In circumstances where the Child Support Agency (“CSA”) has exhausted all avenues regarding child support, Applications can be made in the Federal Circuit Court (“FCC”) concerning a number of matters.
One Application that can be brought would be for the private enforcement of child support arrears.
But what options does a payee have when the payer has refused to pay and is conveniently not receiving any income in his name?
A case was recently heard in the FCC by Judge Harland. In this matter of Cary & Dalaard  FCCA 2942 the Father had not paid the child support arrears. Usually if this is the case the CSA will take steps to garnish the wages of the non-paying parent. In this case the non-paying parent had limited “taxable income”.
The Mother sought to join the Father’s new wife to the proceedings on the grounds that the Father was alienating income through her business.
Alienating income is when a person assigns the right to receive income to another person.
It was alleged by the Mother that the Father was the person in control of his wife’s business, evidenced by the fact that his name directly appears under the business listing including the address, and his photo appears on the website with references to his name and “his business”. The Fathers details had also previously been included on invoices, however, this had changed once the proceedings for enforcement commenced.
Judge Harland accepted the submission made by the Mother that the Court could draw an inference that the payments received by the Father’s wife were alienated income of the Father’s and as a result joined the Father’s new wife to the proceedings.
The Mother also sort a third-party debt notice against the Father’s new wife. This means that she sought an Order of the Court that the third party – being the wife (or her business), pay the debt that she had not been able to enforce against the Father.
For the Court to issue a third-party debt notice they must be satisfied of a number of matters set out in the rules including that there is a debt owing, that there is an obligation to pay money and that the Applicant is entitled to seek enforcement of payment of that obligation. His Honour was satisfied of these things and Ordered that the Mother file a third-party debt notice and that the Father’s wife (through the business) pay $350.00 per week to the Registrar of the Child Support Agency and $150.00 per week to the mother’s lawyers.
His Honour found “that the Court should not balk at implementing its full armoury of power to ensure compliance with its Orders”.
If you are having trouble enforcing the payment of child support, contact Macrossan & Amiet Solicitors and ask to speak to one of our experienced family lawyers.