Child support is payable by the parents to the carer of their child.

If the parent or the carer is in a country of reciprocating jurisdiction, child support may be collected. 

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is Australia’s government agency responsible for making child support assessments. Both parents will be assessed for child support and the factors that will be considered are the parents’ income, care they provide for the child, the needs of the child and whether there are other children being supported.

A child support agreement executed by the parties and registered with the DHS is also another way of collecting child support. It is easier since parties do not have to go through the assessment process anymore.

Who is liable for child support and to whom is it paid?

Child support is the financial support payable by parents to whoever has the care of their child. The other parent, grandparent, relatives, friends or whoever is the primary carer of the child is entitled to be paid for child support. This amount is intended for the child’s financial needs which must not be shouldered solely by the carer.

A child support application must be supported by proof of parentage. The presumption is that a person is the parent if his name appears on the birth certificate of the child.

The other parent is in overseas, can I make him pay?

It depends. Australia has international agreements with many countries which we call reciprocating jurisdictions. The United States of America is one of these countries. Reciprocating jurisdictions have international agreements regarding among others the collection and enforcement of child support. An applicant, who is a resident of Australia, can apply for a child support assessment from the DHS. For countries like the US an assessment from the DHS is sufficient which they will then enforce in their country.

There are countries that require court orders for child support and these countries are known as excluded jurisdictions. The applicant will have to get an order from the court that orders the payer who is in overseas to pay a specific amount for child support.

If the other parent is in a country that is not of a reciprocating jurisdiction it would be difficult for the applicant to collect for child support. If there is no international agreement with Australia, the other country will not enforce the assessment.

My child and I are not in Australia but the other parent is there, can I make him pay?

It also depends if you are residing in a country that has a reciprocating jurisdiction with Australia. The applicant may file an application for child support with the child support agency of the country they are living in. The applicant must establish that under Australia’s laws he and the child are entitled to child support.

The application for child support will then be sent by the agency of the reciprocating country to Australia’s DHS.



Alan Weiss

19th March, 2020

Alan Weiss developed after he experienced himself how devastating divorce proceedings can be. I witnessed firsthand my own future security, and that of my familys, being destroyed by acrimonious and costly divorce litigation. I created to help people avoid an experience like this and lose thousands of dollars. Instead the system will assist them in getting on with their lives.