Child Support Period pertains to the length of time and duration when the Child Support Assessment will apply. Depending on the circumstances of the parents and their child, a Child Support Period can last up to 15 months or even shorter in some cases.
But in no case it should be longer than 15 months as provided under Section 7A(3)(a) of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989. At the end of this period, a new assessment will be made to take into consideration any changes that may affect the Child Support Program. It can either be a change in the income of the parents or the cost of living of the child.
Child Support Period is governed by Sections 5, 7A, 31, 34A, 34B, 34C, 43 and 93 of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989. Each Child Support Assessment will only apply to a separate Child Support Period. However it does not follow that the rate of the child support based on this Assessment is already fixed. It can still be amended depending on the changes in the circumstances of the Parent and Child like the dependent children, levels of care and estimate income.
The Registrar will make the Child Support Assessments using the latest income estimate of the parent in which the assessment is to be applied. This is computed from the last relevant year of income for a child support period which is also the last year of income that ended before the start of the period. It should be noted that any amendment to an assessment will not automatically start a new child support period.
Upon application, the Registrar must conduct the necessary assessment as fast and as practicable as he can. The child support period for that assessment will start on the day the application was received by the Registrar.
In case the Registrar conducts a new assessment to a child support program, the old assessment and the child support period will end. There can be no overlap between Child Support Periods, and existing period must end first before a new period can start.