A common misconception that some divorcees have is if their ex gets remarried, and is currently paying child support, then the amount owed per payment will go up. There is some logical thinking behind this; if they remarry, they have a second source of income in their new household. However, new marriages do no affect previous child support orders, because, almost exclusively, the only income that is included when the court decides the child support payments, is that of the direct parents or guardians.
What the custodial parent can do is request for a child support modification. For a court to accept this, there needs to be a substantial increase (or decrease) of income, or a drastic change in the overall circumstances. However, in some states, if your ex’s new spouse is well-off, and your ex’s income isn’t all that necessary to support the household, an increase is a possibility.
It is important to note a circumstance where a remarriage has an effect on the child support order. If your ex marries someone of significant wealth, the court will sometimes take that into consideration when reviewing a modification to raise the payment amounts.
Also, if your ex remarries and then has kids, this will constitute as a significant change in circumstances. Usually, first family children are given priority in terms of obligations, however depending on attendant circumstances, a judge may reduce child support if your ex’s income also needs to go to his new children.
If you have questions about child support and custody, please do not hesitate to contact Paul E. Rudder, Esq. Mr. Rudder has over 30 years of experience as a child support and custody lawyer in New York City. Contact him today at (212) 826-9900.