The term ‘Child Support’ refers to the financial support provided for children by parents who do not live together. The law says that both parents (including same sex parents) have an obligation to financially support their children. How much should be paid depends on the financial circumstances of each parent, the costs of children (based on Australian research), the level of care each parent provides, and whether either parent supports other children who they have a legal duty to support.
In the first instance, the formula assessment uses information about each parent’s taxable income (for the previous year) to calculate the child support payments. For this reason it is important that parents lodge their tax returns promptly.
In recent years significant changes have been made to the Child Support Scheme. The changes have been made in concert with changes to the Family Law Act and Family Assistance Office legislation, and have coincided with the establishment of Family Relationship Centres.
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