What Happens to Support Payments After Remarriage?
So your ex-spouse is marrying again and you are excited. Not because you are eager to wish them a “happily ever after” life with their new spouse, but because you think that you will no longer have to provide support payments. But does alimony and child support end if the spouse receiving the support ties the knot? What happens to support payments after remarriage?
Child support and remarriage in Tennessee
Child support is based on the premise that parents are responsible for financially supporting their children until the children turn 18 and graduate with their regular class from high school, regardless of whether the parents are married to each other, get divorced, or marry someone else. The Tennessee courts calculate child support based on child support guidelines which consider both parents’ monthly gross income and the number of children and certain other facts. Income for purposes of child support is very broadly defined, and includes salaries, wages, commissions, retirement payments, Social Security benefits, workers’ compensation, pensions, gifts, and other sources.
Remarriage itself does not affect child support; as a new spouse does not have a legal obligation to support step-children. Only the child’s parent who is paying the child support is financially responsible, not the step-parent. So, the courts do not consider the income of the new spouse.
Alimony and remarriage in Tennessee
When your ex-spouse — who is the recipient of those regular alimony payments — remarries, are you still required to continue the spousal support? The short answer: it depends. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is designed to address the discrepancies in the two spouses’ incomes and help with financial adjustment after divorce. Some settlement agreements and divorce judgements specify what happens to alimony in the event a spouse remarries. In some settlement agreements, it states that if the spouse who receives alimony remarries, the spousal support ends. In other divorce agreements, it is specified that alimony is not terminated if a supported spouse remarries. State law on the different types of alimony also is controlling. The courts will consider a modification to existing spousal support agreements when there is a significant change in circumstances. And a spouse remarrying could be the change that warrants a modification.
In-depth knowledge and trusted experience
If you are facing support or other divorce-related issues, contact me, Franklin, Tennessee divorce attorney Judy A. Oxford. I have been helping Tennessee families with a broad range of family legal issues for more than 20 years. Drawing on over 30 years’ total legal experience, I have a breadth of knowledge across several legal practice areas that helps me to develop successful strategies and try to achieve the best possible outcome for you. I am personally dedicated to each case, and openly discuss your situation, explaining the legal options available and the consequences of each course of action. To discuss your legal matter, arrange for a confidential consultation by contacting the office directly at 615-791-8511 or online.