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What happens after an application is lodged?

We send a confirmation letter to the applicant explaining what will happen next.

We will also notify other parties to the review that we have received the application. As well as the applicant, the parties are:

  • the Child Support Registrar in Services Australia (the Agency)
  • in many cases, the other parent
  • in a review of a care percentage decision, the other parent or carer of a child.

You can look at the Child Support Review Directions for more information about what happens after any application is lodged. You can also watch our video guide

What if we cannot review the decision?

We will write to the applicant and give you a chance to tell us why you think we can review the decision. If you do not respond or cannot show us that we can review the decision, we might dismiss the application.

Documents relevant to the review

T documents

The Agency will send us the decision and all relevant review documents within 28 days after being told the application has been received. These are called ‘T documents’.

T documents will also be sent to you and any other party. 

Confidential T Documents

The Agency can ask the AAT for a direction that certain content within the T documents is not to be disclosed to you or another party. We will consider such an application and tell you our decision.

Giving us new information

You can give us new information that you think supports your case.

Family violence orders

If there is a current family violence order against a party to the review, you must send us a copy of the order. You must also tell us if any other party to the review does not know your address, contact details or place of employment. 

Non-disclosure orders

We issue non-disclosure orders that make it a criminal offence for a party to disclose personal information about the other party, or any other person, that is acquired during the review. Non-disclosure orders do not apply to personal information already known to a party.

If you believe there has been a breach of an AAT non-disclosure order, you should write to us, setting out why you think the order has been breached.

Case assessment conferencing

For some child support matters an AAT case assessment registrar will arrange to speak to you and/or the other party to the application. A case assessment registrar is an experienced AAT staff member with specialist knowledge in child support matters who can discuss:

  • the decision that has been made
  • what outcome you are seeking from the AAT
  • any further information you can provide to assist with your review
  • ways of resolving the application without a hearing, including coming to an agreement, withdrawing the application and when an application can be dismissed
  • options other than a review at the AAT.

Directions hearing

We might hold a directions hearing to talk about the decision and what will happen in the review. We usually hold a directions hearing in reviews about a change of assessment decision.

All parties (other than the Child Support Registrar) are required to attend the directions hearing. We usually make directions requiring you and any other party to provide information or documents to the AAT by a specified date before the hearing.

We will make an audio recording of the directions hearing. You are not permitted to record the directions hearing or to obtain a copy of the recording.


The hearing is an opportunity for you to present information and talk about why you agree or disagree with the Child Support decision under review.