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How does remarriage affect child support?

After the dust settles after divorce, one or more of the parties usually remarries.  How does the subsequent marriage affect child support?

The short answer is that it doesn’t.  Child support is based on the income of the paying party, the number of children before the court, and the number of other children the paying person has a duty to support.

The income of a new spouse is not relevant at all in determining the amount of child support to be paid.  Even if the person receiving the child support marries someone who brings in a very large income, that does not change the amount due.

Similarly, if the person paying child support marries someone who doesn’t work or who brings step-children into that home, it does not change the amount of child support due.  Though the obligations of that person have gone up, the income he or she makes has typically not changed.  That means the amount of child support due will remain the same.

Stepchildren are not counted as children to whom the person paying support has a duty to support.  Typically they already have two parents supporting them.

The only time remarriage will change the amount of child support due is when it is accompanied by the birth or adoption of a child to the person paying child support.   Then the percentage applied to the person’s net monthly resources will be altered.

Spousal support, or alimony, is affected differently and is not addressed in this article.

It is a good idea to consult an attorney before making any big decisions that could impact your children.  That way you will be informed as to all the potential ramifications of your choices.

An attorney will be helpful to you in seeking a modification of child support, or in helping determine whether that is appropriate for you.  Your child is entitled to support from both parents, and the guidelines of the Texas Family Code are a starting place in determining how much is fair.

 

 

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