17 year old step child- bio dad and I are living apart


My husband and I split over a year ago and he worked nights, so he agreed that his child could move out with me when he and I split. Now he has stopped paying support. He RECEIVES support from the biological mother and keeps it. When I ask for money for things for school or other expenses, he demands that the child ask him directly for these “favors” - his word, not mine.

I don’t want the money for me, but a teenager shouldn’t have to pay all of their own expenses, especially things related to graduation. The child’s mom agrees with me, she lives out of state and the child doesn’t want to move there. Graduation is in February - a semester early. The child is also taking college classes. And working 30 hours a week to afford expenses.

What are our options to get this kid some support? I don’t think it’s custody, it wouldn’t happen before the 18th birthday anyway.

Isn’t this fraudulent for dad to do this?

BTW - the last custody order entered this year acknowledges that the child lives with me the majority of the time. That was when dad and I were on better terms and the child saw him more regularly. Now, there is no contact that is not child initiated and dad saying that it is a gift from him to pay for anything that the child needs. NOTHING is paid for by dad, no clothes, shoes, doc visits, housing, food, toiletries, gas, etc. Actually, let me clarify, he does pay the cell phone bill and the car/health insurance premiums. But that is all.

There has got to be a statute somewhere that he is violating and can be used to make him support his kid. The last time the kid asked for money, he said NO - I am using it to pay the lawyers expenses that I have accrued by having to fight your mother in court.

This is such a mess. Any help?

PS - I am deliberately using terms that are not gender specific to attempt to keep this somewhat anonymous.


The courts won’t micromanage where exactly the child support payments are going, but the child’s mother should file a motion for contempt stating that he isn’t using the funds for the child. If she is paying, and he is just pocketing the money while the child lives with you, he can be held in contempt. The judge may order that retroactive support be furnished to you since the child has been in your custody.