Modification of CS

I just recently went through this same thing… The only way the new spouses income can come into play is if he is the sole provider for the family, meaning your ex does not work. Therefore, they have to use some ones income and if he is the only one working in the household then you have to use his. Hope this answers your question.


If your ex’s income is pretty much the same as it was when the child support order was entered, then no, her remarriage does not affect your child support payments. If your ex is presently voluntarily unemployed such that her present husband is acting in loco parentis financially to your child, you should be able to convince a judge that circumstances have changed and your child support should be revisited. See Newman v. Newman (1983, NC COA). The operative word here is “should.” Judges do pretty much whatever they want with child support.

That having been said, I can tell you from first-hand experience that not all judges will allow the income of a custodial parent’s present spouse to be discovered, even when said custodial parent is voluntarily unemployed. The theory is that both parents are responsible for financial support of their children. See Plott v. Plott (1985, NC SC), Boyd v. Boyd (1986, NC COA) and a whole bunch more too numerous to list here. Sounds good on paper, doesn’t it? If a judge won’t allow/compel discovery of the only ostensible source of financial support made on behalf of the custodial parent, how is the custodial parent’s financial obligation satisfied? You guessed it…the obligation is not satisfied.

The sad reality is that only the non-custodial parent is required to provide financial support, as the non-custodial parent makes a cash payment every month to the custodial parent. The custodial parent is not required to contribute anything, and can use the “child support” funds provided by the non-custodial parent for anything he/she wishes. Yet another problem in our wonderful child support system.

Courts aren’t really concerned with principles of equity when setting child support. Their main objective is that the child’s “reasonable needs” are met from some source other than the state (or county). If the custodial parent contributes nothing or waaaaaaay too little, oh well! Considerations of equity are of little importance to the court. I know what the statutes and case law say. For the most part, these well-meaning directives and holdings are not given effect by the district court judges who try the cases.

Best of luck to you, gnwatson. Be prepared for anything to happen if you go to court.

Brayburn, you mentioned that the only time that a new spouse’s income comes into play is if that new spouse is the only one working. What about if neither my ex nor her new husband works? He is retired and draws a pension, in addition to a sizeable inheritance he received soon after marrying my ex. My ex has not held a full time job in nearly 4 years and I work 40+ hours a week, pay all transportation costs for visitation (600 miles every other weekend), and all of their health insurance costs. Help!

My exwife just remarried and is pregnant with his child. Does her getting remarried affect my child support payments? If I request a modification in the CS Order, will her new husbands income count?