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Grandparents and Child Support Payments

Posted by J. Benjamin Stevens | Oct 01, 2013 | 0 Comments

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A recent newspaper article out of Pennsylvania discussed how one grandmother had petitioned the court to award her child support from her daughter's killer, given that she had been named the primary custodian for her grandchild. Many people were surprised by the case, unaware that someone other than a custodial parent could petition for child support payments from a non-custodial parent.

Here in South Carolina, similar laws exist that with regard to grandparents and child support, as they are allowed to seek it for the children in their care. The state allows these kinship caregivers, meaning grandparents or other relatives, to obtain child support on behalf of the children in their care. Not only is this permissible, in some cases where the grandparents are receiving other state money, they are required to cooperate with the state's Child Support Enforcement office in collecting child support from the non-custodial parent.

The discussion of grandparents receiving child support payments sparked a larger conversation about other unusual child support arrangements across the country, including here in South Carolina. One such unusual arrangement here in South Carolina exists when grandparents are forced to pay child support for their grandchildren, essentially the opposite of what we just discussed. South Carolina Code Section 20-7-936 specifically notes that the Child Support Enforcement office can pursue grandparents for payments when a child is born to an unmarried minor.

The law grew out of a federal act that listed a variety of ways states could ensure that children were adequately supported. South Carolina is one of thirteen states to have laws on the books that hold grandparents financially responsible for supporting the children of their own minor children. Though the situation may be odd, they are not unheard of and those facing a South Carolina child support fight should seek advice from a family law attorney who understands the ins and outs of the system.

Source: “Maternal grandmother seeks child support from Pa. researcher accused in wife's cyanide killing,” by The Associated Press, published at FoxNews.com.

About the Author

J. Benjamin Stevens

Aggressive, creative, and compassionate are words Ben Stevens' colleagues freely use to describe him as a divorce and family law attorney. Ben is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and is a Board Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocates. He is one of only four attorneys in South Carolina with those simultaneous distinctions. To schedule a consultation with Ben Stevens call (864) 598-9172.

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