Can I claim missing child support?

Published 05 Jul 2019

Split custody isn't always an easy arrangement to handle, especially the financial side of things. When child support payments are missed, however, there are provisions in place to recover the lost income.

How can I claim missing child support?

The Australian Government Department of Human Services is able to enforce outstanding payments if they're made through Child Support Collect. This is a service where child support payments are collected on the parent's behalf, which is beneficial in situations where a child's parents aren't on speaking terms. There are several ways in which the Department of Human Services can recover overdue child support, including:

  • Deducting child support directly from the bank account or wages of the parent owing.
  • Implementing international travel bans.
  • Litigation.
  • Using tax refunds to make up for lost child support.
  • Deducting from income support payment deductions.
  • Prosecution.

Furthermore, if it's found that the parent owing child support is being dishonest about their income, they may need to pay more child support or deposit a lump sum to make up for the lost money.

What is spousal maintenance here?

It's important to note that child support is different to spousal maintenance, which is financial assistance paid by a former spouse to assist with living costs. This is regulated under the Family Law Act 1975, and can either be paid out as a lump sum, or as regular payments, akin to income.

Reasons you may request to receive spousal maintenance include:

  • Looking after a child under the age of 18, from your relationship with the spouse concerned.
  • An inability to work, either due to age or disability.
  • Lacking skills necessary for employment.

As with any Family Court-appointed parental order, avoiding paying child support is a crime, and can result in imprisonment in some cases. 

If you're not using Child Support Collect to claim payments, and income isn't being received, it's vital to reach out to an expert family lawyer to support you with your case. The team at Malouf Solicitors are incredibly experienced in the field of family law, and are dedicated to guiding our clients through the legal process. For more information, get in touch with our offices.

Please call us on 02 8833 2000 to speak with a lawyer

I remain extremely grateful for Maloufs legal representation related to my financial management of the estate of my brother and for your continuing help and advice in this matter. As an aside, I always recommend Maloufs to my friends and family members who are seeking the best legal representation - only last week, I strongly advised a close family friend that their best interests would be served by arranging an appointment at your Parramatta offices.
John of Parramatta NSW

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