How Does Remarriage Affect Child and Spousal Support Payments

How Does Remarriage Affect Child and Spousal Support Payments in Carlsbad and North County?

Pierre Domercq Spousal Support

How does remarriage affect child and spousal support payments in Carlsbad and North County family law courts?  What usually happens in these cases?

Lets begin with the conversation regarding child support.  California family law was modified in the early 1990’s to specify that the Court cannot consider the income of a new spouse or non-marital partner (i.e. living together) as a reason to change either the amount paid or received for child support except in the extraordinary event where “excluding that income would lead to extreme hardship to any child subject to the child support award.”

There have been a few cases requesting changes to child support based upon an ex-spouse who remarried a wealthy partner and the subsequent change in lifestyle enjoyed by the children. Appellate Courts have rejected these grounds and many other attempts to reclassify the benefits provided by a new spouse in these situations as “income” to the recipient parent.

Changes to spousal support (or “alimony”) may be in order if the recipient ex-spouse remarries or moves in with another partner.  In the case of the person making spousal support payments, remarriage does not impact the amount of spousal support to be paid to the recipient.  The income of the new spouse cannot be used to request an increase in support in these cases.

Finally, if the recipient of spousal support remarries spousal support will end unless specifically agreed to in writing or the matter is addressed in the original orders of the divorce court.  Co-habitation creates a “rebuttable presumption” that the support needs of the recipient have dropped, and spousal support should be reduced or eliminated.  When this case is brought before the court, the recipient must prove that the co-habitation has not changed the need for continuing spousal support.

How does remarriage affect child and spousal support payments in your specific case?  We invite you to contact us, or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Carlsbad family law attorneys.