If you’re divorced and are thinking about remarrying, there are a multitude of practical factors to consider. Among them is the financial implications of remarriage. How will your alimony and/or child support be affected? Whether you are receiving or paying support, ensure you understand the implications first before your next big life change.
Alimony and remarriage
Spousal support, also referred to as alimony, may have been part of your divorce agreement. The goal of alimony as a result of divorce is to handle any financial inequity that occurs as a result of a divorce. It ensures that the spouse with less earning potential can return to school or transition back to the workforce if possible. If neither of these options are realistic, spousal support can help the recipient continue living the life that he or she was accustomed to living before the split and during the course of the marriage.
However, because spousal support is designed to eliminate the disparities in income that often happen in a divorce, a remarriage can trigger a modification to or termination of alimony. Typically, a divorce agreement including alimony includes a provision that ends a spousal support obligation when the other spouse remarries.
Note: if the party who pays the alimony decides to remarry, that event does not affect his or her obligation. The courts don’t consider remarriage – voluntarily taking on additional financial responsibilities – a reason to modify existing financial obligations for the payor.
Remarriage and child support
When the parents of a minor child or children divorce, both parents must provide financial support until the child turns 18. One parent pays child support to the other on a regularly scheduled basis. A child support order stays in effect until the court modifies or terminates it.
However, if one parent remarries, you may have questions. If the parent getting married is receiving child support, the parent paying may feel he or she entitled to a reduction in the support amount. However, the law typically doesn’t see it that way.
Child support is for the child, not the ex-spouse. And, a step-parent has no obligation to support a step-child. So, the parent paying child support is still financially responsible for the child’s needs, and the amount continues to be calculated on the income of the parents and not the income of a new spouse.
On the other side, when the parent paying child support remarries, the parent receiving support may feel entitled to an increase. Again, the courts don’t see it this way. A new spouse has no legal responsibility to support a step-child. So, a new spouse’s income won’t be taken into account when calculating child support payments.
If you have any questions about alimony or child support, the Nashville family law attorneys at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC are pleased to help. Our experienced and compassionate lawyers are here to protect the rights of your family. Please call 615.454.9899 or use our contact form to reserve a consultation.