There are three ways in which child support may be collected:


This is where parents arrange their child support payments without involving Services Australia. The parents agree on the amount of child support, on how and when to pay it, and manage the payments between themselves. There is no requirement to apply to Services Australia.

The limitations to self-management are:

  • You may only be eligible for the base rate of Family Tax Benefit.
  • Services Australia cannot collect overdue amounts from the paying parent.

If self-management is not working out, a parent can apply for a child support assessment through Services Australia.

Private Collect

A private collect agreement occurs when a child support assessment, agreement or court order sets the amount of child support payable and you and the other parent work out how and when to pay.

This arrangement puts the onus on the parents to plan, manage and keep records of the payments. Services Australia can collect payments for you if the paying parent falls behind. Services Australia can collect overdue payments going back:

  • Up to 3 months in normal circumstances.
  • Up to 9 months in exceptional circumstances

If private collect is not working out, you can:

  • Have Services Australia start collecting your payments through Child Support Collect.
  • Get legal advice about getting the other parent to pay what they owe you.

Child Support Collect

Child support collect is where a child support assessment, agreement or court order sets the amount to be paid.

Services Australia can:

  • Tell you how and when to pay.
  • Collect the money from the paying parent.
  • Transfer the money to the receiving parent.

This arrangement means parents does not have to deal directly with each other about child support. Services Australia can only transfer payments when they are received from the paying parent. However, there are means in which they can recover overdue child support.

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