When you go through a divorce, the parents or the court decide on an amount of child support for one parent to pay to the other. The same is true if you did not marry the other parent but still had a child together. Then, the other parent must pay child support. But, how does a new marriage impact the amount of child support? Whether you’re the one paying it or the one receiving it, it’s important to know the answer to the question, does my child support change if I get married? Let’s take a look.
Determining Child Support
When you first get divorced, a set amount of how much child support one parent will pay to the other is determined. The state of Texas uses something called “guidelines child support” to determine how much child support needs to be paid. The breakdown is as follows:
1 child = 20% of the noncustodial parent’s average monthly net resources
2 children = 25% of the noncustodial parent’s average monthly net resources
3 children = 30% of the noncustodial parent’s average monthly net resources
4 children = 35% of the noncustodial parent’s average monthly net resources
5 children = 40% of the noncustodial parent’s average monthly net resources
6 or more children = not less than 40% of the noncustodial parent’s average monthly net resources
While that can be used as a general guideline, the amounts will differ if the non-custodial parent has children with someone else. They can also change due to other life circumstances such as losing a job or getting hurt and being unable to work.
How Does Child Support Change if My Ex Gets Married?
Generally speaking, when one parent gets remarried, it does not impact previous child support orders. The only income that should be counted towards the child support amount is the income of the biological parents. The income of the new spouse should not be considered in the amount of child support one parent has to pay to the other.
But, if you are paying child support and you believe that the income of the other parent’s new spouse is going to be used to support your biological child, you can contest a change in the amount you pay. If the new spouse is paying for more household expenses, it could impact how much money the custodial parent actually pays to support their child.
If your income changes after you are remarried, you can request a child support modification. But, not if the income change involves your new spouse.
Whatever changes are requested due to remarriage, should not negatively impact the child. If the court believes that it will, the request will be denied. The well-being of all children involved is always a priority.
How Does Child Support Change if I Get Married?
The same is true for the amount of money you receive for the child if you remarry. Your new spouse’s income will not be a factor. But, if your new spouse is paying a good amount of the household expenses, your ex may request a reduction in the amount of child support they pay.
If your new spouse is significantly wealthy, it does not negate the other parent’s responsibility to still pay child support. They must still may something, while they may be able to ask for a reduction of the amount. Again, the request must not negatively impact the child’s well-being.
Do Stepchildren Affect Child Support?
If your new spouse or stepchildren impact your financial obligations at your home, it has no bearing on the amount of child support you have to pay. You can’t ask for a reduction in the amount of child support you have to pay just because you have new stepchildren to take care of as well. The standing order of child support from your divorce stands. The financial obligations you have to your biological children will not change due to new stepchildren that are in the picture.
If Remarriage Itself Doesn’t Affect Child Support When Will My Child Support End?
One parent must continue to pay child support to the other parent regardless of marital status. Child support obligations stop in Texas only under one of the following conditions:
- The child turns 18 years of age
- The child becomes emancipated from the custodial parent
- A non-custodial parent gives up their parental rights and the stepparent adopts the child.
- The child fails to remain enrolled in school.
If your child falls into one of these categories, you can inform the court and child support payments will likely stop.
What Happens if My Ex Stops Paying Child Support Due to Remarriage?
Despite the rules, if one parent decides to stop paying child support due to remarriage, it is considered a serious offense. If the non-custodial parent fails to pay child support and is uncooperative, your attorney can petition the court to enforce the child support order.
Non-paying parents expect the following child support enforcement:
- Jail time
- $10,000 fine
- Wage garnishment
- Suspension of driver’s license or any professional licenses
- Liens against property
- Orders to pay all child support with interest
- Interception of tax refunds or any lottery winnings
Do You Need Help with Child Support Issues Due to Remarriage?
While remarriage within itself is not a cause for a change in child support, other factors could impact the child support payments you pay or receive. If you have questions regarding these payments, the team at Wilson & Associates Law, P.C. can help. Child support issues are often something that requires legal aid. Our team will evaluate your case and determine the best course of action. We will keep the best interests of your child in mind and will fight to make sure that the child support you are paying or receiving is fair.