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, and
  • under 18 years when the claim is made, and
  • unmarried and not living with a partner on a genuine domestic basis, and
  • one or more of the following:
    • in Australia (1.1.A.120) on the day the application is made, or
    • an Australian citizen, or
    • ordinarily reside in Australia on the day of the application.

The child cannot apply for a child support assessment on his or her own behalf.

Where the eligible child will be in full-time secondary study on or after their 18th birthday the individual can seek an extension of a child support assessment to the last day of the school year for that child, 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: Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989

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

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 cannot end an assessment unless they are no longer eligible for child support or they are granted an exemption from the MAT.

Example: The individual may no longer be eligible for child support if the child has left their care or they have reconciled with the payer.

Act reference: Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989

Policy reference: FA Guide Exemptions from the maintenance action test

Last reviewed: 20 March 2019