Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Costs of children table, is this the maximum amount?

Add Topic

What is the maximum amount I am liable to pay per annum and what is my postion with sale of assets like family home

After being divorced for 14years, my absent ex, is now applying for child support.
I raised both children alone for 12 years and now my 14 yeard old daughter has decided to live with him.

In the 14 years he paid me sometimes $25 a week as support for both children, stupidly privately, as he claimed to be unemployed, though he still had money for a rental property and to buy cars etc.

I still support our 18 yo son, who lives with me full time and has casual work with a supermarket chain.
His father and the CSA claim that he costs me nothing to support.

I already pay all of my daughters private health, dental and doctor visits. I pay half of her private schooling and pay her $200 per month in pocket money.
Because these are "private " arrangements, they do not have a credit value against the child support.
If I were to discontinue those, then he can claim more for those payments.

Now the father has made a claim for support and with backpay is taking 75% of my fortnightly income.
Whilst I accept that I need to help support my daughter, I now need to consider my options to reduce what I see are excessive claims.
I cannot support myself on the balance of my income left after payments are made.
I was in shock at how cold and calculating the CSA staff were and I am left with a few questions which no body seems to be able to help me with.
Assuming that my payments are up to date and that there are no outstanding amounts-;

I see there is a table, "costs of children".
Is this the maximum amount that is claimable in one year ?

If i were to sell my home, principle place of residence, can he claim part of the capital gain?

I have a investment property, the negative losses are now added back into my gross income.
If I sold that, can he claim any part of the capital gain ?

I am considering working till the end of this financial, then working part time.
I work in the public health system and work long hours and I am constantly under a lot of stress.
I have worked very hard, as a single mum for all of the childrens lives to support them and I am gutted that I will now be paying for my exs lifestyle.
I went to a family law firm to seek advice, but they were not able to answer these questions.
Any advice would be helpful.

Welcome to the cold world of the CSA.

 The first thing to understand about the CSA is that they do not care in the slightest about the payer - it is important to understand that. It is also important to understand that the CSA is in effect judge and jury of the Child Support Act.

I would strongly advise you to deal with the CSA in writing only - they can become forgetful about what they have said or promised to you.

Negative gearing
Yes, it is normal to add back negative gearing losses. If you can, I would advise trying to keep the investment property. Can you restructure the loans - interest only for example. If you sell the property, any profit can be seen as a windfall and make you a target for a Change of Assessment - you do not want that as it is intrusive.

You cannot just go part-time, you are not free to make that choice. The CSA will say that you did that to lessen your child support payments. You are not even free to change your job if it means less income for you. The CSA will make you pay child support on the income that they think that you could have earned.

You need to immediately stop all over-time and think very carefully about any promotion.

I suggest that you regularly go to the doctor about the stress at work and the negative impact on your health. In about a years time, you might be a position to go part-time under your doctor's suggestion.

Is your son at university?

How far back is the back pay?


Last edit: by monteverdi

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 

What country do I live in ?

Thanks for the feedback.
Unfortunately my son is not at Uni. Left school last year and is deciding what path to follow.
Backpay is from the start of school year and as of yesterday they now advise me that they will be taking 90% or more of my pay each fortnight.
How can they do this ?
How can I expect to live on such a meagre amount.?
No one can adjust their lifestyle with such short notice, cancel automatic payments, budget to pay my utilities and feed myson and myself.
Pay for fuel to get to work.
What country am I living in.?
Who gave these people such power.?
I've done nothing wrong , worked hard, paid taxes, raised two kids alone.
I've been to a doctor who has diagnosed me with stress and depression.
I can't face the thought of going to work anymore.
I was stressed before,  but now I can no longer function.
My partner urges me to work through this and has offered to help me out.
But he is also a lone parent with mostly adult children but continues to support them.
I want to run away.

There is a strict formula they must follow and taking 90% of your pay is not possible under the rules.

The child support follows the child. There is a strict formula to work on and the calculator on the site here gives a close enough idea. You can claim some of the costs as prescribed payments and you need to look at those rules and there are many posts here about those in recent times.

I assume you have spoken to Child Support about your financial situation and are working on a payment program that does not include 90% of your current income. You are fortunate your son is not in a higher education program and the father claimed support if the son was living with him.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity

I see there is a table, "costs of children".
Is this the maximum amount that is claimable in one year ?

No. The costs of children table are ranges that then affect the % rate used to determine the cost of a child.

So say X has a taxable income (after adjustments) of 70K and Y 30k.

Next each parent has the the Self Support Amount subtracted (25k) so X has 45K and Y 5K (each is that parent's Child Support income CSI).

These are then added together to come up with the Combined Child Support Income (CCSI) which would be 50K.

This amount is then applied to the Cost of Children table, it fits into the second column and for 1 child 13 or over the cost of the child will be  8.5K for the part of the CCSI up to 36K, the remaining 14K at 22c per $1 would be 3K

So the Cost of the Child is 11.5K.

Then each parents Cost Percentage is determined, this being the percentage of that parent's part of the CCSI 90% v 10%.

So without considering care X would pay 90% of the 11.5K  (10.3K).

However the level of care is a factor

If X has no care (0%-13% 0-51 nights) then  CS would be 10.3K.
If X has 14%-34% (52-127 nights) then  the care factor would be 24% of the 10.3K =  2.5K  so CS would be  7.8K
If Y has no care then CS would be 10% of the 11.5K i.e. 1.2K
If Y has 14%-34% then the care factor would be 300 so CS would be 900.

Note this is a pretty simplistic view and would be complicated by additional children and perhaps other children from other relationships.

Saying that parents can claim for non-agency payments.

Backpay is from the start of school year and as of yesterday they now advise me that they will be taking 90% or more of my pay each fortnight. 
How can they do this ?  

I don't believe that they can. as unless criteria excludes (income amount order (another name for change of assessment that ajusts the income)), a thing called PEA (Protected Employees Amount) should apply :-

Protected earnings

Employers should not deduct the full specified periodic deduction from a payer's salary or wages if that would leave the employee with less than the 'protected earnings amount' (CSRC Act section 46(4)).

The protected earnings rate is defined as a weekly rate prescribed by regulation (CSRC Act section 4(1)). The weekly rate is prescribed as 75% of the maximum fortnightly basic rate of newstart allowance payable on 1 January each year, to a person who has turned 21 years old and is partnered, with no dependent children (CSRC Regs regulation 9). The protected earnings rate is used to calculate the amount of the deductions for salary or wage payments made in each respective calendar year. The protected earnings amount for recent years is:

Year Amount
2018 $364.88 per week
2017 $358.05 per week
2016 $354.45 per week
2015 $349.13 per week
2014 $339.23 per week
2013 $333.53 per week
2012 $329.55 per week
2011 $318.00 per week
2010 $308.63 per week
2009 $304.05 per week

The amount of salary and wages is the amount payable after the deduction of income tax deductions (CSRC Act section 46(8)).

I am considering working till the end of this financial, then working part time.


This would leave you open to a Departure from Administrative Assessment (aka Change of Assessment) under reason 8 (Earning Capacity). Where basically the law very much allows a pen pusher, often a legally trained but otherwise virtually unemployable pen pusher, to invent amounts and there is very little chance of recourse. Frequently this has been termed Deem and Destroy.

You should carefully consider :-

has reduced his or her weekly hours of work to below full-time work

Earning capacity

If the assessment is affected by a parent's reduced income, there may be special circumstances to justify changing the assessment to take into account the parent's earning capacity.

When can the Registrar take into account a parent's earning capacity?

From 1 July 2006, the Registrar can only determine that a parent's earning capacity is greater than is reflected in his or her income used in the child support formula if all of the following 3 matters are satisfied:

1. The parent is either:


2. The parent's decision about his or her work arrangements is not justified by either:


3. The parent has failed to show that the decision about his or her work arrangements was not substantially motivated by the effect this would have on the child support assessment (CSA Act section 117(7B)©).

The Registrar must be satisfied that all 3 compulsory criteria are satisfied before a change to the assessment can be made to take into account a parent's earning capacity, rather than his or her actual income.

If the parent's circumstances satisfy only 1 or 2 of the criteria, the Registrar cannot make a decision based on the parent's earning capacity.

The Registrar must also be satisfied it would be possible for the parent to increase his or her income by changing his or her work arrangements. That is, work must be available for the parent in his or her area and the parent must have the necessary qualifications and experience to perform that work.
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets