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Thread: Father Paying/Contributing Expenses During Pregnancy, and Legal Rights.

  1. #1

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    Default Father Paying/Contributing Expenses During Pregnancy, and Legal Rights.

    Hi all,

    Just seeking some advice...

    My ex DP (and father of my baby girl due in July) hasn't contacted me since December, even though I have contacted him. I'm now almost 28 weeks pregnant and have a few issues...

    He hasn't offerred or contributed any money towards my medical bills or purchase of the baby items. I called up legal aid and asked them about this, and they told me that 2 months before the baby is born I can go to my local court and get an order issued to make him pay for half of the expenses... I called up my local court and they knew nothing about this... Hmmm.

    He has also stated he won't sign the birth certificate. IMO, it is poltically and morally correct to sign the birth certificate of your own child. Is there a legal way I can get him to sign this? I don't feel confident enough to post the forms to him and Brisbane as I doubt he will post them back to me here in Sydney.

    Lastly, he claimed he won't pay child support. I didn't want to go through any legal means, but since he took me to court for a domestic violence order which the judge didn't approve anyway, I feel like he is just playing games with me, and I can't let him have this over me. Is going down the legal path teh right thing to do...



    I contact him and let him know things about the baby, ask him questions my ob asks me to ask etc and he doesnt even contact me back... It's not just rude, it is disrespectful to me and his daughter. I feel like he hasn't even acknowledged that I am pregnant, he took off on an overseas holiday in January which he booked AFTER I fell pregnant. He doesn't have his prioroties right...

    I wanted to post his Mum some photos of the baby once she is born (I haven't met her, she lives far away from where we were), but I feel he might of convinced her I'm some sort of evil liar. On the court documents when he tried to put the DVO on me, he wrote "she may be pregnant with my child". WTF does that mean?

    Sorry for my long rant, I just don't know what to do anymore, what path to take and where I'm going... I don't even know how to tell him that his baby is born when she does come...

    Well done if you read this far

  2. #2

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    Oh gosh Kailz, i'm so sorry i can't help with any of your questions but struggling through the court system is not fun at all. Many to you.

  3. #3

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    Hi there! Did I read your signature correct? That after 15 months of TTC, you are now pregnant and your (now ex) partner is acting like this?!? Unbelievable. I really feel for you. I think you should at least look into your options. A bub is quite expensive with nappies etc and he has responsibilities. I hope for your sake it doesnt get any nastier than it already is. You are totally correct when you say he has his priorities wrong. I hope someone here can help more with the legalities.
    Big hugs.

  4. #4

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    You can't force someone to put their name on a birth certificate and if he does't sign it, then legally his name can't be on it (or else anyone could put anyone's name on it kwim?) which is really frustrating, but not much you can do about it except hope that he changes his mind. As for child support, well he has to pay, but if he is this much of a d1ckwad already then chances are he will shirk paying for anything the CSA (child support agency) makes him pay.

    Also, I don't know what your financial situation is, but if he hasn't signed the birth certificate then it also has implications for getting a full entitlement from Family Assistance too.

    Divvy would know more about this.

  5. #5

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    Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE.. PLEASE OBTAIN INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE PERTAINING TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL SITUATION.


    You can claim childbirth expenses from the father of your child pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975. You can also claim maintenance for the childbirth support period (but watch out, if you do get a maintenance order this will affect your Newstart/FTB A & B even if he doesn't pay). You can get a DNA testing order after the baby is born, again pursuant to the provisions of the Family Law Act.

    Basically there is nothing you can do until after the baby is born. Make sure you ring the Child SUpport Agency straight away after baby is born so that you can have your Child Support backdated to the original date you applied for it.

    Get legal advice. Soon.

  6. #6

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    Oh and I forgot. Check out your local Births Deaths and Marriages (state level) as to whether you can just nominate him as the father and he has to "opt out". Some states have "opt in" where the Father has to sign the certificate, some have "opt out" where you nominate him, they send him a letter and if he doesn't respond within a set time then he is nominated as the father and HE has to do something to have his name removed from the birth certificate. I can't remember which state you're in or whether it's opt in/opt out, so check again with your independent legal professional.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7

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    kailz, i can't omment on the legalities of making the father pay for things before a child is born - in all honesty, i've never heard of i and don't know how it would work. it sounds like something that would be EXTREMELY difficult to do legally as you can't prove paternity before a child is born (well, not without invasive testing that can be harmful to your baby) - but having said that, i really don't know for sure... i would think that legal aid would be the ones to have the most accurate answers.

    as for after the birth, whether you want to follow up on financial support from the babies father or not, the government will, in most cases, tell you that you have no choice. family assistance payments for seperated parents are restricted dramatically if you don't at least attempt to claim child support for your child. now, if he's being an idiot about admitting paternity (hold onto the AVO application as this can be used against him), you don't have to get his name put on the birth certificate. you can approach legal aid and they will help in the legal hoopla in proving paternity (hence the AVO thing - he's put on there about you carrying his child so it can be used as evidence). if you choose not to pursue it, your maximum Family Assistance (pt a) entitlement is cut from a bit over $140 a fortnight to less than $47 - and you'll lose any rent assistance...

    pm me if you want any more info - and i'll answer your questions directly if i can. i would suggest calling the Family Relationships Advice Line, Legal Aid and Family Assistance and get your head as clear as you can about where you're going once your bubba arrives... discuss the implications of going through the child support agency and him deciding not to pay, how it impacts you etc. there is a lot of information to get your head around to make sure you've got time - and don't let the people hang up til you're sure you have your answers!


    as for the grandmother - personally, i would make contact BEFORE bubs arrives. write her a letter so that it''s non-confrontational. say that you understand that she may have reservations about having any sort of friendship/relationship with you due to the breaakdown in your relationship with her son, but for the sake of her relationship with her grandaughter, you're making an effort before her arrival. you don't want to deny her access to her grandchild - and you don't want the breakdown between you and XP to impact your daughter's chances of knowing her grandparents. there are two huge reasons for this - reason one being that your child really does deserve to have her grandparents in her life - reason two - grandparents have legal rights to access to their grandchildren. if they're denied access, they can take you to mediation, court - it can get messy - and that's the last thing you want if you can make an amicable relationship with her before bub's arrives. keep a record of all correspondence as a back up for yourself, just in case things DO turn nasty - that way you've got a way to show that you tried to make an effort

    and most of all - remember that you need to take care of YOU. yeah, getting his help will help financially, but he sounds about as mature as any tanty-throwing five year old, so really, you're doing this solo, and you need to do what is best for you and that little bubble growing in your belly

    good luck

    BG

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    *snap* BG LOL!

  9. #9

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    Div, in NSW its definately opt in for the birth certificate.

  10. #10

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    My DH works for the CSA. When he gets back inside (from hanging out the washing ) i'll get him to post in here, in regards to birth certificates and child support

  11. #11

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    Ok, my sister just went through all this so I'll give you the short version -

    IF he is still being a twat after bubs is born, and you have made it clear you expect him to sign it, you send in the birth cert signed by yourself.
    They will contact you soon after asking why it is not signed.
    You give him his details (name, address), they will take it from there and you don't have to worry about chasing him.

    SO you call the child support agency (the details should be on any Clink forms you will get), and let them know his details and that you would like them to collect on your behalf.

    THEN you give all bubs details to Clink (for your FTB and Baby Bonus), you let them know you have taken action to obtain child support, they will liase with CSA and you don't have to worry.

    AND you still retain full FTB entitlement, and the CSA will stick the child support in your account - no fuss, no muss.

    good luck with it all, sorry he is being such a tool.

  12. #12

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    Thanks for all the responses... I feel as if I'm banging my head against a brick wall

    Sometimes it's nice to just let it all out!

    Yael - That would be very kind of your DH! Thank you xx

    BG - Thanks for taking the time out to help me

    LuLu, Divvy, Ash & Others - Big Thanks too

  13. #13

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    Wanted to reiterate what Lulu said: tell CSA you wish to claim child support through them. They then keep track of what they collect from him on your behalf, and if he tries to shirk his responsibilities, they will garnish his wages. It doesn't matter what sort of relationship (or lack thereof) you two have - he has to pay. If he does not pay, CSA will do all the legal stuff on your behalf, and the FAO/Centrelink gets informed that he's not paying. He can't escape really.

  14. #14

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    Ok, so this is what my husband has to say (disclaimer: this is not official advise, but it is freely avaliable from "the guide" on the child support website - or you can call CSA and ask them about "presumption" ph. 131272).

    Ok, basically if he wont sign the birth ceritificate there is possibly another way that you can can provide proof of parentage. Basically the CSA can "presume" that the father in the parent of the baby under certain circumstances (i.e. baby was concieved during a marriage etc). However, where the 2 parents weren't married section 2.2.4 of the guide states:

    the person is a man who cohabited with the child's mother at any time during the period beginning 44 weeks and ending 20 weeks before the child was born, but they were not married at any time during that period. Cohabitation involves living together in a domestic relationship. CSA can consider the financial and social aspects of the relationship, the nature of the household and the sexual relationship between the 2 people, in deciding whether they cohabited.
    So in english this means if you lived together from either 20 - 44 weeks before the baby was born then they can presume he was the father... How they will require proof of this - it is best to contact the agency yourself and give a more detailed description of your circumstances.

    Otherwise in reference to what Divvy said, I think that she may be referring to a section 106a order (under the child support assessment act 1989 not the family law act - unless she is talking about something different ??). Anyway, a section 106a order is a declaration form the court stating that the man is the father of the child. You need to petition the court (not CSA on your behalf), and most likely they will require DNA testing.

    Declaration that a carer parent (s106A) or a liable parent (s106B) is entitled to a child support assessment

    If CSA refuses a carer parent or liable parent's application for a child support assessment, and one of the reasons was that CSA could not be satisfied that the person named was a parent of the child, they can apply to a court for a declaration that they are entitled to an assessment of child support. The person that the payee named as the payer is the respondent to the payee's court application and the person that the payer named as the payee is the respondent to the payer's court application. CSA is not a party to the court application unless it decides to intervene in the proceedings.
    In regards to whether you should persue a legal path, it is only something that you can decide but you should legal advice. Remember there are implications and BG mentioned above for your support from centrelink if you do not persue a child support case.

    ETA: If you can't get a case started the CSA can't do anything (garnish his wages etc). And CSA will not act on your behalf to get him legally named as the father (see section 4.3.2 of the guide).

    Once you have a case registered then you have options on how to collect (in your case if you do not have an amicible relationship then the CSA can collect on your behalf. There are enforcement powers they have if he does not pay, but just a warning, these are not foolproof and people can avoid child support if they try hard enough).

    By the way, forgot to mention, the guide is CSA legal guide ti the relevant legislation, basically, it makes the reading of the legislation a bit more palitable. If you don't understand it, call CSA and they will explain it all to you.
    Last edited by Yael; April 22nd, 2008 at 12:44 AM.

  15. #15

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    I had all this with my DS sperm donor (sorry but he isnt man enough to be called a father).

    this is just what I found to happen with my situation.

    First no you cant make him pay for half of the baby stuff, i kept every reciept hoping this was the case, i guess you could try but it would be more expensive on your behalf than its worth, and if you happen to not win your in the reds even more.

    Secondly, when the child is born you have to apply for cs, you will then get a letter stating you have been denied as there is no proof or parentage.. Once you get this letter you need to reply back ASAP saying you want a review of the case as he is the father.. you will then get ANOTHER letter staying your case has been reviewed but sorry once again you have no parentage proof.
    Once you get this second letter you take it to legal aid or your solicitor to start the process to obtain a DNA.
    If the father will get the DNA done it should be pretty fast and be over with, once you get the letter stating yes he is the father by dna testing you send a copy to csa and from there they will obtain cs on your behalf.
    Although if he doesnt attend court dates like my ds's sperm donor and ignore dna testing appointments ect, it will take months..
    after a few court cases ( that you will not have to attend) the judge will basically say "well this man has made no effort into proving he is not the father after the courts have given him so many chances, with that I declare him the father and responsible for paying child support". You will then be sent a letter stating this, send this letter to csa to start claim cs.
    Even after being able to claim child support I still get Nothing, if he buys a car or a house in 10 yrs maybe they can take it off of him is what they said, or at tax time they will take his tax return, but as a man who works cash in hand i wont be getting a red penny.

    Birth cert: only IF he signs the certificate willingly or obtains the DNA will he be put on the birth cert, even if he is declared the father by the courts i dont think you can put him on the birth cert ( but dont quote me).

    Ok with centrelink, If you have no reason not to claim child support ( the baby is not the outcome of a rape, the father is not threatening or physically violent) then yes you will get a lower amount of money, if you are going to take him to court then you need to speak to a social worker and let them know so they can give you an exemtion for seeking child support until paternity is obtained, this way your payments will not be affected.. if you do have a reason you may ask for a life time exemtion, this way you never claim child support.

    I hope this helps even the slightest.

    If you have any questions you can message me anytime, like i said ive just been through it so i can let you know anything you need to know about what happened with my situation.
    take care

  16. #16

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    Also, In my own opionion, i think you should send photos to nanna.
    Im sure she knows what her son is like, and if she is any kind of woman she will want to know her grandchild regardless of her opinion toward the mother of that child.
    Half the time in these situations the granny doesnt even know she has a grandchild out there.
    If she doesnt want anything to do with the baby atleast you done your bit, you have gave them the ball and it will be up to them what they do with it, atleast then at the end of the day you know you have done all you can

  17. #17

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    Thanks everyone - I really appreciate the support.

    Now I just need to put this all in some sort of order so my head can absorb it

  18. #18

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    My poor sister felt the same hun, at this point there isn't much you can do about it and that makes it hard.
    Lots of things may or may not happen before bubs is born, I know you want to feel prepared, I'd concentrate on having fab hair and a good pregnancy as long as you can before the boring bits have to be addressed. GL!

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