188.8.131.52 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 Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989. 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.