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. Child support assessments


This topic describes the requirements for obtaining, reviewing and ending a child support assessment.

Eligibility for a child support assessment

An application for an administrative assessment for child support for a child may be made to the Child Support Registrar if the child is:

  • an eligible child
  • under 18 years when the claim is made
  • not a member of a couple, and
  • one or more of the following
    • in Australia (1.1.A.120) on the day the application is made
    • an Australian citizen, or
    • ordinarily reside in Australia on the day the application is made.

The child cannot apply for a child support assessment on their own behalf.

Where the eligible child will be in full-time secondary study on or after their 18th birthday the carer entitled to child support can seek an extension of a child support assessment until the last day of the secondary school year in which the child turns 18, as long as the request is made before the child turns 18 and the child is in full-time secondary study on their 18th birthday. This action must occur for the individual in this situation to satisfy the MAT for their child.

If a child is eligible for child support assessment, the payee (1.1.P.71) cannot get a court order for child support from the payer, unless an assessment has been made first.

Exception: The payee may seek an interim order, which has effect until the assessment is made.

Any individual with an eligible child may apply for assessment, whether or not they are a parent or receiving family assistance.

For further guidance on who is entitled to claim or apply to child support under the CSS, see

Act reference: CSA Act Part 3 Children who may be covered by Act, section 24 Children in relation to whom applications may be made, 151B Application for assessment/agreement to continue beyond child's 18th birthday

Policy reference: FA Guide Determining which stage of the CSS applies, Proof of parentage, Presumption of parentage - Stage 2, Who is entitled to apply for maintenance, Taking reasonable maintenance action, Maintenance action in progress

CS Guide 2.1.2 Eligible child, 2.5.5 Application to have an assessment continue past a child's 18th birthday

Review of assessment

After an assessment is issued the individuals involved may apply for a review of the assessment under certain circumstances.

Policy reference: FA Guide Taking reasonable maintenance action

Ending an assessment

An individual receiving more than the base rate of FTB for their child can elect to end a child support assessment. However, their FTB Part A rate may be reduced to the base rate if they have not been granted an exemption from the MAT. The individual should be made aware of this consequence prior to the assessment being ended.

Act reference: CSA Act

Policy reference: FA Guide Exemptions from the maintenance action test

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