Overseas maintenance agreements: Are they enforceable in Australia?
The short answer is Yes.
Australia is a party to a number of international conventions and agreements regulating the recognition and enforcement of maintenance obligations.
Australia was a party to the New York convention on the recovery abroad of maintenance.
Australia also became a party to the Hague Convention on the recognition and enforcement of decisions relating to maintenance obligations. This convention establishes reciprocal arrangements with other contracting countries to recognise and enforce maintenance decisions made by judicial or administrative authorities in convention countries.
The Child Support Agency in Australia now has the responsibility for the registration and enforcement of overseas maintenance orders and agreements. An overseas maintenance agreement can be registered and enforced if it is otherwise a registrable maintenance liability.
There are specific provisions relating to maintenance in respect of New Zealand and the United States of America.