In some family law cases the issue of the parentage of a child arises. Rarely the mother and in most cases the father.
If the parties agree, this is an issue easily resolved. If they do not agree then an Application to the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Court of Australia can be made seeking a Declaration which would enable a DNA test to be undertaken. Usually this involves a child support matter.
What many people don’t realise is that pursuant to the Family Law Act a man is automatically presumed to be the father of a child if the following apply:
- The man was married to the child’s mother;
- The man lived with the child’s mother for a period during pregnancy – between 44 weeks and 20 weeks before birth;
- The man’s name appears on the Birth Certificate as the father of the child;
- A Court has made an Order regarding the parentage of the child;
- A man signed a document under Australian Law, or the law of another country, in which he acknowledged he was the father of the child.
These are called “rebuttable presumptions” which mean a man would have to demonstrate to the Court that he has an honest bona fide and reasonable belief that the presumptions do not apply, and usually evidenced by a DNA Certificate.
This area requires delicate and specialist family law advice, if we can assist then please contact one of our specialist family lawyers.
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