When parents divorce, one of the most important issues they settle is how to reasonably share the obligation of funding their child’s growth and development. From this, the court issues a child support order. However, there sometimes are changes in circumstances that force the court to make the necessary changes in the support order, even after its issuance. Is remarriage one of those reasons?
Remarriage is a ground for modification
The remarriage of either parent does not automatically affect the child support terms. However, it is one of the possible grounds for filing a petition to modify a support order before an Indiana court. While it will still depend on the circumstances of each case, courts can approve the request for modification on the ground of remarriage.
Why is this so?
Since courts base child support payments on the current financial capacity of the parents, they have to adjust them accordingly. When a parent remarries, there is an assumption that they will share household expenses with their new spouse, which cuts down the original expenses of that parent. Any funds saved because of the new setup can further benefit the child by adding more to the support payment.
But remarriage does not always mean that there will be an increase in funds. There are also instances wherein a request to decrease support payments is made. For instance, the parent might have a child with their new spouse and their current financial capacity would not be enough to cover all the expenses if the court denies modifying the child support terms.
Burden of proof
Even if the remarriage changes the financial capacity of the parent, it does not automatically mean the court has to approve the modification. In Indiana, the parent requesting changes in the support order must prove that the remarriage substantially changes the financial capacity of the other parent and that modifying the support order would be in the child’s best interests.