It’s very common for people to get divorced, move on, meet someone else, fall in love and remarry. If you were to get remarried after your Pennsylvania divorce, could your new spouse’s income impact your child support obligation?
Each state handles remarriage and child support differently. In some states, when a noncustodial parent remarries, it has zero impact on their child support obligation, but in other states, a new spouse can affect their spouse’s child support obligation, even when their child is from a previous relationship or their first marriage. In this article, we discuss if and how remarriage impacts child support in Pennsylvania.
In PA, Remarriage Can Impact Child Support Orders
If you’re the noncustodial parent who pays child support and you get remarried, the new marriage itself won’t automatically warrant an upward child support modification, which is probably what you’re worried about. Why? Because your new husband or wife isn’t ordinarily responsible for paying child support for your children from a previous relationship. However, when you get remarried, it can change your financial circumstances to the extent that it affects your child support obligation.
Two ways remarriage can impact child support:
- If you have a new child from your remarriage or if you adopt a child in your new marriage, that could become a consideration. You could petition the court for a downward modification based on your “new family.” In this case, the court may reduce your child support obligation if your total support for both children exceeds 50% of your net income.
- If your new spouse’s income lessens your expenses, for example, if he or she is paying half or all of the mortgage and paying half the utilities, you could have more income available for child support. So, your new spouse’s income is something the court can consider when deciding if your child support should be increased.