Understanding the basic child support formula

Parents have the choice to apply to the Child Support Agency for assessment and collection of child support payments, or to enter into a private agreement between themselves.

If you go with a CSA assessment, they will use a mathematical formula to determine the appropriate level of child support. The underlying principle is that parents share rateably in the costs of caring for their children.

The most basic form of the formula applies to the vast majority of cases. The CSA online calculator lets you estimate how much child support is payable in your circumstances.

In essence, CSA calculates the costs of the child by reference to the earnings of the parents, and sets the child support rate on the basis that parents share rateably in the costs of the child based upon their respective incomes and the time that the child spends in their care.

Care is usually worked out based on the number of nights that a child is in the care of each parent.

Child support can be provided in ways other than the payment of money, such as continued use of the family home, car and payment of school fees, with these payments reducing the amount of cash payment under the formula.

Justine Dean – Samford Family Law