Social Security Payments Included in Adjusted Taxable Income for Child Support

Government pension and other social security payments that are included in the adjusted taxable income of the parent may be taken into account in determining the parent’s sources of income in a child support assessment.

The duty to support a child is equally shouldered by both parents. This is regardless of whether the parents were married or were in a de facto relationship. It is the job of the Department of Human Services (DHS) to assess parents how much child support they should be paying for each of their children.

How will the DHS assess me for child support?

The DHS follows a formula in assessing the child support payable by parents. Under ordinary circumstances, the DHS will be following the basic formula for child support assessment. There are eight steps to follow:

The adjusted taxable income of each parent will be determined and from that a self-support amount will be deducted.

The amounts derived from the first step will be added for a combined child support income.
Get the income percentage for each parent by dividing the individual child support income (from step 1) with the combined child support income (from step 2).

The individual care percentage is worked out by referring to the care and cost table provided by the DHS.

The cost percentage of each parent is worked out by referring to the care and cost table.
 The child support percentage is derived by subtracting the cost percentage (from step 5) from the income percentage of each parent (from step 3). The parent who has a negative percentage will receive child support and the parent who has a positive percentage will be the one to pay child.

(The next steps are for the purpose of assessing how much child support will be paid by the parent who got a positive percentage.)

The cost per child is worked out by basing the combined child support income (from step 2) on the cost of children table of the DHS.

The final amount that is payable as child support is derived by multiplying the parent’s positive child support percentage (from step 6) with the cost of the child (from step 7).

Will my social security payments be included in the assessment?

This question is relevant to the first step of the ordinary formula child support assessment wherein the parent’s adjusted taxable income is determined. It is in the first step that a parent’s earning, properties, sources of income, financial resources and his earning capacity are identified.

A government pension, allowance or benefit that is normally included in the adjusted taxable income for step 1 of the formula will be considered in the determination of the sources of income of the parent. After all, a social security payment is a financial resource for a person. Pensions and benefits as long as they are taxable income will also be taken into account. 

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Alan Weiss

16th March, 2020

Alan Weiss developed aussiedivorce.com.au after he experienced himself how devastating divorce proceedings can be. I witnessed firsthand my own future security, and that of my familys, being destroyed by acrimonious and costly divorce litigation. I created aussiedivorce.com.au to help people avoid an experience like this and lose thousands of dollars. Instead the aussiedivorce.com.au system will assist them in getting on with their lives.