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How Does Remarriage Affect Child Support Obligations?

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While most people anticipate that the dissolution of a marriage will be fraught with emotional turmoil and potential legal difficulties, many fail to realize that remarriage can also cause complications for divorced couples and their children. For instance, upon remarriage, a non-custodial parent’s child support obligations could be modified or even reduced, so if you are divorced and either you or your ex-spouse is planning on getting remarried, it is important to contact an experienced child support modification lawyer who can ensure that your child is provided for and that his or her interests are protected.

Responsibility to Provide Financial Support

 In Florida, parenthood comes with both rights and responsibilities. For instance, parents are required to financially support their children, but also have the right to see their children regularly. These rights and obligations do not disappear upon divorce, although they may take different forms. Financial support, for instance, often takes the form of child support payments, which must usually be paid by the non-custodial parent, or the parent who is granted less physical time with the child. Similarly, that parent will almost always be guaranteed visitation with the child.

Financial Obligations After Remarriage

 These obligations do not usually change drastically upon remarriage, although a court could require a minor modification based on which party is getting remarried. For instance, if the custodial parent of the child marries someone else, the amount of child support that he or she should receive or pay will not usually be affected. This is due to the fact that courts prefer to hold both of a child’s biological parents responsible for that child’s financial support and no one else, which means that just because a person remarries, does not mean that his or her new spouse will be responsible for supporting children from a previous relationship.

It is still possible, however, for a non-custodial parent to request modification of a child support agreement when his or her ex-spouse gets remarried, especially when the new spouse does have the means to financially support the child. In these cases, a court could be willing to reduce the amount that the non-custodial parent has to pay, as the child’s custodial parent could have access to more of his or her own funds to support the child, while the new spouse would be able to cover more of the couple’s household expenses. However, courts will almost never cancel a child support obligation altogether due to the remarriage of either one of the parties.

Similarly, if a child’s non-custodial parent remarried and was required to support his or her new spouse and any additional children, a judge could order a reduction in the amount that the newly married party must pay to his or her former partner. However, it is also not uncommon for courts to refuse to make these changes, unless the petitioning spouse also suffered a job loss or was diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

Contact an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Child Support Lawyer Today

 

If you or your former spouse are considering remarriage and have questions about your obligations regarding child support, you need the advice of an experienced attorney who can explain your legal options.  Please contact dedicated Fort Lauderdale child support modification attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 to learn more.

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