Previously, we’ve discussed what you can do if you are worried about your grandchildren’s safety around their parents. We’ve also discussed the rights that stepparents have when it comes to their stepchildren. If you are taking custody of your grandchildren or stepchildren, then you might be wondering what the next step is. It may seem strange to some for grandparents or step parents to seek child support. But in certain circumstances, non-parent caretakers are entitled to that support. It’s important for both caretakers and the child under their care that they support them to the best of your ability.
The Child Support Guidelines dictate how people who are not the biological parents of a child can still receive child support. Someone who provides “primary care and supervision of a child” are known as “caretakers” under the Guidelines. A caretaker can be a parent, a non-parent person, or an “entity”, like the Department of Children’s Services. If you are a grandparent or stepparent taking care of a child, you would be considered a “non-parent caretaker”.
IF YOU HAVE PHYSICAL CUSTODY OF THE CHILD YOU’RE CARING FOR…
…you have all you need to petition for child support, according to Tennessee Code Annotated 36-5-101(b)(1). If you are a non-parent caretaker with physical custody – as opposed to legal custody – of a child, you are designated the child’s Primary Residential Parent. This title is also given to the parent awarded the majority of a child’s custody under a Permanent Parenting Plan.
HOWEVER, CHILD SUPPORT IS CALCULATED DIFFERENTLY WHEN A NON-PARENT CARETAKER IS INVOLVED.
Usually, it can be reduced or increased depending on how much money a parent makes. But the income of non-parent caretakers is not considered when determining child support – even if you, as a non-parent caretaker, have a higher income than the parent. You can also ask for support from both of the child’s parents.
If you are caring for a child that is not your own, you already have enough to worry about. It can be complicated to petition for child support for grandparents or step-parents. Mistakes are difficult to correct. For that reason, having an attorney handle these numbers for you and speak to the court on your behalf can be a load off your mind. It’s also a good way to make sure you have the resources to support the child you’re responsible for. The attorneys at Held Law Firm are standing by to help you, and we’re only a phone call away!
If you are seeking child support for your grandchildren or nonbiological kids, the attorneys at Held Law Firm would be glad to help. Call 865-685-4780 to schedule a case assessment.
The information in this blog is accurate as of the time of publication, but laws often change. That’s why it’s important to hire an attorney who keeps up with these changes. Contact us today.