The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

Using the Child Support Guide

Welcome to the Child Support Guide (CS Guide). The CS Guide has been designed as a web publication (HTML) and is not available in a single electronic file or in paper format.

What does the CS Guide cover?

The CS Guide is divided into 6 parts:

Part name What is covered
1 About the scheme The objects of the child support scheme, the background of the scheme and a brief history of legislative amendments, as well as policy relating to Australian residence and overseas cases, and family and domestic violence.
2 Child support assessments Policy relating to child support assessments, including applications for assessment, care, the child support formula and the change of assessment process.
3 Registrable maintenance liabilities Explanation of the types of registrable maintenance liabilities, notification requirements, how court orders are varied, and the registration of overseas child support orders, court registered agreements and liabilities.
4 Objecting, seeking a review, appealing & applying to court Policy relating to objections, reviews, appeals and court applications under the child support legislation.
5 Collecting child support Explanation of child support collection options and administrative enforcement of child support liabilities.
6 Administration Description of the various provisions that affect how the Registrar administers child support cases, including privacy and secrecy, freedom of information, offences and prosecution, and other administrative matters.

Use of abbreviations

For ease of reference the following abbreviations are used in the Guide:

  • CSRC Act - Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988
  • CSA Act - Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989
  • CSRC Regs - Child Support (Registration and Collection) Regulations 2018
  • CSA Regs - Child Support (Assessment) Regulations 2018
  • FL Act - Family Law Act 1975
  • FL Regs - Family Law Regulations 1984
  • FA Guide - Family Assistance Guide
  • FAAct - A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999
  • FA(Admin)Act - A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999
  • SS Guide - Social Security Guide
  • SSAct - Social Security Act 1991
  • SS(Admin)Act - Social Security (Administration) Act 1999
  • PPL Guide - Paid Parental Leave Guide
  • PPLAct - Paid Parental Leave Act 2010
  • AAT Act - Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975

Finding information

The following features are provided to assist in finding relevant information:

  • Search - type your search term (words or phrases) in the search box at the top of the page. The Advanced search on the results page allows a search to be limited to a specific Guide or Guides.
  • Site map - gives an overall picture of the structure of the Child Support Guide.
  • Keyword index - this provides an extensive list of words which can be used to search for specific topics.

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