In Clarence & Crisp  FamCAFC 157 (18 August 2016) the Family Court of Australia reinforced the existing case law in finding that a de-facto relationship continued to exist at the time of the child’s conception though the parties had physically separated four (4) months earlier.
The case involved a same-sex couple. Ms Clarence was the child’s birth mother and the child was conceived using an egg supplied by the Ms Crisp through a medical procedure on 11 July 2011.
Currently, the law relating to artificial insemination says that if a party is married or in a de facto relationship at the time of conception, the mother and the other intended parent are the parents of the child. This results in the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility and the requirement for the Court to consider equal contact arrangements for the parents.
By referring to communication between the parties (particularly text messages and the frequency of contact), the Court found that although they had physically separated in March 2011, at the time of conception the parties continued to spend time together with a genuine pursuit of an ongoing relationship which would have a child as its focus.
Should you have any enquiries please do not hesitate to contact our family law solicitor Barbara Diaz Escobar at [email protected]