Recent Changes Made to Calculating Child Support Scheme

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Child support is a complex matter that can cause anxiety and impact negatively on parents and children. Major changes to the Child Support Scheme came into effect last year and affect everyone paying or receiving child support and, in some cases, parents who have a Child Support Agreement.

How will child support be calculated under the new arrangements?

Under the new arrangements the costs of raising children will be the basis of the formula. Both parents’ income will be taken into account and considered equally and the same self support amount will be deducted from each parent’s income before working out child support.

Under the old scheme, a parent who cared for a child for up to 30% of the time (109 nights) paid the same amount in support as a parent who rarely cared for a child.

With the changes coming on 1 July, the 30% threshold has been removed and a percentage of child rearing costs may be met through providing care rather making a payment to the other parent. It will be easier to make minor variations to the care arrangements without affecting the child support.