There are many cases where one parent is living in Australia and the other parent is living overseas.
Australia has reciprocal arrangements with many countries for the collection of child support. If the receiving parent is living in Australia and the paying parent is living in a reciprocating country, it is likely that the Department of Human Services – Child Support will be able to issue and enforce an Australian assessment of child support. Arrangements with each particular country differ, and some countries have better collection arrangements than others.
Disputes about parentage will need to be resolved before an assessment can be created. This can be difficult where one parent resides overseas.
Even if Australia does not have reciprocal arrangements with the country where one parent is residing, there may be some options for the payee to obtain child support. This is a complex area of law and legal advice should be obtained in each individual case.
Parents in Australia who have children living overseas may also be required to pay child support through DHS-Child Support. Often this child support has been ordered by a court in the country where the children reside. In some cases, it maybe possible to bring an application to an Australian court to review an overseas maintenance liability.
Parents can contact the Child Support Helpline at the Legal Services Commission for advice about overseas matters.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.