Child support

Child support

Child support is the financial support paid by one parent to the other, to help with the costs of a child aged under 18.

The law says that both parents have a duty to support their children financially, whether they are biological (birth) or adoptive parents, same-sex or otherwise.

Most children in Australia are covered by the Child Support Scheme, managed by the Department of Human Services (Child Support), a Commonwealth Government agency. Its role is to support separated parents to transfer payments for the benefit of their children.

Parents can come to their own agreement about how much child support should be paid. If parents don't agree about child support, the Department of Human Services (Child Support) will assess how much child support should be paid.

If your child is 18 or over and they are studying or have a disability they may be able to get adult child maintenance.

If you are a grandparent or other relative who is caring for a child, you may be able to get child support payments from the child's parents. It is important to get legal advice about this before you apply.

More information

Child support agreements

Child support assessment

Child support payments

Family Tax Benefit and child support

Disagree with a child support decision

Adult child maintenance for over-18s

Proving who the dad is

Childbirth expenses

Get help

Find out how you can get help with child support.