If you are a divorced parent in New Jersey, you might pay or receive child support. A court probably determined the child support amount based on a few factors, including income. However, at some point after the divorce, one or both of you might go through some life changes that could affect how much is paid in child support. One of those possible changes is remarriage.
Income of the new spouse
Remarriage does not automatically mean a change in the child support amount. However, remarriage does often lead to other changes that can affect child support. For example, while a court does not consider the new spouse’s income in calculating child support, getting married could reduce how much the support-paying parent is paying toward household expenses. This in turn could mean paying more in support. However, if a paying parent remarries and the new spouse has a high income, child support payments will not necessarily be increased for the other parent. The court does not consider it the responsibility of the new spouse to support the child from the previous marriage.
Having more children
Another factor that could change child support is if the support-paying parent has additional children after marriage. While the court considers it important for a parent to continue supporting a child from the previous marriage, it also does not aim to deprive later children. Therefore, the person’s child support burden could be reduced.
Ultimately, regarding child support, visitation and custody, courts try to make the decision that is in the best interests of the child while also balancing a parent’s other obligations. This means there is sometimes flexibility in how child support amounts are awarded. A parent who has remarried or whose former spouse has remarried and who believes this should affect child support payments may want to discuss the situation with an attorney.