How Do Subsequent Children Impact Your Child Support Obligations in Florida?
If you were ordered to pay child support, you have an obligation to provide adequate financial support to cover such essential items as your child’s shelter, food, clothing, education, medical care, and other necessities.
But what if you have subsequent children from a new relationship or remarriage? Does having a child with another parent impact your existing child support obligations?
Does the Birth of Subsequent Children Terminate Child Support?
In short, no, neither remarriage nor childbirth terminates your legal responsibility to pay child support. In Florida, the only way to end the child support order is when the child becomes an adult. However, there are exceptions.
Read more about what happens to your child support order and parenting plan when your child goes to college in Orlando or elsewhere in Florida.
As a matter of fact, Floridian parents still have a duty to pay child support even after their death. If that is the case, the parent’s estate will have to pay the remaining balance.
Still, you may be able to modify your child support obligation if you can prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Consult our Orlando child support attorney at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee to find out how to terminate or modify your child support obligation.
Do Subsequent Children Qualify As a ‘Substantial Change in Circumstances’?
Under Florida’s family law, if one parent is awarded sole parental responsibility, he or she receives child support payments from the other parent.
The amount of those child support payments depends on the type of child custody/shared parental responsibility, the parents’ net monthly income, the number of children, daycare costs, and other factors. However, there are cases when Florida courts can deviate from the child support guidelines.
But can the birth of subsequent children qualify as a “substantial change in circumstances” to modify or terminate the child support obligation? In theory, yes, but only if you can prove that the birth of a subsequent child was an unanticipated event that affected your financial conditions.
Can You Modify or Terminate Child Support if You Have Subsequent Children?
When a parent who owes child support has children of their own with a different partner or spouse, it can become a financial undertaking to provide for multiple children. However, the needs of subsequent children do not justify terminating or modifying your existing child support order.
In Florida, parents cannot use the birth or adoption of a child to terminate or avoid increases in their child support obligations. In other words, Florida law encourages parents to consider their existing child support obligations, if any, when deciding to have more children.
However, there are exceptions. For example, if a subsequent child has a disability or special condition that requires more financial resources than anticipated, the parent may be able to modify the amount of child support payments.
Whether or not your existing child support order can be altered may also depend on the subsequent child’s other parent’s income. You may want to talk to an Orlando child support attorney to address the financial issues that may arise from having subsequent children.
Reach out to Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee to receive a free case evaluation. Call at 407-521-7171.