The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to social security payments. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

2.9.4 Recovery of child support


The CSA Act and the CSRC Act set out how a payee can privately recover amounts due and payable by a liable parent. These amounts may be due and payable to the payee, or due and payable to the Commonwealth because the liability is registered for collection by the Registrar.

Act references

CSA Act section 79

CSRC Act section 69B, section 113, section 113A

On this page

A payee can take court action against the payer to collect child support payable or carer liability. The payee can take such action whether the amount is registered for collection by the Registrar or not. However, if child support is registered for collection, the payee of the registered maintenance liability or carer liability must first give notice (at least 14 days prior unless there are exceptional circumstances) to the commencement of the intended court action (CSRC Act section 113A). The payee can recover unpaid child support in:

  • a court having jurisdiction for the recovery of debts

    • up to the amount of the child support (CSA Act section 79), or
    • up to the amount of the debt (CSRC Act section 113), or
  • a court having jurisdiction under the Act (CSA Act section 79, CSRC Act section 113).

See 5.4 for details of courts with jurisdiction and 5.4.7 for details of a payee's right to enforce debt via Court proceedings if the child support owed is registered for collection with the Registrar.

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