Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Your question, as I understand it, is can the court order a non-custodial parent to pay child support for a child that is not legally bound to them, on the grounds that that child has no other father to support them.
My answer: No, not usually. The court can only order a parent to pay child support for a child that they have a legal relationship with. You have a legal relationship with a child when the child was born during a marriage, OR the father named himself on the birth certificate, OR later told a Judge he was the biological father and accepted legal responsibility, OR took a court ordered DNA test that showed a biological relationship and a Judge declared him to be the father OR the father adopted the child in a court of law.
If none of these things have happened, a court will not order a father to pay child support for a child that is not legally his, even if the child in question has no living father.
Ah, got it. Yes, if you are caring for another child that's legally your child and you're being ordered to pay for child support on a different child, the court should take that into consideration. It's usually a blanket percentage reduction, not a dollar for dollar reduction based on expenses. So hypothetically, if normally you were ordered to pay 20% child support on child A, if you were also supporting Child B, then the percentage on child A would go down to 17% percent. Each state is different in how they make the adjustment.
It is totally state dependent. What state are you in?
Based on Rule 1910.16-5, it's something that likely can be considered by a finder of fact or Judge in your case. It's not a line item deduction on the child support calculations for PA, so it'd be at the Judge's discretion.