13.1 This chapter discusses the major point of intersection between the child support and family assistance legislative schemes: the ‘reasonable maintenance action’ requirement. In accordance with this requirement, eligible parents must be in receipt of child support to receive more than the minimum rate of Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A. Family assistance policy recognises that this requirement may affect victims of family violence, and the Family Assistance Guide provides for exemptions.

13.2 Family violence exemptions are a key protective strategy for victims of family violence in both child support and family assistance contexts. Exemptions enable victims to opt out of obtaining child support payments—where this would place them at risk—without a consequent reduction to their FTB Part A payments. Due to this significant protective role, the ALRC recommends that exemptions should be set out in family assistance legislation.

13.3 Another focus of this chapter is the accessibility of exemptions for victims who require them. This chapter recommends that further information about exemptions should be contained in the Family Assistance Guide. It is envisaged that the reforms contained in this chapter will operate in conjunction with those in Chapter 4—regarding identifying family violence-related safety concerns (for example, by screening), providing information, and training—to improve accessibility.