If you are thinking about remarrying, you may be wondering what this means for your already established child support payments. Continue reading to learn whether a modification to your child support settlement agreement will be required and how an experienced Somerset County child support attorney at Siragusa Law Firm can guide you through this.
How is child support determined in the state of New Jersey?
Notably, the New Jersey courts follow a general formula when making their child support decisions. This formula, essentially, takes the net income of both you and your former spouse and determines how much you spent on your child while you were married. The purpose of this is to ensure that this matches the financial support your child receives after your divorce.
Additional factors that the New Jersey courts may take into consideration include the following:
- Whether your child has special needs.
- The educational needs of your child.
- The age and health of your child.
- The child custody agreement in place.
- The educational background of you and your former spouse.
- The work history of you and your former spouse.
Will remarrying affect my child support payments?
In simple terms, your new spouse is not obligated to support your child from your previous marriage. Instead, the New Jersey courts view that you and your former spouse, the legal parents, are fully obligated to financially support your child.
With that being said, in the past, the New Jersey courts did not believe that having a new child with your new spouse was a valid reason for altering your child support payments. Instead, they viewed that your primary obligation would be toward your child from your previous marriage.
However, in the present, the opposite is true. The New Jersey courts will consider your other legal dependents as a factor when deciding on whether to alter your child support payments. They view that your new children should not be denied any financial benefits simply because of your previous marriage.
How can my child support payments be modified?
Your child support payments can only be modified by filing for a post-judgment modification. And filing for a post-judgment modification is only reasonable if your circumstances have changed in a way that makes your original settlement agreement unfair.
Importantly, even though the New Jersey courts do not believe your new spouse would be financially responsible for your child from your previous marriage, they will still use their income information as a factor in their decision. This is because, when you remarried, you subsequently spent less of your individual income on household bills. With more disposable income available for your child, the New Jersey courts may feel the need to lessen your child support payments.
We understand how complicated the modification process can be to navigate. Rest assured, a skilled Somerset County family law attorney is available to help you. Call our firm today.