Towson Divorce Lawyers
Revisiting Custody, Support Obligations Following a Remarriage
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40% of new marriages will involve at least one partner who has already been divorced, and 20% of marriages involve two partners who have been married at least once before. Towson divorce lawyers note that although some of these remarriages happen quickly – months and even weeks after a divorce is finalized – others happen many years later. A wedding is usually seen as a happy time but can also reopen old wounds after revisiting any pre-existing divorce decree.
Financial Implications of Remarriage
In Maryland, the income of a new spouse cannot be used to reduce or increase a supporting spouse’s child support payments. However, the financial contributions of the new spouse can be factored into a request for modification of a child support order. If a supported spouse can establish that the financial obligations – such as car payments, insurance premiums or a monthly mortgage – of the supporting spouse are now being met by a new husband or wife, the supporting spouse may have to pay more in child support each month.
Although the legal duty to support pre-existing children remains in effect, a remarriage that produces new children can also offset a child support obligation. Maryland courts have recognized that the expense of caring for additional children plays a substantial role in family finances. A request for modification of an earlier child support order in light of the birth of new children will require a judge to compare the needs of both families.
Alimony, whether temporary or permanent, also has the potential to be drastically altered by a remarriage. When fashioning an alimony award, courts look to a variety of factors including standard of living, assets, financial needs of both parties and earning capacity. A supported spouse who remarries will likely have at least some – if not all – of these factors met by their new husband or wife, thus a remarriage will often mark the immediate end of alimony payments. Conversely, a supporting spouse who remarries will not be asked to contribute more based upon their new spouse’s income.
Some remarriages begin as a long distance relationship. When a new spouse resides in a different state or is transferred elsewhere due to job relocation, it can have broad implications for child custody. A spouse who has been awarded primary physical custody must make the case to the court that the remarriage requires them to move. Child custody can also be modified when a child clashes with their new stepparent or stepsiblings and refuses visitation. Although a judge is unlikely to order an end to visitation outright, courts can require that a parent meet at a neutral site with their child, unaccompanied by their new spouse.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Advise Clients Contemplating Remarriage
Remarriage marks a new beginning for the formerly divorced. It also marks an opportunity to revisit pre-existing child custody and alimony arrangements. Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC represent clients in all phases of divorce, and can offer reliable advice on how to proceed when a remarriage appears likely. If a modification of your divorce decree cannot be agreed upon through mediation, we will vigorously pursue your case in court. At our Hunt Valley, Pikesville and Towson, Maryland offices, we represent divorcing clients throughout Baltimore County, Harford County, Carroll County and Howard County, including Towson, Essex, Columbia and Bel Air. Call us today to schedule your free confidential consultation. We can be reached at 443-589-0150 or complete our online contact form.