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Remarriage and child support

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2021 | Child Support |

Child custody and support payments can be two of the thorniest issues in a New York divorce. Sometimes, estranged couples continue to have disputes about support payments even years after the split. A custodial parent may feel that the amount is inadequate. The payer, meanwhile, may feel that they are too high. And sometimes, when circumstances change, the court may agree to revisit the arrangement.

The role of remarriage

Laws around child support vary by state. Authorities everywhere, though, know that with more supportive, involved adults in their life, a child is likely to do better. So even if the custodial spouse remarries, child support payments will not be eliminated. Child support in New York is for the child, not for the ex-spouse.

In the same way, the person who pays support must continue to do so, even if they remarry. Having a new spouse or child does not mean that their responsibility to their other minor children has ended.

The one situation where remarriage may affect support is in the area of adoption. Sometimes, a stepparent may want to adopt the stepchildren legally. In order for this to happen, the non-custodial parent would have to sign away all parental rights. This is a huge step tantamount to severing a relationship with the child. It’s not something that is usually advisable. It’s not something to enter into lightly.

Factors that may impact support payments

Things like changes to income are a reason to reduce or increase child support. For example, if the payer loses their job, the court will take that into account. Being represented by an attorney is recommended in that kind of scenario.