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How remarriage may affect child support

You are soon to get remarried and are full of questions about how the child support you pay or receive could change. For example, say that you pay child support and your new spouse makes a lot more money than you do. Does that mean your payments are likely to increase?

Here is a look at that answer and several others.

If you pay child support

Your child support payments should not increase even if your new spouse makes a lot of money. Likewise, if your ex gets remarried, no matter the income of his or her new spouse, you still have an obligation to pay child support. Such support is the responsibility of a child's legal parents, and unless the new stepparent adopts your child, you must make these payments.

If your remarriage means you later have more legal or biological children, that often does not mean your child support payments get reduced. However, you can take a second job to support these children without including the income from the job in the amount used to calculate the support for the child from your prior marriage. Also, if your child starts to spend more time with you, then your child support obligations could go down. On the other hand, they could increase if the child spends less time with you.

If you receive child support

When you receive child support and remarry, the amount you receive will probably not go down. Your ex is still your child's legal parent. Even if you prefer your ex to stop paying child support because the money is no longer necessary, think about alternatives. You could use the money to save for your child's college education, for example. It is important that your child feels like both of his or her parents are invested.

If your new spouse has children and your overall expenses go up, that probably is not grounds for an increase in child support from your co-parent. However, individual situations do vary, so consult with a lawyer to clarify any questions you have. It could be that your co-parent is willing to pay more.

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