More equitable child support

Reforms to the child support program that make the system simpler and more equitable for parents passed the Senate today.

The Family Assistance and Child Support Legislation Amendment (Protecting Children) Bill 2018 strengthens incentives to comply with court orders or to participate in dispute resolution. It also makes the recovery of overpaid child support more consistent with the collection of child support debts.

The child support scheme is designed to ensure separated parents take responsibility for the ongoing financial care of their children in line with their financial capacity to do so.

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said the Bill addressed long-standing issues in the child support program relating to care disputes, amended tax assessments, child support agreements and overpayments.

“These changes will make the system fairer and easier to navigate, and ultimately result in better outcomes for children,” Mr Tehan said.

Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan said the Department of Human Services worked with separated parents to facilitate the transfer of $3.5 billion in support of approximately 1.2 million children in 2016-17 alone.

“The Coalition Government is committed to the wellbeing of Australia’s children, and are investing the necessary resources to ensure kids from separated families get the support they are entitled to receive,” Mr Keenan said.

The measures relating to care disputes and amended tax assessments will be implemented the day after the Bill becomes law, and the remaining child support measures will be implemented from 1 July 2018.