3.1.5.20 Determining which Stage of the CSS Applies

Summary

There are different requirements for reasonable action for child support, depending on which stage of the CSS applies. The stage applied depends on the person's circumstances.

This topic provides information about:

  • the stages of the CSS, and
  • how to work out which stage/s apply to an individual's circumstances.

Policy reference: FA Guide 3.1.5.30 Taking Reasonable Maintenance Action

Child Support Scheme

The following table summarises the 2 stages of the CSS.

Stage Commencement Date Role of Child Support
1 1 June 1988 collects child support payable under court orders or registered agreements (1.1.M.15).
2 1 October 1989
  • calculates the amount of child support payable,
  • registers agreements, and
  • collects the child support.

Policy reference: FA Guide 3.1.5.60 When Maintenance Action is Not Applicable, 3.1.7 Maintenance Income Test

Which stage applies

The following table outlines which stage of the CSS applies before, on, or after 1 October 1989. This applies whether the individual has already claimed, or is only claiming FTB Part A now.

If an individual has a child from a previous relationship born And Then stage
before 1 October 1989,
  • they were separated from the payer (1.1.P.72) before that date, or
  • never lived with the payer,
1 applies.
before 1 October 1989, they separated from the payer (1.1.P.72) on or after 1 October 1989, 2 applies.
before 1 October 1989, the child has a full brother or sister born on or after that date, 2 applies.
before or after 1 October 1989, the non-resident parent lives:
  • overseas, and
  • is not a resident of Australia for taxation purposes,
1 applies.
on or after 1 October 1989, the child is not eligible for assessment under the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989, 1 applies.
on or after 1 October 1989,
  • they were separated from the payer on or after that date, or
  • never lived with the payer,
2 applies.

Both stages may apply

If the children have different parents, either or both stages could apply.

Explanation: The children may be:

  • all Stage 1,
  • all Stage 2, or
  • some under each stage.

Example: Jenny has 3 children, 2 from her first marriage and 1 from a later relationship. The older 2 children are covered by a court order under Stage 1, and the youngest is a Stage 2 child.

The individual should take action for child support for all the children unless:

  • action is not required, or
  • an exemption has been granted for a particular child.

Neither stage may apply

There are a small number of individuals who do not fall under Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the CSS because they had existing arrangements when the scheme was introduced. For more information about these individuals, see 3.1.5.60 When maintenance action is not applicable. Any amount of maintenance received by these individuals is still assessed under the maintenance income test.

Policy reference: FA Guide 3.1.5.30 Taking Reasonable Maintenance Action, 3.1.5.70 Exemptions from the Maintenance Action Test, 3.1.6.40 Child Support Assessments

Last reviewed: 20 September 2016