Limited Child Support for Stepchildren
A stepparent has no legal obligation to support a stepchild under common law; however, twenty states (Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Washington) have statutes requiring a stepparent to support stepchildren. These statutes are codifications of the doctrine of in loco parentis, which holds that an adult who voluntarily acts as a parent assumes the obligation of support, but no statute or interpretation of in loco parentis requires that a stepparent support a stepchild when the stepparent and stepchild no longer live as a family. Of note is the presence or absence of a noncustodial natural parent (who is usually a father) is not critical to establishing an in loco parentis obligation.
Most states do not consider stepchildren to be children of a subsequent marriage in support guidelines.
Useful Online Tools
Resources & Tools
CHANGE IN STANDARD OF LIVING – Divorced parenting means dealing with a reduced standard of living. This is a common and often unavoidable risk in divorced families because maintaining economic stability is clearly a protective factor for children.
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Online Custody Tracking
Custody JunctionTMallows you to schedule, track and monitor current and future custody, visitation, and support arrangements. You can develop and share a detailed parenting calendar, track all scheduled and non-scheduled parenting events, and generate valuable statistical reports for personal or legal use.
Online Parenting Plans
3StepParentingPlanTM uses cutting-edge online software to create your Parenting Plan. Using a smart question-and-answer application, 3StepParentingPlanTM gets you a fully customized Parenting Plan in a little more than half of a lawyerÕs billable hour.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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