VIC Divorce - Ex Husband Refusing to Acknowledge Children

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14 March 2015
I have 2 kids with my ex husband and he's going to say he doesn't on the divorce papers just so he can get them done quickly to get re married. Does it mean he is terminating his parental rites?


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
Interesting scenario - does he know that lying to the court is a criminal offence?

Revealing you have children doesn't slow down the divorce procedure. In Australia, a divorce is granted if the marriage has broken down irretrievably. You must have been separated for at least 12 months, and the divorce takes effect one month and one day after the application is approved by the court. In regards to children, all he needs to demonstrate is that care arrangements have been made for them. It's a tick box and a space to write 'the children live with the mother and spend time with the father'.

In any case, no, failure to acknowledge children on a divorce application does not forfeit his parental responsibility. Equal parental responsibility is a presumption under the Family Law Act and can only be rebutted under extenuating circumstances (such as extreme and proven violence, neglect, etc.). That means parental responsibility is not removed from a parent unless by order of the court. This can only be accomplished in parenting orders (e.g. Not in a divorce decree).

Hope this helps.
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Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014
I agree with the above.
It may be helpful to know that he cannot evade his obligations
to pay child support just by denying parentage.
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Further to the above comments, parental responsibility can only be relinquished by a court order and even this does not cancel any liability to pay maintenance and child support etc. It simply gives the other parent sole responsibility to make all major decisions with respect to the children.
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Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
I suspect a quick parental DNA test can show whether your ex is in fact the biological father of the children or not. Otherwise, adoption papers (if child is not biologically his) will suffice.

As the others have said, your ex is not advised to lie on his divorce papers as it is quite easy to accumulate evidence to the facts and lying on a statutory declaration or court paper is a serious offence.