Does Remarriage = Grounds for Modification of Child Support


I am currently paying 913.00 per month for one child who will be seven years old in October. My ex has full-time custody and I have weekend visitations. I should also be getting my son at least one weeknight a week but my ex moved to Winston-Salem (3 hour round trip) which makes this almost impossible now. I have never been compensated for this inconvenience (another story altogether). My ex told me a couple of months ago that she is getting married October 16th, 2010 to a man she has been going out with even before our divorce was finalized who lives in Winston-Salem, NC.

Having seen the condition of my son on many occasions (long hair, shoes that do not fit him, etc), I know for a fact that she is not spending 913. per month on him. To add to the mix my ex has found a man who seems to be very well off. My ex refuses to tell me how much he makes or would not even tell me his last name - my new wife and I had to find out on our own who this person was. As it turns out, he owns his own business, has several homes, owns a Mercedes, a hummer, Harley, boat, and, well you get the picture. However, my ex does not work but goes to school fulltime. As far as I know, she is not making any income. Our final divorce settlement stated that she would be graduated by now with a degree in nursing. But, as mentioned she has not finished and there is no guarantee that she will want to work do to the afore mentioned finance.

I don’t know much about the child support laws and what constitutes a modification but I would like to believe the fact that my ex is getting married would constitute a change in circumstance. As such, I have asked her (politely) that it would only be fair that we split the child support amount 50/50 - meaning my obligation would go down to approximately 456.00 - after her marriage in October. She told me that she would not agree to any change and also stated that she has consulted with her finance’s attorney who is in complete agreement with her. I have many questions but maybe in its simplest terms is what should I do? Do I have a case? Am I wrong to think that a child would no longer need 913.00 a month if living under someone else’s roof?

Please help.


Her remarriage is not grounds for a modification, even if the man she marries is wealthy.

If you make the argument that she can work (has earning potential) but is just choosing not to, can’t the courts impute income for her to calculate child support?

Income can be imputed if she is found to be intentionally depressing her income in bad faith.

Thank you Erin. As a follow up, what if I have information that he has been helping my ex? Does this help my case? If she has been getting financial assistance from her Finance’ does this constitute a change in circumstance that she should have notified me of? Example, paying her monthly rent?

If you can prove she is receiving regular financial assistance the same will be considered income for purposes of child support calculations. The issue here is that she will soon be married to this man and his contributions will then be to the household and will not be considered income.