Can Grandparents be Required to Pay Child Support?
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Can Grandparents be Required to Pay Child Support?

Sep 8, 2023 | Articles, Child Custody, Child Support

By:  Mary Ellen Flynn, Esq.

In Maryland, the child’s biological or adoptive parents are required to support their children.

Sometimes, a child’s grandparents are most suited or willing to raise a child. In this case, a grandparent may be awarded child support to be paid to them by the parent(s) to assist the grandparent in paying for the things the child needs.

Grandparents are not typically required to pay child support.

However, there is a rare instance when a grandparent becomes a de facto parent. A de facto parent is a third-party person who can be found by the court to essentially be the child’s parent and, therefore, be required to support the child financially. In Maryland, a de facto parent is statutorily defined once a person has been established as a de facto parent, they can be ordered to pay child support, regardless of whether or not they are the biological or adoptive parent to the child. If a grandparent is not a de facto parent for their grandchild, then it is unlikely that they will be ordered to pay child support.

Grandparents are often the first family members who take on the responsibility of raising a grandchild when the parents are unable to.

Maryland law allows for grandparents to ask for custody and visitation rights, but it is unlikely that the court will award either if the parents object unless the grandparents can show that the parents are unfit or there are exceptional circumstances.

If you are a grandparent caring for your grandchild and are in need of assistance with obtaining custody or child support, please contact me at 301-563-6685 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.

About Andalman & Flynn, P.C.: Founded in 1998 in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, Andalman & Flynn has forged a distinguished reputation for legal excellence. The Firm practices family lawestate planning, and probate throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia, and represents individuals seeking disability benefits throughout the country. The Firm focuses on cases that impact the rights of everyone and is there for clients when responsive legal help is most critical. The Firm has provided legal analysis on national and local television and radio, and its attorneys often testify before legislative bodies and are routinely invited to contribute to prominent legal publications. For more information about Andalman & Flynn, please visit the website at or call 301.563.6685.