Father ordered to pay Mother's Childbirth and Lost Earnings
Posted: 8th April 2014
Posted in: News
Posted by: Dean Evans, Partner
A recent decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia resulted in the Father being ordered to pay to the Mother $7,000 in respect of medical expenses and $7,000 in respect of spousal maintenance for the period two months prior to and three months following the birth of their child.
The Mother’s application sought a payment of $27,061 from the Father. Her application was made on the following basis:
a) She sought a payment of $15,610 pursuant to section 67B(a) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) relating to the maintenance of herself for the period prior to and following the birth of the child; and
b) She sought a payment of $11,451 pursuant to section 67C in respect of the medical expenses incurred by her related to the pregnancy and the birth.
The Court found that her estimates were excessive including her submission that the Father should pay for the costs of a “doula” birthing partner. It was held that the Father should not have to bear the full costs of the Mother’s expenses but rather pay half such expenses.
The Father’s income was $104,416. The Court did not consider the Mother’s eligibility to receive Centrelink payments and the “baby bonus” in assessing her reasonable needs.