Remarriage and Child Support in North Carolina

5-1024x1024Remarriage and Child Support in North Carolina

When parents divorce, the children often reside primarily with one parent while the other parent has regular visitation. This arrangement is common because although both parents are allowed to make legal decisions for their children, it usually makes more sense for a child to live with one parent most of the time. The non-custodial parent typically pays child support. As divorced parents move on with their lives, they are likely to date and eventually remarry. Many people wonder how remarriage impacts child support in North Carolina.


Child Support Orders

The court orders child support payments, often as part of a divorce action. The law provides judges with a way to calculate typical child support. The judge can utilize various factors to determine the amount of child support. Some of these factors include the income of both parents, the costs of child care, the health and educational needs of the child, and how many children the parent supports, among other things. Once a child support order is in place, parents must follow it unless and until a court-ordered modification is made.


Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: ” If I remarry, can they look at my new spouse’s income?”


Remarriage Does Not End Child Support Payments

The remarriage of either parent does not end child support. Child support must continue according to the court order. If you receive child support and subsequently remarry, child support continues. If you pay child support and remarry, you must continue to make your usual child support payments. Child support payments are not automatically reduced or stopped due to remarriage. However, a parent may request a modification to child support.take-my-hand-1314191-scaled


Modification to Child Support Orders

A modification of child support begins with a request for a hearing. A parent may request a modification of child support when there is a change of circumstances of either party. For example, a parent may have reduced income due to a job change and may request a reevaluation to reduce child support. When a parent remarries, it may change the income and, therefore, may potentially change the amount of child support. Keep in mind that stepparents are not responsible for paying child support for their stepchildren.


However, the change in household income in general could cause a change in the amount a parent can or should pay. One example, a parent who remarries may now have a larger household income and might have fewer expenses. If that happens, the parent may now be required to pay larger child support payments. While a stepparent may opt to voluntarily contribute to child support, they are not required to do so by law. Likewise, a stepparent’s wages cannot be garnished to pay child support for a stepchild. Child support orders can only be changed through court order. A judge will review the request and allow both parents to provide information before making any changes.


Child support and custody matters can be complicated, and you may have some questions and concerns. Call us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to discuss your child support issues with our legal team.






The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes four Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.




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