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Skip Navigation LinksHome > Legal information > Relationships & children > Child support and maintenance > Applying for a stay order

Applying for a stay order 

Legal Information

If you disagree with the amount of child support you have to pay, and you have applied to change this amount by:

  1. Change of Assessment application to the Child Support Agency - see What is child support?, or
  2. A written Objection to the Child Support Agency's decision - see What is child support?, or
  3. Asking for a review by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal - see Appealing a Child Support Agency decision, or
  4. Applying to court for a review - see Appealing a Child Support Agency decision

and it is financially hard for you to keep paying the required amount of child support, you may be able to apply for a stay order.

What is a stay order?

A stay order is a temporary court order that may:

  1. stop the Child Support Agency enforcing child support debts against you, or the accumulation of penalties for a particular period and/or
  2. sets a reduced rate of child support to be paid, or leave an amount at the current rate where there has been an assessment for an increase

until a decision is made by the Child Support Agency, Social Security Appeals Tribunal or court about your application to change the amount of child support to be paid by you.

The stay order does not stop your legal obligation to pay the amount of child support assessed by the Child Support Agency. If the court makes a stay order, and you are unsuccessful in lowering the amount of child support you are to pay, you must pay what was required under the administrative assessment less the money you paid during the period stay order.

What happens when a stay order is made?

When a stay order is made, you will receive these orders from the court by post.

Within 14 days of the date of the order, you must:

  1. Serve a copy of the order on the Child Support Agency, and
  2. Complete the Child Support Agency form 'Child Support or Maintenance Change'.

This form can also be found on the Child Support Agency's website.

The stay order will have effect until either:

  1. the date stated in the stay order, or
  2. If no date is given, until your application to change the administrative assessment has been finalised.

To find out if a stay order is the best option for you, you should get legal advice.

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Do I need legal advice?

You may need legal advice if you

  • can't afford to pay the amount of child support you are required to pay, and have unsuccessfully applied to change it
  • are thinking about whether you should apply for a stay order
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Where can I get legal advice

Legal Aid Queensland may provide legal advice on child support. Our Child Support Unit and Liable Parent Service may provide specialist advice and assistance on child support matters.

The following organisations may also be able to give legal advice on your matter.

Caxton Community Legal Centre provides specialist legal advice on child support for both carer parents and liable (paying) parents.

Gold Coast Legal Service provides legal advice on child support.

Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private solicitor for advice or representation.

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Who else can help?

These organisations may also be able to assist with your matter. They do not provide legal advice.

Child Support Agency administers the child support scheme to ensure parents contribute to the costs of raising children after separation. Provides support and assistance to parents, including calculating, collecting and transferring child support payments.

Federal Circuit Court makes decisions about a range of issues including child support matters.

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Disclaimer - Copyright © 1997 Legal Aid Queensland. This content is provided as an information source only and is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer. Legal Aid Queensland believes the information is accurate as at 3 February 2012 but accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and denies all liability for any expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur due to the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way.

Last modified: 29 October 2013 3:43PM
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Applying for a stay order