188.8.131.52 Determining which stage of the CSS applies
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 184.108.40.206 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||
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||
|before 1 October 1989||they separated from the payer 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:
|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||
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 220.127.116.11. Any amount of maintenance received by these individuals is still assessed under the maintenance income test.