The law in every U.S. state agree that a child’s parents are obligated to provide and care for their child. However, under certain circumstances, this obligation can be transferred to the grandparents.
In Loco Parentis
In loco parentis is Latin for “in the place of the parent” and may be used to require that a grandparent pay child support. This legal action can only be ordered after a grandparent has accepted custody of their grandchildren. For example, if the grandparents become legal custodians of their grandchildren and then get divorced, the noncustodial grandparent could be ordered to pay child support.
According to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, grandparents may be held accountable for child support payments of their grandchildren under certain circumstances. North Carolina is one of 13 states that acknowledge this act as law.
By this law, the state can mandate grandparents to pay child support to a custodial parents who is under the age of 18 if the noncustodial parent is also under the age of 18 and unable to pay support. This responsibility lasts until the parent meant to pay child support is a legal adult or is legally emancipated.
If only one parent was under 18 (or emancipated) at the time of the child’s conception, the legal adult will have primary responsibility for supporting the child and the grandparents of the minor will be liable for the remainder.
All grandparents are responsible for child support payments if the parent who should be paying child support does not make good on the payments. This responsibility will last until the parent receiving payments is a legal adult.
Protecting Your Best Interests
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