Remarriage and Child Support
- 1. If the Custodial Parent Remarries
- 2. If the Non-Custodial Parent Remarries
- 3. What if Income Changes?
- 4. What if Household Expenses Increase?
- 5. Can Child Support Orders Be Modified?
- 6. What About Back Child Support?
- 7. A Word From DIY Divorce Review
After getting a divorce, it is not unusual for one of the recently divorced partners to take responsibility for providing financial care to the children of the marriage. Marrying a different person after getting a divorce can influence your financial standing. Now you'll have to provide for the children that you have with your new partner, or you might choose to adopt a child together. Sometimes you just want to start over and try to make the new marriage work. We'll help you understand where you stand financially.
Whatever your case may be, you should be aware of your responsibilities and various options at your disposal. States can have different laws to regulate child support payments, but these laws are usually based on the same principles everywhere in the US.
Take a look at local laws or make an appointment with an attorney before talking about it with either your old or new partners.
If the Custodial Parent Remarries
The parent who provides housing and basic care for the child and spends most of the time with him/her is called a custodial parent. Legally speaking, this individual is the child's legal guardian and the beneficiary of family support payments.
If you're a custodial parent and decide to marry someone else, that decision might affect the child support payments that you receive. Your entitlement to this endowment might also change if your new partner decides to adopt the children from your previous marriage.
Remarriage and Child Support
Remarriage doesn't automatically disqualify you from receiving child support checks. The basic principle of the law holds that child should be cared for by the birth parents. In most states, custodial parent's decision to marry someone new doesn't influence the child support issues.
The parent who provides child support payments can oppose the existing agreement if they think that it's unjust. For instance, this might happen if the new step-parent has the financial means to take care of the child. If that's proven to be true, the parent providing child support might be partially relieved of his/her duties.
Until the court makes the official decision, the child support payments must continue uninterrupted. You can't stop paying child support because you think it's unfair. Doing so can result in wage garnishing, various financial and official penalties, or even jail time.
Remarriage and Adoption
The new step-parent can only adopt your kids if your ex-partner has given up his/her parental rights. This is unlikely to happen if your former partner wants to be involved in your child's life.
If your former partner consents to give up parental rights, they will give up their responsibility to provide the payments as well.
If your new companion decides to adopt the children from your previous marriage, he/she will be taking on all the responsibilities of being the child's parent. The adoptive parent won't be relieved of the responsibilities even if they are no longer married to the birth parent.
Opting Out of Child Support
If your new spouse has the financial means to provide for you and your child, you might no longer need child support payments to support your family. Is it permitted to refuse child support payments for any reason?
You can refuse, but this will not lead to a good outcome for anyone involved. Your child's mental well-being will be threatened if you deprive him/her of parent's attention. Your child's emotional stability is more important than money.
You might be better off using the child support checks to save for your kid's future education. If you and your ex consent to these changes, your former partner will be responsible for keeping track of each payment to prove the fulfillment of their responsibilities.
If the Non-Custodial Parent Remarries
A non-custodial parent is entitled to starting a new life with another spouse, but he/she must continue to provide for the children. There's no way around that.
Rules make it explicit that your child support debts will not be affected by remarriage.
Before getting married to someone else, the non-custodial parent should make an appointment with an attorney to discuss options and potential ramifications.
Remarriage and Child Support
Marrying someone else will not absolve you of your child support obligations. What happens If your new marriage gives you more financial stability? Does that affect child support payments?
Not always. Your new spouse will not be held financially responsible for your children. Your former spouse has the right to apply for child support payments to be reduced.
If you individually start to earn more money after getting married, your former spouse might have a dispute case.
For instance, if you're able to save up and invest your money as a result of moving into a new home, it can be argued that you should use some of the money to provide for your children.
Still, the combined marital property of your new marriage does not affect the court decision. For instance, your decision to move into a bigger home or start living lavishly will not affect the court decision.
Remarriage and New Children
If you and your new partner make up your mind about getting married but are worried about financial troubles, courts won't consider your financial trouble while deciding on child support payments.
Every state uses a different set of rules to adjust the amount of child support payments. You should make an appointment with an attorney to discuss your options and laws that govern child support modification. You also may be affected by the rules of the state where the child lives.
Courts might adjust your child support payments if your disposable income significantly decreased. This might've happened due to rising living costs in your household. It's difficult to convince courts of your inability to pay the child support. You should make sure that your child's mental well-being is not affected by court litigation.
What if Income Changes?
Parents often assume that marrying someone new and acquiring a new marital property will automatically affect their child support responsibilities. Most of the time, child support payments will remain unchanged unless one of the parents has solid grounds for requesting the adjustment.
If you're responsible for providing financial support to your child, your obligations will remain unchanged unless you can prove that you're unable to continue fulfilling your duties due to external factor that is beyond your control. You can't lower your child support payment rate by resigning from your job or taking a position that pays less. Getting fired from your job or getting injured while performing your tasks are good examples of involuntary external factors that can affect your child support payments.
If one of the parents marries someone with significant financial means, this will not absolve the original non-custodial parent of his/her duties as a parent. He/she must continue making child support payments regardless of the new spouse's income. From a legal perspective, it is not the responsibility of a new spouse to provide for the children from the old marriage. The court will not take a new spouse's financial means into account when determining the updated child support amount to be doled out. If you still feel like your case merits an exception, talk it over with an attorney to determine how you may be affected by local laws.
What if Household Expenses Increase?
From a legal perspective, children from the last marriage are always prioritized recipients of financial support. Having children in your new marriage will not absolve you of your responsibilities towards the children from the previous relationship. The court might account for additional expenses associated with newly-born children. For instance, if you have to cover medical costs for your more recent children, your child support payments might be reduced.
Courts will acknowledge additional costs and might grant you an adjustment of child support payments. In rare cases, your child support responsibilities can be reduced if you can prove that your household expenses have significantly increased after getting married again.
If you're a non-custodial parent who seeks the reduction of child support payments, you must collect evidence of your newly acquired household costs. You must also prove that new expenses impair your ability to make child support payments.
The court will also account for the impact the child support reduction will have on the children. A child support adjustment should only be requested if the financial burden is too much to bear.
Can Child Support Orders Be Modified?
Getting married again will not automatically absolve you of your financial responsibilities as a parent. However, if his/her new marriage affects their disposable income, a parent may ask for child support adjustment.
In some states, some rules limit the frequency of granting child support modifications. It can only happen once every three years. Research local laws in your state of residence before making any plans.
As a rule of thumb, both parents are permitted to ask for a child support modification, but they must back up their claim with tangible evidence.
Most of the time, courts will only grant a request for child support adjustment if your income has decreased involuntarily or changes in your child's living arrangement.
Parents may ask the court for child support adjustment if their child's medical or academic costs have dramatically changed, they lost the ability to work, were laid off, or other significant events. Getting married to someone new doesn't automatically warrant a reduction in child support, but the request might be granted if your circumstances were affected by marriage.
Remarrying doesn't automatically release parents from their child support obligations. Also, your obligations won't be canceled because of child adoption or having more children in your new relationship. The court will account for the increased cost of living that may be the result of the new marriage, but when deciding on child support issues, the court will always prioritize children from the original marriage.
What About Back Child Support?
If an individual who owes child support payments marries someone new, the person he/she marries is not financially responsible for making child support payments. State officials can garnish the wages of the parent who owes child support, but they can not tap into a new spouse's income to make child support payments.
The court can't order him/her to do so, but the new spouse is allowed to contribute money to child support payments out of his/her goodwill.
However, the government has every right to confiscate tax refunds of an individual who owes child support payments.
Even if an individual who owes child support payments and his/her new partner file a joint return, the court can tap into their tax refund to pay for child support. In this case, the child support obligor's new partner can request the return of their half of the tax refund from the IRS.
A Word From DIY Divorce Review
Getting married again after a divorce can be tough for parents as well as the children. Still, former spouses must not forget their duties to provide for their children from a previous marriage. If you or your former partner want to change child support terms because of a new marriage, it's probably a good idea to make an appointment with an attorney to help you understand laws in your state. Each local legislature handles this situation differently, so you can never be too informed.
While you're getting the details sorted out, make sure the process is not traumatic for the children. Assure them that you and your former partner continue to love them unconditionally despite the divorce, and you'll always be there for them.