In Pennsylvania, getting remarried may impact your child support obligations if your individual financial situation changes due to the new marriage. This is because when a person remarries, their financial situation may change, which can affect the amount of child support they are required to pay or receive. Due to the complex legal issues surrounding child support, representation by an experienced Pennsylvania child support attorney is essential.
The family lawyers at Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman have represented clients in child support matters for over 40 years.
In this article, we will discuss how getting married can affect child support.
Does Getting Married Affect Child Support?
The act of getting remarried itself will not affect your prior child support obligations, if your individual financial situation changes as a result of your remarriage, your child support payments may also change. But, this all depends on your situation. In Pennsylvania, child support is calculated according to the child support formula, which combines both parents’ monthly net income and the amount both parents owe towards a child.
Does a New Spouse’s Income Factor Into Child Support?
A new spouse’s income does not factor into child support calculations in Pennsylvania. Only the income of the biological or adoptive parent is considered when determining child support. However, a new spouse’s income may affect your child support payments indirectly.
Circumstances When Child Support May Change Following Remarriage
There are limited circumstances in which child support payments can be modified. Simply marrying a new person does not warrant child support modification, as your new spouse is not responsible for supporting your child. However, a new marriage can create circumstances which justify a child support modification.
If you pay child support and have a child with your new spouse, you can obtain a downward modification of child support. Specifically, the court will look at your finances to determine if your child support obligations for all your children exceed 50% of your income. If your obligations exceed 50%, you may be able to obtain a reduction.
Change in Income
Entering a new marriage will not justify modifying your child support obligation. However, if you are the non-custodial parent, begin new employment, and earn significantly more money, your former spouse can petition to increase your child support obligation. Similarly, if you lost your job through no fault of your own, or were forced to take a position in which you earn significantly less money, you may be able to obtain a downward departure of your child support obligation.
Change in Child Custody
Child support is meant to provide a child with the financial benefits they would have received if the parents remained together. As a practical matter, the non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. Stated simply, if you obtain primary physical custody or equal physical custody, you can also petition for your child support obligations to be reduced or eliminated.
Talk with a Family Law Attorney About Any Child Support Questions You Have
In summary, remarriage can indirectly affect child support by impacting your financial situation, which can cause your child support obligation to increase. While your new spouse’s income is not considered when determining child support, Courts look to see if your expenses have been reduced.
If you have any questions or concerns about how remarriage may affect child support, it is important to speak with a family law attorney who can provide you with legal guidance and advice. Make sure to attempt to navigate the child support process with legal representation. Contact the child support lawyers at Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman to learn more.