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FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1122
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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If I remarry, can my ex-husband request that my new spouse's

Customer Question

If I remarry, can my ex-husband request that my new spouse's income be considered for child support? For example, my ex-husband only reports a small amount of his income because he is self-employed. If my new spouse has documented income of 150,000/year, do I need to be concerned that we will end up having to pay my ex-husband child support?
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: We have been divorced for awhile now. He currently pays around $100/month and we have 50/50 custody. My new husband and I provide dual health insurance policies for my son (has major medical issues) and the $100/month doesn't even cover the premium for the primary policy let alone the secondary. He has not requested that there be a change in child support, but I'm just trying to protect myself.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience in family law, appeals, landlord-tenant, and other types of law. I look forward to helping you today.

This is general information and not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

Also I’d like to review your question for a minute, type your answer and then I’ll be right back.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 4 months ago.

Generally speaking, a parent’s remarriage won’t directly affect child support in California. In almost every case, only the child’s biological parents have a legal duty to support the child, not the child’s stepparents. California judges aren’t allowed to look at the new spouse’s income, unless there are extraordinary circumstances causing extreme and severe hardship to the child.

Does your ex husband make what your new spouse makes or does he make less or substantially less than that?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 4 months ago.

It is possible under Cal. law for a judge to consider your new spouse's income if your ex cannot provide enough support to your child. This usually happens on a first-time request for child support. However, he'd have to make a request to modify child support to add your husband's income. It's up to the court if the court wants to do that. The court does not have to include your new spouse's income, but it can.

Modification procedures are different. To modify a child support award in California, a parent must be able to prove that there’s been a significant change in one or both parents’ financial circumstances. To be sufficient for a child support modification, the change must be permanent and substantial. A one-time bonus at work or a small inheritance isn’t a valid reason to change child support. A judge would, however, consider a change in child support when a parent involuntarily loses a job, a parent receives a large raise, or there’s been a change in the custody arrangement.

It is possible that the new spouse's income is a change in circumstances, so you would have to defend against that. You are right to protect yourself and be prepared just in case. It's really good thinking on your part.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 4 months ago.

Keep this in mind though if you want to increase child support, because at that point a court would likely include your spouse's income. Again, Cal. judges do not have to include that income, but it can. This would come into play if you wanted more child support or if he wanted to lower child support. Again, it's an extra thing that a judge could consider, but it's not mandatory for the judge to consider it. It is smart, though, to be prepared.

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Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 4 months ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you or if there is any more information that you need. Thanks!


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