The Legal Definition of Parentage and How It Relates to Child Support

with No Comments

A person can apply to the Child Support Agency for an assessment of child support payable by a natural or adoptive parent of a child. The Agency must be satisfied that a person assessed to pay child support for a child is actually a parent of the child. Here, we discuss how the Child Support Agency determines the parentage of a child.

Who is a parent?

A “parent” is not just a child’s biological father or mother. Some couples that have a child through an artificial conception procedure would both be considered parents of that child. If you and your partner have a child through a surrogacy arrangement and the Court declares you a parent, then the Child Support Agency would be satisfied that you are a parent.

What proof of parentage do you need?

The Child Support Agency considers a person a “parent” if that person is listed on your child’s birth certificate. Other circumstances where a person is considered to be a parent include where a child is born during a marriage; within a certain period following a domestic relationship or separation; where the person has adopted a child; where a person has declared they are a parent in an appropriate form or document; and where a Court has declared that a person is a parent.

What if I disagree with the Agency’s decision about parentage?

You need urgent legal advice if your application for child support is rejected because you cannot prove parentage or if the Child Support Agency has determined you are a parent but you believe that you are not. This is because you may need to apply to the Court for a declaration that you are/are not the parent of the child.

What if I’m not a parent but care for a child, can I still apply for child support?

Yes. If you are caring for a child and you are not the parent, you can apply to the Agency for child support from the child’s parents.