Remarriage is quite common in America. A report by the United States Census Bureau reveals that approximately 50 percent of new marriages involve one spouse who was previously married and that 42 million American adults have been married more than once. Many people who have already experienced a divorce have questions about how that divorce will impact their future marriage both legally and financially.
One of the most common questions about this situation is what will happen to their child support if they remarry. California child support is determined by use of a formula using parent's net income and the residential time distribution between both parents.
Under California family law, both parents have an equal responsibility to provide financially for their child. It doesn't matter if either parent remarries. Unless one parent gives up their parental rights through adoption, the other parent will still be financially supporting their child, regardless of your remarriage.
Under California Family Code 4057.5, the income of a new spouse won't be considered in calculating child support in most cases. However, it should be noted, the extra income along with a new marital status for filing taxes might eventually impact child support calculation.
It's possible for child support to be reduced if you or your spouse remarry and have another child, due to the fact California child support considers the number of dependents when calculating child support, meaning it could change on the factor alone.
California Family Code 3900 states that all parents are financially responsible for their child, regardless of the custody arrangement or visitation schedule.
To give readers a better understanding of child support obligations and common outcomes when a spouse remarries, our California divorce attorneys are providing an overview below.
Determining Child Support
California family laws make it very clear that all parents have a financial responsibility to support their children, no matter their marital status.
In general, a judge will consider economic factors that pertain to each parent when determining how much child support they should pay, including:
- Net disposable income
- How many children they support
- Their custody arrangement
- The tax liability of each parent
- The cost of their child's health insurance
In general, a remarriage should not drastically change a parent's child support payments or how much they receive in child support.
Common Outcomes for Child Support when One Spouse Remarries
When one spouse remarries in California, the remarriage does not directly impact any existing child support orders.
Since the child's biological parents and not stepparents are the ones responsible for them financially, bringing a stepparent into the family will not usually change whether or not child support is owed or how much is owed.
It is unlikely that a California family court judge will examine the income of a new spouse unless there are unique circumstances that present a financial hardship to the children.
For instance, if one parent remarries and their new spouse has a significant income, the family court could determine how much child support that parent owes or receives based upon the income of the new spouse.
If the remarried parent decides to quit their job and remains unemployed, the court may also consider the income of their new spouse for child support.
The new spouse may be mandated by the court to share their federal and state tax records. Any changes to the family's income, including the loss of a job, whether voluntary or not, should be discussed with your Los Angeles child support attorney.
Both the parent and their new spouse should remember that California is a community property state.
Under this framework, each spouse has joint ownership of the marriage assets. If one spouse refuses to pay child support for their child from a previous relationship, the court might act on an order against the community property of the current couple. However, they cannot go after the new spouse's job earnings.
What if the Remarriage Results in More Children?
As your child support attorney in Los Angeles will inform you, it is entirely within your legal rights to marry and have more children if you choose.
However, the court will not allow you to use the new expenses that you acquired by voluntarily having more kids to decrease your child support obligation to your older children from your previous relationship.
California courts will factor in alimony or other child support responsibilities when initially determining an amount for child support, but having subsequent children is not a valid reason for your child support obligations to be reduced.
California Child Support Modifications after Remarriage
If you want to modify your child support order after remarriage or other new circumstances, your first step should be to consult with a knowledgeable child support lawyer in Los Angeles.
The change must be permanent and considerable such as one parent receiving a significant increase in income or a change in the custody agreement. A remarriage by one or both parents is not generally a sufficient reason to request that the court modify a child support order.
Contact a Child Support Attorney in Los Angeles
Child support can be one of the most complicated and long-lasting issues in a divorce. If you are deciding to remarry or not or know that your ex-spouse is remarried, it is common to have more questions about child support.
Whether you are on the paying or receiving end of a child support order, a well-versed Los Angeles child support lawyer could help you ensure that you are paying or receiving what you should be considering all circumstances. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and ensure that the law is applied correctly in accordance to your situation.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and have questions about what can affect your child support calculation, our Certified Family Law Specialist can help you. Use the online contact form to schedule your consultation or call our law firm.
Furman & Zavatsky
15821 Ventura Blvd #690
Encino, CA 91436