Grandparent Child Support
Grandparent child support – Every state in the United States has laws regarding child support and one commonality remains clear between them all – that parents have a duty to provide support to their children. This duty does not depend on marriage because as a matter of public policy, any biological or adoptive parent has a moral obligation to care for their own child. This blog will attempt to clarify whether or not grandparents are required to provide support to grandchildren who are under their care and custody.
What Does the Law Have to Say About Grandparent Child Support?
Under common law principles, grandparents owe no duty to support a child. There is an exception to this rule. When a grandparent is standing in loco parentis, or “in the place of the parent,” then there may be obligation to support the child under their care; however, this obligation is still secondary to a parent’s obligation to provide for the child. This means that grandparents who have full care and custody of a child are under an obligation to support the child if the parents are unable to.
North Carolina Law
N.C. General Statute § 50-13.4 discusses the support of a minor child. Section (b) of the statute states that the father and mother of the child will be responsible for support of their child; however, the statute also specifies that if the mother and father of the child is a minor, that the grandparents share a primary liability for their grandchildren’s support until the minor parent turns eighteen, or becomes emancipated.
Right of Grandparents to Collect Child Support
As previously mentioned, a grandparent’s duty to provide support to a grandchild is secondary to the child’s biological or adoptive parents. This means that even if the child’s parents do not have custody, they still have a right to provide support to the child. If there is a situation where the child’s grandparents have custody, the grandparents may sue for child support that they have not received. Failure of a parent to support for their child may result in a termination of parental rights to their child.
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