Payments from a parent outside Australia

We may be able to help collect payments from a parent who lives outside Australia.

What we can do

We will do both of the following:

  • attempt to contact the paying parent
  • try to arrange for them to make regular payments through us.

You may have details that will assist us. Tell us if you have any information:

  • that will help us contact the paying parent
  • about the paying parent’s income and assets.

What happens if the parent doesn’t pay

If the paying parent doesn’t agree to make payments, we may take action to enforce the collection of the amounts owing.

If they have income or assets in Australia, we may have payments deducted from their bank account.

We may also send the Australian child support assessment to the country where the paying parent lives. We can only do this if it’s a reciprocating jurisdiction.

What we need to send an Australian assessment to another country

If we are considering sending an Australian assessment to the country where the paying parent lives, we will need your help.

We rely on the cooperation and resources of the country where the paying parent lives. If we can’t locate the other parent, we may not be able to take further action.

What you need to do

We’ll usually send you a package of documents to complete and sign. It’s important you complete these and send them back to us by the due date.

The documents you receive will depend on which country the paying parent lives in.

The maintenance authority in the other country will need these documents. This is so they can recognise our assessment. In many cases the courts will need these too.

If you don’t complete and sign the documents, we won’t be able to send the assessment. This may mean you won’t receive any payments.

How the Australian assessment is recognised

Some countries are more likely to recognise the child support assessment than others.

Some countries need their court system to recognise child support assessments before they can enforce them. If the court doesn’t recognise the assessment, it may make an order for a new amount to be enforced in that country.

You can call the Child support enquiry line for more information about this.

How we collect payments from outside Australia

How the maintenance authority of another country collects payments is up to them.

In many countries only the courts can order someone to pay. Many of the collection methods available in Australia may not be available in other countries.

Because of this, we can’t tell:

  • if payments can be collected
  • how long it will take to receive payments.

Even if the paying parent agrees to pay, there may still be lengthy delays before you receive your payments.

Page last updated: 15 June 2023.
QC 41126