How Remarriage Affects Child & Spousal Support In TX
October 19, 2021
Child support and spousal support (i.e., alimony) are often part of a final divorce agreement in Texas. However, what happens if one or both spouses marry other people? The following blog post is an overview of how remarriage impacts child support and spousal support.
Remarriage & Child Support In Texas
Child support in Texas is based on both parents’ combined income, the number of children in the family, and the best interests of each child. Child support payments can be modified if there is a material and substantial change of circumstances since the original court order was entered.
Although remarriage alone is not considered a material or substantial change in circumstances required to modify or even terminate a child support order, having a new child after remarriage can. According to Texas law, parents are given income credit for other children they have a legal duty to support.
In addition, state case law supports the legal theory that a new child is a factor in modifying child support, so long as the proposed support change does not negatively impact the children from a previous marriage or relationship.
While there is a growing trend around the country of courts considering a new spouse’s income when modifying child support, Texas courts do not.
Remarriage & Spousal Support In TX
In Texas, the courts only order spousal support if the marriage lasts at least 10 years, the paying spouse has committed a domestic violence offense against the other spouse or a child within two years of filing for a divorce, or one spouse is disabled or must act as a full-time caregiver to a disabled child. However, this type of maintenance does not last for life.
If the dependent spouse (i.e., the spouse receiving spousal support) remarries, then the payments are automatically terminated. Furthermore, if the dependent spouse starts cohabitating with another person (i.e., living with a romantic partner), the paying spouse may file a motion to terminate spousal support after gathering evidence related to cohabitation.
If you are interested in modifying or terminating child support or spousal support in Austin, call Hembree Bell Law Firm at (737) 265-7656 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule an initial consultation.