WEDDING BELLS ARE RINGING AGAIN
THE IMPACT OF CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES
Love is in the air again after your divorce and now that you’ve come down from cloud 9, you’ve begun the planning process. Whether you’re eloping, having a small ceremony, or pulling out all the bells and whistles, a second marriage comes with a whole new set of considerations. For those paying or receiving alimony or child support, it’s important to understand how changing circumstances can impact these monthly expenses.
HOW IS ALIMONY DETERMINED?
Following a divorce, one part of the couple may have been awarded alimony, that is money to serve as spousal support so that they can continue living the lifestyle to which they have been accustomed following the divorce. Divorce doesn’t necessarily mean instant alimony, though. A judge will take into consideration the length of the marriage as well as income and financial obligations. If there are children involved, there may be a heightened change of spousal support being awarded in addition to child support, especially if it is necessary to stay home to take care of young or special needs children. When there is evidence of domestic violence, it is likely that the abuser will be required to pay alimony. The same is true when fault is determined as the cause of the divorce, with a judge awarding alimony as a type of penalty.
DO I HAVE TO CONTINUE PAYING ALIMONY IF MY EX GETS REMARRIED?
In Louisiana, the duration for which alimony is paid is determined by a judge in family court. Typically this is based on the length of marriage and awarded on a case by case basis, with more favor given to long-term marriages. When understanding alimony and remarriage, one must understand that alimony may be paid for a set number of years, permanently, or until the receiving spouse remarries or cohabitates with a partner.
DOES ALIMONY END WHEN REMARRYING?
Although alimony ends automatically when the spouse receiving payment remarries, the same is not true for the party making the payments. Your own remarriage has no bearing on the monies you are ordered to pay to your former spouse. Failure to maintain payments as ordered by the courts can result in civil or criminal charges. Since payments are made through withholdings of income, not to exceed 30% of each paycheck, changes in employment must be reported in order to ensure that your withholdings continue as mandated.
WHAT HAPPENS TO CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS?
Child support provides monetary assistance for expenses associated with raising a child following the parents’ divorce. Completely separate from spousal support, child support is awarded from the date of filing until the child’s 18th birthday, in most cases. Owing child support and remarriage of one spouse does not necessarily affect the amount owed, since both parents’ income is used to calculate the amount to be paid. In some complicated situations, such as when one spouse remarries and experiences a sharp increase or decrease in income, there may be grounds to petition for a review of the agreement, but in any case, you are obligated to support your child until they are a legal adult. Similar to alimony payments, don’t stop or decrease payments without going through the proper channels to pay child support when married, in order to avoid being charged with contempt of court and being subject to wage garnishment.
Helping you to navigate the complexities that arise even after the divorce, The Law Office of Michael A. Rosenblatt will stand by you every step of the way. Protecting your rights and advocating on your behalf, we help you to understand how changes in your relationships can affect alimony and child support. In these situations, both parties can benefit from the guidance of an experienced divorce and child custody attorney.