IF I'M IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE WITH A CHILD FROM A PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIP, CAN I BE RESPONSIBLE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT FOR THAT CHILD?
Though blended families are increasingly common, it’s still a popular misconception that only biological parents have to pay child support when a relationship breaks down. a step-parent often – but not always – has a legal obligation to financially support step-children after the relationship with their spouse ends.
When making that decision, a judge will apply the ‘in loco parentis’ test. relevant factors in that test include how long you were in a parenting role, your level of involvement in the child’s day-to-day life, discipline, schooling and extra-curricular activities, and whether you contributed financially to the child during the relationship. the younger the child was when you began living together as a family unit, for example, the more likely you “stood in the place of a parent.” Once a step-parent relationship has been established, the obligations of a step-parent towards the children are similar to those of the natural parents. to a lesser degree, the judge will also consider the support already being paid by the child’s biological parent.
If you’re a step-parent going through a divorce or separation, count on the team at Kelly Greenway Bruce to help you understand the law and navigate your obligations based on your unique circumstances.
The above information is of a general nature and is not intended to provide legal opinions. Readers should seek professional legal advice on the particular issues which concern them. We would be pleased to elaborate on any information contained above and how it may apply to your specific circumstances.