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. Presumption of parentage - Stage 2

Presumption of parentage

The following table outlines the grounds for presumption of parentage (1.1.P.110) for ex-nuptial children (1.1.E.60) that do not require documentary evidence. In the following situations, the child could reasonably have been conceived during the period of cohabitation (1.1.C.40).

Where a child is born to a woman … but who … the couple are presumed to be the parents if …
who cohabited with a man was not married to the man during this period the period of cohabitation was at any time during the period beginning 44 weeks and ending 20 weeks before the child was born.
who separated from her husband resumed cohabitation with him again on one occasion for a period of not more than 3 months and then separated again the child was born within 44 weeks after this period of cohabitation and after the divorce.
Refer to Explanation below.
whose marriage was annulled - the child was born within 44 weeks of the annulment.

Explanation: The period of less than 3 months is significant because:

  • if they resume cohabitation for a longer period they must wait a further 12 months before divorcing, and
  • any child conceived during the resumed period of cohabitation would be born while the marriage still existed and no proof of parentage is required.

If there are any ex-nuptial children to whom none of the presumptions apply, documentary evidence of parentage must be provided.

It is not compulsory for individuals to use the presumption of parentage provisions. If an individual has strong objections to apply for a child support assessment for an ex-nuptial child using these provisions, they need to provide documentary evidence of parentage instead.

Act reference: Family Law Act 1975 section 50 Effect of resumption of cohabitation, section 69P Presumptions of parentage arising from marriage, section 69Q Presumption of paternity arising from cohabitation

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