Will Remarriage Affect My Child Support Order in Florida?
If you have children, you have a legal obligation to support them financially. That’s why parents who get divorced or separated are ordered to pay child support. But does either parent’s remarriage affect a child support order?
In Florida, remarriage in and by itself has no effect on the parent’s obligation to pay child support. However, entering into a new marriage with someone else may affect child support indirectly.
If you are wondering how remarriage can affect your child support order in Florida, schedule a consultation with our Orlando family lawyer at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A.
Will a new spouse’s income be considered to calculate child support?
Regardless of whether it is the custodial or non-custodial parent who gets remarried, a new spouse’s income may have an indirect impact on the child support obligation.
Thus, the step-parent’s income may be taken into consideration when determining or modifying child support. For example, the new spouse’s income may be considered if the step-parent is paying the household expenses, and as a result, the parent has more funds to provide for their child financially.
However, Section 61.30, Florida Statutes requires a parent to prove a “substantial change in circumstances” in order to modify the existing child support order. Remarriage itself or the new spouse’s income are unlikely to qualify as a substantial change in circumstances.
What if a parent leaves their job after remarriage?
Remarriage may also indirectly affect a child support order in Florida if the remarried parent’s employment status changes after getting remarried. Changes to a parent’s employment status may qualify as grounds to modify or terminate child support under certain circumstances.
If a parent decides that they no longer need to work because their new spouse’s income is enough to support their household financially, the decision to quit a job will most likely not affect the existing child support order.
Florida law also provides that a child support order cannot be modified if a parent voluntarily quits a job or deliberately takes a lower-paying job for the purposes of lowering their obligation.
In other words, if either parent’s remarriage results in the decision to leave a job voluntarily, it will not qualify as grounds for a child support modification in Florida.
How do new children affect the child support obligation to previous children?
If remarriage leads to new children, the fact that a divorced parent decides to have more children will usually not affect their existing child support obligation to previous children.
In fact, state law specifically encourages divorced and separated parents to consider their existing financial obligations before having new children. However, under certain circumstances, the birth of subsequent children may qualify as grounds to modify the existing child support order (e.g., a new child is born with a disability or special needs).
If you are considering modifying the existing court order, consult with our skilled child support lawyer at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., to determine whether your particular situation can be considered a substantial change in circumstances under Florida law. Call at 407-521-7171 to receive a consultation.