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If the child isn’t biologically mine, I don’t have to pay child support.


If you were married to the child’s parent, or lived in a relationship of interdependence of some permanence with the child’s parent, and if you treated the child as if the child was your own (this is also called “standing in the place of a parent”), you may have to pay child support.

There are many factors that a judge will look at to decide if you stood in the place of a parent. Some of these are:

  • the child’s age and how long you have had a relationship with the child;
  • whether you treated the child as you would your own (including how involved you were in the child’s care, activities, education, and discipline);
  • whether the child thinks of you as a parent;
  • if you are now living apart, whether there has been continued contact, or attempts at contact; and
  • whether you provided any sort of financial support for the child.

If you are found to have “stood in the place of a parent,” you will pay some support. However, biological or adoptive parents may have greater obligations to pay child support. Therefore, you may pay less child support than would normally be required by the Child Support Guidelines.

Last Reviewed: October 2015