Department Human Services – Child Support (formerly Child Support Agency) cannot order a stepparent to pay child support.
A Court is the only body that can make an order for a stepparent to make child support payments if it is determined that it is proper for the stepparent to have that duty. However, a stepparent’s duty is always secondary to the duty of biological parent to maintain the child.
In determining whether it is proper for a stepparent to maintain a child, the Court will consider the following:
- Whether the child receives a proper level of financial support from the biological parents;
- The length and circumstances of the marriage or relationship between the stepparent and biological parent;
- The relationship between the stepparent and child;
- The arrangements that have existed for the maintenance of the child during the relationship;
- Any special circumstances which, if not taken into consideration, would result in injustice or undue hardship to any person.