Residence rules

We can make a child support assessment if at least one parent lives in Australia.

We can make a child support assessment if either:

  • both parents are residents of Australia
  • one parent is a resident of Australia and the other parent is a resident of a reciprocating jurisdiction.

We can also make an assessment if the paying parent is a resident of Australia and the child is one of the following:

  • present in Australia
  • ordinarily resides in Australia
  • an Australian citizen.

Read more about child support when parents or children live overseas.

If you’re applying to receive child support, you need to do both of the following:

  • submit your application with the overseas maintenance authority in the country where you live
  • ask them to forward the application to us.

If you’re applying to pay child support, you may submit your application either:

  • directly to us
  • with the overseas maintenance authority in the country where you live.

If you submit your application with an overseas maintenance authority, you should ask them to forward the application to us.

How else you may meet the rules

Parents who don’t meet the rules may be able to apply for a court order for child maintenance. You apply through your state or territory court dealing with family matters.

Page last updated: 3 March 2022