Child support when parents and children live outside Australia

We may be able to help you set up child support when you or the other parent live in another country.

To get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A you may need to apply for child support from the other parent, even if they live outside Australia.

Different countries have a range of child support schemes. How we can help depends on your case and where each parent lives.

We may be able to help you:

It can be very hard to collect payments from someone living outside Australia. You may have a long wait before you start receiving payments from outside Australia.

It’s best to contact us to discuss your options. You can also message us, or call us from outside Australia.

Applying for child support

Applying when the other parent is outside Australia

If you live in Australia and the other parent lives outside Australia, you should contact us to discuss applying for child support. You may be able to apply for a child support assessment or to register a maintenance liability made outside Australia.

Applying when you live outside Australia

If you’re a receiving parent

If you live in a reciprocating jurisdiction and the other parent lives in Australia, you can apply to get child support from them. You’ll need to apply through the maintenance authority in your country to:

If you’re a non-parent carer

If you’re a non-parent carer and live in a reciprocating jurisdiction you can apply to get child support if at least one parent lives in Australia.

If you’re a paying parent

If you live in a reciprocating jurisdiction and the other parent lives in Australia, you can apply to pay child support to them. You can apply:

If you don’t live in a reciprocating jurisdiction

If you don’t live in a reciprocating jurisdiction you can apply directly to us for an assessment if the other parent is an Australian resident, and the child:

  • is in Australia on the day you apply for the assessment,
  • normally resides in Australia, or
  • is an Australian citizen

Apply directly to us by:

Applying when both parents live in Australia

If both parents live in Australia and you have a maintenance liability made outside Australia  you can apply to register this. Contact us about this.

Paying and receiving child support

Getting payments from a parent outside Australia

We may be able to help collect payments from a paying parent who is outside of Australia. If the paying parent agrees, we can arrange for them to make regular payments through us.

Even when they pay on time there’s often a long wait before you get your payment.

Read about how we can help collect payments from a parent outside Australia.

Getting payments if you live outside Australia

We can help with child support arrangements if:

  • you live in a reciprocating jurisdiction, and
  • the maintenance authority in your country asks us to

Read more about receiving child support when you live outside Australia.

Making payments to a parent in Australia

If you live outside Australia and pay child support to a parent who lives in Australia, we’ll try to contact you. We’ll discuss your payments and check your Australian assessment is correct and reflects your circumstances.

Read more about paying child support when you live outside Australia.

Making payments to a parent outside Australia

If you pay child support to a parent in a reciprocating jurisdiction, the maintenance authority in that country may ask us to collect payments. They’ll transfer any money owing to the other parent. We’ll use our usual range of collection options.

Paying and receiving child support if you live in New Zealand

There are special rules about child support if you or the other parent live in New Zealand.

Read more about child support between Australia and New Zealand.

Page last updated: 6 November 2017