Payment of child support to receiving carers

The legislation sets out how child support payments in respect of a qualifying child are distributed to receiving carers.

The legislation sets out how child support payments in respect of a qualifying child are distributed to receiving carers.

Where child support payment is to a sole receiving carer who is a parent

The child support liability and the amount payable to the receiving carers is usually determined by the standard formula or under the multi-group cap. Where, in respect of a qualifying child, there is only one receiving carer and that carer is a parent of the child, then the annual amount of child support payment can be calculated by reference to the receiving parent's care cost and income percentages. This only applies if the amount will be less than the amount calculated under the standard formula or under the multi-group cap.

If the criteria are met, the amount of child support payable in respect of this receiving parent is a proportion of the cost of raising the child; determined by how much their care cost percentage exceeds their income percentage. In the legislation this is expressed as an amount that the receiving parent would pay if the difference between their income percentage and the care cost percentage were a positive percentage.

Example

Alisa has 46% of the combined child support income and her care cost percentage is 100%. She is a receiving carer as the percentage of income less care cost percentage is -54%. As the sole receiving carer for the child, the amount she could receive would be 54% of the relevant annual cost of raising the qualifying child (if this is less than the amount under the standard formula or the multi-group cap).

Where child support payment is to a sole receiving carer who is not a parent

The amount payable where there is only one non-parent receiving carer is the amount of child support determined by the formula assessment.

Where there are two receiving carers and neither are parents of the child

If there are two receiving carers of a qualifying child and neither are parents of the child, the child support payment will be distributed to them based on the relative care cost percentage of each receiving carer.

Example

Patrick is assessed as having to pay child support of $5,000. His child is being cared for by Jo and Lyn. Jo provides 40% of the care cost and receives $2,000 and Lyn provides 60% of the care cost and receives $3,000.

Where one receiving carer is a parent and the other is a non-parent receiving carer

In this situation, the legislation determines how much is payable to the receiving parent, and any remaining amount of the child support payment in respect of the child goes to the non-parent receiving carer.

The amount that goes to the receiving parent is the amount that the receiving parent would pay if the difference between their income percentage and the care cost percentage were a positive percentage. If the multi-group cap applies, the amount is determined by multiplying the difference between the receiving parent's income percentage and care cost percentage (expressed as a positive percentage) by the amount payable under the liable parent's multi-group cap.

Example

William is assessed as having to pay child support of $3,000. Care of his child is being shared between the child's mother, Lisa and grandmother Kiri. Both provide more than 35% of ongoing daily care. Lisa is assessed based on the difference between her income percentage and the care cost percentage as receiving $1,900. Kiri receives the remaining $1,100.

Where the minimum annual rate is payable

Where a minimum annual rate is set as a parent's child support liability, the proportion payable in respect of each receiving carer is to be on the basis of the number of qualifying children of the liable parent that each carer provides care for.

Example

Harry is assessed as having to pay the minimum annual rate of child support of $871. He has three qualifying children. The eldest is being cared for by Belinda and the other two are cared for by Alison. Belinda will receive 1/3 of the minimum annual rate and Alison will receive 2/3 of the minimum annual rate.