April 3, 2019

Family Law

Do you pay child support and are you looking to travel? You might want to read on carefully

If you have a child support debt, even if you believe it isn’t fair or properly calculated, you can be stopped from travelling outside of Australia.

The government can issue a departure prohibition order which stops you from leaving Australia. These will be made where there is a debt owing and there have been no attempts to pay it.  

Human Services Minister, Michael Keenan recently issued a media release which reported:

  • From June to December 2018 the government issued over 1,067 travel bans to Australians who tried to travel overseas with outstanding child support debts. That is almost 50% more than the same 6 month period the year before.
  • The travel ban crackdown helped regain more than $15 million between 1 July and 3 December 2018.
  • The biggest ever lump sum payment a parent made at the airport was $350,000 which was in late 2017. The parent was stopped from travelling, paid the lump sum payment, and continued on with their journey.

But if you’re not travelling and have outstanding child support debt, it doesn’t mean you won’t be affected. In addition to stopping you from travelling overseas, the government can also deduct payments from your wage, intercept tax refunds and collect through third parties. For example, our office has received child support notices which require the money to be paid into a trust account for legal fees to the child support office.

Parents who do not keep on top of child support may find themselves paying even more money in the long run through interest and penalties.

If you disagree with a child support assessment and believe it is too high or too low, McInnes Wilson Lawyers is here to help. There are a number of ways that child support can be considered including:

  • child support assessments;
  • limited child support agreements;
  • binding child support agreements; and
  • court applications for child support.

If you are unsure about your child support obligations, or how to get your ex to pay child support, contact us today.