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Do you have to pay child support if you or your spouse remarry?

It is very common after divorce for either one or both partners to eventually remarry. If you currently pay child support and remarry, does anything change if your new spouse has kids? What if your ex-spouse remarries? Do you still have to pay child support? Are child support payments reduced?

Whatever the scenario might be for you, it is natural to wonder if child support can change if you or your ex enter into a new marriage. To help you understand how this may work, here are some general guidelines regarding how child support works with new marriages.

When the custodial parent remarries

The custodial parent either has sole custody of the child or lives with that child the majority of the time and receives child support. Generally, when a custodial parent remarries, it does not impact child support. The birth parents are still responsible for supporting their child. This means that a new step-parent will not reduce or cancel child support obligations. This does not mean that the non-custodial parent cannot contest the original divorce agreement. This could happen if the non-custodial parent believes a situation has arisen that is now unfair. However, until a new decision is made by the court, the original child support amount must continue to be paid.

If the non-custodial parent remarries

The non-custodial parent is free to remarry to begin a new life and start a new family. But this new dynamic does not change the support they are obligated to pay their former spouse for the child or children they had together. The bottom line is, child support orders do not change based on marriage.

You may wonder what can change if you get remarried and your new combined income moves you into a higher tax bracket. Would this mean you are liable to pay more in child support than you were previously? The answer is no. The financial support for your child is not considered your new spouse's responsibility. But your ex can always contest the payment amount if your income has increased substantially and believes there is reason for a modification. But this would be not be contingent on your new marriage.

When an order for child support is created, a modification to that agreement does not occur simply because one of the parents remarried and changed their financial situation. However, a parent can ask for a modification or change based on other financial factors.

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