3.6.3 Overseas Maintenance Liabilities that Cannot Be Registered

Context

An overseas authority may send the Registrar a provisional overseas maintenance order made in a court of their jurisdiction. Authorities in the United States may also send the Registrar a US petition. The Registrar cannot register a provisional order or a US petition until it is confirmed by an Australian court.

Act references

CSRC Act section 17

FL Regs regulation 24A, regulation 25, regulation 28, regulation 28A, regulation 28B, regulation 28C, regulation 28D, regulation 28E

On this page

Provisional overseas maintenance order

An overseas authority may send the Registrar a provisional overseas maintenance order made in a court of their jurisdiction. The Registrar can only register a provisional overseas order if an Australian court confirms it. However, an Australian court cannot confirm a provisional order if an application for a child support assessment could properly be made (FL Regs regulations 28A(4) and 28A(5)).

If the Registrar is satisfied that an application for a child support assessment could properly be made, it will return the provisional order to the sending overseas authority. The Registrar will advise the overseas authority that it can accept:

  • a request to register a final order made overseas,
  • a request to register an overseas maintenance assessment, or
  • an application for a child support assessment.

If the Registrar is satisfied that an application for a child support assessment could not be properly made in relation to the case, it will refer a copy of the provisional order to the Attorney-General's Department. The Attorney-General's Department is responsible for making an application to an Australian court to have the provisional order confirmed. The Attorney-General's Department must serve a copy of the application upon the parent in Australia (who is the respondent to the application). The respondent can oppose the application (FL Regs regulation 28A(2)). The Registrar can register the confirmed provisional order, including any modifications that the Australian court may make (FL Regs regulation 28B(3) and section 17).

US Petitions

A US Petition is not a registrable overseas maintenance liability. It is a petition (or application) for a support order filed in a court of a State or Territory of the United States of America. The Attorney-General's Department can make an application to an Australian court for a maintenance order in accordance with the terms set out in a US Petition (FL Regs regulation 28D(5)). However, a court in Australia cannot make an order on a US Petition if an application for a child support assessment could properly be made (FL Regs regulations 28D(3) and 28D(4)).

If the Attorney-General's Department receives a US Petition for parties who appear to be eligible for a child support assessment, it will refer the matter to the Registrar. The Registrar will advise the overseas authority that it can accept:

  • a request to register a final order made overseas,
  • a request to register an overseas maintenance assessment, or
  • an application for a child support assessment.
Last reviewed: 1 July 2016