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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12132
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Can new spouse's income be considered in recalculation of child

Customer Question

Can new spouse's income be considered in recalculation of child support?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you this evening. Possibly, yes. In Arizona, remarriage by itself isn’t grounds for modifying a child support order. But, if the remarriage of either parent causes a substantial change in his or her financial circumstances, the court will consider that when deciding whether to modify child support. For example, if a mother pays child support to a father, and the father gets married to a woman who earns significant income and pays most of the household bills, a judge may decide to lower the child support payment. Since the new wife contributes to the household expenses, the father can shoulder more of the financial burden for his child. On the other hand, if a non-custodial parent remarries and takes on additional expenses or children, the court is less likely to reduce child support.Either parent may ask the court for a reduction or increase in child support. If you can show that circumstances have changed such that a new child support calculation would differ from the current payment by at least 15%, you may have a better chance for modifying child support. After filing a motion for modification, there will need to be a hearing on the matter, and the parties will be expected to turn over proof of income to assist the court in making its decision. If the court finds in favor of modification, they can enter an order changing the existing support amount. If you need clarification or additional information, please reply, and I'll be happy to assist further. Thank you.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you. What about in a scenario where the father, who pays child support to the mother, remarries and is married to a woman who earns a substantial income? Would the court consider the new wife's income in determining what father should pay to mother?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 7 months ago.
Sorry for the slight delay, I was getting my son to bed. A parent’s new spouse’s income is not treated as income under the guidelines under Arizona law, so her substantial income would not be counted because she is not responsible for supporting the child(ren). That said, the Court can deviate from the guidelines if it finds that the application of the guidelines would be inappropriate in the particular case, the best interests of the child is considered, and other procedural requirements are followed. The Court can look to what the children’s standard of living would be in an intact household (i.e. where the parents and the children were all residing together), and adjust the child support amount so that the parents can provide a similar standard of living for the children in both households. If those sound like broad factors --you're right, they are. And therefore, a court is given wide discretion. However, deviation from the guidelines are rare, so I would not anticipate that her income would normally be counted if seeking an increase in support.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 7 months ago.
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