In Australia, if you don’t wish to make your own arrangements to collect child support payments from your ex partner, the Child Support Agency can take responsibility on your behalf for the collection and enforcement of child support payments.
The Child Support Agency can organise any salary deductions for the parent who is expected to pay or arrange for regular payments to the Agency. If the child support is not paid, the Child Support Agency could get the payment enforced by taking the debtor to court.
If a parent lives overseas am I entitled to child support or spousal maintenance?
This is possible, but it depends where the other parent resides. The Australian Government does have agreements with a number of overseas countries for enforcement and collection of payments for child support, child maintenance and spousal maintenance too. These countries are named reciprocating jurisdictions or reciprocating countries. It will normally be necessary to get a court order for spousal maintenance first.
For child maintenance or child support some overseas countries will only accept court orders, but some countries, including England, New Zealand and the United States, will accept child support assessments made by the Child Support Agency of Australia.
The Child Support Agency in your state will tell you if you require an assessment for a court order, but the Agency is not able to obtain court orders. A family solicitor is the best person to go to for a court order. Once you have obtained a court order you can lodge it with the Child Support Agency who following acceptance will communicate with a similar Child Support Agency or the necessary government department in the foreign country. The foreign country will have the responsibility for payments collection from the payer and forwarding them to Australia.
It will be hard for you to obtain any child maintenance or child support if there is no reciprocal agreement between Australia and the country concerned. In the majority of cases, Australian assessments and maintenance orders will have no weight in the foreign country and there will not be any government department who is able to assist in getting payments.
If the receiving parent and his or her children reside in a reciprocating country and they are deemed eligible to obtain child support as laid down in Australian laws, the child support payment must be paid.
The receiving parent puts an application in to the country’s equivalent child support agency where they are living and then also send a request for the support payment to the Child Support Agency in Australia.