When a family goes through a divorce, the courts must look at many factors in order to determine how much child support must be paid. The courts look at how much each parent earns and the ex-spouse’s expenses that the other parent may have to take on. If the financial situation changes, the child support order may change too. This is where a child support attorney comes in.

What Is Child Support?

If you have custody of your child, your ex-spouse is expected to pay for the things they need to live a healthy and happy life. This includes:

• Paying for a place to live
• Clothes
• Shoes
• Medical care
• Food
• Electricity
• Equipment needed for their activities
• Childcare
• And a lot more

If the child lives with your ex-spouse, they are required to pay for the same needs. The court understands that. The judge looks at the ex-spouse’s expenses, and the incomes of both parents, and tries to find a fair dollar amount to ensure the child has their essential needs met. The money is not for the custodial parent. It is money that is combined with theirs to give your child a good life.

What If Your Ex-Spouse Has Moved In With A New Partner?

This is where things get confusing. You could argue that he or she has more money now and your child support should be lowered. In some cases, that may be true. If your ex-spouse moves in with a new partner and he or she quits her job to stay home with your child, it is fair to say that he or she is supporting her. The new partner is in no way responsible to pay for your child, so they may argue that while his or her expenses went way down, his or her income was eliminated. In this case, it falls on the judge to decide.

Maybe your ex-spouse did not quit their job but moved in with a new partner. Unless you have proof that he or she is paying your ex-spouse’s way, you cannot use that as a reason to adjust your child support orders.

Bonus Tip:

You hear that your ex-spouse got a big promotion, and a big raise along with it, take them back to court. Your lawyer will file the motions. explaining that the children are the priority. This does not relieve you from your responsibilities.

However, the court will revisit the situation and will look at both incomes. The judge will look at both households’ expenses, and if they find that your ex-spouse-spouse’s salary has gone up substantially, or that their expenses have gone down substantially, he or she will usually adjust the order for child support.

Regardless of what you or your ex-spouse thinks, the court wants the children cared for equally by both parents.

What To Do

• Contact your attorney
• Continue to pay your child support payments on time
• Continue to pay the amount of money ordered by the court
• Even if you are able to communicate with your ex-spouse, do not “make a deal” and work from that. Wait for a court order.

You have a right to be treated fairly. It took both of you to make these children. When life changes and it affects you financially, it is acceptable to ask the court to revisit the orders. As always, take your questions to your family law attorney.