Am I eligible for Childbearing Expenses? With the rising costs involved in raising a child, this question is more relevant than ever. The notion of Childbearing Expenses is also known as Childbirth Maintenance. It refers to a little-known payment that a mother who is not living with or married to the father may receive for the period just before or after a child’s birth. This payment goes towards the reasonable maintenance of the mother. It often includes any medical expenses incurred during pregnancy and birth.

Contributions expected in this payment

The Court has a broad power to make an Order for this maintenance payment which can be ordered as a regular payment or a lump-sum. When considering how much of an entitlement the mother should receive, the Court accounts for: Firstly, the father’s income and earning capacity. Secondly, the assets of both parents. Thirdly, the necessary expenditure of both parents to support themselves. Finally, any other relevant factors. Furthermore, if the mother passes away during childbirth, the father may have the responsibility to provide a proper contribution towards any funeral expenses.

How can I apply?

Applications for these Orders must be made to the Court and only within a certain set of circumstances are they successfully granted.For example, the mother and father must not be married for the application to be successful. They must also be living separately in the childbirth maintenance period.  Furthermore, the Court requires that the applicant makes any application within a specified timeframe. The applicant must demonstrate any specific items or medical bills that they have paid by providing evidence. As such, should you wish to apply for this payment you should keep any receipts relating to your medical or other relevant bills..

Timeframes for an Application and Periods of Maintenance

There is a timeframe in which a mother can make an application for childbirth maintenance. When making an application, the mother must do so within 12 months of the birth of the child. An extension of this time can occur but only within limited circumstances.  This period starts either two months before the child’s birth or when the mother stops working, if she has been working throughout the pregnancy. The minimum timeframe for this payment is approximately five months but can be longer depending upon the mother’s medical circumstances. Ever asked yourself" Am I eligible for Childbearing Expenses?". Keen to discuss the possibility of applying for a child maintenance payment? Please contact our team today on 02 9891 6388.

New South Lawyers’ communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. To that end, people should not rely on this communication as legal advice. Accordingly, they should seek formal legal advice for matters of interest arising from this communication.

To find out more, chat with a member of New South Lawyers' Family Law Team today.