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CSA: Pay your child support or a travel ban could ruin your overseas holiday

Australian Government

Child Support Agency

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Media Release

7 December 2007

Pay your child support or a travel ban could ruin your overseas holiday

With Christmas coming soon the General Manager of the Child Support Agency (CSA), Matt Miller, says separated parents who have outstanding child support should pay before leaving the country or risk being stopped at the airport.

Mr Miller said parents who have not met their child support obligations can generally be prevented from leaving Australia through a Departure Prohibition Order (DPO) issued by the CSA.

"Parents not doing the right thing by their children this Christmas will find it even harder to escape their responsibilities," Mr Miller said.

"The CSA now uses data matching technology provided by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to target non-paying parents who historically travel during the Christmas holiday period."

During the 2006-07 financial year, 474 separated parents were issued with DPOs, preventing them from leaving Australia.

Mr Miller said this action resulted in the reduction of more than $5.9 million in overdue child support.

"Parents need to know that they can't leave their child support debt behind when they leave the country. If you can afford to travel overseas for a holiday, you can afford to financially support your children," he said.

The travel ban can be lifted when the affected parent pays all their outstanding child support or makes satisfactory arrangements to pay it off over time.

"You'd be surprised how many parents who have cried poor can access thousands of dollars within hours of being stopped at the airport," he said.

"DPOs are only used when multiple attempts to get the paying parent to meet their financial obligations have not resulted in any significant repayments.

"Don't wait till it's too late to sort out your overdue child support ahead of the holidays."

The CSA recognises that there can be some circumstances e.g. family illness, where urgent overseas travel is necessary on compassionate grounds. Where DPOs might affect such travel, the CSA considers these cases on their merit.

Appendix: DPOs issued by the CSA 2006-07
InternationalVic/TasACT/NSWQld SA/NTWATotal
Resulting Debt Reduction$1,654,685$998,880$789,011$847,277$286,895$1,368,396$5,945,144

Note: A video news release featuring re-enactment vision of a DPO being issued and an interview with a CSA customer is also available by contacting the CSA Media Team.

Media enquiries: Nick Edwards 0401 940 283 or 02 6272 8540; email -


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