Same-sex couples and Child Support

same sex couplesSame-sex couples, who are recognised as parents under the Family Law Act 1975 can apply for child support, on separation.

How do you become recognised as a parent under the Family Law Act 1975?

  • If a child is born to a woman, as a result of an artificial conception procedure (IVF, donor insemination, or home insemination) while the woman is married to, or in a de facto relationship with another woman, and both parties agreed to the conception procedure, the mother is a parent by virtue of her having given birth to the child and the de facto/wife is a parent, by virtue of her relationship with the mother.
  • If a child is born to a woman, who was commissioned by another person, or persons to be the surrogate, the other persons, or persons will be recognised as a parent, when a surrogacy parentage order has been issued by a State or Territory Court of appropriate jurisdiction. Presently, only the ACT Supreme Court has the authority to issue such an Order. So, surrogacy arrangements are only recognised for child support purposes in the ACT.
  • By adoption, which can be achieved if you are in a de facto relationship with the parent of a child and adopt their child, or adopt a child together, although same-sex couples are only able to adopt a child in WA, ACT, and in limited circumstances in Tasmania.

Once the Child Support Agency has determined that you are a recognised parent under the Family Law Act, any child support payable by a separated parent is calculated using the normal method – i.e. annual income of both parties, nights of care for both parties and age of the child. If you do not agree with the assessment made by the Child Support Agency, you can formally object to their decision and ask for it to reviewed.

If you were involved in a same sex relationship and the relationship produced a child via artificial conception, adoption, or surrogacy as described above, please contact one of our Gold Coast Family Lawyers to discuss your eligibility to claim child support.

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