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What Happens to Child Support After Remarriage?

Posted on in Child Support

What Happens to Child Support After Remarriage?Getting remarried is an exciting event because it signifies a resolution to your divorce in many ways. You have proven that you can find a new relationship. If you were receiving spousal maintenance, you can break that financial tie to your former spouse. However, your obligation to provide child support will remain, regardless of whether either of you gets remarried. There are limited circumstances in which the child support payments can be modified after one parent gets remarried.

Principles of Child Support

Divorced parents pay child support because they share a financial obligation to care for their children. That obligation will always remain with the two legal parents of the children and not with any new spouses. Your new spouse cannot become the legal parent of your children unless your co-parent relinquishes his or her parental rights and your new spouse adopts your children. Thus, courts have traditionally not considered the income of a new spouse when determining child support payments. However, an Illinois court ruling in 2014 broke with that tradition when it found that:

  • A parent’s financial resources can help determine his or her appropriate child support obligation; and
  • The income of the mother’s new husband counted as an increase in her financial resources.

Courts will not directly include your new spouse’s income when calculating your child support obligation. Instead, it will reasonably consider whether your current share of child support is fair if your new spouse’s income decreases the percentage of your income that you use for other expenses.

Blended Family

Your new spouse may bring his or her own children into your marriage, or you may want to have another child with your new spouse. While additional children will increase your child-related expenses, it will not increase the child support payments that you receive or decrease your child support payments to your co-parent. You cannot make your co-parent responsible for paying for children that are not legally his or hers. In some circumstances, a court may reduce your child support obligation if you can show that your new children have significantly drained your financial resources. However, you should not be financially responsible for your new spouse’s children from a previous relationship.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney

Your child support payments will not automatically change when either you or your co-parent gets remarried. One of you must petition for a modification of your child support agreement. A St. Charles, Illinois, family law lawyer at Goostree Law Group can help you file a motion to change your child support. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800. 


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