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How Does Remarriage Affect Your Divorce?

Jeffers Law Office Aug. 30, 2022

Divorce is hard work. Assets and debts are divided, one or both of you move, children are shuttled between parents, and alimony and child support may be paid and received. The court has approved the divorce, issued the necessary orders, and closed the file.  

The marriage may be over, but some of the obligations persist. What happens to those obligations if you or your ex-spouse remarries? In that case, some things could change. Remarriage and its impacts on alimony, child support, and child custody should all be a concern regardless of who is remarrying.  

If you are planning to remarry or your ex-spouse is, you need to know how that will affect your divorce agreements. Jeffers Law Office can help you figure it out. They have been solving family law problems for clients in Overland Park, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Prairie Village, Shawnee, and Johnson County, Kansas, for more than 40 years.  

What Is the Impact of Remarriage on Alimony? 

There are three types of alimony that may be awarded to one spouse in a Kansas divorce: general, reimbursement, and transition. Regardless of the type, it is awarded based on the need of one spouse and the ability of the other spouse to pay.  

A couple could agree to long-term spousal support on their own as part of the property division agreement. However, court-ordered alimony can only last for up to 121 months. Moreover, if the receiving spouse remarries, that court-ordered obligation ends.  

What Is the Impact of Remarriage on Child Support? 

Child support awards are based on calculations of both parents’ incomes, the needs of the children, the number of children, and the custody agreement. Typically, one parent is awarded primary custody of children, which means they live with that parent most of the time. There is an assumption that because the children reside with that parent most, that parent is providing more financial support than the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is therefore usually ordered to pay the custodial parent child support.  

In Kansas, child support agreements may be modified by the court if there is a substantial change in material circumstances. Remarriage may be one such change that warrants revisiting the child support order, and it can work either way. 

If the parent receiving support payments remarries, the new spouse’s income and support can be considered by the court if the paying spouse requests a modification in support. The remarried spouse now has less financial need to support the children because that spouse is no longer relying solely on their income which, as you know, is part of the child support calculus.  

If the paying spouse remarries and has children with the new spouse, that too is a change in material circumstances that could reduce the amount of support they are ordered to pay. The number of children, whether they are shared with the ex-spouse or not, is part of the child support calculus.  

What Is the Impact of Remarriage on Child Custody? 

Remarriage of a spouse can certainly alter the way the existing child custody agreement works, and it can alter it on multiple fronts. The relationship between the children and the new spouse could be an issue. For example, if the parent with primary custody remarries and the children do not get along with the new spouse, who has primary custody could change. Remember that the court is concerned only with the child’s best interests, not those of the parents. 

If the remarriage will result in a request to relocate the children from their neighborhood, school, out of the state or country, or in the significant relocation of the non-custodial parent, the parenting plan and visitation schedule will need to be modified and a new court order issued.  

There also may be times when the parent who was awarded primary custody no longer wants that responsibility. If requested, the court could change the custody agreement significantly.   

Skilled Legal Counsel 

Remarriage after divorce is an adjustment for everyone concerned. It can signal a return to the emotionally charged upheavals you put behind you when the divorce became final. Working with a divorce attorney in Kansas can help.  

The family law attorney at Jeffers Law Office assists families in transitions in and around Overland Park, Kansas, helping you and your children find peace when things change. If you are ready to talk, call our office for a free initial phone consultation.