How Does a Remarriage Affect Child Support?

Remarriage & Child Support

How Does a Remarriage Affect Child Support?

Many do not know that a divorce does not always end once the judge signs the decree. Oftentimes, one of the spouses is forced to pay alimony to the other and if there are any children who are minors, they will be ordered to pay child support. If circumstances change, like if one party moves, loses their job, remarries, or has another child, they can appeal to the court and ask for modification of support payments. In most cases with divorce, remarriage will not have a significant impact on child support payments. The new spouse is not legally responsible for children from their partner’s old marriage. The court will base the amount of child support on the incomes of the parents alone and not the stepparents. 

Who Pays Child Support after a Remarriage?

Parents often bump heads when a child’s parent marries a new and wealthier partner. The parent paying alimony and child support may have a very tight budget and having to pay child support can be a financial burden on them. But in the meantime, the ex-spouse and child are living a lavish and full life with the new spouse’s income and the old spouse’s support combined. Although this is an unfair situation, the court will not usually be persuaded to reduce the amount of child support that the less wealthy spouse has to pay. The children remain the responsibility of both of their biological parents, so the spouse who has remarried into money still is entitled to the tight budgeted parent’s child support. The court does not have much authority in forcing the stepparent to provide for the children and does not usually take his or her income into child support calculations. However, if the new parent adopts the minor children, they will become the legal mother or father to the children and now must provide for them. The biological parent that was paying child support will no longer have to do so. 

A Family Lawyer Can Help

It is crucial that you look at the specifications included in your divorce orders. Usually, remarriage is listed under terminating conditions, but it is not required to be included. Sometimes, in very extreme cases, the new spouse’s income may be considered when determining a child support amount if the child would otherwise face any form of hardship as a result of support being based on their biological parent’s income alone. If you would like to seek out experienced legal counsel to assist you with this process, consider contacting an experienced family lawyer to help you.