Parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children.  Between 1 July and 30 December 2018, 1,067 individuals have were banned from international travel for failing to meet their child support obligations. That period has seen $15 million in debt recovery, compared to the total of $17.5 million recovered in the 2017-18 financial year. This initiative targets parents who refuse or neglect to support their children and encourages parents to keep up to date with their child support payments.

The Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 governs a parent’s obligation to pay child support. Child support becomes payable for children whose parents have separated (regardless of whether they were married or de facto) and the obligations usually continue until the child turns 18 of finishes their last year of secondary school. Generally, child support obligations are managed through a child support assessment issued by the Department of Human Services; Child Support, at the request of a parent.  Child support obligations can also be dictated by Orders made by a Court or a Binding Child Support Agreement.   Of course, parents can also reach their own agreements about how to financially support their children and can have private arrangements without involvement of the Department of Courts.

Child support assessments are made pursuant to the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989, which sets out a formula based on income and care arrangements (and other actuarial factors) to determine how much a parent should pay to the other for the financial support of their children.

The term ‘parent’ includes biological parent, adoptive parents or people who have become parents as a result of artificial conception procedures undertaken with the consent of both intended parents.

There are a few ways that the government can enforce child support payments, including deducting the amounts from wages, interception of tax refunds and collecting through third parties. The travel ban is an alternate method, which is to be used only when all other reasonable debt recovery options have failed or not reasonable in the circumstances.

If you have questions about child support, including whether you are obligated to pay it or entitled to receive it, or how it’s assessed, get in touch with us today for expert advice. t}},{57:57}],12

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