Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Statutory Rules 2001 No. 66

Issued by the authority of the Minister for Community Services

Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988

Child Support (Registration and Collection) Amendment Regulations 2001 (No. 1)

The purpose of the Regulations (which are made under section 125 of the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988) is to amend the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Regulations 1988 to make a minor extension to the current provision that allows a child support payer to pay part of his or her child support in the form of payments for compulsory school or pre-school uniform or book requirements. Under the extension, the provision also applies if the payments are made to suppliers other than the school or preschool.

Under the current child support provisions, a child support payer may pay part of his or her child support in the form of payments to a third party. This usually occurs with the consent of the child support payee. However, it may also occur without the consent of the payee if the payment is of a kind specified by regulation. The kinds of payment specified are nondiscretionary in nature. Only a certain proportion of the child support liability may be paid in this way. The arrangement is to give the payer some discretion over how child support is spent, while not interfering with the right of the payee to make the majority of the decisions about providing for the child's needs.

One of the kinds of payment allowed for this purpose relates to the child's education. The effect of the current provision is to allow a payer a credit against his or her child support liability if he or she pays school or pre-school fees directly. Some schools have included charges for uniforms, books, excursions and other items as part of the fees charged. A credit has been permitted under the current provision for compulsory. components of the fees, generally including uniform and book charges, but only if these items are supplied directly by the school. However, compulsory uniforms and books are not necessarily purchased from schools and pre-schools, but from other suppliers. This can result in unequal treatment between payers in essentially the same situation.

The Regulations make a minor extension to the current provision to allow the crediting arrangement to apply if a payer pays for uniforms or books prescribed by the school or preschool, regardless of to whom the payment is made.

The Regulations commenced on gazettal.

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