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Questions to Ask Yourself When Getting Married After Already Having Children

Questions to Ask Yourself When Getting Married After Already Having Children

Families come in all shapes and sizes. If you are in a relationship and are interested in getting married after already having children, you need to ask yourself some questions before moving forward with wedding plans. The answers that you get can be the difference between a long-lasting marriage and one destined for hard times.

How Does Remarriage Affect Child Support Obligations from a First Marriage?

If you have a child support obligation, then your responsibility is still in place as well, even after you marry another person and plan on having children with your new spouse. The child support you pay depends on your net monthly income and the number of children you support. You must continue covering medical expenses and other related costs.

If you receive child support from an ex-spouse and remarry, your ex-spouse must continue paying child support. The state does not consider your new spouse’s income in these matters.

What Happens if Your New Husband’s Ex-girlfriend Accuses Your Husband of Being the Father of Her Baby?

Regardless of your husband’s intentions or past relationships, if he is the biological father of his ex-girlfriend’s child, he will have a legal relationship with the child. This includes entitlement to visitation, conservatorship rights, and the responsibility to pay child support to the mother.

A paternity test will determine if he is the father. The test’s outcome will establish his legal obligations to the child. He could be named the child’s father even without taking a DNA test.

What If You Are Unable to Afford the Ordered Child Support?

You and your ex-spouse cannot negotiate a lesser amount of child support to pay between yourselves. That agreement has no legal force behind it, and either of you can violate the agreement at any time with little or no recourse for the other to seek legal remedies. Only a judge’s order with their signature can change your child support obligation.

You can request a modification if you demonstrate a material or substantial change in your, your ex-spouse’s, or your child’s circumstances. A material and substantial change will be what the court is looking for. Or, you can show that at least three years since the last child support order went into effect to ask for a modification of a child support amount.

Getting Married After Already Having Children: What Happens if You Fail to Pay Ordered Child Support?

Enforcement of the child support order can occur. Enforcement is a legal remedy whereby either your ex-spouse or the Office of the Attorney General can request that the judge issue a ruling on violations of a court order. They must present instances of unpaid child support and any support arrears.

Once a judge issues an order that states you owe child support, there are various options available under the law to collect the money. Firstly, the court may issue a wage withholding order to your employer to deduct child support from your wages. You must inform the court or the Office of the Attorney General whenever you change employers, allowing them to send a new wage withholding order.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Getting Married After Already Having Children

If you expect a federal income tax refund but owe child support, the government may intercept this refund to cover your arrearages. Additionally, the court can temporarily suspend any licenses you hold—like hunting, fishing, or driving—to motivate you to fulfill your child support obligation.

The most far-reaching enforcement mechanism that a family judge has available to them is to send you to jail for up to six months. The basis for this would be that you are in contempt of court, i.e., you knowingly violated a court order. Often, judges opt for deferred adjudication instead of jail time. However, if you fail to make child support payments while on deferred adjudication, the court can revoke this and imprison you.

What Happens if You Pay Your Child Support, but Your Ex-spouse Doesn’t Let You See Your Kids?

This is an all too frequent problem for many parents across Texas. Despite the challenges of paying child support, remember that visitation rights and child support payments are not linked. I mean that if you do not pay child support, your ex-spouse cannot withhold the kids from you.

In this situation, both you and your ex-spouse must adhere to the child support and visitation orders outlined in your final divorce decree. Just because your ex-spouse refuses to allow you visitation with your child, you cannot withhold child support as an inducement for her to let you visitation. This is a messy situation, I grant you, but be aware that you could face the consequences for the failure to pay child support if you decide to go that route.

Instead, consider filing your enforcement case against your ex-spouse and seek a legal remedy rather than some “at home” justice. Keep in mind that child support is for your children’s benefit, and withholding it only harms them.

Should You Combine Incomes With Your New Spouse?

This is a central issue to any successful marriage. Money fights and money problems lead to more divorces in our country than any other issue, in my experience. The decision on whether or not to combine your incomes into a single bank account can set the tone for the rest of your marriage. Allowing your finances to mingle with another person’s can make you feel vulnerable, especially if you’ve had negative experiences with a previous spouse.

In my opinion, combining incomes can be a good way for you and your spouse to interlock your values and attack problems together. If you go to pre-marriage counseling, many counselors will assign you and your spouse-to-be an assignment to create a budget together. Pre-marriage counselors often assign couples the task of creating a budget together. This collaboration helps you identify necessary and unnecessary expenses and resolves disagreements or differing perspectives before marriage.

Think about all the “little” issues that combining finances and budgeting will force you to work with your spouse. Subjects like giving to charity, weekly grocery trips, saving money for retirement, saving money for kids’ college tuition, and many other areas of life are all important ones for you and your spouse to be able to work together on. If you do not combine incomes and instead operate off separate balance sheets, you may never get on the same page regarding these subjects.

What About the Faith of Your Children? What Says Does Your New Spouse Have?

If you are getting married after having children from a prior relationship, you need to be sure that you and your new spouse are on the same page regarding religious practices. You must be respectful of any differences that may exist. This is a subject that can be incredibly difficult for many people to discuss, especially for your children.

You have the right to direct your children’s religious upbringing as permitted by your final divorce decree. Typically, you can expose your children to your religious beliefs during their time with you, while your ex-spouse may do the same during their custody time.

Will You Need to Provide Spousal Support in Getting Married After Already Having Children?

Questions to Ask Yourself When Getting Married After Already Having Children

The law in Texas is that you and your spouse must support one another during your marriage. Failing to fulfill this duty can result in liability if another person or entity provides your spouse with necessities like food, clothing, and shelter.

What Sort of Property Rights Exist for Married Persons in Texas?

You and your spouse jointly own all property acquired during your marriage, known as the community property presumption. You and your spouse own the property together, even if one of you does not work and has never contributed income to the marriage. The idea is that you and your spouse are partners in the marriage and share equally in the good and wrong of property and debt.

Your family home, other real estate, vehicles, cash from bank accounts, investments, furniture, etc., all qualify as potential community property when it comes to your marriage. As previously stated, your debts also share this status. It does not matter if you individually or your spouse separately purchased the real estate or the refrigerator. As previously stated, your debts also share this status.

What About Income- Is That Community Property as Well?

Most marriages in Texas see two spouses working and earning an income. The way you handle these earnings, whether or not they are deposited into the same account, doesn’t change their status as community property. Again, many people have a preconceived notion that as long as you and your spouse never share a bank account, your money is yours, and his money is his. That is not the case. With this in mind, you may as well combine finances and bank accounts to work together on your finances.

Questions about marriage or second marriage? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you enter into a second marriage, you likely have some questions about how your prior relationships can impact your current one. The attorneys and staff with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan under the problems that can arise in second and third marriages, and we stand ready to assist you by answering questions about these subjects.

Our office offers free of charge consultations six days a week here in our office. These consultations are an excellent opportunity to ask questions and receive honest feedback about your particular circumstances. To arrange a consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys, please do not hesitate to contact our office today. We appreciate your consideration and look forward to the opportunity to meet with you and your family.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Texas Adoption Lawyers

The adoption process can be daunting at times. You don’t have to face it alone. The attorneys at The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, can help you navigate the process and create your perfect family. If you are in the greater Houston area and are interested in learning more, contact us today to speak directly with one of our adoption attorneys about your case.

Our Spring, Texas Adoption Lawyers are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Texas Adoption Cases in Spring, Texas or surrounding areas, including Harris County, including Cypress, Klein, Humble, Tomball, the FM 1960 area, North Houston; and Montgomery County, including Conroe and The Woodlands; as well as the surrounding counties of Fort Bend, Grimes, Waller, and Washington, contact us today to speak directly with one of our family law attorneys about your case.

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