Will Remarriage Affect My Obligation To Pay Child Support?
Ending a marriage usually comes with a lot of questions for couples. This is especially true for those who share children, as they will need to contend not only with issues related to property division and alimony, but also with matters involving child support and time-sharing. Often, these questions don’t arise when a divorce is finalized, but years later when the circumstances of one or both of the co-parents have changed. Remarriage, for instance, can leave a parent wondering how that new relationship will affect his or her legal obligations to pay child support.
How is Child Support Awarded?
Florida judges consider several factors when determining what is a reasonable amount of child support. These factors include:
- The child’s needs, including his or her education costs;
- The family’s custody arrangement;
- The parents’ health;
- The number of children being supported; and
- The parents’ net incomes.
Once a family’s income and expenses have been calculated, the court will determine child support based on how much time the child spends with each parent. While they are normally required to stick to a set of predetermined guidelines when doing so, they can deviate from the calculated amount if extraordinary circumstances require it.
Remarriage and Child Support
In Florida, courts don’t automatically take a new spouse’s income into account when a parent who pays child support gets remarried. If, however, a remarriage results in a drastic change in financial status for the paying parent, then the other parent could ask the court to alter the support agreement to reflect that change. For instance, if a parent with primary custody of a child remarried someone with a considerable income, the court could choose to lower the other parent’s support payment amount.
A non-custodial parent’s remarriage could also affect a child support agreement. If, for instance, a non-custodial parent remarries and has children with a new spouse, the court could decrease how much child support that parent owes in recognition of the new financial obligations to his or her family. Courts will rarely, however, increase a non-custodial parent’s child support payment only because he or she got remarried and now has additional shared income.
Could Your Child Support Obligation Change?
If you are concerned about your child support obligation changing due to remarriage, you may want to consider a few things, including whether your household expenses have increased. If, for instance, your remarriage has led to new children or additional childcare or medical expenses, you could be eligible for a reduction in support. Any request for modification will be granted in recognition of these increased expenses, and not necessarily because of remarriage. You’ll also want to look at your income and see if it has changed drastically. This could affect how much you pay in child support. Again, a new spouse’s income won’t be a variable in this calculation.
Set Up a Free Consultation Today
To schedule a consultation with dedicated and compassionate Fort Lauderdale child support modification lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A., please call 954-945-7591 or complete one of our online contact forms today.