CALIFORNIA: Father Must Pay Child Support to Stepfather

Father must Pay Child Support to Stepfather for 18 year-old Highschool Student

July 07, 2007, Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, Sacramento: After death of mother (M), father (F) shared custody of their daughter (D), with her stepfather (SF). The Court ordered F to pay SF $ 900 each month in child support.

One month before turning 18, and Four months before graduation of D from high school, F filed papers with the Court to reduce the child support to zero.

The trial court denied F’s motion. The Appellate Court confirmed. On appeal, F argued that as a matter of law, absent express agreement, a trial court cannot order a parent to pay support to third parties. F also agreed neither he nor SF had “primary physical responsibility” for D therefore the guideline support should not be maintained.

The Appellate Court rejected both arguments and found that : 1) The F’s offer to the court to pay $ 900 per month in support was an expressed agreement, and 2) A pre-18th birthday guideline child support will continue after the child’s 18th birthday when she is a full time high school student.

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