Georgia courts base child custody and child support on the best interests of the children. Factors they may consider include each parent’s job, current economic state and earning potential.
However, even after the finalization of the divorce, changes that alter the financial dynamics within a household can still affect child support arrangements.
When an ex-spouse remarries, it often results in a change in overall household income. This shift may influence the financial capacity to provide child support. Courts typically do not directly consider how much the new stepparent makes. However, if the remarriage leads to a substantial increase in the overall household income, freeing up some of the ex-spouse’s income, it might be a valid reason to seek modification.
If the non-custodial parent obtains a higher-paying job, the custodial parent may be able to request a raise in child support. Similarly, if the non-custodial parent loses his or her job or gets a lower-paying one, he or she may be able to request lower child support.
To successfully request a child support modification for any reason, there must be proof that the change is substantial and directly impacts the financial standing of the non-custodial parent. The key is to establish a clear connection between the change and the increased or decreased financial resources available to the non-custodial parent. In the case of remarriage, this could involve presenting evidence of the new spouse’s income, assets or contributions to the household. In the case of a job loss or gain, showing the change in pay via documents may suffice.
Bowling Green State University states that in 2018, 40% of recently divorced individuals asked had one or more underage children. When a divorce involves minor children, judges order the child support and custody arrangements that best serve the children’s overall well-being. However, later circumstances may change that require or allow a request for modification.