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Child Support Obligation Attaches to Stepparent


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1/14/2016
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A husband and wife living in Pennsylvania went through a divorce that created a unique legal issue.  The wife had twin boys seven years prior to marrying the husband in this case.  They were married only for a few years before separating and then divorcing.  The wife wanted to move to California, and the husband filed for custody.  The court entered an emergency order to prevent the wife from moving until the matter could be resolved.  The court ultimately ruled in favor of granting the husband, and step-father, shared legal and physical custody of the children.  The wife then filed a claim for child support.  This claim was initially dismissed on the grounds that a stepparent does not owe child support, but normally a stepparent does not get custody rights either.  The wife appealed to the Pennsylvania state supreme court, which ruled that the stepfather does have a responsibility to pay child support since he also won the right to custody. In only a few states, stepparents may have visitation rights after divorce, but stepparent custody was largely unheard of before this decision.



Category: General


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