Does a Non-Biological Parent Have to Pay Child Support?

In Arizona, the law provides that every child should receive support from both of his or her parents. This is true under virtually all circumstances. Child support can’t be waived in a prenuptial agreement and a parent who doesn’t see his or her kids will generally still be obliged to pay money to support them. 

The responsibility for child support usually falls on a biological parent. A non-biological parent is generally not going to have to pay child support. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. A Scottsdale, AZ divorce lawyer can help you to determine if your particular case falls within an exception and if a non-biological parent will have to pay in your case.  Singer Pistiner, P.C. has helped many individuals and couples with issues related to child support and we can put our legal knowledge and experience to work on your case. Call as soon as possible for help.

When Does a Non-Biological Parent Have to Pay Child Support?

A non-biological parent will have to pay child support in any situation where the parent has adopted a child. This includes when a parent has adopted children through a private adoption or adopted a child out of foster care. This is true whether the child was adopted internationally or from a domestic adoption agency.  If a parent adopts a child, that relationship becomes permanent and the parent has every responsibility to the child that a biological parent would.  A parent who adopts a step-child is also going to have this same responsibility and will have to pay child support after a divorce or a separation.  The adoption of a step-child is not reversed even when a divorce occurs. An adoptive parent has both the responsibility to pay support as well as a right to shared custody of a child.

Outside of an adoption situation, it is rare for a non-biological parent to have to pay child support. However, this could occur if a parent has put his name on a birth certificate for a child that turns out not to actually be his. While it may sometimes be possible to de-establish paternity after the fact, when a parent has taken responsibility and claimed a child as his own, he is usually going to be held responsible for that child even if the child turns out not to be his and no formal adoption occurred.

Because there are many situations where an adoptive parent ends up being responsible for child support for many years after a divorce or a separation, it is important to carefully consider whether an adoption should occur.  Before adopting a step-child, talk to an attorney about what this decision could mean for your future.

If you are trying to get child support for your child or if you believe you are improperly being asked to pay support for a child that is not yours, contact an experienced Scottsdale, AZ divorce lawyer at Singer Pistiner, P.C.  Our attorneys are here and ready to help and can bring our legal background and experience to work for your case.

To learn more, please download our free My Spouse Fight for Custody here.


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