2.2.5 Alignment of Care between Child Support & FTB

Context

As a result of legislative changes made by the Child Support and Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Budget and Other Measures) Act 2010, the rules relating to the determination of care percentages differ before and after 1 July 2010.

From 1 July 2010, a single care determination is made, by either a delegate of the Child Support Registrar or the Secretary (responsible for FTB), where there is a child recognised in a child support assessment and a person receives FTB for the same child, and the single care determination applies for child support purposes and for FTB purposes.

Before 1 July 2010, care determinations were not aligned between child support and FTB, and different rules applied. See 2.2.6 for information on how care was determined for child support purposes prior to 1 July 2010.

On this page

Aligning care determinations between child support & FTB

From 1 July 2010, changes to child support and FTB legislation align determinations about care between child support and FTB. This means that where a care determination needs to be made in respect of a child, the determination will be made by either a delegate of the Child Support Registrar or the Secretary (CSA Act section 54K and FAAct section 35T). However, there are some differences between child support and FTB legislation regarding when care determinations take effect.

Where care determinations for child support and FTB are aligned for a child, parents and carers need to inform either the Registrar or the Secretary of any changes in care.

Example: M and F share care of their child A. There is a child support assessment for A, and both M and F receive FTB for A. A care change occurs for A, and M informs the Registrar of the new care arrangements. The Registrar makes a new care determination, and the same care determination is used by the Secretary to calculate both parents' FTB entitlement.

If a person applies for an administrative assessment of child support and the Registrar has not already determined the percentage of care for that child but the care percentage for that child has already been determined by the Secretary for FTB purposes, the Registrar will use the same care percentage as the Secretary. If the care arrangements have changed since the Secretary made the determination, the person may seek a new determination from either the Registrar or the Secretary. If a new care percentage is determined as a result, that new care percentage will be used by both the Registrar and the Secretary.

When a care determination will not be aligned

Where the child is not recognised in either a child support assessment (as a child support child or a relevant dependent child) or for FTB purposes, then the care determination will not be aligned. The parent or carer will need to contact the relevant agency to inform them of any changes to the child's care arrangements. For example, where there is a child support assessment but neither parent receives FTB for the child, then any changes to the care of the child must be notified to the Registrar.

Objections & reviews of decisions

The same principles apply to objection decisions, and reviews of decisions by the AAT (CSA Act section 54L and FAAct section 35U). Where either the Registrar or the Secretary conducts an internal review of a care decision (see 4.1 for more information on objections), any new decision made on review will be used by both the Registrar and the Secretary. Where the AAT amends a decision or substitutes a new decision about a care percentage, that amended or substituted decision will be used by both the Registrar and the Secretary.

The date of effect of a care percentage decision may also vary between child support and FTB for review decisions, whether internal or external. Generally, if a person does not apply for a review within 28 days of receiving the decision that they wish to have reviewed, any amended or substituted decision will apply for child support purposes only from the date on which the application for review was made. However, if there are special circumstances that delayed the application, the new decision may completely replace the original decision (see 4.1.8 for more information).

Information on dates of effect for FTB purposes and FTB in general is available in the Family Assistance Guide.

WA ex-nuptial cases

The information on this page applies to WA ex-nuptial children.

See 1.4.3 for details of the date from which various provisions had effect for WA ex-nuptial cases.

Last reviewed: 4 January 2016