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Does a nonbiological parent have to pay child support?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2023 | Same Sex Family Law Issues |

In the evolving landscape of family dynamics, questions about child support after divorce often arise, particularly when it comes to nonbiological parents in same-sex marriages.

Texas family law does not distinguish between heterosexual and same-sex couples in matters of child support, but it is important to understand the implications for nonbiological parents.

Understanding the basics

When a same-sex couple with children decides to part ways, child support becomes a significant consideration. The court’s primary concern is the well-being of the child, regardless of the parents’ gender or biological connection. The court bases the nonbiological parent’s responsibility for child support on various factors.

Legal parentage matters

Texas law recognizes the legal parentage of both spouses in a same-sex marriage. If the nonbiological parent has legally adopted the child or is a legal parent through other means, they may be subject to child support obligations. Legal parentage solidifies the responsibilities and rights of each parent, ensuring equitable consideration in the event of a divorce.

Financial capacity assessment

In the absence of a legal parentage determination, the court assesses the financial capacity of both parents. This evaluation includes income, assets and any financial contributions made during the marriage. The court aims to establish a fair and reasonable child support arrangement that meets the child’s needs.

In 2021, the U.S. had 1.2 million same-sex couple households. Even though the idea of family is changing, not all couples stay together. When a separation involves children, couples need to understand their legal standing and prepare for the court’s assessment based on the child’s best interest.