The content of this article is not legal advice.
Can I sue my ex husband’s new wife for child support?
NO, child support is not taken into account by the new spouse unless the income of the new spouse “allows” your ex-spouse to no longer need to work because the couple’s income is sufficient.
Each biological parent is financially and legally responsible for their child.
Several cases arise and it is sometimes possible that the support may be reviewed:
• The new spouse is not financially responsible for your children. However, in some states, the courts consider spouse’s income if your ex-husband and his new wife have a child together. What if your ex-husband’s household income increases because of his wife’s extra income
• If your husband’s income increases with a new job or an increase, you can ask the court to increase his child support obligation. On the other hand, if your ex-husband experiences a drop in income, he can apply for a reduction in his obligation in court.
How to change child support?
This child support represents the part of your ex-spouse’s financial obligations towards your child.
The courts only change child support if there has been a material change in the circumstances affecting one or both parents. In addition, the change must be substantial and permanent. Examples of significant changes include a change in the custody arrangement, a significant increase in compensation for a parent or a parent involuntarily losing a job.
If the spouse who receives support has a substantial increase in income, the payor can request a downward modification of support based on the change in circumstances. A spouse who receives alimony can request an increase in alimony if his ex-spouse has a substantial increase in income. An increase in income is not the only reason that support payments can be changed due to changing circumstances.
Here are some examples of changes that can affect the amount of child support: this list is not exhaustive and may vary from state to state.
- Law change: State laws relating to support change periodically. When a divorce law changes, this may constitute the change in circumstance necessary to file a request for a change in alimony.
- Cohabitation: alimony can be reduced or waived if an ex-spouse cohabits with another person. If a person lives intimately with a partner, he cohabits. If the aid recipient considers that a reduction in maintenance is unfair, it is their duty to prove that there is a need for support.
- Cost of Living Increase: When inflation lowers the value of alimony, the recipient can request a change based on the cost of living increase as a changed circumstance and request an increase.
- A request can also be made when the ex-spouse has a substantial increase in income.
Can i get more child support if my ex remarries?
Regardless of the context and circumstances, it’s critical to understand how remarriage can affect your child support payments.
If your ex-spouse remarries, your child support payments usually don’t change. Remarriage in itself is not a sufficient condition for modification.
Your child support payments don’t change if your ex-husband now supports stepchildren. Your ex-husband has no legal obligation to provide for the children of his new wife.
However, if he decides to have another child with his new wife, your child support may be affected. The court may reduce your amount because your ex-husband now has a financial obligation to provide for not only your children but also the children of his new marriage.
However, the income of the new spouse may push the salary of the ex-spouse into a higher tax bracket, which could have an impact. And child support can then be increased.
How to proceed to make a modification of child support?
To ask the court to change child support, you must file a petition for the change with your local family court.
You must inform your ex-spouse of your request by summons. A summons is a legal document informing your ex-spouse that you have asked the court to change the amount of current support.
Once your ex-spouse has been notified by the local court, you will set a date to appear in court. It will be your responsibility to present to the court all the documents showing that you are entitled to additional child support.
Your ex-spouse can also present his own argument. After the hearing, the judge may or may not change your payments. If the court changes the payments, then your ex-spouse must pay the new amount ordered by the court.
If you live in California, here’s how it works in the event of your ex’s remarriage and child support:
When determining child support in California, judges consider the following:
• Net income of each parent
• The fiscal responsibility of each parent
• The number of children in need of financial assistance
• The custody agreement
• All health insurance costs
• Any other relevant factor
As in most states, if your ex-spouse remarries, the new spouse is not responsible for supporting your children, in most cases. In some situations, however, the income of the new spouse may become part of community property shared with your ex-spouse and be taken into account in the calculation of child support.
Understanding how remarriage affects your current payments is essential for planning your future and that of your children.
While child support laws can vary from state to state, legal principles remain more or less similar regardless of where you live. However, a distinction must be made between the custodial parent (the one with the children in custody) and the non-custodial parent.
1- I am the custodial parent and I am remarrying
If you are the custodial parent and planning to remarry, it is important to anticipate how this might affect your child and what your options would be.
• Remarriage and child support
Generally speaking, remarriage does not affect whether or not you receive child support. Basically, the law states that the biological parents of the child are responsible for the support of the child and no one else. Therefore, in most states, the courts will not reduce child support payments from a non-custodial parent or debtor due to a custodial parent’s decision to remarry.
However, the debtor has the right to challenge the original agreement if he considers that it is now unjust. This is especially true if the new spouse is able to provide additional financial assistance to the child. In such cases, the support obligations of the non-custodial parent may be reduced accordingly.
However, until such a declaration is made, the non-custodial parent must continue to pay child support. Failure to comply with this instruction may result in accrued interest on unpaid amounts as well as possible garnishment of wages, interception of unemployment benefits or tax refunds, refusal to issue a passport and even prison sentences.
• Withdrawal of child support
Let’s say your new marriage has given you more financial stability and you no longer need the monthly child support payment. Do you need to take steps to fully opt out of child support?
A better option may be to save money in a Section 529 plan for your children’s education. If you both agree to this, your ex will need to continue to keep clear and accurate records of each payment so that the court can be satisfied that they have honored the term of the child support agreement. This pension is generally paid until the children come of age.
2- If the non-custodial parent remarries
A non-custodial parent who decides to remarry has every right to start a new life and a new family, but not at the expense of any children he may have had from a previous marriage. It is indisputable.
• Remarriage and child support
If you, as a non-custodial parent, remarry, your responsibility for child support does not change, that is clear.
The courts do not consider the financial support of your children from a previous marriage to be the legal responsibility of your new spouse. That’s not to say that your ex can’t dispute this or doesn’t have a legal precedent for doing so.
If, for example, your personal disposable income (the money you earn regardless of your new marriage) has increased significantly as a result of your new marriage, there may be a valid case for a change.
• Remarriage and new children
Now let’s say that you and your new spouse have decided to start a new family, but it’s going to be a financial challenge. While you may feel justified in asking for a reduction in your child support payments, the courts are generally reluctant to do so. In some cases, if you show that your overall household expenses have increased significantly or that your income has decreased significantly, the courts may consider a change. This is a thorny and potentially contentious issue that must be considered with your child’s best interests in mind.
You can also see our post Who pays for the divorce?