How is Child Support Calculated

How do you calculate Child Support 

The Child Support Agency uses a mathematical formula to automatically calculate and assess Child Support.

The Child Support formula is based on the income available to both parents to determine the amount it calculates as being the parent’s responsibility to pay for Child Support.

Broadly speaking, the Child Support Agency note the amount of time the Child(ren) spend with each parent and use a parent’s “adjusted taxable income” less an amount for “self support”, as well taking into account the number of other dependent child(ren) the Child Support payer may be responsible to support, when calculating the Child Support payable.

The Child Support Agency has an online calculator which estimates the child support payable after you answer questions by inserting your particular details.  You can use this to estimate the amount of child support likely to be assessed as payable.

Child Support: What else you need to know


Read about when payment of Child Support will stop.

There is a difference between Child Support and Child Maintenance. If you don’t know what the difference is, you can read more in our information sheet What is Child Support and Child Maintenance.

If you need to know who must pay Child Support, you can read more in our information sheet Who is liable to pay Child Support.

We also have a separate information sheet answering the question Does Child Support have to be paid.

Whether you arrange to have child support paid privately or collected through the Child Support Agency, you will need to know what to do to arrange for Child Support payments to start. This is explained in our information sheet What is the procedure & steps involved for Child Support payments.

How much Child Support should be paid is commonly an issue between parents. There is a method the Child Support Agency use to assess Child Support which is explained in our information sheet How is Child Support Calculated.

If you do not agree with the decision made by the Child Support Agency when they assessed the amount of Child Support to be paid then you should read the information sheet What if I disagree with a Child Support Agency Decision.

Some parents reach agreement about how much child support should be paid. there are different types of private agreements you can enter into. Read more in the following information sheets:


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