same sex partners as parents are liable for child support
who are recognized as children of a same sex couple?
The Family Law Act recognizes that same sex partners can be parents who have the duty to financially support their children.
Same sex couples are a recognized de facto relationship in Australia and through our Family Law Act they can also be recognized as parents. Being parents they have the responsibility to care for and support their children. Child support is one of the responsibilities of a same sex couple towards their children. Whether separated or not same sex partners have the duty to financially support their child.
- Children who were born through artificial means to lesbian couples;
- Children adopted by same sex couples; and
- Children born through a non-commercial surrogacy arrangement recognized by a state or territory law.
Same sex partners have been recognized by the Family Law Act as parents since July 1, 2009. Since that date, partners who have the primary care of the children can ask for child support from their former partners.
In case the separation occurred before July 1, 2009, the parent can still claim for child support but payments will not be collected before this date. Parental responsibility started after July 1, 2009.
Having established the parentage of your partner, you can apply for an assessment for child support from the Department of Human Services. Both of the partners are liable for child support so both of them will be assessed on their gross income, the care they provide for their child, how many nights they spend with their child, and the age and needs of their child.
To avoid the hassle, partners can simply agree on how much financial support they each will give for their child. In the agreement the partners can stipulate how many nights they will spend with their child, the amount of child support they will pay, when and where they will pay. The parties can stipulate as to every matter that pertains to child care. This agreement will be binding and enforceable upon the parties under Australia’s statutory contractual laws.
Upon application, the court can issue consent orders based on the partners’ child support agreement. Consent orders have the effect of a court order. Violations will be addressed by the court.
The presumption is that a person is the parent if his name appears on the birth certificate. A partner is also presumed to be the parent if the law says so and the Family Law Act enumerates the instances when same sex partners are considered as parents. A partner may also be judicially declared to be the parent.
The partner seeking child support may apply to the Family Court for an order that a child support assessment be issued for the child which must be paid by the resisting partner.
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.