Circumstances that can Change or Terminate Child Support
Payment of child support continues until the child turns 18 or if circumstances call for a change in the amount paid.
Child support is payable by parents until their child turns 18. However, there are instances when child support is changed or ended because of the circumstances of the parents and the child.
Circumstances that can change child support and what you should do
- Your child is turning 18 but is still in secondary school Child support may be continued despite that the child is already turning 18. The financial support is meant to help the child finish his education. The receiving parent may file an application for a continuation of the child support. The application must be filed before the child’s 18th birthday.
- Change in the care being given by the parent Child support is computed based on the care that is being provided by the parents for their child. If there is a change in the care the parents should notify the DHS so that there will be a reassessment of the child support.
- Parents getting back together .The receiving parent may choose to suspend the child support for six months upon notice to the DHS.
- Significant change in the circumstances of the parents If the paying parent becomes unemployed, this will affect his capacity to pay child support. He must inform the DHS about this change so that there can be a reassessment in recognition of his lack of income.
- You have another child with your partner or with another partner If a parent has the care of another child this calls for reassessment of the child support because one of the factors considered in the computation is whether the parent has dependents under his care. It may also be that the parents want the second child to be included in the child support assessment.
Circumstances that end child support
- The child dies;
- The child turns 18 and is no longer in secondary school;
- If the caring parent or the non-parent carer dies;
- If the child enters into a de facto relationship;
- If the child is legally adopted. This means that the parental responsibility is terminated because the adoptive parents become the new parents. Thus, the biological parents are no longer liable for child support;
- The child is in the care of a person under a child welfare law;
- The child is not in Australia, is not in a reciprocating jurisdiction and is not an Australian citizen.
- The parent is no longer a resident in Australia and is in another country with which Australia does not have an international agreement.
- A child support agreement specifies an end date for the payment.
- The parent or the recipient of child support elects to end an assessment on a specific date.