Parents assets frozen or sold for non-payment of Child Maintenance

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 established the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission and gave the Commission a number of enforcement powers where a non-resident parent fails to pay child support maintenance. These new powers include the power to apply to the High Court for an order to prevent a non-resident parent from disposing of or transferring property and the power to apply to the High Court for an order setting aside a disposition.

In what circumstances will such an application be made?

Orders preventing the disposal or transfer of property

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission has the power to apply to the Court for an order preventing the disposal of or transfer of property (also known as a “freezing order”) by a non-resident parent if: 

  • the non-resident parent has failed to pay child support maintenance; and
  • the non-resident parent is disposing of or transferring property in order to avoid paying child support maintenance.

Orders to set aside a disposition

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission has the power to apply to the Court for an order to set aside a disposition by a non-resident parent if: 

  • the non-resident parent has failed to pay child support maintenance; and
  • the disposition was undertaken with the intention of avoiding paying child support maintenance.

What is a “disposition”?

For the purposes of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 a disposition includes any conveyance, assurance or gift of property of any description, which will include houses, cars and other valuable assets.

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For more information on:

  • What about dispositions made in the past?
  • What matters will the Court take into account when deciding whether to make an order?
  • Does Court have any other powers?