We are often asked if existing child support will be reduced if a payor of support has a child with a new partner. Supporting a child is the responsibility of every parent in California. Child support is not necessarily linked to child custody and parenting time but is more closely related to the provision of food, clothing, shelter, health care and education. However, an unequal amount of parenting time awarded during the divorce process or a substantial disparity between the income of the parents can and will affect child support orders.
Existing child support orders may be reduced or increased based upon the unique needs of the supported child as well as the income of his or her parents. Presently, the Family Court will consider an increase in child support if the income of the payor has significantly increased, and/or the needs of the child require additional support.
The Family Court will not usually even hear a case regarding child support when the payor has subsequently had another child. The responsibility of a newborn does not diminish the original responsibility a parent has for a supported child. However, if the payor of child support has a child with a new partner this may be an appropriate basis to defend against a future request to increase child support for the original supported child.
The child support guidelines of the State of California will provide an initial determination at any point in the supported child’s life. A substantial increase in come may justify revisiting existing child support orders. The loss of a job or substantial reduction in income (such as we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic) can also impact the result of guideline support calculation.
Existing child support will not usually be eligible for a reduction simply because a new child has come into the world. Child support issues are quite legally and financially complex. This is why it is important to seek the advice and counsel of the experienced Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.