2.4.10 Assessments using the income of only 1 parent (formulas 5 & 6)

Context

The basic formula uses the income of both parents to identify the costs of the children and to determine the annual rate of child support payable. However, where a non-parent carer applies for a child support assessment, only 1 parent's income will be used to calculate child support where:

  • 1 parent is in a non-reciprocating jurisdiction (1.5.1)
  • 1 parent is not being assessed because of special circumstances, or
  • 1 parent is deceased.

In these 3 circumstances, the annual rate of child support payable is calculated by using:

Formula 5

Where 1 parent is not a resident of Australia or a reciprocating jurisdiction

Formula 5 is used when a non-parent carer has applied for child support to be assessed and 1 of the parents is neither a resident of Australia (1.6.1) nor a resident of a reciprocating jurisdiction (1.5.1). The residence status of the parents has been considered and the application has been accepted (see 2.1.5). The non-resident parent cannot be assessed for child support and therefore the income of that parent is not part of the calculation of the assessment.

Where 1 parent is not being assessed because of special circumstances

Formula 5 may be used when a non-parent carer has applied for child support to be assessed and states that special circumstances (2.1.1) exist that make it inappropriate for a parent to be assessed for child support. In making a decision on the application, the Registrar will consider the facts to determine if special circumstances do exist. If the Registrar does accept the application, then formula 5 is used to calculate the liability of the other parent.

Formula 5 will also be used to calculate assessments with a non-parent carer and only 1 parent, where the application from the non-parent carer was accepted before 1 July 2008, unless the non-parent carer chooses to apply against both parents.

Calculations using formula 5

Formula 5 uses the income of only 1 parent, but recognises that the child does have 2 parents by doubling the income of the parent in the assessment at step 1 to calculate the costs of the child. The costs are then halved at step 5 to identify the amount to be paid by the assessed parent.

The use of only 1 parent's income means that not all of the steps of the basic formula are required, and that some different calculations are made.

The following steps explain how to work out the annual rate of child support payable using formula 5.

Step 1: Work out the parent's child support income (2.4.4) (see section 41) and double that income.

Step 2: Work out the parent's percentage of care (2.4.5) for the child (section 48).

Step 3: Work out the parent's cost percentage (2.4.5) for the child (section 55C).

Step 4: Work out the costs of the child (2.4.6) using the income from Step 1, by using either:

  • the basic formula method, or
  • the multiple case method (2.4.6) (if the parent has more than 1 child support case).

Step 5: Work out the following rate:

  • ½ × [costs of the child − (parent's cost percentage × costs of the child)]

Step 6: If the parent is not assessed to pay child support for a child in another case, the annual rate of child support payable is the rate worked out under step 5.

Step 7 (if applicable): If the parent is assessed to pay child support for a child who is in another child support case, work out the parent's multi-case cap (2.4.9).

Step 8: The annual rate of child support payable for the child is the lower of the annual rate calculated at step 5, or the multi-case cap calculated at step 7.

Step 9: If there is only 1 non-parent carer, the parent must pay the annual rate of child support that is payable for the child to the non-parent carer.

If there are 2 non-parent carers who each have a percentage of care for the child, and they have both applied for child support, the parent must pay the annual rate of child support payable for the child to the non-parent carers as follows:

  • Total amount which non-parent carers are entitled to be paid × (Non-parent carer's cost percentage for the child ÷ Total of non-parent carers' cost percentages for the child)

Formula 6

Where 1 parent is deceased

Formula 6 is used when a non-parent carer has applied for child support to be assessed and informs the Registrar, or the Registrar otherwise becomes aware, that 1 of the child's parents is deceased. Formula 6 recognises that the child has only 1 parent. That parent's income is used to calculate the costs of the child.

Calculations using formula 6

The use of only 1 parent's income means that not all of the steps of the basic formula are required, and that some different calculations are made.

The following steps explain how to work out the annual rate of child support payable if a non-parent carer has applied for child support and 1 of the parents of the child is deceased.

Step 1: Work out the parent's child support income (2.4.4) (section 41).

Step 2: Work out the parent's percentage of care (2.4.5) for the child (section 48).

Step 3: Work out the parent's cost percentage (2.4.5) for the child (section 55C).

Step 4: Work out the costs of the child (2.4.6) using the income from Step 1, by using either:

  • the costs of children table (2.4.6), or
  • the multiple case method (2.4.6) (if the parent has more than 1 child support case).

Step 5: Work out the following rate:

  • Costs of the child − (parent's cost percentage × cost of the child)

Step 6: If the parent is not assessed in another child support case, the annual rate of child support payable by the parent is the rate worked out under step 5.

Step 7 (if applicable): If the parent is assessed to pay child support for a child who is in another child support case, work out the parent's multi-case cap (2.4.9).

Step 8: The annual rate of child support payable for the child is the lower of the annual rate calculated at step 5, or the multi-case cap calculated at step 7.

Step 9: If there is only 1 non-parent carer who has a percentage of care for the child, the parent must pay the annual rate of child support that is payable for the child to the non-parent carer.

If there are 2 non-parent carers who each have a percentage of care for the child, and they have both applied for child support, the parent must pay the annual rate of child support payable to the child to the non-parent carers as follows:

  • Total amount which non-parent carers are entitled to be paid × (Non-parent carer's cost percentage for the child ÷ Total of non-parent carers' cost percentages for the child)

Paying the minimum annual rate for a case to more than 1 person

Different rules apply if the minimum annual rate of child support is payable to more than 1 person. See 2.4.12 for details of the rules that apply, which depend upon the level of care provided by the carer.

Last reviewed: 12 August 2019