process followed by australia with overseas maintenance orders
what is reciprocating jurisdiction?
An overseas maintenance order is made by a country that submits it to Australia’s Registrar for confirmation. The Register will not confirm the order if a child support assessment can be made.
Child support liability transcends distance. Thus, even if the payer, payee and the child are in different countries the responsibility to pay child support remains. However, there is a process that might prove to be more tasking than the usual claims and collection. Government authorities of the countries involved will coordinate with one another provided that they have reciprocating jurisdiction. Transactions for claim and collection of child support will be coursed through government agencies unless the parties have their own child support agreement in which they have made arrangements for payment.
Reciprocating jurisdiction is a country with which Australia has a treaty that allows them to coordinate with one another with respect to child support. In the absence of a child support agreement and if arrangements have not been made for payment of child support, parties who are in reciprocating jurisdictions will have to ask help from their respective government agencies to enforce child support liability.
It is made by an overseas authority that orders for the payment of child support to the payer who is in Australia. It is sent by the overseas court of the party who is asking for child support to Australia’s government agency in which the payer is residing.
The overseas authority will send to the Registrar a provisional maintenance order that is made by the court of that overseas authority. Initially, the Registrar will have to determine whether an Australian court will confirm the order. The Registrar will not register the overseas order if the Australian court will not confirm it. An Australian court will not confirm the order if a child support assessment could be made in the case. Thus, the Registrar will return the overseas order to the sending authority if it is possible that an application for child support assessment could be filed which in Australia is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Human Services.
Upon returning the order, the Registrar will also advise the overseas authority that it could accept a court order from the overseas authority if it is a final court order. The Registrar can likewise accept from the overseas authority an application for a child support assessment or request to register an overseas child support assessment.
The Registrar will submit a copy of the provisional overseas maintenance order to the Attorney-General’s Department which is Australia’s government agency that will apply for confirmation of the order with an Australian court. A copy will be sent to the parent in Australia who is the respondent in the case and who can file an opposition to the application. Once the court confirms the order it will be registered by the Registrar including any modifications made to the order.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.