How Does Remarriage Affect Child Custody & Child Support?
If you or your ex-spouse remarries after your divorce, it may change several things about both of your lives. If you remarry, you and your new spouse may wish to have more children, or you might be taking on an additional responsibility with your spouse’s children. If your ex-spouse remarries, he or she could be facing any of these issues. If either parent remarries, it could definitely affect some of your current legal agreements regarding child support, child custody, and visitation.
In some cases, remarriage might also lead to relocation, which could seriously impact child custody and visitation. Sometimes remarriage impacts parenting plans very minimally, but in other cases, it alters everything. If you or your ex is remarrying, make sure you know what could change.
The main purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents lend financial support to their child. In most cases, a remarriage will not change the fact that the noncustodial parent must contribute financially to the expenses of the child. However, the amount of child support may warrant modification after a remarriage. If the remarriage results in an income change or added financial responsibility for other children (biological or stepchildren), the court may approve a child support modification. The court might also consider the financial advantage of a parent who remarries and has the added support of their new spouse’s income within their household.
Child Custody & Visitation
Whether or not child custody arrangements change after a remarriage depends largely on how the child deals with the news. If, for example, the child gets along with his or her new stepparent, there might be no need for a custody change. However, if the child does not like his or her new stepparent, it might cause the other parent to ask the court for a modification. When big changes occur, including remarriage, the court will consider if a change to the current child custody arrangement will be in the child’s best interest.
The court might look at whether the new marital home is a suitable environment for the child, and whether the stepparent is a positive influence. In situations where the remarried parent can no longer offer a suitable home for their child, the court might choose to award custody to the other parent. Visitation could also be affected similarly. If the environment is no longer safe after the remarriage, the court might alter the visitation agreement, but is unlikely to end visitation altogether.
If remarriage means relocation, this could lead to a significant change in your parenting plan. If the remarrying parent is the custodial parent, he or she is likely to ask the court to take their child with them. However, the court must approve this move. The courts might approve the relocation but grant the other parent their visitation rights in a different way. Or, if the relocating parent is not the relocating parent, they might work out a new visitation schedule to allow for chunks of time with the child or longer visits.
If both parents share custody, this could be more complicated. In an ideal situation, the parents would be able to work out a solution between the two of them, but sometimes court intervention is necessary in order to find a workable solution.If you are remarrying, or your co-parent is remarrying, you should discuss these potential changes with an experienced family law attorney. Contact McKinley Irvin for help with your Oregon child custody issue.