Am I Responsible for Child Support for My Step-Child?

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When your first marriage doesn’t end in a happily-ever-after, you may think you’ll never find love again. However, finding another person to love is a wonderful thing. If you don’t have children, but your new partner does, this gives you the opportunity to provide another parental role to support your new spouse and step-child. However, you may wonder about child support payments. If you have questions about child support and step-children, you’ll want to keep reading. You’ll get the answers to some of the most common questions while learning how a Monroe, Louisana child support lawyer can help you with any additional issues you may have.

Do Step-Parents Have to Pay Child Support for a Step-Child?

In the instance where you remarry and have step-children, you are not legally responsible to financially support them. As such, if you and your new spouse divorce, you are under no obligation to provide child support, as they are not your legal or biological children. However, if you legally adopt these children, you will then be responsible to support them. To legally adopt them, the person your spouse had the children with must terminate their own parental rights.

If your ex-spouse remarries and now has step-children of their own, you will not be responsible to pay child support to those children. However, if you and your ex share a child and they marry a new person, you must continue to pay the court-ordered support amount to your biological children. Just as you are not responsible for supporting your step-child, your ex’s new spouse is not liable to support your child.

What Factors Will the Courts Consider When Modifying a Payment?

In some instances, child support may be modified after a remarriage occurs. In Louisiana, child support is not dependent on the parent’s spouse but rather the income of each biological parent. However, the courts may consider a new spouse’s income if it impacts a parent.

For example, if your ex-spouse remarries, and their new spouse pays for a majority of the household expenses, your spouse now pays significantly less toward their household expenses. As such, the courts may reduce your financial support amount since your spouse’s financial obligations decreased.

It’s important to understand that children are entitled to the same standard of living they’d enjoy if their parents were still married while considering that a new spouse’s income could impact a spouse’s financial status. Though you may not directly be responsible for financially supporting your step-children, your finances may affect the child support payments your spouse gets from their ex.

Unfortunately, this process can be confusing and overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with it. As such, it’s vital to contact Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson if you have additional questions or concerns regarding your legal obligations to pay for your children or step-children. Reach out today to learn how we can help you.

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