Receiving Child Support if you live overseas
If you live overseas (excluding New Zealand) and receive Child Support from a parent who lives in Australia, and the amount was established in either Australia or the overseas country, the following information applies to you.
If you live overseas in one of the countries we have an arrangement with, you can apply for our help even if your children are not Australian citizens. You must apply for Child Support through the overseas authority in your country and, depending on their rules, they’ll forward your application to us.
We are only able to send money collected from the other parent and do not pay Child Support in advance.
Timing and minimum payment
All payments collected in a particular month are sent the following month as a single payment to you or the overseas collection authority. For example, money we receive in July will be issued by cheque in mid-August. The time it takes to reach the receiving parent is dependent on their country’s postal system.
If you have an existing Australian bank account, we can transfer payments electronically into that account. Otherwise payments are sent to you by cheque in the currency of the receiving country, not Australian dollars.
Please be aware that we are unable to disburse funds less than A$50.00 as they attract additional bank fees to our customers. The only exception is when the case has ended and the final payment is less than A$50.00. Currently we cannot issue funds directly to a customer’s overseas bank account.
As a government agency, we do not earn any interest on funds collected.
We are unable to issue any form of emergency disbursement to our international customers overseas.
If the parent does not make their payments
If the parent in Australia refuses to make voluntary payments, fails to meet their commitments or cannot be contacted, we can use a range of administrative powers to collect the Child Support for your children.
These can include:
- compulsory enforced salary deductions
- deductions from bank accounts
- Australian tax refund intercepts
If we have taken all reasonable steps to collect payments and are unable to do so, we may not be able to pursue further action unless new information becomes available. We will contact you to ask if you have any new information that might help us collect. We will also notify you in writing of any decisions we make.
If the paying parent leaves Australia, we will assess whether they are still an Australian resident for tax purposes. We will end your Child Support case if they are no longer a resident. We will contact you to discuss any outstanding amounts and what should happen to them.