objecting to a child support assessment
what is the formula used by the dhs?
Parents are assessed for child support by the Department of Human Services. A parent who disagrees with the assessment may file an objection.
Parents are responsible for shouldering the costs of raising a child. The amount needed to financially support a child is computed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) using the formula assessment. The child support of children of married and de facto partners may be computed by the DHS unless the parents themselves can agree on the amount.
The assessment formula involves a series of mathematical computations that take into account the following factors:
- The income of the parents;
- The amount of care each parent provides;
- Whether the parents are supporting other children or dependents;
- The costs of raising a child; and
- The living expenses of the parents.
Yes. A parent may object to the assessment of the child support or have it changed.
Notice of child support decisions by the DHS will be sent in writing. A parent may object to the decision because of the following reasons:
- Incorrect information was used;
- New information or relevant information was not considered; and
- Improper application of the law or rules.
The objection must be made in writing. There is a form that is used for this purpose. You must clearly state the reasons for your objection and that you want the decision reviewed. The objection must be filed within 28 days from the receipt of the decision.
An Objections Officer of the DHS will review the decision. Discussions will be held between the parents over the phone during which relevant information may be asked, gathered or exchanged. Remember that the review will not have the effect of staying the original decision. So make sure that you still comply with your obligations under the original order.
The Objections Officer has until 60 days to come up with a decision. In the meantime, you can apply to the court if you want the collection of child support to be stayed.
The decision may allow or disallow the objection. The Objections Officer may also change or amend the assessment. The parties will be notified in writing of the decision of the Objections Officer.
First make sure that the objection decision is already final. Then you can file for a review with the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT). A parent has 28 days from receipt of the objection decision to apply to the SSAT. An appeal form is available at their website and after filling up may be sent back to them through personal service, mail or email.
The Court may review the decision of the SSAT only on questions of law.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.