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The Child Support Assessment Act allows the Registrar to change a child support assessment if the assessment of child support results in an unjust and inequitable level of financial support being paid. Child support lawyers can challenge a child support assessment on limited and specified grounds which can include:

  1. The circumstances of either parent’s income, property or  financial resources
  2. The earning capacity of either parent
  3. The costs of contact for either parent
  4. The expenses of the child or children including in some circumstances their education expenses

Some of these grounds are considered below.

1. Income, Property and Financial Resources

A common issue concerning the income, property and financial resources of a parent is when the income of one parent is significantly higher or lower than the amount recorded in the actual assessment.

There can be all sorts of reasons why the tax return and or notice of assessment does not reflect the actual income of the parent.

Child support lawyers may use evidence of payslips, profit and loss statements, balance sheets or depreciation schedules to assist you to challenge your child support agreement if you believe your child support assessment is unfair for the above reasons.

2. Capacity to Earn an Income

Further, child support lawyers may help you challenge a child support assessment where the income earned by your former spouse does not reflect their actual capacity to earn money. The Child Support Assessment Act provides that for a change to be made on this basis, the following three criteria must be satisfied:

  1. The parent is either:
    1. Not working but has ample opportunity to work
    2. Has reduced their weekly hours of work to below full-time work
    3. Has changed their occupation, industry or working pattern
  2. The parent’s decision regarding their work arrangements is not justified by their caring responsibilities or their state of health.
  3. The parent has demonstrated that it was a major purpose of that decision to affect the assessment of child support.

For more information, visit our page on Child Support.

For advice about your child support assessment contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at

Family law situations can be complex and sometimes they can involve serious issues.  Information outlined is proposed to provide general guidance only. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our Family Lawyers.