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Especially in these troubled times, grandparents often contribute to the support of their grandchildren: subsidizing or paying outright for their education or extracurricular activities or providing for such amenities as vacation or club memberships. The parents (and sometimes the grandparents) are often curious about whether the court can order such largess to continue after the court proceedings are concluded.

The short answer is no.

The court cannot order the grandparents to pay monthly support or subsidize the children’s lifestyle unless they are part of the case, such as theoretically when the grandparents have intervened in a case or filed an independent action for grandparent rights. Even in a case where the grandparent’s have been granted visitation, the chances of a financial obliga6tion being imposed on them are extremely slim.

There is one situation where grandparents can be court ordered to pay child support for a grandchild. When their unemancipated child becomes a parent (either mother or father) and the custodial parent is receiving public assistance, the parents (grandparents) of the non-custodial parents of the (grand) child may be ordered to pay child support.

Such orders are rare, and unheard of in St. Louis County.