Both the parent who pays child support and the parent who receives child support may wonder, “Will Child Support Change if I Get Married?” In order to better understand the answer to this question, it’s helpful to know a little bit about child support laws in Minnesota.
How Minnesota Child Support is Calculated
Subject to a few possible adjustments, Child Support in Minnesota is mainly based on four factors. These four factors are as follows:
1. The Mother’s Parenting Time with Child
2. The Father’s Parenting Time with Child
3. The Mother’s Income
4. The Father’s Income
Most important to the question,”Will Child Support Change if I Get Married?”, is to notice that income sources from adults other than the mother and father are not considered. Therefore, the income of a new spouse is not included in Minnesota child support calculations.
As an aside, Minnesota child support calculations also do not include the income of anyone a parent has moved in with, regardless of whether the parent is married or not to that person. In fact, in Minnesota, there is a statute that specifically indicates that such incomes (the income of the mother’s or father’s new spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc…) may not be considered.
Will Child Support Change if I Get Married?
Thus, the answer is to this questions is, No. A new spouse’s income is specifically excluded by law from parental income for the purpose of child support calculations. In Minnesota, a parent is generally only financially responsible for his/her own children. Therefore, if you decide to marry, your spouse would not become financially responsible for children from a previous relationship. Therefore, the amount of child support you pay to your child’s mother or father will not increase or decrease based on the income of your new spouse.
For the Parent who is Marrying and Receives Child Support
So, for the parent receiving child support, your new spouse has no financial obligation to the children you had with your ex. Courts will not assume that you need less financial support for the children from the other parent because you’re now living with or married to someone else. Therefore, if you’re the parent who is receiving child support and you remarry, your child’s mother/father will still need to pay the amount s/he was paying in child support before you got married.
For the Parent who is Marrying and Pays Child Support
On the other side of the coin, for the parent paying child support, you will not be expected to pay more or less in child support now because of your marriage or new cohabitation.
As the parent paying child support, the court will not assume that you have more household income to calculate a higher amount of child support owed to your child’s mother/father. The court will also not decrease your child support payments to your child’s mother/father because have you have married or now live with another individual.
In sum, regardless of which side of the child support formula the parent is on, his or her new spouse’s income will not affect child support calculations, up or down.
* NOTE: However, children you have with the new spouse may impact your child support with your ex-spouse/partner. Therefore, children from other marriages can impact child support calculations.
For other divorce or family law questions, please consult the list to the left or the FAQ page. If you’re interested in retaining an attorney to help you, please feel free to contact my office for a consultation using the contact information on the left or the contact form on the Majeski Law home page.