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Child support guidelines for minor parents

Some North Carolina parents might be surprised to learn that if their minor child has a baby, they may be responsible for paying child support. When both parents of the baby are minors, both sets of living grandparents are equally responsible for the baby's expenses until the the youngest parent reaches age 18 or is emancipated.

The North Carolina child support guidelines are different if one of the parents is an adult and the other is a minor. In this case, the adult parent is responsible for their own portion of financial support while the parents of the minor parent remain responsible for their child's financial obligations to the baby. However, if the adult parent fails to pay child support, his or her parents are responsible for any delinquent amount. The grandparents' responsibly ends when the other parent reaches 18 or becomes emancipated.

In some cases, a person who has cared for a minor who is not their biological child may be held financially responsible if that minor has a baby. A judge will review the circumstances and determine whether the family caregiver, step-parent or other adult caretaker should pay child support. The minor parent's biological parents may still be required to financially support their child.

Child support issues can be complex when minor parents are involved. An attorney who has experience in family law matters can explain the guidelines and tell grandparents what they can expect throughout the court process. If the grandparents have special circumstances, an attorney may explain their situation to the judge to ensure the child support obligation is distributed fairly among all of the living grandparents.

Source: Women's Law, "When a parent is a minor", December 03, 2014

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