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 relevant legislation/policy. 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.

3.2.2 Court orders & arrears


A court can make an order, or register a maintenance agreement, which deals with arrears accrued under an earlier order or court registered agreement. Sometimes the earlier order or agreement is already registered for collection by Services Australia.

Act reference

CSRC Act section 28


The Registrar sometimes receives court orders and agreements that provide for payment of arrears (and possibly a schedule for payment of the arrears) that relate to a period before registration. The Registrar also sometimes receives court orders and agreements that vary an earlier order by reinstating arrears that were previously discharged.

Orders about arrears are not orders that give rise to a periodic maintenance liability. The order may vary the liability arising under an earlier order, or simply give instructions about the payment of the arrears.

If the Registrar receives an order about arrears in a case that is already registered for collection, the later order will be implemented by varying the Child Support Register where appropriate (see 3.5 on interpreting court orders for more information).

If the Registrar receives an order about arrears in a case that has not previously been registered for collection, the ongoing liability will be registered for collection. See 5.1 for information about the date from which the Registrar will collect child support.

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