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Entitlement to child support and paternity testing 

Legal Information

How do I prove that I am not the father?

If you think that you may not be the biological father of a child/children for whom you are being assessed to pay child support by the Child Support Agency, you can apply to a court for a declaration/order under Section 107 of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989.

However, you will have to prove to the court that you are not the biological father of the child with a DNA testing report. You can get this from an accredited DNA laboratory.

The Child Support Agency will not accept a DNA test report that shows that you are not the father of the child. It will only  end your liability to pay child support if the court makes a Declaration to end it or the mother tells the Agency to end it.

Before starting court action see if you can work it out with the mother. The mother may agree to undergo parentage testing, especially if you agree to pay for the cost of testing.

Do not delay trying to work this out as the time you take to request DNA testing is a factor considered in these court applications.

If you have to go to court get legal advice first.

How do I prove who is the father?

If the Child Support Agency will not accept your application for child support because you do not have proof of paternity, you may need a declaration from a court under section 106A of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 that you are entitled to child support.

If you are receiving social security benefits for the child, Centrelink will require that you take 'reasonable action' to get child support or you may lose some of your benefit.

Legal Aid Queensland may be able to assist you with obtaining proof of paternity. If you are not certain who is the father, legal aid is available to conduct parentage testing with two alleged fathers.

Contact Legal Aid Queensland for advice or your solicitor.

Acknowledgement - Prepared using fact sheets which are copyright to the Commonwealth of Australia and National Legal Aid.

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Do I need legal advice?

You may need legal advice if:

  • you have been asked to pay child support for a child but you do not believe you are the biological parent
  • you are going to court about a child support or related matter
  • you need help to prove paternity.
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Where can I get legal advice

Legal Aid Queensland may provide legal advice on child support. Our Child Support Unit and Liable Parent Service may provide specialist advice and assistance on child support matters.

The following organisations may also be able to give legal advice on your matter.

Caxton Community Legal Centre provides specialist legal advice on child support for both carer parents and liable (paying) parents.

Gold Coast Legal Service provides legal advice on child support.

Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private solicitor for advice or representation.

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Who else can help?

These organisations may also be able to assist with your matter. They do not provide legal advice.

Child Support Agency administers the child support scheme to ensure parents contribute to the costs of raising children after separation. Provides support and assistance to parents, including calculating, collecting and transferring child support payments.

Federal Circuit Court makes decision about a range of issues including child support matters.

DNA testing services can provide paternity and relationship testing. Reports from accredited laboratories may be admissible in the Australian family law courts. Fees apply for these services.

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Disclaimer - Copyright © 1997 Legal Aid Queensland. This content is provided as an information source only and is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer. Legal Aid Queensland believes the information is accurate as at 3 February 2012 but accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and denies all liability for any expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur due to the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way.

Last modified: 26 March 2014 2:33PM
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Entitlement to child support and paternity testing