Australian Federal Police - Family Law
The AFP's role in the family law process is to act on specific orders of the Court. Those orders are Recovery Orders, Warrants of Arrest and Writs of Possession. The AFP cannot enforce residency, care or contact orders. The AFP Family Law Team will try to assist you where we can and act as quickly as possible in the execution of orders. We understand that Family Law matters are sensitive and an emotional time for all involved.
Centrelink can help with financial assistance, child care costs finding a job.
If you already receive a payment from Centrelink, you should contact Centrelink to advise of any changes to your circumstances to ensure you are receiving your correct entitlement.
Ask Centrelink for the booklet 'Have you recently separated or divorced' which provides information on the range of payments and entitlements you may be eligible for, services that are available to you, and your rights and obligations.
Child Support is responsible for administering Australia's Child Support Scheme, supporting separated parents to transfer payments for the benefit of their children. CS is part of the Commonwealth Department of Human Services.
The Child Support website has been incorporated into the Department of Human Services website humanservices.gov.au. The new site is a convenient, single entry point for health, social and welfare payments and services.
Explore our child support and separated parents section which can assist separated parents with information, payments and support such as:
- Child Support Agreement
- Child Support Assessment
- Child Support for Parents or Children Living Outside Australia
- Child Support Guide
- Child Support Online Services (currently known as CSA online)
- Child Support Payment
- Child Support Referral Services
CommLaw (Commonwealth Law)
Incorporating the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI)
ComLaw is the legal information retrieval system owned by the Australian Attorney-General's Department. ComLaw is an integral part of the Australian Law Online initiative to bring low or no-cost access to the law for the community.
ComLaw has the most complete and up-to-date collection of Commonwealth legislation and includes notices from the Commonwealth Government Notices Gazette from 1 October 2012.
Comparison of Child Support Schemes in Selected Countries
An overview of how child support schemes operate in selected other countries in terms of government assistance and interaction with family law.
This chapter gives an overview of how child support schemes operate in selected other countries, of the contexts of these schemes in terms of government assistance and interaction with family law, and of the major problems and positive factors of the schemes. The UK, Canada, and NZ were chosen for comparison because they share with Australia the British tradition of law; Norway was chosen as a contrasting system that provides "advance maintenance" and explicitly assigns child support liabilities on the basis of set costs of children; and the US was chosen because our current scheme was based upon theirs, and for the policy contrast it provides. These countries are all similar to Australia in that they generally calculate liabilities using a formula as at least a guideline, if not as an absolute prescription. The majority of other countries do not have a child support scheme or agency as such; instead, they largely rely on discretionary court awards.
In almost all countries, and certainly in all the countries reviewed here, government helps families with some of the costs of children, whether this be through tax subsidies or cash benefits or through the provision of goods such as public education, health, and transport. However, the level of assistance to families varies widely, in line with differing views on the appropriate mix of public and private contributions to the raising of children and to support of individuals. It would therefore be unreasonable to examine the various child support systems in isolation from their wider social policy and legal background.
Historically, there has been a much higher level of government contribution (and of taxes paid to government) in countries with leftist governments and with more homogenous populations. Sweden and Norway fall into this category, though to a lesser extent now than a generation ago. The United States is at the other end of the this spectrum, at least amongst the countries surveyed. Countries with lower birth rates also tend to provide more generous family benefits. In addition, more ambitious social policy/extensive social reform is usually to be found in countries with central governments, such as Sweden, rather than in federations of states or provinces, particularly where the states are wary of federal government "interference". This wariness seems to be greater in the United States than in Australia or Canada.
Of course, it is always difficult to make international comparisons of complex structures such as a child support scheme or family benefit regimes, where the tax, law, welfare, education, and health systems are all involved. Countries do not necessarily collect the same data in the same way, and some factors, such as community values, are problematic to measure or analyze, let alone compare. In addition, benefits provided to families may vary greatly between high- and low-income families, single- and dual-income families, and families with different numbers of children, so it is difficult to ascribe a particular "level" of benefit to a country. This chapter aims, therefore, to give a reasonable impression of the child support system and related issues of various countries, rather than strict comparisons of dollar amounts paid, for example.
Family Assistance Office
The Family Assistance Office giving families greater choice about Commonwealth Government payments for children and integrated family assistance.
The Family Assistance website (www.familyassist.gov.au) has been incorporated into the Department of Human Services website humanservices.gov.au. The new site is a convenient, single entry point for health, social and welfare payments and services.
Family Relationship Centres
The Centres are a first port of call when families want information about relationship and separation issues. Through information and referral the Centres help families strengthen relationships and deal with relationship difficulties. Where families separate, the centres provide information, advice and dispute resolution (such as mediation) to help them reach agreement on parenting arrangements without going to court. They also refer families to a range of other services that can help.
Federal Circuit Court of Australia
The Court is an independent federal court under the Australian Constitution. It is a federal court of record and a court of law and equity. Under section 8 of the FCC Act the Court is constituted by the Chief Judge and judges as appointed. Judges are appointed under the Act as justices in accordance with Chapter III of the Australian Constitution.
The Court was established to provide a simple and accessible alternative to litigation in the Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) and the Family Court of Australia (Family Court) and to relieve the workload of those courts.
The FCC Act directs the Court to operate informally and to use streamlined procedures. This complements the Parliament’s initiatives to encourage people to engage in a range of dispute resolution processes.
The Court is committed to providing access to justice to the people of Australia. The Court’s expansive regional circuit network is demonstrative of this commitment. Judges regularly travel to various regional locations to hear matters, alleviating the burden on regional litigants (and their legal representatives) to travel to major cities to have their matters dealt with. The Federal Circuit Court is the only federal court that regularly conducts regional circuits. The Court’s commitment to the provision of access to justice for all Australians is further illustrated by its ability to conduct special sittings in most regions of Australia on demand.
Human Services Network
HSNet Service Directory is a comprehensive online directory of human and justice services across NSW available free of charge to members of HSNet. The directory provides organisational and service information across a variety of sectors including health, welfare, community services, education, disability, aged care, legal and housing. HSNet Service Directory aims to help front-line human and justice services workers quickly and efficiently find information about the services available to assist their clients. The information in HSNet Service Directory is tailored specifically to the needs of service providers. Each record contains detailed information about organisations and their services, including; contact details, intake, eligibility, referral and service setting information for each service provided, maps and geographical coverage, accessibility, parking and transport details and opening hours.
My family is separating - what now?
An online service developed by the Australian Government Child Support Agency in partnership with the Attorney-General's Department. The information contained on this website is a guide to help families experiencing separation find their way around the Family Law System, better understand their rights and responsibilities following separation and includes information on services available to help.
Translating and Interpreting
The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is an interpreting service provided by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to provide interpreting services for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.