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My ex-spouse found someone new — does this affect child support?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | High-asset Divorce

In Illinois, courts determine child support through the “percentage of obligor net income” model. Essentially, there is an assumption that you and your ex-spouse split the costs associated with raising your offspring. As the non-custodial parent, a percentage of your net income then goes towards child support.

If your former partner recently moved in with or married a new significant other, you may be curious as to whether or not this affects your custody/support agreement. The answer is, it depends.

When your ex does not remarry

Individuals your ex-husband/ex-wife cohabitate with do not bear legal responsibility for your kids. They have no obligation to contribute financially to their care, so your child support generally remains unaffected by their presence in your previous spouse’s home and life. However, if you are able to prove that the new lover provides shelter, food or other necessities for your offspring (either directly or indirectly by purchasing staples or paying bills for your spouse), you have the right to petition the court for a modification to the amount of support you pay. A judge may decide that this constitutes extra income available for your kids’ care and reduce your payments.

When your ex remarries

If your former husband/wife remarries, the situation is similar to if they are simply living together as an  unmarried couple. Judges may deviate from existing orders to make payments “fair.” This means you may appeal to have the amount of child support you owe changed based on the fact that your ex-spouse has access to more resources now.

Child support is not necessarily set in stone. If your ex-partner moves in with or marries someone else, you may file to have it altered based on income change.