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Family law: Financial duties of unmarried parents to their kids

Having children, in most cases, is a life-long commitment. In any case, it is a financial commitment until they turn 18 years of age, even when the parents of the children were never married. In Alberta, family law stipulates that parents have the legal obligation to support their children and that includes financially. A parent has a financial duty to his or her child even if that parent doesn't play a role in raising the child or didn't wish to have a child at all.

There are grey areas in some situations such as financially supporting a child that is not related biologically. If the person had a role to play in raising that child, it could turn out that he or she may have to support the child financially. The nonbiological parent in an unmarried, same-sex couple situation may also be ordered to pay child support in some circumstances. 

If the amount of payment might cause undue financial hardship, a family court judge may reduce the amount if the payor can prove such a circumstance. The marital status of the child's other payment may also affect the amount of support as well. But in Alberta, there is almost no situation when a parent is not financially obligated to his or her child.

Alberta residents who have questions regarding the role they're legally obliged to play in their children's lives, may wish to consult with a family law lawyer. A lawyer may be able to further expound on the grey areas that may provoke questions. Those areas may include child support and child custody. 

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