The payment of the minimum amount can be flexible upon application. It is a parental responsibility to care for one’s child and provide financial support. A parent’s responsibility towards his child does not end upon separation or divorce.
The Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 has made sure that a child will continue to be financially provided for by the parents. The Act has mandated for each child support assessment the minimum annual rate payable in the amount of $320, but for child support periods that will start in 2014, the minimum annual rate has been raised to $399.
A parent who is receiving income support has less than the regular care of the child and whose income is less than the self-support amount is required to pay the minimum child support assessment for every child. While the minimum child support assessment is fixed at a certain amount, there are circumstances that the Act allows for leeway in the payment of the minimum amount.
The parent who has the regular care of the child consisting of at least 52 nights per year or 14% care is not required to pay the minimum amount because the costs in caring for the child have already been addressed through direct care.
A parent whose income is below the minimum assessment may apply to have the minimum child support assessment reduced to nothing. On the other hand, a parent who has a low taxable income and does not receive income support may apply to pay a set amount for every child per week. If the parent supports more than three children, a fixed assessment is set which means that the parent is liable to pay a capped amount. The payment of child support per week for every child is a safeguard for the party to meet his obligations towards all his children.
The Act can also be flexible for parents who move from income support to work income. To aid in the transition, the Act allows that the minimum payment of child support continue for at least 28 days after the parent return to work. After the lapse of 28 days, the parent is reassessed given his higher income