Does Child Support Go Down if You Have Another Child?

By Heather Frances J.D.

Parents are legally required to provide financial support for their children. Most states determine child support, in part, based on family size, so your child support payments may go down if you have another child. However, it isn’t an automatic reduction and, depending on your circumstances and your state’s laws, you may not receive a reduction at all.

State Guidelines

Each state has its own method for calculating child support. Your state’s child support guidelines for calculating support may incorporate factors like the total income and standard of living of both parents, needs of the child and custodial parent, and the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay. If family size is one of the factors your state considers, you may be eligible for a reduction in child support payments if you have another child.

Remarriage

Child support payments do not automatically change when either spouse remarries since your new spouse has no legal obligation to support your children financially. Your new spouse’s income may affect your child support payments, however, if your state considers your spouse’s income in its calculations of your available income. In this case, the court may think the additional income provided to the household from your new spouse makes more of your income available for the payment of child support.

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Additional Children

If you have a child with your new spouse, the amount of your income that is available to pay your original child support order may be reduced, and this could result in a downward modification of your original child support obligations. If you and your new spouse divorce, you may have an additional child support obligation for children from that relationship. If so, your state’s laws likely address how child support is to be adjusted so that it is shared between the children from each relationship.

Modification

If your circumstances have changed since your most recent child support order was issued, you or your ex-spouse can request a modification of the order. Typically, this involves filing a petition with the court that issued your most recent child support order. You must serve your ex-spouse with a copy of your petition and a summons. The court may schedule a hearing and the parent seeking modification typically must show there has been a substantial change in circumstances before the court will modify the support order.

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Kentucky Child Support: Frequently Asked Questions

References

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Guidelines for Arkansas Child Support Payment & Income

Arkansas law takes much of the pain and fuss out of calculating child support. If it appears that you'll be the non-custodial parent when your divorce is final, estimating how much you'll have to pay – and how you'll pay it – is comparatively simple, given how complex the process can be in other states. Arkansas passed Administrative Order No. 10 in 1990, which offers charts and rules that tell you exactly how much your child support obligation should be.

Do They Go by My Wife's Income For Paying Child Support in Delaware?

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Alabama Laws on Child Support & the Restart of Child Support

Child support in Alabama is usually determined in a straightforward manner. As in many other states, Alabama uses the "income shares" model to determine child support. The formula takes into account the combined gross income of both parents, percentage each parent earns and several other factors such as who pays for health insurance. Either parent can ask for the child support amount to be recalculated at any time when there is a change of circumstances. There are situations when child support is stopped and then restarted, but they are rare.

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