Main Line Family Law Attorney Michael co-chairs Obermayer’s Family Law Group. He focuses his practice on child custody, child support, and divorce, including the negotiation and litigation of domestic relations cases, divorce,...Read More by Author
A Stepparent Was Ordered to Pay Child Support in Pennsylvania Custody Order?
Generally, in Pennsylvania, stepparents do not have a duty to support their stepchildren. However, in the A.S. case, the stepfather was found liable because he was “relentless” in his pursuit of parental duties of the stepchildren, and after a lot of court trials obtained equal physical and legal custody of the children and convinced the court to not allow the mother to move to California with the children. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said that in limited circumstances such as these, where the stepparent “instigates litigation to achieve all the rights of parenthood at the cost of interfering with the rights of a fit parent” the stepparent may have a duty to pay child support.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court was clear in stating that it was not creating a broad new class of stepparent support obligors; but it is important to know that there are some situations where a stepparent may have a duty to pay child support for a stepchild, as in the A.S. case.