What is the Child Support Agency? The Child Support Agency (CSA) is a federal government agency CSA is responsible for establishing child support assessments and enforcing child support payments CSA International is located in Hobart, Tasmania
Australian child support assessments Non-custodial parent resident in USA & custodial parent resident in Australia 1. CP in Australia applies for an administrative assessment 2. CSA makes assessment according to legislated formula 3. Notice of assessment sent to NCP in USA – NCP can object 4. CSA seeks voluntary payments from NCP in USA 5. If NCP does not pay voluntarily, CSA sends case to the relevant state authority in USA
Australian child support assessments Step 1 – an application for administrative assessment - CP can apply over the phone - 28 days to process application - Presumptions of parentage
Australian child support assessments Step 2 - administrative assessment according to a formula - Formula is based on the income of both parents and a percentage based on the number of children - Income information may be provided by the NCP or the relevant state authority
Australian child support assessments Step 3 –Notice of assessment details sent to NCP in USA - Location requests - NCP can “object” against the assessment - In writing - Within 90 days
Australian child support assessments Step 4 – CSA seeks voluntary compliance Step 5 – CSA sends assessment to USA under the Australia-US reciprocal agreement - An Australian child support assessment has the same force and effect as a court order - CSA uses standard forms to send an assessment to USA
Australian child support assessments Payments to the custodial parent - All payments should be sent to CSA, not directly to the CP - Cheques for less than $AU10 cannot be cashed - CSA converts payments to Australian dollars - Exchange rate on the day the payment is banked - Electronic disbursement to the CP bank account per cent of all payments go to CP
Australian child support assessments Jurisdiction Australia has different rules of jurisdiction to the USA. When the non-custodial parent is resident overseas: Jurisdiction to make an assessment is based on the residence of the custodial parent and child in Australia when the application is made Australia does not need to establish long arm jurisdiction over the non-custodial parent
Australian child support assessment Variations to an assessment – in Australia 1. Normally an assessment is updated every 15 months to use more recent income information of both parents. 2. An administrative assessment can also be varied in Australia from time to time: - Changes in income - Change of care 3. Change of Assessment Reviews
Australian child support assessments Variations to an assessment – in the US Australia does not recognise the jurisdiction of the USA to vary the amount payable under a child support assessment or to cancel arrears. The original assessment is still considered to be enforceable in Australia.
Enforcement of US orders in Australia Non-custodial parent resident in Australia and custodial parent resident in USA A US child support decision can be recognised and enforced in Australia if it: - is made by a judicial or administrative authority - provides a periodic amount for maintenance Any arrears will also be registered for enforcement.
Enforcement of US orders in Australia How to apply for recognition and enforcement in Australia: - Request to register - Arrears statement - 1 copy of the order or decision Effect of recognition under Australian law: Once a US decision is recognised in Australia it becomes enforceable under Australian law. The non-custodial parent in Australia is legally required to pay the child support to CSA in Australia.
Enforcement of US orders in Australia Enforcement of a decision registered in Australia: - Encourage voluntary compliance - Administrative enforcement - Employer withholding - Third party collection - Tax refund intercepts - Legal action is a last resort
Enforcement of US orders in Australia Payments to the US - CSA can send payments to the relevant state authority or directly to the custodial parent - Cheques issued in $US - Monthly payment cycle
Enforcement of US orders in Australia Variation of a US order in Australia - CSA cannot vary an order. - A non-custodial parent in Australia can apply to the Family Court for a variation. CSA must give effect to such a variation when enforcing the order.
Petition for an Aus assessment Non-custodial parent resident in Australia and custodial parent resident in USA - Application process - Appeal process
How to contact CSA Web site: Phone: (international call charges apply) Office hours: Monday - Friday 8.30am – 4.45pm (AEST)