Does Remarriage Affect Child Support Amounts?

Remarriage and child support.

Does Remarriage Affect Child Support Amounts?

In Arizona, following a divorce or legal decision-making case, one parent may be court-ordered to pay a monthly child support amount to the other parent modeled on the idea that a child should receive the same financial benefit they would have had if their parents still lived together with combined finances.

These child support payments are designed to cover the standard needs of the child, including food, clothing, school supplies, housing, medical, and extracurricular activities.

The newest Arizona Child Support Guidelines were established in 2022. These guidelines determine in which cases child support should be ordered as well as the dollar amount of the payments. Factors weighed include, but are not limited to:

  • The financial needs and resources of the parents.
  • The child’s medical support and needs.
  • The duration of parenting time for each parent and related expenses.

But what happens when one parent remarries, thus drastically changing their family’s income level?

When a parent remarries, their new spouse has no legal duty or responsibility for the child. Because of this, their income level will not alter the child support amount that has already been ordered. The child support order is strictly between the legal parents of the child, irrespective of any stepparents and their income. The income of a new spouse will not be included in Arizona’s child support calculator.

However, it is important to remember that child support orders can be modified pursuant to A.R.S. 25-503 if it can be shown that a change of “circumstance that is substantial and continuing” has come into play.

A parent who has been ordered to pay child support may request to decrease or eliminate their child support payment requirements if the other parent remarries a high-earning individual. However, as courts do not prefer to impose financial responsibility onto a stepparent, the stepparent must demonstrate that they are able and willing to be financially responsible for the child and that the modification would not detract from the child’s standard of living in order for the modification to be granted.

A parent who has been ordered to pay child support may also request to modify their child support amounts if they remarry and have additional children within the new marriage. While courts do not believe that the children of a second family should supersede the child involved in the child support order, they also will be reasonable to ensure that the parent has sufficient funds for each child. In these cases, it is possible that the child support amount ordered will be decreased to allow the parent to spread their finances among all their children.

Ensuring that child support orders remain appropriate through various stages of life can be confusing. Remarrying can also bring about issues of tax bracket changes, new children, and even relocation. Because of these varies factors, if you are involved in a case that involves court-ordered child support, the most advisable thing to do when going through life changes is to contact a family law attorney to review your unique circumstances.


Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling child support cases. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.

Scroll to Top
This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.