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What Happens to Child Support if I Remarry?

woman and a baby

Around 70% of Americans who divorce will remarry at some point. If you currently receive or pay child support and are considering remarriage after divorce, whether you’re in a serious relationship or simply thinking about what the future may hold, you may be wondering how remarriage impacts child support. It’s a common issue and while it’s not simple or easy, it is more straightforward that most people think.

How Remarriage Impacts Child Support

Generally speaking, remarriage of either party does not affect child support. Here is what each party can expect:

If You Receive Child Support and Remarry

If you have sole physical custody of your child(ren) or your child(ren) live with you for the majority of the time, you likely receive child support. In this scenario, you will still receive child support after you remarry. While most states do not reduce or stop child support payments when the custodial parent remarries, the state of North Carolina may reduce the payments.

North Carolina child support laws state your new spouse’s income may factor into the child support you receive. While they are not legally obligated to contribute financially to your child(ren), their income likely goes toward shared expenses like rent/mortgage and utilities. In the eyes of the state, this means that more of your income can go toward child care, and it may result in a reduction of the child support that you receive.

It’s important to note that having children with your new spouse does not impact the child support you receive from your former spouse.

If You Pay Child Support and Remarry

If you have partial custody and pay child support, remarrying does not impact the amount of child support you are responsible for. Your new spouse is not financially responsible for any children you have from previous relationships. Furthermore, their income is not factored into the amount of child support you pay.

There is an exception to this, however. If your disposable income increases significantly after you remarry, your child support order may be reworked so that your payments increase. For example, moving into your spouse’s paid off home means that you no longer have to pay rent/mortgage. The courts will likely assume that your disposable income has increased substantially and may increase the amount of child support you owe.

Generally speaking, though, your new spouse’s assets will not be factored into the amount of child support you pay. Your new spouse may voluntarily contribute, but they can not be legally required to and their wages cannot be garnished to pay past due child support payments.

Having More Children Does Not Impact Child Support

Whether you pay or receive child support, having more children with your new spouse does not affect an established child support order. You are not legally responsible for financially supporting your former spouse’s new children, and vice versa. On the other hand, if you pay child support, it is unlikely you will have your payments reduced if you have children with your new spouse.

Protect Yourself With Experienced Divorce Attorney

If you are concerned about child custody after remarriage, an experienced divorce attorney can guide you through the process and make sure you’re paying or receiving a fair amount. Call our office at (919) 301-8843 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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