Many divorced parents will eventually make the decision to remarry. However, entering into a new marriage could affect previously-negotiated child support. It is crucial to know the child support laws in your state, and how they will affect you and your children, before taking this step.
The parent who has physical custody of the child(ren) for a majority of the time and receives child support is known as the custodial parent. In most states, the custodial parent remarrying has no effect on child support, because the law states that a child’s birth parents are responsible for any children they have together. However, the non-custodial parent does have the right to contest the amount paid in child support if the custodial parent remarries, especially if their new spouse is able to provide more financial support. At that point, it is up to the courts to decide if child support payments could be reduced.
In the event that the non-custodial parent does remarry, their responsibility for child support payments do not change. They are still responsible for paying child support for any children from previous marriage(s). However, the payments will not automatically increase in the event of a remarriage, as their new spouse’s income will not factor into child support calculations. Of course, the custodial parent could argue that if overall income has increased, child support payments should increase, as well. In this case, the courts would again make the final decision on any changes.
In conclusion, if you remarry, you will not automatically change your child support payments—either those you receive as a custodial parent, or those you pay as a non-custodial parent. If you are considering remarriage and are concerned about child support, it is important to read the laws in your state and consult with your attorney. You can find more resources for your area at SupportPay.com.