When to get Services Australia to collect payments
Ask Services Australia (Child Support) to collect your child support if there has been family violence, you receive Family Tax Benefit, or the person paying:
- does not have a good payment history
- does not lodge tax returns on time
- is not likely to pay.
Private child support arrangements are not suitable for anyone receiving Family Tax Benefit payments.
If payments are not made
- three months in normal circumstances
- nine months in exceptional circumstances.
The person paying child support can make other payments directly to the other parent or to a third party. These are called . You should keep proof of payments and send this to Services Australia (Child Support), or these payments may not be taken into account. Examples of proof may be bank deposit records, receipts or a bank statement.
Some types of payments can only be paid by Services Australia (Child Support) if both parents say that it is a child support payment.
If both parents do not agree that the payment was meant as child support, Services Australia (Child Support) can only pay the amount:
- if it falls under a special type of non-agency payment (known as a prescribed payment), and
- at the time the payment was made, the person who paid has less than 14 per cent care of the children.
Prescribed non-agency payments are:
- childcare costs
- pre-school or school fees
- school uniform and book fees
- essential medical and dental items
- the receiving parent's share of rent, security bond or mortgage payments
- the receiving parent's share of home utilities (eg gas and electricity), rates or owner corporation charges
- purchase, running or repair costs of the receiving parent’s motor vehicle.
Non-agency payments are credited at the rate of 30 per cent of the assessed child support each payment period if the balance of child support is paid on time.
Receiving parents need to be aware that Centrelink is notified of prescribed payments, and they are included in the maintenance income test used to calculate Family Tax Benefit.
Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.
We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at www.legalaid.vic.gov.au
Reviewed 12 April 2022