Can I Modify Child Support If My Ex Moves In With Boyfriend?

Question:divorce lawyer Carrie Westbrook

My children primarily live with my ex-wife and I pay her child support per our child custody agreements.

Her boyfriend has now moved in and they are a cohabitating couple with dual incomes.

Do child support laws allow for a modification of child support if her boyfriend is now living with her?

Answer:

I am not licensed in your state so I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though.

In the state I practice in (Colorado), child support is calculated based (among other factors) on yours and your ex-spouse’s gross monthly incomes. The calculation does not take into consideration the incomes of a significant other or spouse of either party and it does not take into consideration your or your ex-spouse’s expenses for the most part.

Child Support Calculator

The exception would be to the extent any of your expenses or her expenses would be considered as credits in the calculation, such as in the case of  any health insurance premiums you might pay for the children, or work-related daycare expenses she might pay for the children.

It might be possible that such a cohabitating arrangement could benefit you if you could impute income to your ex-spouse by reason of her new living arrangement.

Say, for example, that she previously paid work-related daycare expenses, but now her live-in boyfriend can watch the kids for her during the day because he works from home or she can quit her job and be a stay-at-home mom.

If the daycare expenses were previously included in determining what your child support obligation was, and now those expenses no longer exist, you could seek to modify the amount of your child support on that basis.

Keep in mind, however, that it has to have been three years since the last order on child support or a substantial change in circumstances and there has to be at least a 10% change in the child support amount or the courts won’t see fit to modify anything.

I have only provided you with general legal information. For a more in-depth answer and financial advice on divorce, you should contact a family law attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Carrie H. Westbrook, an Associate Attorney in the Colorado Springs, Colorado office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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