In certain circumstances the Child Support Assessment Act allows parents who are dissatisfied with decisions made by the Child Support Agency’s change of assessment process to apply directly to a court to have that decision reviewed.

The parties to court proceedings under the Child Support Assessment Act are the payer and payee.

A parent can apply to review a Child Support Agency assessment if one or more of a specified range of special circumstances apply to them, their children or the other parent. These special circumstances are the same as the reasons for an application for a change of assessment (see above). Importantly however, the decisions made in such a (departure order) case are made by the court and not the Agency.

The Child Support Agency's assessment of child support continues to apply while the court deals with a parent's application. The Agency will continue to collect child support payable under the assessment. However, a parent can apply to the court for a stay order.