Terese J. Singer

Impact of Remarriage on Spousal and Child Support

Milwaukee Attorney Helping Families Navigate Legal Issues

Points of heated controversy in many divorces are spousal support and child support. Some couples are hoping that a divorce will mean they will no longer have to interact with their former spouse. However, when couples share a child or one spouse has been financially dependent on the other, the court will often order child or spousal support. Many people remarry and some people assume this will erase their obligations to their prior spouse. However, the situation may be more complicated. If you are wondering about the impact of remarriage on spousal and child support, you should consult an experienced Milwaukee child support lawyer at Reddin & Singer.

Impact of Remarriage on Spousal Support

Alimony is also known as spousal support, and Wisconsin courts may grant alimony to a financially dependent spouse who can't support herself or himself after a divorce. When the spouse receiving payments remarries or cohabits, the paying spouse may wonder if it's necessary to keep paying the recipient of alimony.

In Wisconsin, courts end alimony when supported spouses remarry. Unlike some other states, as a paying spouse, you won't need to prove that the recipient ex-spouse's financial situation is better after remarrying. However, you should keep paying until the court orders otherwise. You can petition the court to end alimony once the spouse is remarried. You'll need to provide proof of remarriage, petition the court vacate the maintenance order, and serve the recipient of the alimony with the papers.

Sometimes a recipient spouse that has remarried would rather agree to the termination than go to court, and in that case, you can submit the agreement to the court for approval. The court can order the recipient spouse to repay you for alimony payments made after remarriage. There are also other reasons that you may petition the court to terminate an order related to alimony.

Impact of Remarriage on Child Support

Parents have an obligation to support their children financially. Wisconsin law provides that a parent's support obligation is a percentage of each parent's assets and gross income. Sometimes the time each parent spends with a child can affect the amount of child support to be paid. Where a parent is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed, the court can impute income to the parent based on his or her prior earnings, current health, education, work experience, and whether work is available. There need not be bad faith.

Child support orders are rarely directly impacted by remarriage. You can get a child support order changed if you can show the court that there has been a substantial change in your circumstances, such as an involuntary change in your income, an alteration to the child's needs, a change in your earning capacity, or any other factor the court decides is relevant. However, remarriage by itself is insufficient because the new spouse has no obligation to support children from a prior marriage. On the other hand, after remarriage of either spouse has taken place, there may be substantial changes in circumstances related to the remarriage but distinct from it that would warrant petitioning the court for a modification in the child support order. For example, if you are the spouse who is paying child support and you remarry and have twins, the court may be willing to factor the costs involved in raising the new children into its determination of a request for modification of child support. An experienced attorney can help you evaluate the impact of remarriage on spousal and child support in your case.

Knowledgeable Child Support Lawyer Serving Milwaukee Families

Divorce attorney Terese J. Singer is dedicated to providing vigorous but compassionate representation to her clients with regard to alimony and child support, as well as other matters in Milwaukee. If you are concerned about the impact of remarriage on spousal and child support, contact us to find out more about your options. We represent clients in areas including Port Washington, Racine, Mequon, West Bend, Waukesha, and Milwaukee, Racine, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. Call us at (414) 271-6400 or via our online form.

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