The Joint Select Committee on Australia's Family Law System was appointed by resolution of the Senate on 18 September 2019 and resolution of the House of Representatives on 19 September 2019.

The committee tabled its first interim report on 7 October 2020.

The committee tabled its second interim report on 15 and 16 March 2021, which detailed the committee's views and recommendations on the family law system. At that time, the committee agreed to conduct a short inquiry into the Child Support Scheme (the CSS), and to present a report outlining the committee's views and recommendations on the CSS and its interaction with the family law system.

In preparing this third interim report, the committee considered all relevant evidence provided to it across submissions, hearings, and site visits. Further, the committee also reviewed the valuable work undertaken by others through prior inquiries and reviews; these are discussed in further detail later in this report.

Report structure:

  • Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter which outlines the inquiry's referral; the scope of this report; the conduct of the inquiry; and prior inquiries and reviews.
  • Chapter 2 sets out key background information on the CSS, such as its legislative framework and key statistics. It also provides an overview of child support assessments, the collection of payments, and remedies for non-compliance.
  • Chapter 3 examines the key issues with the CSS which were raised by inquiry participants. These related to general issues, such as accessibility; stakeholder consultation; and data availability, as well as specific problems that participants perceived with the assessment formula.
  • Chapter 4 contains the committee's views and associated recommendations relating to the CSS.
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