Saturday, 26 July 2008

NSW calls for lesbian child support

New South Wales Attorney-General John Hatzistergos has called for the Family Law Act to be amended by the Commonwealth to allow for child support to be payable by lesbian co-parents to their former partners.

Commonwealth Attorney-General Robert McClelland is considering the move.

Currently both lesbian and gay co-parents are not recognised under the Family Law Act or the Child Support (Assessment) Act. The only way for a gay or lesbian co-parent to obtain child support is to sue in the State courts, relying on equitable estoppel: "We said that we were going to have a child, and you have to pay". This follows a New South Wales case, W v G (1996) where a lesbian couple split up, after having two planned children, the court ordering the co-parent to pay about $150,000 towards their upkeep.

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