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Do stepparents have to pay child support on divorce?

During a divorce, most people know that their children require child support from one parent (in the majority of cases). What people don't often think about is how stepchildren are taken care of in that situation.

For example, if you are on your second marriage and have a child with a former spouse, your new spouse may agree to take on the financial responsibility of your child. If you go through a divorce, there may be a disagreement, though, on if the other parent should pay child support or if it's only the biological father or mother who will continue to pay. The situation becomes complicated, especially if the ex-stepparent wants to continue to be in the child's life.

In reality, the most important thing in any blended-family situation is to make sure that children feel supported, loved and equal. Parents, including biological and stepparents, should sit down together to discuss what will happen upon divorce. Yes, it is the biological parent's responsibility to continue to pay support in most instances. However, if a stepparent was the breadwinner or supported the child financially, they could be held responsible for those costs in the future, too. There is no easy solution, especially since these situations can become very complicated.

If you're going through a second divorce with children or stepchildren, it's worth sitting down and getting to know the laws that could affect you. Stepparents do sometimes pay child support, so you should learn more and find out what to expect. It is rare for stepparents to have to take on the financial obligations of a stepchild's needs, but it is possible.

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