Legal Q&A: Re-marriage and child maintenance payments

Q. Will child maintenance payments stop if I re-marry?

A. The answer is no. When parents divorce, the absent parent (“paying parent”) is obliged by law to pay child support to the parent caring for the child (“receiving parent”).  

Should the “receiving parent” re-marry, their spouse’s income will not be used in any child support calculations, as payment of child support is a legal obligation of the absent parent (”paying parent”). The reason for this is that your new husband wouldn’t be expected legally to provide financial support for children that are not his.  

There are however certain occasions when a change in circumstances should be notified to the Child Maintenance Service by the “receiving parent”.

Some of these are:-

  • if there is a change in the number of children living with you that you get child maintenance for
  • the number of nights a child regularly stays overnight with the “paying parent”
  • a child you get child maintenance for leaves full-time education (up to and including A Level) or reaches the age of 20

Lesley Knight, Chartered Legal Executive