Parents are responsible for the financial support of their child or children. This is the case for birth parents, adoptive parents and people who have become parents as a result of artificial conception. Financial responsibility for a child does not change in the event that the parents separate or divorce, where the child lives, the amount of time they spend with one parent or the remarriage of one or both parents. In Australia, a parent must also be a resident of Australia under the Income Tax Assessment Act, or a resident in a prescribed overseas jurisdiction.
The payments are most commonly calculated as regular periodic instalments. However, lump sum payments, payment through specific expenses and payment in the form of a transfer or settlement of property is not unheard of.
All children in Australia whose parents have separated, whether or not the parents were married to each other, are eligible for child support payments. A child is defined as under 18 years of age. If a child turns 18 during their last year of school, then they are eligible for child support until they complete their school year.
A child who is married or enters into a de facto relationship is not eligible for child support. If there is no international maintenance agreement applicable, a child who is no longer in ordinarily in Australia or an Australian citizen is also not eligible for child support payments.