Step-child maintenance

STEP-CHILD MAINTENANCE – Can the Child Support payments you receive or which you are required to pay for your biological children be reduced as a result of an obligation to pay
step-child maintenance?

Provisions within the Family Law Act (Cth) 1975 enable a parent or carer to apply to the Court seeking that a step-parent make payments towards the ongoing care of a step-child after the parties have separated. This is a little known but confronting prospect for a person coming into a relationship with a party who has children of a previous relationship – a common occurrence in today’s society. Some comfort can be taken by these people in the knowledge that applications of this type and findings in favour of step-child maintenance are somewhat rare. – For a detailed explanation of the relevant factors see our blog article “Child Maintenance for a Step-Parent

However, equally concerning for biological parents is the prospect of a claim by the other parent that they should not have pay for their biological child due to their care of a step-child.

Are you in circumstances like those detailed above? Step-child maintenance could affect you! If you would like some
practical legal advice including concerning the options available to you, contact our experienced Brisbane child custody lawyers or our North Brisbane child custody lawyers. We can assist you in all areas of family law, including regards parenting arrangements. It is important for you that you obtain the legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. You can then make an informed decision as to how your family law issues are resolved. In the meantime, please do read on for further information right now………

In a recent case heard at the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Melbourne by Judge Bender, a Father’s made an application that he be credited for payments previously made towards the care of his  biological children as a result of his claimed obligation to provide step-child maintenance. His Honour found that the claim was without merit and dismissed the Application.

The Judge relied on the finding of a higher Court which provided that the Father’s application did not meet the requirements for the outcome he sought as it neglected other factors that needed to be included in the application.

In response to the finding of Judge Bender, the Father sought to have the decision overturned in the Family Court Appeals division. In the case titled Eames & Eames [2018] FamCAFC 204, the Appeal was considered and dismissed and consequently the Father was ordered to pay the Mother legal fees.

Contact our child custody lawyers Brisbane or child custody lawyers Brisbane Northside for advice concerning your parenting or other family law issues. One of  our priorities for you will be assisting you to reach an amicable agreement with your former partner without the need to go to court. If however court action becomes necessary, we have the experience to represent you effectively at Court.

The information set out in this blog is not a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you obtain advice
tailored to your particular circumstances from our Brisbane child custody lawyers or our child custody lawyers Brisbane Northside.