Child Support - International Perspective

After separation one of the most important considerations for parents is the ongoing financial and emotional support of their children.

Financial support is not limited to day-to-day living expenses but may also include assistance for extra-curricular activities, education, private health insurance, childcare etc.

Child support can be resolved in a number of ways including by informal agreement or by agreement registered with the Child Support Agency.

International obligations

As the make-up of a ‘traditional’ family changes and people become more transient, child support has inevitably become an international issue.

A Child Support Agency driven arrangement can apply when the child/ren live with a parent in Australia or when the child lives with a parent in a reciprocating jurisdiction.

The Child Support Agency can accept an application for child support or register an agreement where the payer is a resident of Australia on the day the application is made or the payer is in a reciprocating jurisdiction.

A person is a 'resident of Australia' for the purposes of the Assessment Act if they are a resident of Australia for the purposes of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (section 10).

In the event that a liable parent does not meet the jurisdictional requirements of the Child Support Agency (ie resides in a non-reciprocating country) a parent based in Australia may seek a court order detailing an ongoing maintenance liability. Such an order may be enforceable in many overseas jurisdictions.

To find out more, please contact our Family Law team.