Indiana courts consider several factors when computing child support. These factors include the child’s needs, each parent’s financial income and capacity and the family’s standard of living. But what if one of the parents remarries? Does that affect the court’s computation of the child support amount?
Remarriage’s indirect effect
Technically, Indiana does not consider either parent’s act of remarriage as a factor when computing child support. However, courts do consider the change in the available income of the remarrying parent. How so? When a parent remarries, their new spouse contributes to the household and other shared expenses, which means that the parent shells out less money than before the remarriage. With less money spent, that parent has more funds available for child support.
Not automatically applied
Even if a parent remarries, the court will not automatically modify the child support terms. Either parent must request the court for the modification, showing that there has been a substantial and permanent change in income and not changing the support amount would be unreasonable.
The reason behind the idea
Courts allow parties to modify the support terms if it is in the child’s best interests. In the case above, more funds available for support mean the child has more resources for their growth and development. A child’s needs do not stop with basic living expenses. They must also have enough funds to cover education, medical and dental costs and recreational activities.
A parent’s remarriage is a noteworthy change in a child’s life, so it is understandable to think that it holds great weight in child support computation. If you are experiencing a similar situation and have doubts about the relationship between child support and remarriage, you may consult a legal professional for clarity and guidance.