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. Court orders & court registered agreements

Collection methods for Stage 1 CSS individuals

The following table outlines the collection methods for Stage 1 ( individuals.

If an individual obtained a court order or a court registered agreement … they …
  • between 1 June 1988 and 31 December 1992, and
  • they were a Centrelink individual
were required to have their order/agreement collected by Child Support.
  • between 1 June 1988 and 31 December 1992, and
  • they were not a Centrelink individual
could choose private collection (1.1.P.130) when notifying Child Support of the order/agreement.
  • from 1 January 1993
could choose private collection, or Child Support collection.

Explanation: For both Child Support collection and private collection of an order/agreement, individuals lodge the relevant Child Support form through Centrelink so that Centrelink is aware what action has been taken.

If an individual receiving FTB already has a court order or court registered agreement then Centrelink must accept that agreement as reasonable maintenance action (1.1.M.10).

Individuals already receiving payment under the order/agreement before it is lodged with Child Support must declare the amount to Centrelink. If the order/agreement provides for:

  • capitalised maintenance and/or lump sum child support (1.1.C.20), or
  • non-cash maintenance

it should be recorded as maintenance income unless the order/agreement has not been complied with. If there is non-compliance, the individual should be referred to Legal Aid to seek a variation to the order/agreement to arrange for cash maintenance and collection by Child Support.

Policy reference: FA Guide Changing the method of collection, Capitalised maintenance

Non-enforcement of the order/agreement during periods of low income

Court orders or court registered agreements can only be varied, suspended or revived by the court. However, Child Support may suspend enforcement of the order/agreement during periods of low income. See Child Support Guide 3.4.5 for further information.

Act reference: Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 section 37B Registered maintenance liability not to be enforced if payer …

Policy reference: CS Guide 3.4.5 Suspension for unemployment (low-income non-enforcement period)

Non-enforcement of the order/agreement due to change in care

Child Support may suspend the enforcement of a court order or court registered agreement during periods when the payee of the child stated in the order/agreement is not the main provider of ongoing daily care. See Child Support Guide 3.4.4 for further information.

Policy reference: FA Guide Change of circumstance - general provisions

CS Guide 3.4.4 Joint election to suspend collection after a change in care

Last reviewed: