What is child support?
Under Australian Family Law, both parents are legally liable to support their children financially after divorcing or separating.
Child support payments are a financial contribution made from parent to the other, solely for the care of a child or children. This most often happens where one parent has the children in their care for the majority of the time, or where parents have a significant disparity between their incomes.
What should I do if my ex is not paying?
Australian Family Law regards non-payment of child support as a serious offence and can lead to severe consequences. If your ex has stopped paying child support, here are some key steps you can take prior to taking the legal route:
- Talk to them
If it is safe for you to do so, your first and best option would be to contact your ex-partner, to politely establish the reason they have stopped payment. It may be that they can longer afford to because they lost their job or because they have been ill and unable to work.
If they are genuinely unable to pay, you can try to come to some agreement where they pay a portion until they are back on their feet.
- Advise Services Australia
You should contact Services Australia, who have legal ways and means of ensuring your ex continues to pay child support. The same also applies to a parent who, for their own reasons, is genuinely unable to pay child support, so Services Australia is aware of the non-payment and the reason for it. Services Australia may be able to adjust child support payments accordingly.
- Consult a lawyer
If that is unsuccessful, the earlier you consult a child support lawyer to review and advise on your legal rights and your options, the better. If all attempts to recover overdue child support fail, and your ex has the means to pay, litigation may be the next logical option.
If you or someone you know wish to discuss this issue further, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 8999 9809.