Getting remarried after a divorce is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Besides managing the ups and downs of blending families, there are also financial considerations to be taken into account. One of those considerations is child support. Whether you are paying child support or receiving child support, getting remarried can have consequences on the amount that you pay or receive. Be sure to consider those consequences when you are overcoming commitment issues and deciding if remarriage is right for you.
Your Child Support Obligation
Just adding a new member or members to your family by remarriage does not cause a change in your obligation to any of the children from a previous relationship. This can be a positive or a negative. If your new spouse is employed, the good news is that their income does not enter into the child support calculation and raise your obligation based on the combined income. However, if your new spouse is not employed, you are not entitled to a reduction in support payments even though your expenses may have increased. Your new spouse will not become responsible for your child support obligation.
Your Child Support Payments Received
Just getting married with no other changes will not cause the amount of child support received on behalf of your children to change. As with child support payments, a new spouse’s income or lack of income will not become a factor in child support calculations.
Although just getting remarried does not influence child support, there are other circumstances that might occur with remarriage that could impact child support calculations. If any of the following situations occur, you should contact your divorce attorney to discuss the changes and investigate whether the change is substantial enough to recalculate child support.
The End Of Alimony
Remarriage of the person receiving alimony is often a reason for the payment of alimony to cease. If this is the case, the child support calculation will most likely change. The person paying the alimony will no longer be able to take a deduction from income for the alimony payment and the person that once received the alimony will no longer need to claim the alimony payments as part of their income. The effect on the child support obligation could be substantial.
If a new baby is in your future (or the future of your ex-spouse), you can be almost certain that your child support obligation will change. A deduction for a dependent spreads the amount of income available for child support over all of the children, thus reducing that parent’s financial responsibility per child.
(While this might sound tempting, remember – the new baby will most likely cost you more than your potential child support savings!)
Even though you might be happy to help support your stepchildren, you have no legal obligation to do so and therefore will receive no adjustment to payment of child support or amount of child support received. Anything you contribute to your step children’s care is done because you want to, not because of any financial benefit you might receive.
The most important things to focus on when considering remarriage are healthy relationships between all of the parties. Parents and step parents that can work together will have happier, healthier families.
If you feel you need child support advice for a contemplated remarriage, contact a divorce attorney now or enlist our expertise at Cuppls to pair you with an appropriate professional for your specific needs.