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. Who is entitled to apply for maintenance


Generally, an individual may apply for a child support assessment for a child under 18 if they care for the child and are not living with a parent of the child as their partner on a genuine domestic basis. They may be the other parent of the child or another individual (e.g. grandmother) as long as the child is in their care. The applicable law is the CSA Act. Where an individual is not eligible for a child support assessment they may be able to apply for a child maintenance order under the Family Law Act 1975.

Note: The MAT does not apply to individuals who have care of a child, but are not considered to be their parent.

Applications for child support assessment

Refer to CS Guide 2.1.1 for information about applying for a child support assessment.

Applications for maintenance under the Family Law Act

An individual who is not eligible for a child support assessment and wishes to apply for maintenance under the Family Law Act should seek legal advice on whether an entitlement exists.

Act reference: FAAct Schedule 1 clause 10 Effect of certain maintenance rights

Policy reference: FA Guide Determining which stage of the CSS applies, When maintenance action is not applicable, Payer is overseas

Last reviewed: