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P. Anthony Dietrich
P. Anthony Dietrich, Business Owner, Writer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  ACLU Work Experience, Work Exp. with Major Political Party - Organizer, Law Enforcement Experience
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Can a grandparent be held to pay child support

Customer Question

(Now I am a divorced father)
My son is 17 he will be 18 in june this year.
Hes girl friend turned 18 in December 2005
They had a child in december 2005.
She wants me to sign some paper work that states that Sean my son ) is the father.
The paper work also state that I may have to pay child support. Now I refuse to sign the paper work I would rather that they do the test to prove Sean is the father by the lag of time Sean should be 18. Now how can the courts hold the gran parents responsible to pay child support.
If the law can how about my X-wife and the mothers parents. This just doesnt seem right.
When she was pregnant her family turned there backs on her and I took her in. I feed her clothed her and took her back and forth to her hospital appointments.
So how can I legally be held responsible for child support. Lashay the mother has told me her parents had her on birth control pills but she stopped taking them because she wanted to get pregnant.



Optional Information:
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Already Tried:
N/A





Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Anthony Dietrich replied 8 years ago.
From my understanding, Wisconsin enacted a law formally called the "Wisconsin Grandparent Liability Law". This law and its implications are often called "Grandparent Liability". Basically, this law states that after the identity of a minor's child (in this case, your son) is determined by the court, the minor's child (your grandchild) is entitled to equal financial resources from both parents. Since your son is considered a minor and, in the eyes of this law, you are obligated to care for his needs as a minor. Since, under Wisconsin law, one of the needs of a father is to provide support for his children, if he cannot provide such assistance, then it is your responsibility to assist him in fullfilling his needs (obligations). From my understanding, your son's girlfriend is 18, so her parents are no longer obligated to care for her (and hence, her child). However, if the child was born BEFORE she turned 18, then your son's girlfriend's parents would also be equally responsible for support up until the time your son's girlfriend turned 18.

This situation does not seem as bad as it could be. You are required to help pay for expenses (i.e. medical bills) only up to the point when your son turns 18 (after that, he is no longer your dependent). If your son's girlfriend was under 18 at the time of birth, then they to would be retroactively responsible for costs of all events (care, medical expenses) equally until the time she turned of age - at this point, she is responsible for her portion of the child care.

I know this sound's a little confusing, and I would strongly suggest you consult with an attorney before you sign ANYTHING. If there is even the slightest chance that your son is not the father, then, of course, there is little chance of any financial obligations on his (or your) end.

As far as your son's girlfriend being on birth control (or not) - this fact is irrelevant. Not only can birth controal fail, it is assumed that when two people of the age of consent engage in sexual intercourse, they are aware that there is some chance of pregnancy.

Lastly, for your information, this law was passed so that parents of minors would have a stake in preventing their children from having children basically you are repsonsible for your child's sexual actions. Lawmakers hoped that if the parents had an incentive to prevent teenage pregnancy, the teenage birth rate would drop.

If you want to read the complete Grandparent Liability law, you can go to this web address:

http://folio.legis.state.wi.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=19776093&infobase=stats.nfo&jump=ch.%2049

The actual law is contained at 49.90 (they are in numberical order).

I hope this helps.
P. Anthony Dietrich, Business Owner, Writer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 84
Experience: ACLU Work Experience, Work Exp. with Major Political Party - Organizer, Law Enforcement Experience
P. Anthony Dietrich and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This is so stupid there is no way parents can be with there children 24/7 unless these law makers want to pass a bill where as parents get paid to stay home just to do this.
This is an uncostitutional law how can a person be held responsible for anothers actions.
Children have killed there own parents so I guess the parent was responsible then for thier own murders

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P. Anthony Dietrich
P. Anthony Dietrich
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ACLU Work Experience, Work Exp. with Major Political Party - Organizer, Law Enforcement Experience