A few weeks ago, a previous post looked at different scenarios that may impact a party’s obligation to continuing paying spousal maintenance. As discussed, one of the ways in which a spousal maintenance obligation could be terminated is the remarriage of the party receiving support. While the statutory guideline certainly makes sense for maintenance, you may be wondering if a subsequent marriage would have a similar impact on a child support order. The answer, however, is not really as simple as yes or no.
Primary Support Considerations
Under Illinois law, child support orders are primarily based upon the net income of the parent required to pay support and the number of children to be supported. Many other factors may be taken into account by the court, but are considered in a more subjective manner. Considerations such as the medical and educational needs of the child, each parent’s resources and needs, and others can allow the court to deviate from the standard calculation formula. This is a where the remarriage of either parent could potentially affect an order for child support.
Remarriage of the Custodial Parent
In most child support situations, the parent who is not granted primary residential custody of the child is required to make payments to the custodial parent to provide for the child. If the custodial parent remarries, the impact to the child support order will likely be minimal. The new spouse is not required or assumed by law to assist with providing for the child’s needs, but, in reality, will probably do so to an extent. The paying parent could possibly attempt to show that the child’s needs have been reduced by the custodial parent’s new marital situation, but, unless the custodial parent agrees to a reduction, the support obligation is likely to remain about the same.
Remarriage of the Paying Parent
If the parent currently paying child support gets remarried, the possible impact is somewhat greater, but it could go in either direction. Among the factors taken into consideration by the court are the resources of each parent, and while the new spouse’s income is not directly considered part of the paying parent’s resources, the parent’s day to day living expenses may be significantly reduced by the addition of a second income. Therefore, it is possible for the court to identify a reduction of the paying parent’s own needs, and an increase in the support obligation could be ordered.
Conversely, the paying parent’s remarriage could also lead to an indirect reduction in child support payments. If the parent’s new spouse, for example, brings other children into the paying parent’s household, depending on the situation, the paying parent may be partially responsible for assisting with their day to day expenses as well. This is especially true if the parent has another child with his or her new spouse. The court may recognize the paying parent’s increased financial obligations and could reduce the ordered child support as a result.
Get the Help You Need
Child support proceedings are very personal and, often, extremely complex. With such a large number of contributing factors, it can be easy to feel confused and, in some cases, overwhelmed. The experienced St. Charles family law attorneys at Bochte, Kuzniar & Navigato, understand the challenges associated with such matter and are fully equipped to help you navigate the process. Call 630-377-7770 today to schedule your free consultation.