The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Proof of parentage

Acceptable evidence

If an individual is applying for a child support assessment for a child from a previous relationship and none of the presumptions of parentage (1.1.P.110) apply, the individual must supply documentary evidence that the person being asked to pay child support (1.1.C.20) is the child's parent (1.1.P.10).

Acceptable evidence of parentage is:

  • the child's birth certificate naming the other parent
  • a statutory declaration
    • from the person making the application stating that the name of the person being asked to pay child support is recorded as a parent of the child in a register of births, or
    • completed by the person being asked to pay child support stating they are a parent of the child
  • adoption papers stating the name of the person being asked to pay child support and the relationship of that person to the child, or
  • a court ruling on paternity.

Individual is unable to obtain acceptable evidence

If an individual is unable to obtain acceptable evidence of parentage Child Support in Services Australia will reject their application. Once notified that their application is unsuccessful, the individual should be referred to Legal Aid or a solicitor for assistance to establish the payer's (1.1.P.72) identity.

Note: Individuals should be advised that if they choose to use a private solicitor they must pay all associated costs, unless any are covered by Legal Aid.

Act reference: CSA Act section 29(2) How decision is to be made

Conflicting information about parentage

Centrelink staff are not required to make a decision regarding conflicting information about parentage. If there is conflicting information about parentage under:

  • Stage 1, the court makes a decision on who is the parent of the child, or
  • Stage 2, the Child Support Registrar may resolve the conflict.

Example: One man is named on the birth certificate as the parent, but in an application for child support the other parent indicates that she was in a relationship with another person.

Where conflicting information about parentage exists, the court or the Registrar must be told the individual is applying for child support.

Explanation: If the man named in the application is different to the one named on the birth certificate, and this is made known before the decision is made, a choice must be made about the conflicting information. However, if the information is not provided, the decision is made on the basis of the information in the application.

Where there is documentary evidence that one person is the parent, but the individual states that another person is the parent the individual must provide documentary evidence of parentage of the person they are nominating.

In these cases, and in cases where a person is named under the presumption of parentage provisions, an objection may be lodged with Child Support in Services Australia by the person named.

Policy reference: FA Guide Presumption of parentage - Stage 2

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