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How Does Child Support Became Payable
The Assessment, payment and collection of Child Support in Australia is covered by the Child Support Assessment Act of 1988.
In circumstances where an assessment for payment of Child Support has been made against one parent (payor) in favour of another parent (payee) the assessed amount of Child Support can either be paid to the Child Support Agency or the payee parent directly. There are many cases in which payment of Child Support amounts are not made in accordance with the assessment or not made at all.
Child Support Payments Are in Arrears
Who Can Collect Arrears
Child Supports payments that are not made (arrears) to the Child Support Agency are a debt to the Commonwealth of Australia. Until recently, the Child Support Agency was the only body entitled to pursue the payor for arrears of Child Support when the arrears was a debt to the Commonwealth of Australia.
Payee Can Now Apply to Enforce and Collect Arrears of Child Support
The position has changed. As from 1 January 2017, payees of Child Support may take action to recover arrears of periodic payments of Child Support themselves. There are some technical requirements which must be satisfied before this can occur.
However, a payee parent can seek an Order to recover the arrears from the proceeds of a property adjustment between the payor and the payee parents. A significant history of non-payment of Child Support might be the basis upon which a Court could be asked to make an Order for payment of lump sum maintenance against future periodic payments so that the payee could avoid being in a similar position in future years i.e. not having received the Child Support Periodic payments to which he or she is entitled.
The connection between collection of arrears of Child Support and property proceedings between parents has now been re-organised.
If there are already property proceedings on foot the application can be made within those existing proceedings.
If there are no proceedings on foot the proceedings would be commenced by way of the filing of an Initiating Application in either the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
The technical requirements involved in this course are:-
Our experienced Family Law Solicitors at Watson & Watson can assist you in taking the appropriate action required to recoup arrears of child support payments to which your child is entitled. Do not delay in pursuing arrears of child support payments from the payor parent. Contact Richard Watson our experienced family law solicitor or his assistant Shereen Da Gloria to discuss your concerns.
This is only a preliminary view and is not to be taken as legal advice without first contacting Watson & Watson Solicitors on 02 9221 6011.
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