It is not uncommon for an ex-wife to remarry or to begin living with another man after divorce. If your former spouse remarries or significantly changes her living situation, can it alter your child support requirements?
California Law Regarding Child Support
In most cases, the answer is “no.” Child support is not based on the total income of your ex-wife’s household but on her income as compared to yours. This means that her new husband cannot usually be held legally responsible for supporting your children. By the same token, if you remarry, your new wife’s income is not usually up for grabs if your wife takes you back to court for more child support.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Some situations that might cause the court to look more closely at your ex-wife’s overall income include:
- The loss of a job. If either you or your wife are laid off or suffer a substantial reduction in income, the court may re-evaluate how much child support each of you must contribute for the benefit of the child. If that is the case, a new spouse’s income might become important in determining how much each spouse could theoretically contribute to child support.
- The birth of new children. Child support is calculated on the current number of children you have with your former spouse at the time of the divorce. If your ex has more children with her new partner, it is possible your child support could be reduced.
- Changes in tax filing status. When you are divorced, your tax filing status generally changes to single. This means you pay a larger portion of your income in taxes. If your ex-wife remarries, it is possible she will benefit by having a lower income tax burden. If this is the case, you may be able to petition for lower child support payments.
Child support calculations in California are complicated. The best way to ensure that you are taking the right steps to protect yourself and your children is to consult an experienced family law attorney like those at Men’s Legal Center in San Diego. These attorneys have been working with families like yours for many years to ensure that the children’s interests are considered above all when forming a new child support or property division agreement. Contact Men’s Legal Center today for help with your divorce and custody issues.