How Remarriage Impacts Child Support Payments
If you are a noncustodial parent whose ex-spouse got remarried, you may be wondering how your child support obligations may be impacted, if at all. Many child support payors in your shoes assume their financial obligations will simply disappear or get reduced once their exes get remarried, but in most cases, that assumption is false. Child support payments are the responsibility of biological parents unless a stepparent adopts the minor child.
In New York, noncustodial parents must pay child support until their child reaches age 21, however, an order may be terminated before the child turns 21 years old under the following circumstances:
- The child becomes emancipated: The child moves out and supports themselves, gets married, or joins the military.
- You get custody of the child: In these cases, your ex may be required to pay you child support.
- You move in: If you and the custodial parent live together with your child, you may be relieved of your child support payments.
To get a child support order reduced, a New York family court may modify your payment if there is a substantial change in circumstances or your child’s needs are not being met. For instance, you may request a modification under the following circumstances:
- Your income changes and you can no longer afford to pay your child support order.
- Three years have passed since the order was entered, last modified, or adjusted.
- Either parent’s gross income changed by 15% or more since the order was entered, last modified, or adjusted.
- Incarceration, as long as such incarceration isn’t due to a non-payment of child support or an offense against the custodial parent or child.
With the above information in mind, you can see that remarriage is not listed as a reason to change or terminate a child support order in New York. The only viable way to get out of a child support obligation is to terminate your parental rights, which still has no guarantees. This is common in situations where an ex gets remarried and their new spouse/stepparent agrees to adopt the child. If the stepparent does not agree to adopt the child, the biological parent must still pay child support.
In short, child support payors will still be required to pay the same payments as they did before their ex-spouse got remarried unless a substantial change in circumstances exists, the child’s needs aren’t being met, the child turns 21, or any other factors above exist in your situation.
If you have any questions about your child support order, our Putnam County family lawyers at the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC are here to help. Please contact us at (845) 605-4330!