Child support by country

This article includes information about the child support policies of several countries.

United States

Child support enforcement in the United States at the Federal level is the responsibility of the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. There is an over-arching framework of federal legislation (title IV-D of the Social Security Act) and regulation within which the states must operate if they wish to receive federal funding. States may also receive additional financial "incentive" payments for establishing paternity, or establishing or modifying child support orders. Although the federal child support program in the United States traces its origins to a congressional concern for recouping from absent parents some of the cash assistance paid to custodial parents, total U.S. child support collections in Federal fiscal year 2006 totaled $23.9 billion, $11 billion of which was paid to families who have never been recipients of public assistance.

Each state is responsible for developing a child support enforcement program that complies with federal requirements, including a guidelines method of calculating child support. Most states have their own "Child Support Guidelines Worksheet" used by local courts and state Child Support Enforcement Offices to determine a "standard calculation" of child support. Courts may deviate from this standard calculation in particular cases.

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act addresses the interaction of varying State legislation and regulations to ensure that only one state has the power to impose or modify child support at any one time, providing:

Particular issues of conflict are further discussed in the Child support in the United States article regarding conflict of laws for the states of California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia and Maryland.

Major Federal Child Support Enforcement Laws

1975 - Social Security Act, Title IV, Section D 1984 - Child Support Amendments 1988 - Family Support Act 1992 - Child Support Recovery Act 1993 - Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act 1994 - Full Faith and Credit Act 1996 - Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act 1998 - Dead Beat Parents Punishment Act 2000 - Non-custodial Parent Federal Employee Health Insurace Requirement for Children


In Australia the Child Support Agency Australia calculates child support based on the income of each parent, a base amount is excluded, and the amount of time the child(ren) spends with each parent. Parents can seek a review where income, assets or other factors lead to the formula not giving a result reflecting the particulars of a case.

New Zealand

See also: Child Support Act 1991 (New Zealand)

In New Zealand, the Child Support division of Inland Revenue manages the application for, collection and redistribution of child support. Liable parents are assessed using a formula assessment scheme that determines payment liability based on the liable person's income and family circumstances. Departures from the formula are permitted under special circumstances, such as hardship, financial assets, special needs or through parental agreements. Payments are compulsory, with a minimum payment required, irrespective of ability to pay, though prisoners and long term hospital patients can apply for exemptions. Application for child support can be made by any person responsible for caring for a child but is only required if a parent receives welfare payments for themselves and their children. Children qualify for child support while they are aged under 19 years and are dependent on a caregiver.

United Kingdom

In the UK the Child Support Agency calculates the requisite contribution.

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This article is based on "Child support by country" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia ( It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: