I have recently received a number of calls from prospective clients asking whether if having a new family has any affect on a child support obligation. The answer is, maybe. The entire question turns on the amounts of money earned by all relevant parties: the parents of the first family, and the parents of the second family.
Whether a parent is eligible for a reduction in his or her support based on having a child or children to a new spouse, is dependent on how much money each party makes. The rule is that when the total of the payor’s basic child support obligation (for both families) is equal to fifty percent or less of his or her monthly net income, there will be no deduction. Therefore, if, after performing the appropriate calculation, the paying parent’s support obligation for the original family plus his or her obligation to the new family is less than half of his or her monthly income, the court will not award a deduction.
However, if the total support obligation exceeds fifty percent of his or her monthly net income, the court can proportionally reduce the amount of support owed to each child. Thus, if the support obligation would be greater than half of the payor’s monthly income, the court will reduce both amounts so that only 50 percent of his or her income is allocated toward child support. Of course, the new family usually lives with the payor and therefore, there is no formal support order for that family. However, the court presumes that the figure they used in their calculation will be used for taking care of the new family.
If you have started a new family and currently have a support obligation, it may be worth your while to contact my Pittsburgh law firm, Gusty Sunseri & Associates, P.C., to find out if you are eligible for a reduction based on you new family responsibilities.