All parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children, even if those children are not in their physical custody. When a parent remarries, this often comes with financial consequences. For example, if a single, non-custodial father remarries and has another child, this could justify a modification of the child support order regarding a child from a previous marriage.
In Maryland, a formula is used to calculate child support based on the parental income, including salary, tips, commissions, pension income, trust income, and Social Security benefits. Although a parent’s child support obligation will not change automatically when their lifestyle or income changes, either parent can petition the court to modify the child support order if there has been a material change in circumstances, such as remarriage. In calculating a child support award, Maryland courts cannot assign a new spouse’s income to the parent paying child support, as it is not considered “actual income.”
However, if a new spouse is paying all the parent’s bills, then the judge will take this into consideration upon petition to modify the child support order. This may justify an upward adjustment in child support payments because the parent now has more expendable income. An experienced child support lawyer can subpoena financial records to determine who is paying a spouse’s bills in petitioning the court for a modification.
Courts are hesitant to reduce child support payments because a parent remarries and has other children. If the parent can show that their overall household expenses have increased, courts are unlikely to modify the award.
If you are paying or receiving child support and there is a change in circumstances of the paying spouse, it is important to file a modification request immediately. Child support payments cannot be retroactively modified.
If you are paying child support and your spouse remarries someone with a comfortable income, you should continue paying your child support payments on time, but consult a knowledgeable child support lawyer as soon as possible. When people fall behind on child support payments, the State of Maryland will take action, such as garnishing your wages, denying your passport, take your tax refund or unemployment compensation payments, or impose jail time for more significant offenses.
Towson Child Support Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Represent Clients in Child Support Modification Matters
Getting remarried will never absolve a parent of their legal duty to support their children. The impact of remarriage on child support is different in every case and every situation. If you have questions about the consequences of remarriage on your child support award or payments, contact an experienced Towson child support lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC today. We represent clients throughout Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County, including the communities of Baltimore, Towson, Essex, Pikesville, Hunt Valley, Columbia, and Bel Air. Call us today at 443-589-0150 to schedule your free consultation, or complete our easy online contact form.