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.

2.1.5 Deciding to accept or refuse an application


The Registrar must decide to accept or refuse an application for a child support assessment.

Act references

CSA Act section 7B, section 24, section 25, section 25A, section 27, section 29, section 29A, section 29B, section 30, section 30A, section 30B, section 31, section 33

CSA Regs section 23


If the Registrar is satisfied that a person has properly made an application for a child support assessment, that application must be accepted (CSA Act section 30(1)). The Registrar may determine that an application is not properly made where there is already an overseas liability registered for the same case and one party is resident in a reciprocating jurisdiction (CSA Act section 30B).

The Registrar may refuse an application if not satisfied that it was properly made (CSA Act section 30(2)). The Registrar can defer making a decision where an applicant requires further time to supply information or evidence.

An application is properly made if it complies with sections 24, 25, 25A and 27 of the CSA Act.

  • Section 24 specifies which children an application can be made for (2.1.2).
  • Sections 25 and 25A specify who may apply for a child support assessment (2.1.1).
  • Section 27 specifies how the application is to be made (2.1.1).

Where one parent is an overseas resident the application is properly made if:

  • the parent who is likely to be required to pay child support is not a resident of Australia on the day the application is made but is resident in a reciprocating jurisdiction which is not an excluded jurisdiction (1.5.1) (CSA Act section 30A); and the child is present in Australia or an Australian citizen or ordinarily resident in Australia (CSA Act section 29A(3)), or
  • the application is made by a person who is resident in a reciprocating jurisdiction (1.5.1) and who is likely to receive child support; the application is made by the person and forwarded to the Registrar by the overseas authority of that reciprocating jurisdiction; OR the application is made by the overseas authority on behalf of the person (CSA Act section 29B).

The Registrar is not required to conduct any inquiries or investigations when deciding whether an application complies with sections 24, 25, 25A and 27 of the CSA Act. The Registrar can act on the basis of the application and any documents which accompanied it (CSA Act section 29(1)). However, the Registrar is not prevented from seeking further information or evidence.

The Registrar will refuse an application if the residency requirements are not satisfied (CSA Act section 29A) or if the Registrar is not satisfied that a person named in the application as a parent of the child is a parent of the child (CSA Act section 29(2)). See 2.1.3 for information about when the Registrar may be satisfied that a person is a parent.

If an application is refused, the Registrar will notify the applicant and parent, explaining why the application was refused (CSA Act section 33). See 2.1.6 for information about the notice of the decision.

If an application is accepted, a child support assessment and a child support period (2.3.1) must start on the day that the application was made to Services Australia (CSA Act section 31(1) and CSA Regs section 23).

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