When applying for a child support assessment, the Department of Human Services – Child Support will require proof of parentage from each parent. This can be provided in a number of ways, as set out in section 29(2) of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (Cth). DHS-Child Support can accept any of the following as proof that a person is a parent of a child:
Determining parentage can be complex, and DNA parentage testing can be used to help resolve uncertainties. Testing for legal purposes must be done by laboratories accredited as required by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), and using strict procedures that are set out in the Family Law Regulations 1984 (Cth).
DHS-Child Support cannot accept a DNA parentage testing report as proof of parentage. DNA reports can be produced as evidence in a court to obtain a court order stating that a person is, or is not, a parent of a child.
In circumstances where a mother is required by Centrelink to apply for a child support assessment and the application cannot be accepted because there is no proof of paternity, advice should be obtained by calling the Child Support Helpline of the Legal Services Commission on 8111 5576. Assistance may be available to
If a father is concerned that he is assessed to pay child support for a child who is not his child, he should obtain legal advice as soon as possible by calling the Child Support Helpline on 8111 5576. Assistance may be available to
Legal advice should be sought promptly in relation to any matters involving disputed parentage. Delay in bringing an application can adversely affect the legal rights of the parties.
Where to get help
Free independent legal advice can be obtained from the Child Support Help Line on (08) 8111 5576.