Moving on after divorce can sometimes mean remarriage in the future. While finding someone new is always something to celebrate, it is important to understand how a new marriage may affect your alimony and child support payments.
There are four different types of alimony in Massachusetts. Two of these may change upon remarriage. General term and rehabilitative alimony terminate once the receiving spouse remarries. A judge can end an alimony order under these circumstances unless the spouses have agreed to continue the alimony. If the paying spouse remarries, however, alimony will usually not change. This is because alimony is typically determined by the financial circumstances of each spouse at the time of divorce. Reimbursement and transitional alimony cannot be changed or terminated if either spouse remarries.
Massachusetts child support is a little different. Every child has a right to financial support from both parents. If one parent remarries, the duty to support does not transfer to the stepparent. That financial obligation will not transfer to the new spouse unless that spouse legally adopts the child. This would terminate the parental rights of the original parent. Child support can be modified, however, if either parent experiences a change in material circumstances (e.g. household finances). Remarriage can sometimes result in a change in household finances. The Massachusetts child support guidelines state that a non-parent guardian’s income isn’t included in the parent’s income calculation. Nevertheless, your overall financial obligations may go up or down if you remarry. This could change child support in some cases.
Planning for Remarriage
If you have your mind on remarriage, you may want to consider mediation. You can negotiate modifications to your alimony and child support agreements with your spouse in mediation. A mediator can help you adjust support amounts appropriately given the new circumstances. Taking the matter to court can be a lengthy process, and the modification may or may not be what you had hoped for. Working with a mediator and your spouse on negotiating a reasonable modification agreement is often the best way to ensure a fair outcome.
If you have questions about remarriage after divorce, contact Mediation Advantage Services for expert family law help. Experienced in divorce mediation, Polly A. Tatum can provide you with the information and guidance needed to negotiate alimony and child support agreements with your spouse. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 645-6374, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.