Remarriage, Child Support And Maintenance
How Remarriage Affects Child Support And Maintenance
Our family law attorneys often hear the question, “How does my ex’s remarriage affect child support and maintenance?” When the parent paying child support gets remarried after a divorce, the court does not consider the new spouse’s income when determining support payments, nor can the court order the new spouse to contribute to child support or maintenance.
Child Support Is Determined By Many Things Including:
- Both parents’ incomes
- The amount of time the child(ren) spends with each parent
- Whether or not a parent is supporting other children
Courts may modify child support if there has been a substantial change of circumstances.
A “Substantial Change” Includes:
- Change in either parents income and/or earning capacity
- Change in the needs of the child
- Any other factor the court determines is relevant.
Remarriage does not fall into any of the above categories and will not usually result in a change in child support.
Exceptions To The Rule
As in most areas of life, there are exceptions that may lead a court to consider a parent’s additional income due to a remarriage. Most of the exceptions fall under point #3 above “any other factor the court determines is relevant”.
If a parent claims that he/she cannot afford to pay child support and then remarries, the court might decide that his/her financial circumstances have changed enough due to the marriage and the new spouse’s income that child support modification is necessary.
It can go the other way, too. If the parent receiving the child support payments (payee) claims he/she needs additional child support to meet the needs of the children and the budget, the court may consider the payee’s new spouse’s income when reviewing budget needs because it is assumed the new spouse contributes to the household budget.
What About Maintenance?
Maintenance is different. Maintenance is a form of spousal support paid by the payer to the payee. If the payee remarries, then the divorce judgment may provide that the payor may stop providing spousal support maintenance. If the payor remarries, but the payee has not remarried, spousal maintenance continues as it was before the remarriage. Payor remarriage is not grounds for the payee to seek a maintenance adjustment.
Consult A Family Law Attorney For Child Support And Maintenance Questions
Child support and spousal maintenance needs can change over time. If you have questions or concerns about your child support or maintenance order, consult a family law attorney at Eisenberg Law Offices in Madison, WI. Call 608-256-8356 or email Info@EisenbergLaw.org to schedule free case consultation.