Are you a parent? – Declarations of parentage

by Peter Magee on June 6, 2016

Daniel Rod

In the recent matter of Baldwin & Neilson [2016] FCCA 199, the mother sought a declaration from the Federal Circuit Court that the Respondent was the father of the child and that he be assessed under Section 106A of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 as to his obligations to pay child support to the mother.

To ascertain whether a party is the father to a child, the Court has the discretion to make an Order for parentage testing to be conducted under Section 69V of the Family Law Act 1975. Such testing occurred in this matter, although it was not indicated in the judgement whether it was by agreement with the father or pursuant to an Order of the Court.

So what is a declaration under Section 69VA? As well as deciding, after receiving evidence, the issue of the parentage of a child for the purposes of proceedings, the Court may also issue a declaration of parentage that is conclusive evidence of parentage for the purposes of all laws of the Commonwealth.

In this matter, parentage testing was conducted and the results did not exclude the Respondent from being identified as the father of the child. In addition to the result of that testing, His Honour also took into consideration the mother’s Affidavit evidence and oral evidence given at the Hearing, before ultimately declaring that the Respondent was the father of the child. It is also worth noting that the Respondent did not attend the Hearing and it proceeded on an undefended basis.

At Armstrong Legal our Solicitors are experienced in parenting and child support matters. Please do not hesitate to give one of our Family Law team a call if you have any queries.

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