Remarriage is often a normal part of life after divorce. However, when you share custody of your children with an ex-partner, their remarriage can complicate things a bit. Parents often wonder how remarriage will affect their children emotionally. Additionally, many parents wonder if remarriage will impact child support payments since the new relationship changes household income for one parent.
However, like most other things related to divorce and co-parenting, child support changes aren’t as simple and straightforward as they should be. This makes it difficult for parents to know if their ex’s remarriage will impact child support payments.
Why Remarriage Doesn’t Always Impact Child Support
According to a blog post by Reddin and Singer, LLP, parents can request a change in child support payments whenever there is a change in the needs of the child, an involuntary change in income for the one of the parents or a change in the overall income of a parent. earning capacity. This could mean that job changes, additional degrees earned, diagnosis of a chronic illness, and many other factors could affect the amount of child support a parent pays or receives.
However, remarriage per se is not one of these changes. Most of the time, a court will decide that even if the new spouse is considered a step-parent of the children, he is under no obligation to contribute to the maintenance of the children. Yes, they are now living with your ex and helping with bills and other expenses. In the eyes of the court, however, a new spouse is never legally obligated to support a child that is not his or her own.
Reasons Remarriage May Affect Child Support Payments
Most of the time, remarriage by itself is not grounds for modifying child support. However, the DivorceNet team advises that there are certain situations where remarriage can impact child support payments.
For example, if a new spouse has a substantial salary, changes in household income may affect the parent’s ability to pay child support as it reduces their other monthly financial obligations (bills). If presented to a judge, he may decide to increase your child support payments since your ex now has more disposable income. This may be especially true in cases where the new spouse may have owned assets that have been fully paid off (meaning there is no longer any rent or mortgage owing) or in cases where the new spouse has a significant amount in other financial assets.
Conversely, If your ex remarries and shares a biological or adopted child with the new spouse, they may have grounds to seek a decrease in their child support. The new spouse’s children from a previous marriage would not affect this, but any children your ex and the new partner have together could. This could include children your ex adopts, which can get tricky if your ex-partner’s new spouse has children and the other biological parent is left out.
Finally, it sometimes happens that an ex-partner remarries and later decides to give up his parental rights. According to the team at Holstrom, Block and Parke Law Firm, if a parent renounces his parental rights, he is no longer obliged to pay child support.
Since co-parenting laws and child support payment schedules vary from state to state, it is always best to consult an attorney before making assumptions about child support. However, this guide can serve as a starting point for parents, especially those concerned about the impact of their ex-partner’s remarriage on child support obligations.
Sources: Reddin and Singer, LLP, DivorceNet, Holstrom, Block and Parke