3.1.4 Orders for Step-parents to Pay Child Maintenance

Context

A court can make a child maintenance order requiring a step-parent to provide financial support for their step-child if satisfied that the step-parent has a duty to maintain the child.

Act references

CSA Act section 25, section 117(10)

FL Act section 66D, section 66M, section 66N

Family Court Act 1997 (WA)

On this page

A person can apply to the Registrar for an assessment of child support payable by a natural or adoptive parent of a child (section 25).

A person cannot apply for a child support assessment payable by a step-parent of a child.

A person can apply to a court for an order requiring a step-parent to provide financial support for their step-child. The court will make such an order only if satisfied that the step-parent has a duty to maintain the child (FL Act sections 66D, 66M and 66N).

Who can apply?

As for all child maintenance orders (3.1.3).

How can an order be changed?

As for all child maintenance orders (3.1.3).

When does an order end?

As for all child maintenance orders (3.1.3).

Step-children, child maintenance orders & child support assessments

The Registrar can treat a step-child as a relevant dependent child of a parent in a child support assessment if:

  • a court has made an order requiring the parent to provide financial support for the step-child (4.3.4), and
  • the parent has at least shared care of their step-child.

See 4.3.4 'Orders in relation to step-children' for more information.

From 1 July 2008, the Registrar can treat a step-child as a resident child of a parent, if no-one else can financially support the step-child (section 117(10)). This means parents may be able to have step-children considered administratively, when calculating child support, without the requirement to obtain court orders (see 2.6).

Last reviewed: 1 July 2016