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Does a parent’s remarriage affect child support?

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2021 | Child Custody

Divorcing with children can mean that Arkansas parents have many sensitive decisions to make. Particularly, parents usually have to make decisions regarding child custody and child support or have those decisions made for them by the judge involved in their case. Even after these decisions have been made, it is possible for modifications to support to be needed if changes in the parents’ circumstances take place.

As with most family law matters, the legalities involved with pursuing a child support modification vary from state to state. However, some parents may wonder whether their support terms could change if the paying parent gets remarried. It is possible for various arguments for modification to occur. For example, the paying parent may claim a need to reduce or stop payments because he or she now has a new spouse and possibly stepchildren to support.

While a parent receiving support may worry about such changes, the following details may be important to keep in mind:

  • Simply because a modification is requested does not mean that a judge will grant it.
  • If the receiving parent wants an increase in support because the other parent remarried, the court likely will not approve an increase unless the new spouse is considerably wealthy, but this outcome could depend on state-specific laws.
  • If the paying spouse wants to reduce his or her payment obligation, it may also be unlikely because stepparents commonly have no legal obligation to financially support stepchildren, and the court may require that the paying parent simply give up certain indulgences in order to meet the current support obligation.

Of course, each child support situation is different, and Arkansas parents who are concerned about changes in their circumstance may want to gain information specific to their particular cases. If parents believe that a modification is warranted, discussing the matter with legal professionals could help them determine whether a viable reason for pursuing a change exists. If so, having the terms reassessed and changes possibly made could be worthwhile.