3.1.1.32 Sharing FTB in Blended Families

Introduction

This topic discusses the impact of the Child Support Scheme Reforms for blended families.

Sharing FTB

From 1 July 2008, FTB cannot be shared between members of a blended family for the same child. This means where both members of the family would otherwise be eligible for FTB for one or more children at the same time, only one member would be eligible for payment. The Secretary would determine which member is eligible for the payment based on which member is the primary carer and whether there is an agreement nominating one member to receive the payment.

Circumstances in which FTB may be shared

FTB may however be shared between members of a couple in a blended family where they have care of at least 2 FTB children and:

  • one child is from a previous relationship of one member of the couple, and
  • the other is a child either from the other partner's previous relationship, or
  • the child is a child of the couple's current relationship.

Example: Mary and Fred have 2 FTB children, John and Sarah. John is from Mary's previous relationship, and Sarah is a child of Mary and Fred's current relationship. Both Mary and Fred may be eligible for FTB for the children, and the Secretary may determine Mary and Fred's percentages of FTB for the children.

Act reference: FAAct section 26 Only one member of a couple eligible for FTB, section 28 Eligibility for FTB of members of a couple in a blended family, section 60 Sharing FTB between members of a couple in a blended family

Pre 1 July 2008 rules for sharing FTB in blended families

Prior to 1 July 2008, the total FTB payment could be shared between both members of a blended family couple. If each member of a couple in a blended family wanted to be paid FTB separately, a determination to share FTB between them could be made. The total amount of FTB payable for the family was calculated, and then each person was paid a percentage of the total amount. This was regardless of how many immediate children (1.1.B.30) each person had - the payment was not calculated on a per child basis. Each child in a blended family was taken to be an FTB child of both members of the couple.

The couple had to nominate the percentage of FTB they each wanted to receive. If they could not agree, the total rate of FTB was divided by the number of immediate FTB children of each individual.

Last reviewed: 11 May 2015