With the increasing number of individuals other than parents raising children, the question of whether these third parties can incur child support obligations is being presented to the courts.  As a matter of public policy, courts want to encourage the involvement of third parties when either or both parents are unable to care for their children. For this reason, courts have historically been disinclined to impose support obligations on third parties.

Yet not surprisingly, third parties who take custody of children may face claims for child support by either the parents or other third parties. The rationale for these claims is that since the third party is entitled to substantial custodial rights, they should be required to share in the financial obligations attendant with raising a child.

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