father liable to contribute towards maintenance and expenses of mother
An unmarried pregnant woman may apply to the Family Court or Magistrates Court for an order to compel the father of the unborn child to contribute in the necessary expenses of child birth.
This is provided for under the Family Law Act 1975 s.67B and such application must be filed within 12 months after giving birth or beyond that with leave of court. The contribution may be towards:
a) The maintenance of the mother for the childbirth maintenance period;
b) The mother’s reasonable medical expenses in relation to the pregnancy and birth;
c) The reasonable funeral expenses if the mother dies and the death is a result of the pregnancy;
d) The reasonable expenses of the child’s funeral if the child is stillborn or dies in relation to the birth.
Childbirth maintenance period refers to the period that begins on the day mentioned in the above paragraphs (a) and (b) and end 3 months after the birth of the child:
(a) If the mother
Works in paid employment; and
- Is advised by a medical practitioner to stop working for medical reasons related to her pregnancy ; and
- Because of such advise stops working more than 2 months before the delivery of the child.
The period begins on the day the mother stops working or in any other case, 2 months before the child is born.
The expenses to which a father needs to contribute are calculated after rebates have been received from private health insurances and Medicare. Courts cannot consider any income received by the mother if it is a means tested allowance or benefit from Centrelink.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.