There are a number of steps that can be taken to dispute child support payments.
In some cases, the proper remedy is to lodge an objection to the Agency. There are time limits applying to objections, which you should note carefully in the letter setting out the Agency’s decision or assessment.
In other cases, if a parent believes the current child support payments are unfair, he or she can apply to the Child Support Agency (or in some limited cases, directly to the court) for a change of assessment review in ‘special circumstances’.
There are a number of specific and limited grounds for seeking a change of assessment – including:
- that the parent has significant personal expenses or commitments (such as loan repayments) which affect their capacity to pay child support at the assessed rate, or
- the child has significant costs of their care or training or education (such as private school fees), or
- the parent has high costs of child care, or
- the parent has high costs of contact travel, or
- the parent has a commitment to maintain a step-child
- the other parent has income or assets or financial resources that are not properly reflected in the child support assessment.
If the Agency makes a decision which again is not favourable to the parent, further steps can be taken to have that decision reviewed.
Changing child support decisions can be complex. We have significant experience in child support matters, both through court action and CSA procedures, and can assist you to navigate these matters.