divorce in California, the court will often order one party to pay the other
child support payments to the other. If one of the parties remarries, does that affect
spousal support and child support?
When it comes to alimony, the legal obligation to pay automatically ends
when the spouse receiving spousal support get remarried. However, if your
divorce agreement states that alimony must continue even if the supported
spouse remarries, there is no way the paying spouse can end or modify
spousal support. Additionally, if alimony is paid in the form of a lump
sum or transfer of assets, the supported spouse’s remarriage won’t
have any impact.
If the supported spouse cohabitates with a new romantic partner (prior
to remarriage), the paying spouse may request a modification to lower
or end alimony payments—unless the supported spouse can prove he/she
still needs such payments. When the paying spouse requests the change,
the court will only consider the supported spouse’s new financial
situation, rather than the new romantic partner’s income.
In regard to child support, remarriage will not have a direct impact in
California since only the child’s biological parents are legally
responsible to support him/her, not the new stepparents—unless there
are unique circumstances which result in severe and immense hardship to
the child. For instance, if the child’s biological parents are not
able to take care of the child’s basic needs with their current
income, but the custodial parent’s new spouse has significant income,
the court may factor in the funds available to the custodial parent through
his/her new spouse.
Furthermore, if a paying parent remarries and has more children, he/she
is not allowed to voluntarily lower child support payments for starting
a new family. If a parent wishes to modify child support, he/she must
prove that there has been a significant financial change for one or both parents.
If you are interested in modifying a current alimony or child support order
contact our experienced legal team at
Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich today.