With more marriages and remarriages happening today, men and women regularly become stepparents to minor children. For instance, 57 percent of divorcees aged 35 to 44 years old walk down the aisle again. The same holds true for 63 percent of 45 to 54-year-olds and 67 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds. Ideally, step parenting forges a special bond as the children grow to know and love their new parent, and vice versa. Yet, it can also lead to questions about child support if the stepparent and biological parent divorce. Specifically, a child support lawyer can help address any questions and concerns stepparents have during the divorce process, as these cases can become complicated and confusing.
Child Support Considerations for Stepparents
In most cases, stepparents who have not legally adopted their stepchildren are not obligated to pay any formal type of child support after divorce. However, this does not mean that a stepparent has no connection to child support. Certain factors do come into play that can pull a stepparent into the child support discussion.
For example, a stepmother may insert herself between the stepchild and their biological mother. Perhaps the stepmother believes the biological mother does not deserve a relationship with her child. In this case, the stepmother may spend years assuming a maternal role, creating reliance and expectation. The child ultimately breaks ties with their biological mother due to the interference of the stepmother. However, if the stepmother and biological father divorce, the stepchild is now without the maternal figure she depended upon for a long time. Though this is somewhat of an unusual situation, courts have previously ruled that these step parenting cases warrant payment of child support because the child became completely dependent on the stepmother; a role the stepmother actively sought.
Somerville Child Support Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients with Child Support Issues
Becoming a stepparent can lead to a wonderful new relationship, but it can often raise legal questions, especially surrounding child support after a divorce. Determining your core rights and expected responsibilities upfront can help you understand what to expect during and after the divorce process. The Somerville child support lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. can help clients understand the complexities associated with step parenting. Call us at 908-575-9777 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Somerville, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.