If you receive child support payments from your co-parent, you know that such payments can be critical to providing for your child. If your co-parent, the payor parent, has gone on to have another child, you may very well be concerned as to how this could impact child support. Here, we will discuss whether child support can be reduced in the event that the payor parent has more children.
Can Child Support Be Reduced If the Payor Has More Children?
The answer to this question is, it depends. The good news is that the fact that the payor parent has had another child will not, in and of itself, mean that there will be a change to the child support that was previously established by the court. When the other child was born and whether or not that other child receives support from the payor parent will be critical factors as to whether a change in child support will be merited.
First and foremost, a parent who pays child support for other children cannot petition the court to reduce a previously ordered child support order in order to account for other children. This is because the Florida legislature put protective measures in place so that a child born before another child would not risk losing the support that was initially awarded. In other words, there is a prohibition of a downward modification of child support as a result of an after born child. It should be noted, however, that the law on this does not actually operate in terms of birth order. The timing depends on the chronological order of the child support orders put in place. A previously established child support order will not be modified because the payor spouse went on to have other children and face other child support obligations.
While a person that goes on to face other child support obligations cannot ask the court to reduce preexisting child support orders based on the new obligations, going on to have more children can have other impacts on the situation. For instance, if the payor spouse gets another job to pay for the new child, the parent receiving child support may want to petition for an increase in child support based on the parent having an increase in income. If the court finds that the additional job was intended to support the additional child, then the court is unlikely to grant an increase in the original child support award.
It should also be noted that, while previously established child support orders will not likely be reduced if the payor spouse has another child, the existing child support obligations will be taken into account should the payor spouse face a child support obligation for the new child. This is because the child support guidelines take into account whether the paying parent supports other children on his or her income. In other words, having more children may not impact an existing child support order, but an existing child support order may very well impact other child support orders a parent is obligated to pay.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
The laws surrounding child support obligations are complex and detailed. They are also, however, important to understand as this is an essential part of understanding your rights and obligations regarding the payment and receipt of child support. For answers to your child support questions, the knowledgeable team at Orlando Family Team has answers for you. Contact us today.