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How Remarriage Affects Alimony & Child Support in NC

In some divorces, one spouse may be ordered to pay the other spouse alimony and/or child support on behalf of the children. But what happens if one or both spouses enter a new marriage? The following blog post is an overview of how remarriage can impact court-ordered child and spousal support payments in North Carolina. 

Remarriage & Spousal Support 

In North Carolina, when a dependent or receiving spouse remarries, alimony automatically ends upon the date of the new marriage. Therefore, the paying spouse is not required to obtain a court order to end payments after the dependent spouse’s remarriage. 

However, the law only applies to monthly or periodic alimony payments. So, if alimony is paid in the form of a lump-sum payment or a property transfer and the paying spouse has yet to make the payment or transfer the asset before the receiving spouse’s remarriage, the receiving spouse is still owed that payment or property. 

When it comes to cohabitation, if the dependent spouse cohabitates with another person, the paying spouse can file a motion to terminate spousal support in his/her local district court and provide evidence of cohabitation (e.g., both parties receive mail to the same address, pictures and videos of them living together, detailed witness accounts, or any proof of a marriage-type relationship). Cohabitation refers to a relationship in which two adults in a romantic relationship live together. However, North Carolina law states that two adults do not have to be engaged in a sexual relationship to be considered cohabitation. 

Remarriage & Child Support 

In general, remarriage does not affect child support payments. Both parents still have a legal obligation to support their children. The new spouse is not financially responsible for any of the custodial parent’s children from previous relationships. 

However, a new spouse’s income may be relevant if the custodial parent has significantly more disposable income after remarriage. For example, the custodial parent moves into his/her new spouse’s home and now does not have to pay rent/mortgage, or the new spouse starts contributing to household expenses. 

In addition, the new spouse wishes to adopt a stepchild, as a legal parent, he/she must accept financial responsibility for taking care of the child. But if a noncustodial parent relinquishes their parental rights, he/she will no longer be obligated to pay child support. 

If you are interested in alimony or child support modification or termination in Charlotte, call Krusch Law, PLLC at (704) 343-8811 or complete our online contact form today to schedule an initial consultation. Let Board Certified Family Law Specialists protect your rights and best interests!