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Does a second marriage affect child support?

Going through a divorce may make you hesitant to wed again. However, through a series of events, you may find yourself staring down the aisle towards a new spouse.

Before taking those steps, you may want to see if saying "I do" will result in a change to your current child support order. Whether you receive child support or pay it, knowing how Ohio laws govern a new marriage in advance may help you prepare for any changes.

Child support basics

Calculating child support uses basic information from both parents, including:

  • Income
  • Living expenses
  • Underemployment
  • Equality of living conditions
  • Health insurance, daycare costs, etc.

The state calculator comes up with a figure the court can then either deviate from or order. This amount is subject to change throughout the term of the child support with a modification request by either party.

Remarriage may change child support

Ohio family law statutes directly address the issue of remarriage for the parent with whom the children do not live – the person paying child support. When this payer weds again, the payee may petition for a modification based on a change of circumstances. The court cannot consider the stepparent's income when recalculating support; however, it will consider the stepparent's contribution to household expenses. Under this method, the payer's cost of living decreases, thereby freeing up more income for child support.

Deviations still occur

A judge can decide to accept the modification request of the payee based on remarriage or deviate from it. If the payer can demonstrate that the increase in income is on paper only and does not, in fact, add up to a substantial bump, the court may rule against the modification request. If the payer and the stepparent have a child together, the parties become eligible for recalculation at the payer's request.

Navigating a new marriage amid an existing child support order does not have to feel impossible. Speaking to a professional to get a clear picture of what may occur can help save stress down the road.

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