Does remarriage affect the child support I pay or receive?

Finding love again after a divorce can seem insurmountable. When you finally decide to tie the knot again, you and your spouse might both bring in kids from previous marriages.

Blended families are more common today than in previous decades, but many are still unaware of the legal dynamics that must be taken into consideration while doing financial planning and coordinating co-parenting dynamics.

Among these factors is considering whether remarriage might affect child support payments.

Remarriage has little impact in most cases

Child support varies by state, although some things apply universally, including the ability to receive or obligation to pay child support after remarriage. In California, child support won’t cease if either parent remarries, and generally, step-parents don’t assume responsibility as long as one or both parents are able to support the child financially.

In some cases, if a parent voluntarily remains unemployed or has a spouse who earns significantly more than both parents, that spouse’s income may be considered. Community property, which includes any of a parent and the new spouse’s jointly owned assets, may also be ordered by the courts to be used in child support.

Having more children cannot erase or lower child support payments, either.

Modifications are possible in rare circumstances

Altering the amount of child support paid is only possible if a parent can prove his or her income has fallen significantly enough to warrant a modification. Both parents will appear before a judge, who will make the decision.

Ultimately, child support is a fairly steady and fixed amount that remarrying will not alter. Consider possible changes in the future when planning your finances, but make sure that child support payments are factored in as a likely constant.

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