Child Support is financial support to help with the cost of caring for children paid by a parent or parents. Unfortunately, withholding or minimising child support is a tactic often used by perpetrators of domestic abuse to continue, or even commence, their abuse, post-separation.

Also known as child maintenance, child support is a common way for separated parents to manage the costs of dependent children, usually by way of payment to the primary carer and/or lower income parent. It may also be payable to legal non-parent carers in some circumstances.

Child support payments interact with Family Tax Benefit A and the Government will expect a parent to apply for Child Support to ensure their eligibility for this payment. If it's difficult for someone to apply for a child support assessment (for instance, because of domestic abuse or they're worried about what their partner will do), they may be eligible for an exemption.

Child support can be by paid by private arrangement or using Services Australia's Child Support Collect scheme. Be aware that if a couple use a private arrangement, Services Australia will assume the full amount of child support has been paid even if it has not. This could affect what other payments a person can access and means child support debt will not accrue.

The Government has more information about the Child Support system on its Services Australia website.

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