Child support after remarriage generally continues as usual no matter which parent gets remarried. Texas’ child support system does not take into consideration the marital status of the parents, only their responsibility to support the children. If you or your ex-spouse is considering remarriage, here is what you need to know about child support.
New Spouses Do Not Affect Income & Child Support Calculation
When a paying parent remarries, his or her new spouse’s income cannot be used to re-calculate his or her child support after remarriage. If your new spouse has a significantly higher income, calculation of your child support obligation will remain the same, as it comes from your income and not your spouse’s earnings.
Likewise, if your new spouse or stepchildren cause you new financial obligations, these obligations cannot be used to lower your child support obligation. If you find that you are under an unusually high financial burden you must request a modification in your child support agreement and cite the circumstances that would entitle you to a reduction of payments.
Meanwhile, if the parent receiving child support remarries, the payments do not stop. Even if the new spouse is very wealthy and puts the parent receiving child support in a better financial position, it does not eliminate the other parent’s obligation to provide child support.
Child Support is Required Until a Certain Event
In Texas, one parent must continue to pay child support to the other parent, regardless of either parent’s marital status.
Naturally, child support obligations cease once one of the following events take place.
- The child turns 18 years of age.
- The child becomes emancipated from the custodial parent through marriage or court order.
- The child fails to remain enrolled in school and in compliance with the school’s attendance policy.
- The non-custodial parent relinquishes parental rights and the child is adopted by a stepparent.
Adoption by a step-parent is the only way a non-custodial parent can be excused from paying child support after remarriage of an ex-spouse, as the custodial parent’s new husband or wife will take on the legal responsibility of supporting the child.
When a child is disabled, the child support obligation may last indefinitely if the child requires substantial care and supervision and the disability was discovered on or before the child’s 18th birthday.
To request adjustments in your child support obligation, you must petition to the court with your request and evidence to support the modification request. Cases of financial hardship, job loss, and illness may be considered, but remarriage and adoption of a new spouse’s children will not cease your obligation to your children.
Have questions about child support after remarriage? Call Julie Johnson!
Both custodial and non-custodial parents should know and understand their parental rights before signing any custody, parenting, and support agreements following a divorce. If you feel that you are unable to meet your obligations for child support after remarriage, speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Dallas family lawyer Julie Johnson is a mediator and attorney focused on doing what’s best for your family. She seeks fair, amicable resolutions through low-drama methods such as mediation and can assist with child support modification cases. Contact the Law Office of Julie Johnson, PLLC at 214-265-7630 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.