Child support assessments with second families

Child support assessments with second families

If you have relevant dependent children in your care for 128 nights or more in a year, or in a shared care arrangement, an amount for their support may be deducted from your income when calculating your child support. A relevant dependent child cannot be assessed as a child support child in other child support cases.

A relevant dependent child can be:

  • your biological child
  • your adopted child
  • your child under the Family Law Act 1975
  • born as the result of an artificial conception procedure
  • born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement

The relevant dependent child amount deducted from your income is worked out for your second or subsequent family using the same cost of children table used for your child support children. This means that all your children are treated using the same formulas.

The relevant dependent child amount is worked out using only your income. Because each parent’s income is treated equally under the formula, either parent can have children from a new family recognised in this way. Your new partner’s income is not taken into account when we complete the child support assessment.


Where a parent has a second family that includes stepchildren, the responsibility of financially supporting the stepchild may rest with that parent if neither of the child’s biological parents can pay for the costs of their child, because of, for example, illness, death or caring responsibilities.

In special circumstances, parents who make child support payments who also care for a stepchild can apply for a change of assessment to have their child support payments reviewed. You may be able to ask us to review your assessment in special circumstances.



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