Does remarriage affect child support obligations?

A New Jersey who remarries may have questions about how it would affect financial obligations to children from a previous marriage. Existing child support orders are typically not affected by a new marriage. Child support is based on the incomes of the child’s biological parents, and the new spouse’s income plays no role in child support calculations.

A new spouse might be concerned that he or she might become responsible for back child support owed by his or her partner. However, only the income of the parent subject to the child support order can be garnished. The wages of the new spouse cannot be touched for the purpose of enforcing the child support obligations of the other spouse.

Although the court cannot mandate the new spouse to help with the payment of old or current child support, he or she may choose to offer help with payments. If a parent wants to petition the court for a reduction in child support upon remarriage, proof of additional household expenses might affect it. However, having more children during the new marriage will not relieve the parent of obligations under existing child support orders for children from a previous relationship.

Before finalizing plans for remarriage, it might be a good idea to consult with an experienced New Jersey family law attorney. Legal counsel can explain the laws related to child support. If a parent wants to petition the court to modify an existing child support order, the lawyer can assist with gathering the necessary proof to convince the court that a substantial change in circumstances warrants a change in the existing order.