How Does an Ex-Husband's Remarriage Affect My Child Support?

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

How Does an Ex-Husband's Remarriage Affect My Child Support?

By Jennifer Kiesewetter, J.D.

Sometime after your divorce, it's not unusual for your ex-husband to remarry. It's also not uncommon for you to wonder about how his remarriage will affect your child support.

Little girl and mother lying on a carpet coloring in a book

Remarriage after a divorce can complicate issues. Your ex-husband may now have stepchildren to help support or may decide to have another child with his new wife. Whatever the circumstance, you should understand how remarriage may impact your child support payments.

Remarriage of Noncustodial Parent

As the custodial parent, you have physical custody for your child and are primarily responsible for your child's day-to-day care. Additionally, you may receive child support from your ex-husband, the noncustodial parent. This child support represents the share of your ex-husband's financial obligations to your child.

If your ex-husband remarries, your child support payments do not generally change. The remarriage itself is not a condition for modification.

Your child support payments are not altered if your ex-husband now supports stepchildren. Your ex-husband has no legal obligation to support his new wife's children. However, if he decides to have another child with his new wife, then your child support may be impacted. The court may reduce your amount because your ex-husband now has a financial obligation to support not only your children, but also the children from his new marriage.

Change in Monthly Income

If your ex-husband's household income increases because of his wife's additional income, a court typically does not consider that extra income for child support modifications. Each biological parent is financially and legally responsible for their child. The new spouse is not financially responsible for your children. However, in some states, the courts do consider the spouse's income if your ex-husband and his new wife have a child together.

If your husband's income increases through a new job or a raise, then you can petition the court to increase his child support obligation. On the other hand, if your ex-husband experiences a decrease in income, he can request a reduced obligation from the court.

Modification of Child Support

To request the court to modify child support, you should file a petition for the change in your local family court. Along with your application, you'll pay a filing fee to the court clerk. You can ask the court for help in filling out the necessary forms, or you can hire a qualified family law attorney.

You must notify your ex-husband of your request through a summons. A summons is a legal document informing your ex-husband that you've requested the court to alter your support payments.

After your husband is notified according to your local court rules, then you'll schedule a date to appear in court. In court, you must present any documentation showing that you're entitled to additional child support. Your ex-husband may present his argument as well. After the hearing, the judge may or may not modify your payments. If the court does modify the payments, then your ex-husband must pay the new amount as ordered by the court.

Each state has different rules for when and how to modify child support. Make sure you review your local state's rules for how to alter the amount. Understanding how remarriage affects your current payments is critical to planning for your and your children's future.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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