Can The Payor Reduce Child Support If They Have More Children?
A common misconception is that the payor (the parent ordered to pay child support upon divorce) can ask the court to reduce the amount of child support if they remarry or have additional children.
It is perfectly normal for the parent receiving child support to be concerned about the decrease or even termination of child support if their former spouse has more children after the divorce.
If this sounds like your situation, you should discuss your case with a skilled attorney to help you understand how the payor’s remarriage or additional children impact their obligation to pay child support.
Does Having Additional Children Affect the Payor’s Existing Obligation to Pay Child Support?
The short answer is, “No, it doesn’t.” Under Florida law, neither remarriage nor having additional children terminates the payor’s existing obligation to pay child support.
Divorced parents should feel free to remarry and have more children after their marriage involving kids. However, just because a divorced parent has additional children does not give him/her grounds to terminate or reduce child support, though there may be exceptions to the general rule.
In most cases, the fact that the payor has additional children does not in and itself affect their existing child support obligation. However, there may be other factors that may warrant a modification of child support (e.g., job loss or disability).
Can the Payor Ask the Court to Reduce Child Support if They Have More Kids?
Florida law does not specifically mention “remarriage” or “childbirth” when talking about grounds for modifying child support (Fla. Stat. § 61.14). In fact, the payor may not be able to ask the court to reduce an existing child support obligation by arguing that they need to support their additional children.
Even if the payor is ordered to pay child support for the new child, they cannot use the new obligation as an excuse to reduce the pre-existing child support order.
However, if the payor can prove that their situation warrants a modification because there has been a substantial change in circumstances, they may be able to reduce the amount of child support.
Can the Recipient Ask the Court to Increase Child Support?
In some cases, it is possible that the recipient could ask the court to increase child support after the payor has additional children with another person. The payor may have to find another job to provide for both children.
As a result, the recipient could ask the court to increase child support based on the payor’s increased income. However, the court would most likely not grant the recipient’s request to modify child support if the payor’s increased income is intended to support the new child.
Contact an Orlando Child Support Attorney
If you are receiving child support payments from your ex-spouse and are concerned that they could ask the court to reduce the obligation because they had more children with another person, speak with Orlando child support attorney Rania Arwani to discuss your case. Call 407-254-0060 for a case evaluation.