Does Remarriage Impact Child Support?
Does Remarriage Impact Child Support?
You have a child from a previous marriage or relationship. You already have a child support order in place, but now you are engaged to be married. You may decide to have more children with your new spouse, or they may already have children from a previous relationship too. You may even be considering adopting your partner’s children after you get married. Or maybe you are the non-custodial parent, you are paying child support, and you are planning to get married. It is important that you know your legal rights and responsibilities in light of these major life changes.
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions by both custodial and non-custodial parents.
Custodial Parents Questions About Remarriage
- My new spouse has children from a previous relationship. Can I receive credit for them if child support is recalculated?
- No, you can only receive credit for providing support for your biological children that live in the home or for whom you are paying court ordered child support. The courts in this area usually only grant credit for older biological children and not afterborn children.
- If I remarry, will the amount of support I receive be reduced?
- In Virginia, child support is determined by a calculation that looks at only the biological parents’ income. The amount of support you receive will generally not be changed just because you remarry.
- If my new spouse adopts my child, will I still receive child support?
- The courts generally do not allow for a child to be adopted unless the biological parent consents and relinquishes their rights, which they usually will not do if they are paying support and are involved in the child’s life. If the non-custodial parent does consent to the adoption, then you will likely no longer receive child support for that child.
- Can my new spouse provide health insurance for my child from a previous relationship?
- This would be determined by the rules and regulations of the insurance company. We often see that it is allowed.
- If I choose to stay home with my child or return to school after I remarry, can I increase my child support?
- If you voluntarily leave your job, the courts will generally impute the income you were making at your last job to you when calculating child support, so your support amount will likely not change. However, if you are staying home full time (or attending school full time), you will not be able to claim daycare expenses as they are not related to employment.
Questions for the Non-Custodial Parent
- My ex has remarried and the new spouse makes plenty of money. Do I still need to pay support?
- Yes, you do need to continue to pay support. The court only looks at the income earned by the biological mother and father when calculating support. It doesn’t matter if either party marries someone new. It is not the legal responsibility of the new spouse to provide for the child.
- I have remarried and have a baby with my new spouse. I now stay home full time and am not earning any money. Can I eliminate my child support payments?
- No, if you voluntarily leave your job, you will be considered voluntarily unemployed and the court will likely impute the income that you were making to you when calculating child support. The courts feel that everyone is capable of making at least full time minimum wage so that is the general minimum that would be imputed to a parent.
- Will my new spouse’s income be counted when calculating child support?
- No, only biological parents are legally obligated to support their children.
- My spouse has children from a previous relationship that live with us. Can I claim them and receive a child support deduction?
- No, you will not receive credit for your new spouse’s children.
- My spouse and I have a new baby together. Can I claim them and receive a child support deduction?
- The courts in this area generally only count pre-born biological children, although some courts do count afterborn children.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author, Amy Holland.