2.4.10 Assessments Using the Income of Only One 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, in some cases, a non-parent carer may apply for a child support assessment that involves only one parent. There are 3 circumstances where only one parent's income will be used to calculate child support and they are:

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

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

Act references

CSA Act section 39, section 40

Formula 5 - one parent is not a resident of Australia

Formula 5 is used when a non-parent carer has applied for child support to be assessed and one 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.

Formula 5 - 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 parent.

Assessments with a non-parent carer and only one parent - where the application from the non-parent carer was accepted before 1 July 2008 - will also be calculated using formula 5, unless the non-parent carer chooses to apply against the other parent also.

Formula 5 - calculations

Formula 5 is used to calculate the assessments in both the above circumstances (section 39). This formula 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 one 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
  • multiple case method (2.4.6) (if the parent has more than one 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 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 is the lower of:

(a) the rate worked out under step 5, and

(b) the parent's multiple case cap.

Step 9: If there is only one non-parent carer the parent must pay the annual rate of child support that is payable for the child under step 5 or 8 to the non-parent carer.

If there are 2 non-parent carers who each have a percentage of care for the child, and provided both the non-parent carers have applied for child support, the parent must pay the annual rate of child support calculated under step 5 or 8 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 - one 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 one of the child's parents is deceased. Formula 6 recognises that the child has only one parent. That parent's income is used to calculate the costs of the child.

Formula 6 - calculations

The use of only one 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 one 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) either:

  • using the multiple case child cost (2.4.6) if the parent has more than one child support case, or
  • using the costs of children table (2.4.6) that contains the range of income worked out under step 1.

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 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 rate of child support payable for the child is the lower of the rate worked out under step 5 and the parent's multiple case cap for the child.

Step 9: If there is only one non-parent carer who has a percentage of care for the child the parent must pay child support as worked out for the child under step 5 or 8 to the non-parent carer.

If there are 2 non-parent carers who each have a percentage of care for the child and provided both the non-parent carers have applied for child support the parent must pay child support as worked out for the child under step 5 or 8 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 one person

Different rules apply if the minimum annual rate of child support is payable to more than one 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: 16 May 2016