How does remarriage affect child support?

Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi A Professional Law Corporation Child Support

This is a common question many of our clients have. Perhaps you have been divorced for quite a while, and you started dating again. Some are lucky to find the right person the second time around. But what happens if you decide to get remarried? While finding happiness is a good thing, it is important you don’t get too caught up in the moment and think about how this decision can affect child support under California law. Consult a Westlake Village child support attorney if you have any questions about remarriage and child support.

Parents in California are responsible to support their kids, whether single or married. Several factors are considered when calculating child support such as:

  • The parents’ income
  • Amount of children that need support
  • Tax liability
  • Health care costs
  • Retirement and other benefits
  • Other parents supporting the children
  • Any other factors the court may consider

In order to calculate child support in California, the court may also take a look at the specific circumstances of your case such as special needs, travel expenses, and educational expenses.

How remarriage will impact your child support order?

Although remarriage may not directly impact child support, under some extraordinary circumstances, the judge may take a look at the new spouse’s income. For example, when the biological parents don’t make enough money to meet the child’s needs but the new spouse has a good income, the court may consider these funds when calculating child support. California is a community property state, therefore, the court can enforce child support against the couple’s marital property. However, in most cases, only the biological parents have the financial duty to support the kids. Judges will also take a look at other circumstances such as when the custodial parent remains unemployed, quits work, or reduces income in order to receive more child support.

Parents who get remarried and had more children, can’t use the new circumstances as an excuse to lower their child support obligations. Yet courts may consider other spousal support or child support responsibilities when calculating the amount of support awarded.

Modifying your child support award

In order to modify your child support award, you need to prove to the court that there has been a significant change in circumstances. The change must be significant otherwise the court may not approve a modification. However, if a parent becomes unemployed or receives a raise, these may qualify as valid reasons to modify a child support order.

If you believe your financial circumstances have significantly changed, you need to file a motion and attend a hearing. The judge will determine whether or not your circumstances qualify for a modification. Every child support case is different so it is important that you take the right steps for you and your children in order to ensure the desired outcome. Learn more about your child support options by calling family law attorney Stephanie L. Mahdavi.

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