Your life is not anticipated to remain the same after your divorce. In fact, quite the opposite is expected. For one, you may find yourself in a position to potentially remarry. With remarrying comes the unsureness of what is going to happen to your child support agreement. Read on to discover whether your child support payments will need to be modified after remarrying and how a seasoned Bergen County child support attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can walk you through this situation.
How are child support decisions made in the state of New Jersey?
Evidently, the New Jersey court will base their child support decisions on the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines look at your and your former spouse’s income and determine a child support payment amount that will best match the standard of living your child grew accustomed to when you were married.
The New Jersey courts understand that every family’s circumstances are different. So, in addition to these guidelines, they may take the following factors into their review:
- Your and your former spouse’s assets, liabilities, earning capacities, and overall financial situation.
- Your and your former spouse’s age and health.
- The age and health of your child.
- The special needs of your child.
- The established child custody agreement.
How can remarrying affect my child support settlement agreement?
Upon remarrying, your new spouse is not expected to support your child from your previous marriage. This responsibility still falls on you and your former spouse, otherwise known as the legal parents. So, remarrying alone does not constitute the altering or termination of your child support settlement agreement.
However, if you or your former spouse have new children in your new marriages, this will factor into whether your child support should be altered or terminated. This is because your new children, otherwise known as your legal dependents, should not be denied benefits solely due to your previous marriage.
How can my child support settlement agreement be modified?
If either you or your former spouse believes that there has been a significant shift in circumstances that constitutes a modification to your child custody agreement, then you must file a petition for a post-judgment modification. That said, below are considered reasonable reasons for a modification:
- Your child is under the age of 23 years old and is attending higher education.
- Your child is under the age of 19 years old and has special needs.
- Your child is at the legal emancipation age, which is 19 years old by New Jersey law.
- Your child is under the legal emancipation age but is considered financially independent.
- Your child is now married or serving in the military.
Understandably, this process can be stressful. This is why we recommend that you hire a competent Bergen County family law attorney as soon as you possibly can.