Child Support and Visitation after Remarrying
If you are getting married, a great deal of change will occur in your life. A majority of this change will likely be beneficial for you and your new spouse. However, if you had children in a previous marriage before getting divorced, your new marriage may impact child support and visitation.
Historically, remarrying did not impact child support as courts did not examine the amount of a new spouse's earnings. This changed slightly when, in an Illinois Appellate Court decision, it was held that the “trial court may equitably consider the income of a parent's current spouse in determining an appropriate award of support.” As a result, courts are not prohibited from considering a new spouses income when addressing certain modifications of child support.
In making the initial child support determination, the court may consider (among other factors) the financial resources and needs of the child, custodial parent, or non-custodial parent. A child support order may be modified if it is shown that there is a substantial change in circumstances. Depending on the circumstances, a new marriage could cause such a change.
If you are the custodial parent and remarry a spouse who has a high earning, a court could consider reducing the amount of child support required to be paid by your ex-spouse in a modification proceeding.
Visitation and Custody
Ideally, when a custodial parent remarries, the new spouse will develop a positive relationship with the child. In cases like this, there will not be a need to examine a modification to visitation and custody. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If it is shown that a new spouse abuses or neglects the child, the court may revise the visitation and custody orders.
If a non-custodial parent remarries, this may allow that parent to obtain more or increased visitation. The remarriage may provide the non-custodial parent with a more stable situation that is better suited for visitation. Or, the remarriage may have inspired the non-custodial parent to become more involved. Whatever the reason, a non-custodial parent may request increased visitation and point to the new marriage as an indication that this request would be in the best interests of the minor children.
While custody and visitation may be modified, a court will typically not alter either unless it is shown that the modification would be in the best interests of the minor children.
Family Law Attorneys
If you are contemplating a new marriage and have any concerns, it is important to discuss the ramifications with an experienced Illinois family law attorney. Our attorneys can help you, whether you or your ex-spouse is remarrying, while at the same time keeping the best interests of your child in mind. If you have any questions related to family law issues, please contact us today at 630-665-7300.