If a payer is failing to make payments and the debt is escalating, the Department can bring a court application seeking orders that assets be sold to pay child support or maintenance arrears.
The Department can also issue a Departure Prohibition Order to prevent a payer from leaving Australia until the outstanding arrears are paid or an acceptable payment arrangement is entered into. If the payee agrees that such amounts were intended to be payments in lieu of child support, they will be fully credited against the payer’s child support liability.
A child support assessment can be changed retrospectively to increase the amount of child support payable during past periods.
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However, if the payee does not agree, there are only very limited circumstances in which Non-Agency Payments can be credited.
These are called Prescribed Non-Agency Payments (PNAPS) and primarily relate to: Note: Prescribed Non-Agency Payments cannot be claimed by a payer who has at least Regular Care (14%) because the formula recognises that parents with regular care or shared care pay a reduced rate of child support on the basis that they are already contributing directly to these costs for the children.
Advice should be sought before making Prescribed Non-Agency Payments as the payer will only be able to receive a maximum credit of 30% of the future monthly liability, with any unused credit being carried over to the following months.
The remaining 70% of the liability is required to be paid by the due date in order to be eligible for the 30% credit.
If a case was privately collected during these periods, the payee may be notified that s/he has been overpaid Family Tax Benefit (A), because Centrelink will automatically assume that the payee has received the amount s/he was supposed to receive collection of outstanding payments of child support.
If the case is also registered for collection with the Department of Human Services – Child Support, payees are required to advise the Department in writing of their intention to take private enforcement action.
Once the liability is registered for collection with DHS-Child Support, the debt becomes a debt to the Commonwealth, and the Department becomes responsible for collection of the debt.
Agreements for non-periodic payments (such as school fees) cannot be enforced by DHS-Child Support.
If you are salaried monthly, the value of your maintenance will be deducted from your salary at source.