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.

3.3.1 Notification of court orders & court registered agreements

Context

The Registrar must be notified when an Australian court makes an order or registers an agreement that starts or varies a registrable maintenance liability. The Registrar must also be notified in relation to such orders and agreements that vary a registered maintenance liability.

Act references

CSRC Act section 16A, section 17, section 17A, section 18, section 23, section 24, section 33, section 38A, section 38B

On this page

Notification requirements

Registrable maintenance liabilities

When a court makes an order or registers an agreement that starts a registrable maintenance liability that is not a registrable overseas maintenance liability, the parties to the registrable maintenance liability must notify the Registrar within 14 days. Similarly, if a court makes an order or registers an agreement that varies or otherwise affects a registrable maintenance liability of this type, and that liability is not already included in the Child Support Register, the parties must notify the Registrar within 14 days (CSRC Act section 23).

From 1 January 2007, when a court makes a parentage overpayment order (3.1.2), the parties to the order (i.e. the former payee and payer of the child support assessment) must notify the Registrar within 14 days. They must also notify the Registrar within 14 days when a court makes an order or registers an agreement on or after 1 January 2007 that varies a parentage overpayment order, even if the liability is not already included in the Child Support Register (CSRC Act section 23).

From 1 July 2018, when a court makes a recovery order (3.1.2) in relation to a decision that the registered maintenance liability should have never existed, the parties must notify the Registrar within 14 days (CSRC section 23).

The exception to the notification requirement in relation to registrable maintenance liabilities is if the payee has already advised the Registrar that they do not want to register the order (CSRC Act section 23(3)).

Registered maintenance liabilities

When a court makes an order or registers an agreement that varies or otherwise affects a registered maintenance liability, the payee to the registered maintenance liability must notify the Registrar within 14 days. This does not apply to registered maintenance liabilities which are not enforceable due to an election of the payee, or payee and payer jointly under CSRC Act section 38A, or a decision of the Registrar under CSRC Act section 38B (CSRC Act section 33).

Form of notice or application

The notification can be made personally, by post, electronically through the website or by telephone. The Registrar will also require a copy of the relevant court order or court registered agreement.

What does the Registrar do when given notice of, or notified about, a court order or court registered agreement?

When the payee gives notice of the court order or court registered agreement to the Registrar, the liability resulting from the order or agreement is registered for collection (section 24). The liability for collection is registered by entering the details of that liability into the Child Support Register (see 5.1 on collecting child support).

The Registrar also maintains records of the registrable maintenance liabilities that it has been notified about, but which are not registered for collection. The records of these unregistered registrable maintenance liabilities are not part of the Child Support Register.

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