International child support and maintenance matters

Australia has agreements in relation to the enforcement and collection of child support and maintenance with a number of overseas countries. This means that in certain cases child support and maintenance obligations which are created in overseas jurisdictions can be enforced (and will be collected by) the Child Support Agency in Australia.

It also means that in some circumstances child support/maintenance liabilities which are created in Australia are enforced/collected in overseas countries.

In order for an overseas maintenance liability to be enforced by the Child Support Agency in Australia, in most cases the liability needs to be registered with the Child Support Agency and an application needs to be made to the Agency to enforce the liability.

If a parent has a connection with Australia and they seek to have an overseas maintenance liability changed, then in some circumstances they may be able to apply to the Family Courts in Australia to discharge or vary the liability (see regulation 36 of the Family Law Regulations).

Besides the enforcement of overseas maintenance liabilities, the Child Support Agency can do a number of other things, including helping overseas authorities with location and service for parents in Australia.