LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

NSW Separation - Do I Have to Tell Ex I'm Pregnant?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Jessen, 14 April 2015.

Tags:
  1. Jessen

    Jessen Member

    Joined:
    14 April 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm pregnant and just got out of a bad relationship. I am seriously considering moving away and changing my name so my ex can't find me.

    Are there any legal consequences for this? Do I have to tell him my name and address details and let him know when he's a father after our separation?
     
  2. helen gittings

    Joined:
    14 April 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    While ever the child is a feotus (aka unborn), the baby has no rights of its own because it is not identified as a legal person. As such, you have no legal obligation to inform the father of his parentage or your location.

    If you wish, you can leave the father off the birth certificate, but doing so will forfeit your entitlement to receiving child support from him.

    Once the child is born, he/she will have a legal right to know, spend time and communicate with each of his/her parents on a regular basis, under section 60B of the Family Law Act 1975. As such, if the father finds out about the child, you may face proceedings for parenting orders that enable the child to spend time with the father. If left off the birth certificate, this would likely also include some proceedings for declaration of parentage.

    In short, at the moment, there are no legal obligations on you to inform the father of his parentage. Once born, the child has a right to know, spend time and communicate with both parents on a regular basis, but it's the parent's responsibility to seek that such a right is upheld, which places the onus on the father to pursue proceedings. Excluding the father can be a gamble, especially if things end up in court, as the court may question your capacity to support and encourage your child's right to have a relationship with the father.

    However right now, you are not obligated to inform the father of parentage, nor of your location.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Tracy B and Jessen like this.
  4. Jessen

    Jessen Member

    Joined:
    14 April 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    We never lived together, and he already knew I was pregnant before the break up.

    But, otherwise, that was helpful. Thank you
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    By legal definition, a relationship becomes de facto when you share a child together.

    You've revealed here the father is aware if the pregnancy. Has he expressed a desire to be a part of the child's life?
     
    Jessen likes this.
  6. Jessen

    Jessen Member

    Joined:
    14 April 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, I did not know that. Thank you!

    Yes but what's he's asking is not realistic. He want us to live together so he can see the baby every day or to stay in my home on weekends. I've told him suggested visitation for newborns is 2-3 days a week for approx 2 hours. I don't think he understands newborns and breastfeeding, because he just won't listen. It's becoming harassing which is why I want to just run away.

    If I start mediation now and get a parenting plan in place before the birth is it easier? Or wait until after the birth, so there is nothing in place while mediation is going on which should take about 4-5 months?

    I just want him to be reasonable and practical. If he can't do that then I'd rather leave him out of it until I absolutely have to.
     
  7. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    It's best to get things sorted as soon as possible. Even though the stress of mediation is an unpleasant issue during pregnancy, it's probably not a stress you want with a newborn.

    Given the father's interest, I would say it's best that you try and facilitate that relationship, rather than leave the area. The court is starting to place a lot of weight on whether parents encourage the kids' relationship with the other parent and not doing so has lead to parents losing residency all together. It's not worth the risk.

    However, your expectations are reasonable while the child is in infancy - a couple of times a week for two hours is what many psychologists recommend for newborns. As they get older, it's within their capacity to go longer periods of time away from the primary attachment figure.

    There's lots of sources that can provide guidance on suitable arrangements for kids of different ages and circumstances. Our most helpful source was Relationships Australia, which offers a child consultation. It might be worthwhile including in the parenting plan a requirement that both parties attend a post-separation parenting course as well, which can help you both communicate better.

    Right now, it probably feels like a weight on your shoulders but your little one will be grateful when they're older that you endured and encouraged a relationship with their dad. Kids thrive under the care of both parents where the atmosphere is healthy and cooperative. I hope this helps and I hope things improve for you soon. :)
     
  8. Jessen

    Jessen Member

    Joined:
    14 April 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok thanks, that helps a lot :)
     

Share This Page

Loading...