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If you register a maintenance order made by an Australian court with us, we can collect and transfer the maintenance liability for you.
Both parties must usually notify us within 14 days of an Australian court making a maintenance order.
It’s different if the maintenance liability is made in another country. Read if you are registering a maintenance liability made outside Australia.
We can register the following maintenance orders.
Child maintenance order
A court may make orders for a person to pay financial support for their child. This is called child maintenance.
Spousal and de-facto maintenance orders
Spousal support is financial support paid by one person to an ex-partner. A court may order an ex-partner to pay spousal support. This can be either a spousal or de-facto maintenance order.
Maintenance recovery orders
A court may make an order for a person to repay maintenance they are no longer entitled to. This may happen because either:
- the person who paid child support is not a parent of the child
- a registered maintenance liability should never have existed.
These are called maintenance recovery orders.
Court registered maintenance agreements
This is an agreement for child or spousal support that ex-partners may register with an Australian court.
If you register a court registered maintenance agreement with us, we can collect and transfer the maintenance liability for you.
How to apply
If you have a maintenance order or court registered maintenance agreement, you can call the Child Support enquiry line to notify us.
If you’re the person receiving the maintenance, you may ask that the order be either:
- registered for collection
- not be collected by us.
What we need
For us to register a maintenance order or agreement, it must include an amount of any of the following:
- periodic child support
- periodic spousal support
- unpaid amounts of periodic child or spousal support.
A maintenance recovery order does not need to be a periodic amount.
You’ll need to provide us with a copy of the court order or the court registered agreement.
What we’ll do next
We’ll contact you to let you know if the order or agreement is registered for collection. The paying person then has to pay us. If they don’t, we have a range of options to recover child support and spousal support payments.
We’ll send the payments we collect to the receiving person.
How to change a maintenance order or registered maintenance agreement
You can change a maintenance order or court registered maintenance agreement through an Australian court.
We recommend you seek legal advice if you’re considering court action.
If you need more information, call the Child Support enquiry line.