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Am I required to pay for Step Child maintenence

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ifonlythelonely
ifonlythelonely Community member Posts: 26 Connected

Hi,

I just wanted some advice please. If my wife and myself divorced would I be required to pay any money for my step child legally? We have been together 10 years and married for 6. The child is 14.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks 🙂

Comments

  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
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    Not sure anyone here is in a position to answer this and also not clear how it relates to disability. Try Citizens Advice (if you can actually find one…)

  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,948 Disability Gamechanger
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    I don't think every post here needs to relate to disability @forgoodnesssake ❤️

    @ifonlythelonely, I don't think so, unless you've adopted them or signed for parental responsibility. Butttt I couldn't say for certain.

  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
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    @Biblioklept sorry, I was under the impression that as Scope's community forum all the threads except "coffee lounge" were about disability related matters. There are many other family and parent sites out there for general parent issues and so i always thought that this was specifically about parenting issues with some sort of disability relevance. If not then my worry would be that virtually all the topics could therefore become generalised and thus lose their disability focus.

    Please can someone from Scope clarify this issue?

  • ifonlythelonely
    ifonlythelonely Community member Posts: 26 Connected
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    Seems I've stirred up a wasps nest with my post!

    If someone at Scope could move my post to the Coffee Lounge or correct place (if there is one) I'd be happy with that. It was a genuine mistake. I was under the impression like the person above that the forum was for more than disability related issues.

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,386 Scope online community team
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    Hey everyone, we're a community connected by disability, members are free to talk about any topic that is important to them, be that parenting, dating, benefits, politics or anything else. We value different views and a wide range of discussions. If something is important to our members, they are welcome to talk about it here.

    This isn't my area of expertise so I can't answer in regards to the step-child maintenance issue, but I just wanted to let you know that it's in the right place, so no certainly no need to apologise @ifonlythelonely! 😊

    I've found two pieces of conflicting information online, so wouldn't want to mislead you as it seems it's not straightforward. It does seem though that Child Maintenance Service has no power to order a step parent to pay child maintenance. However, a court may be able to order under specific circumstances. Do you have anywhere in your area where you could get some free legal advice?

    Community Manager
    Scope
  • Kizzie58
    Kizzie58 Community member Posts: 68 Courageous
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    I would not worry about t. imagine if we had to join a different forum for each problem we had. 😱

    As for your question I know a few step parents who took the child on as their own and carried on paying after a split as they were considered a family unit.

  • WhatThe
    WhatThe Community member, Scope Member Posts: 1,250 Pioneering
    edited May 28
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    There's no rule stating we have to declare any or all disabilities! Those are personal matters. Many threads on this forum don't mention disability.

    Plus advice given will be read by others perhaps with a disability!

  • ifonlythelonely
    ifonlythelonely Community member Posts: 26 Connected
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    Thanks for your replies. I found it a grey area after doing some research. I don't think there is an outright law that as a step parent you are required to keep on paying. Like the above response I think that a court can lawfully decide that a step parent pay some form of child maintenance but it's based off the individual family setup. In that there is a big difference between being together for 1 year vs 10.

    Does anyone know off hand what age you are required to stop paying child maintenance? I assume 16 or 18.

    In regards to any local places that may help I have a Citizens Advice. Or failing that I assume solicitors still do a 30 minute free consultation.

  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 621 Pioneering
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    @ifonlythelonely

    If you have not legally adopted your stepchild, you do not automatically assume the same financial responsibilities as a biological parent. However, the possibility of financial contribution post-divorce may still exist, depending on several factors. A court may consider your stepchild as a "child of the family" if you have fulfilled a parental role and provided substantial financial support over an extended period. Factors such as the duration of your marriage, the nature of your relationship with your stepchild, and your financial capabilities will all be taken into account.


    Typically, child maintenance payments are required until the child turns 18. These payments can extend beyond this age if the child is still enrolled in full-time education, undergoing vocational training, or has a disability that impedes their ability to support themselves. The exact duration of child maintenance payments will vary based on your specific circumstances and the terms outlined in legal agreements or court orders.


    Given the complexity of family law, I strongly recommend you consult with a solicitor who specialises in this field.

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