Child support tends to get tricky. There’s a formula involved, but it accounts for many factors. Of course, the income of both parents, as well as level of need, figure prominently in the final amount. But does a new spouse’s paycheck influence the number?
Like most court orders, once in place, child support is difficult to modify, though it can be altered. In order to accomplish this, however, you must show a significant change in circumstances. One question that comes up often is, if you remarry, can your ex come after your new spouse’s income?
Our founding partner, Rick Jones, makes regular appearances on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show, where he addresses questions from listeners. One recent caller had this exact question about how a new spouse may impact child support payments.
Listen to the Conversation Below:
Caller: “I pay child support and I recently got remarried. Can my ex-husband come after me for more child support, including my new spouse’s income?”
Danny: “That is a great question. I’ll tell you how I know: I don’t know the answer at all. So what happens?”
Rick: “Well, the answer is most likely no, he can’t come for any support. The only question I guess I would have for you to make sure I’ve answered correctly is: Is there any chance that you now are going to give up the job you’ve been working to stay at home either to start a new family or just live the life of luxury?“
Caller: “Well, when I got divorced, I had a better-paying job, and I no longer have that job.”
Rick: “Did you do that by choice? Are you voluntarily underemployed? I guess that is what I’m asking you.”
Caller: “No, I’m currently employed.”
Danny: “Okay, you’re good. You got the main word from Rick Jones. So does it matter if [your new spouse] is Bill Gates? If she keeps her job, are they gonna say, ‘You know Bill Gates is in the house, why doesn’t she have a new Ferrari?”
Rick: “Because it’s not Bill Gates’s kid.”
Danny: “So they don’t care if you married Bill Gates?”
Rick: “It’s a stroke of fairness, god forbid.”
Danny: “I wouldn’t care if either one of you guys married Bill Gates.”
Related Reading: Do Criminal Charges Impact Child Custody?