Aussie parents who owe child support are being banned from travelling because: priorities.

The Federal government has announced that 1067 parents have been issued a ‘travel ban’ until they pay their child support obligations.

“Paying child support is not a choice, it is a moral and legal obligation,” The Minister for Human Services, Michael Keenan, said.

“Those who shirk their responsibilities are literally depriving their children of a better life and we make no apologies for using these tough measures to make them pay up.”

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The travel bans – more formally known as  a Departure Prohibition Order (DPO), apply to international travel only, and were served to 1,067 individuals for debt that’s been owed for the last six months.

Sadly, this is an almost 50 per cent increase on the same six-month period last year.

The government issues the travel bans to encouragement payments on a regular basis.

Last year, DPOs helped recoup more than $15 million between July 1 and December 30.

“The Government’s message to parents is simple,” Minister Keenan continued. “If you can afford an overseas holiday, then you can afford to support your children. That should be your first priority, not jetting off for a break in a foreign country.”


Travel bans are only applied after the government has made all reasonable other attempts to recover the debt; and they are certainly effective.

For example, a Victorian parent finally paid more than $185,000 in 2018, only when their travel plans were threatened by a DPO.

In another example, a NSW parent who had been living overseas was forced to make payment when they returned to Australia for a visit. That person had to pay $40, 000 before they were permitted to leave the country.

The largest settlement from a DPO was $350,000, when a parent was once again told they couldn’t leave the country until their debt to their children was paid.

“What these examples demonstrate is that many parents have the means to pay, but are deliberately dodging their obligation to support their kids,” Minister Keenan said.

What do you think of child support travel bans? Tell us in the comments below. 

More on this topic:

Much to my mother’s dismay, I am not asking for child support.

Jon Megason doesn’t pay a cent in child support. And his ex says he’s a ‘golden dad’ for it.

‘I can’t afford this’: Parents slam new child care subsidy rollout.