Financial Support During Pregnancy & After The Birth
Who Pays for Pregnancy Costs?
What happens if you are pregnant and the father is longer willing to raise the child or provide financial assistance?
Is the father still liable to pay relevant costs? Essentially, the answer is yes.
The biological father of a child is liable to financially support the costs associated with pregnancy and raising the child. If you and the Father separated prior to the child’s birth, if you separated before the Father had knowledge of the pregnancy or if you were not in a relationship with the Father at the time of conception, you are still able to claim Child Birth Maintenance (CBM) from the other party. CBM is standalone financial support and distinct from child support.
Who Can Apply For CBM?
The Mother or the Mother’s legal representative can apply for CBM. If this application occurs, the Father of the child who is not married to the child’s mother will be liable to pay financial contributions. Pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975, if the parties were married, the Mother would not be able to make such an application.
What Does The CBM Financial Contributions Cover?
Section 67B of the Family Law Act proves that the Father may be liable to make financial contributions towards the following categories:
- Medical Expenses – In relation to both the pregnancy and birth;
- Injury / Death – If the child or Mother passes away as a result of pregnancy or birth; and
- Maintenance – Costs associated with lost wages during pregnancy/birth (such as rental or mortgage payments).
From case law determined by Queensland Courts, the Father will not be forced to financially contribute towards:
- 100% of the reasonable costs mentioned above; and
- Unnecessary expenses such as private health of the Mother or birthing couch “Doula”.
What circumstances will the Court consider when determining the Father’s contribution
Section 67C of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) provides for several considerations the Court must take into account when determining whether the Father should provide financial assistance to the Mother, including:
- The income, financial resources and earning capacity of both the Mother and Father;
- Necessary support for each party to provide for the child; and
- Any special circumstances which are relevant to the particular case which would result in specific injustice or undue hardship to any person.
If you have any questions regarding the above, or are seeking advice on your current position regarding financial support of a child, contact our office to speak with an accredited family law specialist on 1800 662 535 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org