When you divorced your child’s other parent, the family court ordered you to pay child support. Since that court order, you have met your current partner and either remarried or made plans to marry. If you are wondering what effect, if any, remarriage will have on child support in New Jersey, please read on, then contact an experienced Ocean County child support attorney soon.
Can you modify your child support payments after remarriage in New Jersey?
Remarriage alone will not necessarily impact the amount you have to pay in child support. New spouses have no obligation to support your children from a prior marriage or relationship. Nonetheless, when new children arrive, it complicates child support matters. When deciding whether to adjust a support order, Garden State child support guidelines list “other legal dependents of either parent” as a factor courts may consider.
What factors do New Jersey courts consider when modifying child support payments?
To justify a modification of child support, you must have undergone a change of circumstances, such as:
- An increase in the cost of living
- An increase or a decrease in the obligor’s income
- A parent or child suffering a serious illness or disability after the court issued the original support award
- The obligee lost a house or apartment
- The obligee lives with another adult
- The federal income tax laws have changed
- The obligee has become employed or earns more money, and
- Your spouse’s income
What role does your spouse’s income play in requesting a child support modification in New Jersey?
You will have to provide your current spouse’s income information when you request a child support modification. When the court sets child support, it must consider the paying parent’s ability to cover his or her own household expenses. Considering that your new spouse likely contributes to expenses such as the mortgage or rent, utilities and groceries, you spend less of your individual income on household costs. As a result, the court may reason that you have more income available for your children. If you deign not to pay that modified amount, the court may impute your income.
What does it mean to impute your income in New Jersey?
Above all else, the court wants to serve the best interests of your children. Thus, if you are voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court will usually impute your income, reflecting the amount you could be earning. To arrive at an imputable amount, a judge will look at many factors, including your:
- Work history
- Occupational skills, and
- Educational background
For help reaching an equitable outcome, please give our Ocean County family law attorney a call today.
Contact our experienced Ocean County firm
If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.