Child support payments are one of the most common types of payments and on-going obligations following a divorce. Typically, the amount of a child support payment that a mother or father is required to pay is set by the courts at the time of divorce.
For those currently receiving child support payments, or making child support payments, questions about how your child support payments may be affected in the event of remarriage might be on your mind. The following provides an explanation regarding what you need to know about child support and remarriage in Washington.
How Is Child Support Determined in Washington?
Before understanding how child support payments may be affected by a remarriage, it’s important to understand how child support is determined in the event of a divorce. Child support obligations are calculated using the Washington State Child Support Schedule.
The amount of child support that a person is required to pay is based on his or her income. The amount that is required is set at the time of divorce. Once an amount is set by a court, the party responsible for making child support payments must make payments on time and in full each month.
In order for a child support payment to be changed, you must petition for modification. Do not agree to a verbal agreement with the other parent to modify the support amount, as this is not enforceable.
Remarrying By Those Receiving Child Support Payments
Those who are currently receiving child support payments and are planning to get remarried may be worried that child support payments will cease entirely or be lessened because of the income of your new spouse. However, it is not common for child support payments to be reduced based on remarriage.
If your new spouse is providing a significant amount of financial support to the child, then your ex-spouse may petition the courts to have child support payments reduced. However, this is uncommon – the court recognizes that the legal parents of the child are financially responsible to the child, and not the child’s new stepparents.
In the case that your new spouse wishes to legally adopt your child, though, child support payments from your ex-spouse will cease entirely. In order for an adoption to go through, your ex-spouse would first have to legally relinquish his or her parental rights.
Remarriage By Those Making Child Support Payments
If you are paying child support payments and are planning to get remarried, you may have concerns that your child support payments will increase based on your increased level of household income.
However, the courts do not consider providing financial support for children from a previous marriage as an obligation of your new spouse. As such, your child support payments should not change unless your ex-spouse files a petition for modification of the agreed upon child support payment.
Speak with a Family Lawyer Today about Child Support Issues
Understanding child support payments and your legal obligations and rights surrounding those payments can be complicated. If you’re currently making or receiving child support payments, but have questions about how your remarriage will affect those payments, an attorney can provide you with answers specific to your case.
If you need to file a petition of modification to get your child support payments changed, an attorney can guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf.
At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, our legal team knows how frustrating a divorce can be, and we know how important understanding your child support payments is to you. For legal help today, call us now at 425-460-0550. You can also set up a consultation by filling out our online contact form.