How to calculate your child support

Posted 9th December 2014 by Dirk Klicker

I am regularly asked by clients how much child support is payable in their case.

The child support agency refers to using the parties taxable incomes from the last financial year to calculate the “BASIC”  rate of child support payable.

However, the calculation is anything but basic to perform manually, due to the large number of factors involved.

In this tutorial, I demonstrate how to calculate the basic child support payable.

This tutorial only calculates the basic rate of child support to be paid.

I highly recommend that parties take advice from an experienced family lawyer, as parties may be entitled to additional or reduced payments above the basic rate of child support.

Play the video above for a demonstration of how to calculate the child support payable.

Starting at our website located at

Go to the Links page.

Then, go to the link called, “Calculate Your Child Support”.

This takes u to the Department of Human Services Child Support and FTB Estimator.

I note that the Department of Humans Services also publishes The Guide, which provides a very useful summary of the child support system in Australia.

The first page is called “About This Service”. It explains what the calculator can, and cannot do.

I highly recommend you print each page as you go. Click the “print” tab before you go to the next page. You then should retain a copy of the estimate for your records. You can provide a copy to your lawyer.

Now, click “Next”.

Here, insert the first name of each parent and the number of children to be assessed.

If appropriate, insert the number of dependent children for each parent.

Then, click “Next”.

Here, insert the taxable and other incomes of each parent, and whether a parent receives income support payments.

Then, click “Next”.

Here, insert the first names and dates of birth of the children.  Insert the number of nights in your care and frequency.  Be sure to select the correct frequency. You should insert the average nights of care in each year.

Now, click the icon labelled, “estimate child support”.

The summary of results is displayed at the top of the page.

I recommend you click the link, “expand all”, to show the full calculation of child support.

Then, I recommend you print and double check the calculations.

There are a number of grounds that parties can seek a departure from the basic calculation of child support.

The grounds of departure will covered in a subsequent Blog.

Each case is different and the grounds for departure available will vary from case to case.

If you answer yes to any of these questions you may have a ground of departure:

  1. Do the children attend private school?
  2. Do the children attend any additional extracurricular activities?
  3. Do the children have any additional health concerns?
  4. Is the payer self-employed?
  5. Is the payer on a very high income above the child support income cap?
  6. Is the payer income poor but asset rich?
  7. Are there any unusual factor in your case that warrant an increase payment of child support?

Therefore, I strongly recommend that parties take advice from an experienced family lawyer in relation to child support.

If you have any other questions about how to calculate your child support, please telephone one of our friendly staff.