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.

2.3.1 What is a child support period?


A child support period is a period of time to which a child support assessment applies.

Act references

CSA Act section 5, section 7A, section 31, section 34A, section 34B, section 34C, section 43, section 93

Child support periods & assessments

Each child support assessment applies to a separate child support period. This does not mean that the rate of child support will stay the same for the whole period as the assessment may be amended to replace default incomes or to take account of various changes such as changes in the care of children, or the application of an income estimate. These amendments may apply to the whole child support period or just part of the child support period, depending upon the nature of the change, when it occurred, and when the Registrar was advised of the change.

How long is a child support period?

A child support period is a flexible period of time, which cannot exceed 15 months. The length of the child support period for any assessment will vary according to the individual circumstances of the child support case. These circumstances will determine when the child support period starts and ends (section 7A).

The Act also requires the Registrar to make new child support assessments in various circumstances:

  • if the registrar accepts an application for assessment (section 31)
  • a new adjusted taxable income figure is available (section 34A)
  • a new child support agreement is received (section 34B)
  • a new child support period starts (section 34C), or
  • a child support agreement is in place that requires a notional assessment (section 93).

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