In Australia, parents have a legal responsibility to financially support their children, whether they are biological, adoptive or same sex parents.
Parents can make an agreement about child support or they can apply to the Department of Human Services (Child Support) (DHS) for an administrative assessment.
If you have a dispute about child support, get legal advice.
The law says parents have a primary responsibility to financially support their children, no matter what might have happened between the parents. This responsibility applies to biological, adoptive or same-sex parents. Even if a parent has no contact with their child, they are still financially responsible for them.
This financial responsibility has priority over any other commitments the parents have other than those needed to support themselves, their child or anyone else they are looking after.
Child support for same-sex parents
Same-sex parents have the same financial obligations for supporting their children as heterosexual couples.
A same-sex couple will usually be considered a child’s parents if:
- they have adopted the child
- the child was born as a result of an artificial conception procedure while the parents were in a defacto relationship
- the child was born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement and a court had made an order declaring the couple are the parents.
You may be entitled to child support payments or required to pay child support if you have children from a same-sex relationship.
Child support for non-parent carers
Sometimes children live with, or are cared for by people other than their parents such as a legal guardian, grandparent or other family member.
If you care for a child and you’re not the parent, you may be able to claim child support from both of the child’s parents.
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