11.1 There are points of intersection and alignment between child support and family assistance frameworks. In particular, child support interacts with Family Tax Benefit (FTB)—the primary family assistance payment[1]—at two key points.

11.2 The first point is the ‘reasonable maintenance action’ requirement in family assistance legislation. In accordance with this requirement, eligible parents must be in receipt of child support to receive more than the minimum rate of FTB. Family assistance policy recognises that this requirement may affect victims of family violence, and provides for exemptions from the requirement to take reasonable maintenance action.

11.3 The second point is an alignment in family assistance and child support legislation and policy in relation to determinations of percentages of care. This is a component of both child support and family assistance calculations, and affects the amount or distribution of entitlements.

11.4 This chapter focuses on exemptions from the reasonable maintenance action requirement, as family violence exemptions are the key protective strategy for victims in both child support and family assistance contexts. A strong focus is the accessibility of exemptions for victims who require them. The proposed reforms seek to achieve this by providing information in the Family Assistance Guide—in particular, information about the availability of partial exemptions, the duration of exemptions, and the review process. The ALRC also proposes that exemption policy should be included in family assistance legislation. The chapter concludes with an examination of the legislative and policy bases of percentage determinations, and how the rules underpinning such determinations affect victims of family violence.

[1] Family Assistance Office, Website <> at 16 February 2011.