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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30389
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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What is my financial responsibility for my ex wife's 18 year

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what is my financial responsibility for my ex wife's 18 year old son still in high school in north carolina? he is a somewhat troubled teen who has issues with authority or house rules (few teenagers don't!). after our divorce, he was kicked out by his mom twice and stayed with me full-time when he was 16 for 6 months and then again at 17 for 9 months. the last round he started giving me trouble (something about turning 18 years old) and didn't want to follow rules concerning his girlfriend and late night excursions despite multiple warnings and concerns about the impression on our younger children. So we decided that he wants to be his own adult. We ended up moving about 30 minutes away from his school so needless to say he decided not to move with us and we were fine with that given current events. He stays with a friend. His mother is paying $300/month to the family and other items. He gets a $600 check/month from Social Security for his biological fathers disability. I feel its time for him to feel the burden of adulthood and learn a life lesson from the real-world. My ex is asking that I pay 50-60% of everything including a cosmetic dental procedure for $7k.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

You have no legal obligations whatsoever toward your ex-wife's son from another relationship unless (a) you formally adopted him at some point (and it doesn't sound like you did) or (b) you agreed to support him as part of a divorce settlement. The default position in North Carolina is that child support will continue until a child graduates high school if they haven't graduated by age 18, so that would apply - but only if you voluntarily took on the legal obligation to support him at some point. Marrying her does NOT obligate you to pay for children she had before you got married. She should be talking to the biological father about paying those expenses. You don't have to pay anything.

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Do you have any other questions about this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry. Life got busy. The wording in our agreement is a bit unclear to me. Under the child custody and support sections it specifies we will keep the 3 kids (step and 2 biological) together and on same schedule in their best interest giving me certain custody rights but not legally (I'm paraphrasing). Under the separate support section it is very general and just states that we will split expenses for our minor children with the high school clause you stated. It does not specifically include my ex's stepson.

That's OK.

If the order is phrased in any sort of "children of the marriage" or "children of the couple," then you can argue that it doesn't apply to your stepson. In fact, unless there is ANY language that suggests he's covered by the order, he's not. Because you never adopted him.

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