Claiming child birth expenses – what’s in and what’s out?
Beyond child support, the Family Law Act (FLA) provides for another financial support cost that a father may need to contribute to, it’s “Child birth expenses”.
A recent case considered a mother’s clam for “child birth expenses’ from the father for a period of the pregnancy and a short period after the birth of the child.
- The parties lived together for a few months prior to separation;
- The father claimed that he made financial contributions to the mother during her pregnancy, and that he could not afford to pay anything further. The father was receiving government benefits at the time of the trial and had no substantial assets, but was intending to obtain employment shortly after the tria
The FLA provides that the father of a child who is not married to the mother is liable to make contributions towards the maintenance of the mother. The court will consider the financial circumstances of both parents and any special circumstances.
The court drew a distinction between maintenance of the mother and child maintenance. The judge found that outlays such as nappies, clothing, a bassinet and baby wipes came under child support and not maintenance of the mother.
The father was liable to pay half the mother’s maintenance expenses within six months