable income for the previous financial year (ATO income).
  2. Adjusted taxable income (ATI):
    • The parent’s taxable income for the last relevant year of income in relation to the child support period and;
    • the parent’s reportable fringe benefits total for that year of income and;
    • the parent’s reportable fringe benefits total for that year of income and;
    • the parent’s target foreign income for that year of income and;
    • the parent’s total net investment loss (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997) for that year of income and;
    • the total of the tax free pensions or benefits received by that parent in that year of income and;
    • the parent’s reportable superannuation contributions (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997) for that year of income.
  3. Estimate of Income:
    • An income in which the parent forecasts their income to either be: Another estimate of income if there is an estimate of income in place or about to expire OR;
    • An income which generally is less than 85% of the previous year's known ATO, ATI or ITD.
  4. Provisional income:
    • If a parent has not lodged their tax return for a year relating to the most recent "child support period", a provisional income is the last ATO or Adjusted Taxable Income (ATI) plus an indexation factor (inflationary component) OR;
    • If the parent has not lodged a tax return for a year previous to the last financial year (and it has not been lodged either), it should be the greater of the two: The most recent year's taxable income plus an indexation factor (inflationary component) or 2/3's of the current MTAWE which is $47,504 (for a child support period start date in the year 2016). Please check your assessment letters and if a figure other than this has been used, there has been a defective administration to the amount of parenting payments and we can assist you with a compensation claim via the Department of Finance.
    • A derived or deemed income is a provisional income which has been "derived", as in a parent has declared it via an Income Tax Declaration (ITD) or the CSA may have logged onto the ATO mainframe, contacted an employer or another third party to identify a parent's income.
  5. Change of Assessment (COA) decision set income. The way in which this income gets calculated is determined by a COA Decision Maker and can get extremely complex. Please seek our assistance if this relates to your case.
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