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Can Remarriage Influence Child Support Orders in NJ?

In New Jersey, child support may be impacted by remarriage. To learn more, keep reading, and give our skilled Ocean County child support attorney a call today. We are on your side.

Are there child support guidelines imposed in the state of New Jersey?

It is important to note that in New Jersey, there are certain guidelines that have been passed to supply family court judges with a formula to help them when they are making child support determinations. The goal of these guidelines is to try to decide how much of the parent’s net income was spent on their children before the divorce or separation and then use that number to help the children later. As expected, it will be more challenging to support two households with the same income that was used to support just one, however, the argument is that children should not be banned from the same chances they would have had if their parents never got divorced.

Recognize that this guideline for child support is deemed to be valid in any given case. However, that presumption is rebuttable, indicating that there may be cases in which using the guidelines might not be possible. The judge usually decides whether those cases exist and whether they provide good reason to pass the guidelines.

It is possible to revise a support order if it has already been established and you believe it needs to be revised. However, only if circumstances have changed enough for a judge to determine that keeping the current order would not be appropriate. Usually, remarriage is one of these instances.

Can a new spouse’s income affect child support in New Jersey?

It is important to recognize that remarriage does not typically instantly affect child support. Whether you, your ex, or both, have remarried, the new spouse is not tied to support your children from a prior marriage or relationship. However, the issue of remarriage gets a bit more difficult when new children arrive, implying children born or adopted into the newly-formed family since these children are also your legal dependents.

Previously under common law, if you were paying child support, having a new child would not have been a good enough reason for changing the support order. The idea was that your primary responsibility was to the children from your prior marriage, and if you chose to have more children, that was your problem. However, this is no longer the case. Today, New Jersey child support guidelines list “other legal dependents of either parent” as a factor courts may look at when deciding whether to modify a support order. The basis for this is that it is your right to start a new family, and your new children should not be denied the benefit of your income just because of your previous marriage.

Contact our firm today if you have any questions about remarriage and child support orders in New Jersey.