How Does Living With a Significant Other Affect Child Support?
All parents are required by federal law to financially support their children after divorce, whether or not they reside with their children. You might wonder what happens if, after your divorce, you get into another relationship and decide to take that relationship to the next stage by moving in together. How will this affect your child support arrangement?
Here’s some information from our legal team.
Cohabitation and child support
Your new significant other has no legal obligation to provide any support for your children. This means if you are the paying parent, you will not need to pay any additional child support simply because you move in with a boyfriend or girlfriend, and if you are the recipient, you are not necessarily entitled to any less support because you are living with your partner.
However, your ex may choose to petition the court to reduce his or her support obligation if your new partner purchases any items for you. Your ex would need to prove that your new partner pays for many of the children’s expenses, which frees up your own income.
This means it can be a good idea for you to sign an agreement with your partner upon moving in that you will keep your property and income separate. Avoid mixing bank accounts, and keep paying for your own individual items. This will eliminate the chance that your child support arrangement will be altered.
Remember: you or your ex cannot simply stop making child support payments. Those payments are the right of the child, not of the recipient parent. A failure to make child support payments can result in some significant legal consequences, including potential criminal charges for ongoing delinquency.
For more information about how changing life circumstances can affect child support arrangements, contact an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.