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Child Support

How to obtain child support

The costs of raising children can be substantial. The law requires parents to generally maintain and support their children if they are able to do so.

The following is a guide to obtaining child support.

If you have been notified by Centrelink that your Centrelink benefits (family tax benefits) will be reduced unless you take reasonable action to obtain child support from the father or mother of your child.

The following steps should be used as a guide to making a claim on the mother or father of the child:

How to Make a Claim

1. If you know the name of the other parent, and have some details about where they are living, you will need to take the following steps:

2. Lodge an application for a child support assessment with the Child Support Agency (CSA) by phone on 131 272 or at Centrelink.

3. The CSA will only accept your application if they are satisfied that the person you named is the mother/father of your child. There are a number of ways to prove that someone is the mother/father of your child. Your solicitor will advise you whether or not you have proof of paternity. Your solicitor may be able to write to the parent to ask them to sign a document admitting that they are the biological parent of the child.

4. If you do not have proof that someone is the parent of the child, the CSA will send you a letter refusing your application. You should send this letter to your Solicitor immediately. You only have a limited time from the time you get your referral letter to commence court proceedings (56 days in the Federal Magistrates Court and 60 days in the Family or Local Courts).

5. You can now make another appointment to see a solicitor. You will need to bring the following things to that appointment:

  • CSA letter refusing your application
  • details of the father and his whereabouts (if available)

6. You can now commence court proceedings. Court proceedings will often involve DNA parentage testing.

7.  After the court has made orders about who is the biological parent of your child, you can register those orders with the CSA.

8. The CSA will then issue a child support assessment.

9. Child support will then be payable.