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Family Law & Divorce Attorneys in Virginia

How Child Support Can Hurt Your Second Marriage

Experienced Virginia Attorneys

Depending on where you look for statistics, you’ll read that the rate of divorce among first marriages is between 40 and 50 percent. For second marriages, the risk of divorce is even higher than that, and it gets worse with every subsequent marriage. Why are second marriages on such shaky ground? One reason could be the additional stress of blended families.

When people are in second marriages, they’re often dealing with exes, child support, child custody schedules, and trying to get everyone in the blended family to get along under one roof – all of this can prove challenging, even for couples with the best intentions. Another, less obvious issue people aren’t usually aware of is child support, and how it can impact a new marriage.

How Can Child Support Impact New Marriages?

If you’re a noncustodial parent who’s been paying child support or if you’re married to one, it’s critical that you understand the consequences of not paying child support and how they can impact your new marriage. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not aware of these ramifications, which cause undue stress on their marriage and sometimes irreparable damage.

Lots of parents struggle with child support, especially in light of COVID-19, but all parents are obligated to financially support their children no matter what, even if they are unemployed, incarcerated, disabled, mentally ill, or suffering from a fatal disease. The only way a parent is relieved of this obligation is if their parental rights are terminated.

What can happen if a parent skips child support payments:

  • The funds in their bank account, including a joint bank account with their new spouse, can be seized.
  • Their driver’s license can be suspended, forcing their spouse to drive them everywhere.
  • Their professional, business, occupational, and recreational licenses can be suspended.
  • They can be denied a U.S. passport if they owe $2,500 or more in child support.
  • A real estate lien can be placed on the house they own with their new spouse, stopping them from refinancing or selling their home.
  • Their stimulus check can be reduced if not wiped out for back child support.
  • The paying parent’s spouse’s share of the $2,400 stimulus check can go to their spouse’s child support arrears.
  • Any tax refund the couple is supposed to get can go to child support.
  • The child support arrears can be reported on the parent’s credit, lowering their FICO score, and affecting interest rate options.

As you can imagine, all of these things mentioned above can not only add stress to a new marriage, but they can lead to a lot of arguments over money. If you’re newly married or getting engaged and you pay child support, it’s important to keep up with your payments and at the first sign you won’t be able to, have an attorney petition the court for a downward modification before the local child support agency swoops in and takes adverse action against you.