Who is obligated to pay CHILD SUPPORT?
Are you in a relationship with someone who has a child, and concerned that you might be asked to pay child support for that child?
WHO IS OBLIGATED TO SUPPORT A CHILD?
For child support obligation to be determined, the person bringing a claim for child support must first establish that the other person is a parent of the child as defined under the law.
Establishing if a person is a parent of a child and should pay child support.
Other than a person who is established to be:
- a biological parent;
- parent through assisted reproduction;
- a parent through surrogacy; or
- a parent through adoption,
an individual found to be a person standing in the place of a parent would also become obligated to pay child support for a child(ren).
A person standing in the place of a parent or loco parentis
Someone is considered a person standing in the place of a parent if that person:
- is married to the child’s biological parent;
- was in a consistent or committed relationship with the child’s biological parent;
- has demonstrated interest in being a parent to the child;
- has presented themselves as a parent to that child;
- has applied or plans to apply for guardianship of the child;
- has shown interest in adopting the child;
- has shown interest in changing the child’s surname to that person’s surname; or
- has demonstrated a settled intention to treat the child as their own child by either encouraging the child to perceive them as a parental figure, continue to have contact with the child or attempt to contact the child after that person separated from the child’s parent.
Flowing child support obligation
Where an individual is found or established to be a person standing in the place of a parent, then they would become obligated to pay support for the child until the child is no longer a child of the relationship for child support purposes.
This means when a person has been established to have a responsibility of a parent to a child, that person’s obligation for child support starts flowing immediately and until the child:
- turns 18 years old;
- gets married;
- gets into a committed adult-interdependent relationship; or
- voluntarily withdraws from his or her parents’ charge and is living an independent lifestyle.
Please contact Osuji & Smith family lawyers for any questions you may have regarding parenting rights.
Author: Lucy Mewanu-Mensah