Who pays child support?
Question & AnswerWho pays child support?
Step-parents and others with a parent-like relationship with the child
The law says that a person may be responsible for paying if they “stood in the place of a parent” to the child. This means that they had a parent-like relationship with the child. This might be, for example, a step-parent or the partner of a parent.
A parent-like relationship
The court looks to see if the person has a parent-like relationship with child. For example:
- How does the child feel about their relationship with the person?
- Does the child take part in the extended family in the same way as any other child?
- Does the person provide financially for the child to the best of their ability?
- Does the person discipline the child?
- Does the person talk about themselves in the family and community as a responsible parent to the child?
- What relationship, if any, does the child have with the parent who doesn't have or ?
It does not matter if the partners are or in a . If the court finds that the step-parent had a parent-child relationship with the child, they may have to pay child support.
When another parent is already paying child support
A step-parent might have to pay child support even when another parent is already paying child support. More than one parent can have a legal duty to pay child support for the same child. For example. the birth parent and a step-parent might both pay child support for the same child.
Some judges look at the table amount and deduct the birth or biological parent's support from the step-parent's support. Other judges order the step-parent to pay the full table amount.
The judge makes a decision based on the facts of your situation.