Remarrying after divorce means a new beginning and many changes. For parents in California, it might also bring some confusion as to whether child support payments will stop if either parent remarries.
A parent’s responsibility
By law, a child’s legal parents are responsible for financially supporting the child. This responsibility is unchanged even a parent remarries and has additional children. Therefore, the act of remarrying by itself will not have an impact on child support payments. However, some circumstances that are related to a parent’s new marriage might be considered when a parent petitions for a child support order modification.
Other factors might affect child support payments
Child support payments might be affected under certain circumstances related to remarriage. These circumstances include:
- Additional household expenses related to the birth of a new child
- Either parent losing their job or getting a significant raise
- A modification in the custody order that changes the time the child spends with each parent
- A non-custodial parent giving up their parental rights and the child being adopted by the other parent’s new spouse
- A major change in the costs of covering the child’s health, educational or child care needs
What you should do if you believe the child support order should change
If you are the parent receiving the support, you can petition for a modification of the order with the court. However, do not withhold visitation with the other parent during this process as this might affect the court’s view of your case.
If you are the parent paying the support, you can also petition for a modification. However, you should continue paying the established amount until a new order is in place. If you fail to pay the full amount, you can face legal consequences like getting your wages garnished, so it’s important to fulfill your child support obligations.