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The Impact of Remarriages on Child Support Modification

FAQ: How will a New Marriage Affect Our Child Support Payments?

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How does a marriage or remarriage affect child support payments?

Marriage does not affect child support payments. The only income that should be included for child support payments is that of the biological parents.

What about back child support payments?

The court can garnish the wages of the child support obligor, but the court cannot look to a new spouse's income to satisfy a child support judgment.

Can the government take my tax return to pay back support payments that my spouse owes?

The government can confiscate a child support obligor's tax return to satisfy owed child support payments. If spouses file income tax returns together, the court may confiscate the entire return. However, a spouse who does not owe child support can petition the IRS for a return of his/her half of the tax return.

What if my ex requests a child support modification based on my new marriage?

An ex-partner cannot request a child support modification based solely on the marriage of a co-parent. Child support modifications are primarily based on an increase or decrease of income.

Will a court consider my additional household expenses related to my marriage for child support modification purposes?

A court will consider additional expenses that a child support obligor is responsible for as a result of a child support modification request. A child support obligor may have an increased amount of household expenses as a result of the marriage, which may reduce his/her's child support obligation. Parents should be prepared to present evidence of expenses at a child support hearing.

Will the court consider the children I have with my current spouse as grounds for child support modification?

No. Children from a previous relationship are considered to have first priority for child support purposes. The court will not consider additional children from a new marriage. However, a court will consider additional expenses attributed to new children (i.e. childcare or medical expenses), paid by the biological parent.

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