Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers | April 19, 2023 | Child Support
Getting remarried is not sufficient cause in itself to justify the modification of child support payments in New Jersey. Child support is based on the child’s needs and the income of the legal parents. However, there are always exceptions to every rule.
How Are Child Support Obligations Calculated in Bergen County, New Jersey?
New Jersey uses child support guidelines to calculate the amount of monthly child support payments. Factors used to determine child support obligations include:
- The net income of both parents
- The number of children being supported
- The age of the children
- Any special needs or uninsured medical requirements that result in additional expenses for the child
- Child support and alimony payments from prior marriages or relationships
- The number of overnight visits with the noncustodial parent
- Earning potential for each parent
Remarriage is not a factor judges consider when determining child support payments. Therefore, even if your new spouse has a much higher income or is substantially wealthier than you, they are not legally obligated to support your child.
Therefore, your ex-spouse might see your remarriage as an opportunity to get more money each month in support payments. However, it is unlikely to occur unless the judge decides modifying child support payments is in the best interest of the child. As noted before, there are exceptions to the general rule, and cases are decided by the facts specific to the case.
What Factors Do Judges Consider When Modifying Child Support Payments in Bergen County?
You must prove that a substantial change in circumstances justifies a modification of child support payments. Examples of changes that a judge might consider when hearing a petition for modification of child support include:
- A parent or child sustained a severe injury or developed an illness or disability after the original child support order
- A substantial increase in the cost of living
- A decrease or increase in income for the parent paying child support
- Changes in income tax laws
- An increase or decrease in the income for the parent receiving child support
- The parent receiving child support loses their home
- The parent receiving child support becomes employed
The court may not consider remarriage as the sole reason for adjusting child support payments. However, a judge can include living with another adult as a factor in child support modification cases.
You must report the income for your current spouse when petitioning or responding to a petition for modification of child support payments. A factor the court considers when calculating child support payments is the ability of the parent paying child support to pay their living expenses.
Therefore, if you remarry, your new spouse will likely contribute to household expenses. Therefore, you might not be paying as much for your living and household expenses as you were when the court issued the original child support order. The judge could consider that as a factor when modifying the amount of child support.
What Happens if I Have Children With My New Spouse?
When you remarry, you and your new spouse might decide to have children. Having children from a second marriage could impact child support payments to your ex-spouse. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines allow for judgment modifications to child support payments when a new child is born.
You must petition the court to modify child support payments for the “Other Dependent Deduction.” The petition is based on the arrival of a new child being a significant change in circumstances to warrant modifying child support payments. The law recognizes that a new legal dependent also has a right to a portion of the parent’s income for financial support.
Remarriage Could Also Impact Alimony Payments in New Jersey
When a person receiving spousal support remarries, it typically ends the alimony payments. Likewise, cohabitation could end spousal support payments if a person moves in with another adult and engages in an intimate relationship.
However, remarriage by the party paying alimony payments does not typically impact the amount of spousal support. However, it could be worth talking with a Bergen County alimony lawyer to determine how remarriage impacts your spousal support payments.
What Should I Do if I Am Getting Remarried and There is a Child Support Obligation From a Previous Relationship?
Understanding how remarriage impacts child support obligations is crucial for a parent. The best way to know how getting remarried impacts your child support payments is to talk with a Bergen County child support lawyer. Meeting with an attorney before getting remarried can help you prepare for any possible changes that could occur regarding child support.
Contact the Bergen County Family and Divorce Law Firm of Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers for more help
Contact the experienced family attorneys at Arons & Solomon Divorce Lawyers today for legal assistance. Visit our law office in Bergen County or give us a call at (201) 487-1199 to schedule a free consultation with our team.