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B2B column: Blended families: what happens when you separate

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The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) recognises “children have a right to spend time on a regular basis with, and communicate on a regular basis with, both their parents and other people significant to their care, welfare and development (such as grandparents and other relatives)”.

But what are the financial obligations on step-parents to maintain step-children after separation?

In certain circumstances when the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (“the Court”) determine it ‘proper’, the Court can impose a duty on a stepparent to pay Child Support for the step-child.

In determining whether it is ‘proper’ to Order a step-parent to pay Child Support, the Court will consider:

  1. the duration and circumstances of the marriage to, or relationship with, the relevant parent of the child;
  2. the relationship that existed between the step-parent and the child;
  3. the arrangements that have existed for the maintenance of the child; and
  4. any special circumstances which, if not taken into account in the particular case, would result in injustice or undue hardship to any person.

It is important, especially for multifaceted families, to obtain legal advice from an experienced family lawyer on matters and obligations that arise upon separation.

Olivia Le, Lawyer, Catton & Tondelstrand Lawyers, Kon-Tiki Business Centre Tower 1, Level 3, Suite 315, 55 Plaza Parade, Maroochydore, 5609 4933, ctlawyers.com.au

This column is part of our Business 2 Business (B2B) series featuring industry leaders sharing their expertise. For more great articles, SUBSCRIBE to our FREE news feed, direct to your inbox daily. All you need to do is enter your name and email below.

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