Calculating Child Support

Child support payments are typically calculated based on the number of children and the income of the parents. This is a guide about calculating child support.


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September 28, 2010 Flag

I wanted to know if someone can give me advice. My BF currently pays child support for his kids, but they tell us if we get married because of my income they would make him pay more child support and they would garnish my income tax return.


By Alex from Miami, FL

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September 29, 20100 found this helpful
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Every state has different laws when it comes to child support. You need to ask an attorney in your state. You can contact your town hall or your state house and ask for an attorney that will answer your question pro bono. Or even ask someone at a law library at the University of Florida. To give you an example of how laws are different in each state. In my my state, if you live across the state line in the adjoining state but work in my state you have to pay state income taxes as well as your wife who does not live or work in my state. This law has been fought all the way to the Supreme Court and has been ruled in favor of the state in which I live.

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September 29, 20100 found this helpful
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Only he has to pay for his children and not anyone else even if your are married. It is based on his wages alone doesn't matter what state you live in. If he fails to pay court appointed child support and files income tax. Yes it could be garnished and given to his ex. I know this from experience of my ex who thought he could get way with not paying child support.

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September 29, 20100 found this helpful
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In the state of Oregon, my sister got divorced but stayed living with a man because they stated to her that because she took his last name she could be held liable for his child support and they could garnish her wages; she divorced but let few know the real story. They stayed living together.

However, the state of Oregon also did little to collect on my child support, got 1st child support check when daughter was 23 years old and had 2 children of her own! I signed off on the amount owing, and the state immediately called every day multiple times a day; and my ex simply sent a check to the county for the full amount the state never bothered to collect. By the way, the State office was located in the same county that collected the full amount! So, not dead beat dads but dead beat counties and states folks!

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September 30, 20100 found this helpful
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Don't get married until you talk to a lawyer about the child support issue and you know all the facts. Then decide how you wish to handle the situation. There is no way the father shouldn't pay child support, but I'm not sure if all the states make the new spouse contribute.

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September 30, 20100 found this helpful
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Your income should not count in the child support calculatoins. To be sure though, call your local Child Support Enforcement Office and ask them. You can get the number through information or the local Social Services office. Also, you can go online and look up your states child support enforcement site and see if the question is answered there.

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September 30, 20100 found this helpful
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Beware! I was told by attorney that my income should not be used. However every time we went to court for more support my income was required yet the mother's new husband was not required. So long story short they used my income at $54,000.00 a year, and the judge had the audacity to say "I feel I need to level the playing field." Not my fault I had an education and well paying career. So good luck.

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September 29, 20100 found this helpful

Is the step parent required to pay child support in Oregon or Florida?


I am the step dad to my wife's sons who live full time in Oregon in the custody of her family.

I have never met them, they are ages 16 and 18 and stayed up there for school. I am military and move a lot. We are currently stationed in Florida which is where we got married.

She pays and is up to date on her child support, however, her family has stated they want more money. She was unemployed and a stay at home mom (but still paid child support) until recently. Now she is self employed but not making much.

The family says they will now have my wages garnished for more support. My question; Can they do this? I am in the Navy and have limited income (it's public record how much I make) and we are about to be stationed in Guam as of August.

What can I expect from this? The child support order was filed in Oregon. We currently live in Florida. I have no association with these kids, they don't like me etc. Religious differences, no extra money to be had! I don't make that much! Help me if you can with the answer please!



Apr 5, 2010, 07:04 AM #2



Join Date: Oct 2007

Location: NY State

Posts: 24,400

SCORE: The Oregon child support guidelines changed in January 2010. Here is the site but you need to put your personal info on the forms in order to come up with the calculation - https://justice  gov/guidelines/.

In some States your income can be considered as household income - I cannot tell if this is the case without completing the Oregon form.

Whether or not you have contact with her children, whatever the problems are, has no impact on child support. It will boil down to income.

If there is an Order to pay support and she does not pay, yes, your wife's income, bank accounts can be seized/frozen/liened but I see no responsibility on your part to pay the support (other than considering your income, if that is the law in Oregon).

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Anonymous Flag
September 29, 20100 found this helpful

Please take the advice here about seeking legal help! Although my story has nothing to do with child support I can tell you that becoming married to someone with any sort of government controlled debts or obligations can possibly be a nightmare!

Two weeks after getting married to my first husband an IRS agent showed up at the front door with news that my new husband had not filed nor paid any taxes for three years and had also accrued hundreds of dollars of interest and penalties. I told the agent they should speak to my husband about it because that had nothing to do with me. Wrong!

It did not matter that these debts were not my debts and that I hadn't even known about them, it was now also my debt! Even if I had immediately gotten an annulment I still would have been held responsible because I had signed on the dotted line of that marriage certificate. :-(

I personally hope you don't live together (that's just my belief) but even living together in many states your income is considered as household income.

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October 2, 20100 found this helpful

Ask your attorney these questions, no one here is qualified to answer. Also the federal government will only withhold your tax return if you are behind in your support payments. I would find out from your husband via printed sheets from the support office, if he is behind. Been there done that, my ex-husband lied about info and I had to ask for printed documents. I told him they would be useful in court hearings. This is how you find out the truth. Good luck.

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January 16, 20110 found this helpful

You will surrender your tax return money if he owes money because when you or your spouse owes money, and you are married his debt becomes yours and vise versa.

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September 28, 2010 Flag

We are trying to find out what the percentage for child support is for a father to pay for the 1st child once he remarries and has 2 new children (twins)? We have been told the standard is 20%, but once the children were born, it would go down to 16 or 17%. We are now being told it won't. How are we suppose to provide for the new kids if all the money is going to the 1st child.

By twins from Saginaw, TX


Calculating Child Support

That is a problem when you marry a divorced man with kids. It would be no different if his kid was living with you, you would still be supporting the kid. My advice to women is don't marry a man who has to pay child support, unless you are willing to live below the level you would like to. Of course another solution would be for the new wife to get a job and help with the new family's support. (01/04/2010)

By redhatterb

Calculating Child Support

The amount for child support doesn't change because of differences in your life. Whether you have twins, triplets or just one he is still obligated to support his first child from his first marriage.

And it works both ways. If the child support was based on his earnings when he made $40,000 a year the amount won't change if he changed jobs or was promoted making $100,000 a year. Congratulations on twins, but any child is a financial burden. Small cost for the rewards. (01/04/2010)

By Suntydt

Calculating Child Support

I am sure it depends on the state. Good for you that you are doing the right thing. I had a husband who ran and never paid. I had a brother who never missed a payment, even if he went hungry, bought his kids all their school clothes and provided great dental care. Guess who's karma I'd rather have. (01/05/2010)


Calculating Child Support

In most states, just because the father chooses to start a new family does not lessen his obligation to the child he had before. The only way I know of to change the amount he already pays is to go to court and hash it out, though I doubt the court will have any sympathy for the father as he knew his obligations prior to having the two new children.

Your only other alternative is if the mother of the first child is doing well financially and you are on good terms with her, perhaps she'd agree to reduce the amount voluntarily. I used to be a social worker and it's been my experience that it's very rare that a court would decrease the amount of child support just because the father started a "new" family. (01/05/2010)

By kjablue

Calculating Child Support

Ditto with all that was already said here and calculations are definitely done by the courts.

Not trying to be mean, but you must have known the father of your (assuming to arrive soon) twins already had a child and why should that child's support be reduced and that child suffer because a new family was created with open eyes? Worries about support of the new children should have been considered before their conception :-( (01/08/2010)

By Deeli

Calculating Child Support

In this state the % does not go down because the father remarries and has more children. the % is based on his income and stays that way until the child is 18 years old. If you go through the court system then each time he gets a raise the child support increases a little. I strongly advise going through the court system. I have seen what happens when couples try to do the support money on their own and they end up in a mess. To protect everyone involved go to court! (01/09/2010)

By Teresa Kay

Calculating Child Support

The court pays child support in birth order regardless if he was married to the mother. The courts in San Diego CA told my husband (X now) that it was unfair for his non working X mother of his son to compete with us. He had great income and mine was high so she awarded support on my income also. The X wife mother of his son had a working husband, but that did not come into play. It can be subjective to each judge regardless of the rules. So be glad they are not taking any of your income for this also.

By meoowmom

Calculating Child Support

I live in Florida and this is how it works most of the time when a child is involved.

  1. Judge and attorneys decide on % to pay for 1 or more children based on average salary for at least one year to present time. Age of children at time of divorce decides whether wife's income will be considered.

  2. If X gets a raise in pay, x-wife can return to court for more money and gets it.

  3. New husband for wife does not change anything, his income (generally) is not considered.

  4. X-husband remarries, tough luck, as judge will only get mad if you go to court to ask for a reduction for children from 1st marriage.
  5. X-husband's new wife's salary can be counted and will be if trying to reduce pay to 1st wife.

  6. Most people are now going back to court to extend payment beyond the 18th birthday for school or whatever?

  7. Some families that do or do not go through the court are now able to claim "entitlements" from the state. Some legal and some some not?

  8. Children are caught in the middle and through no fault of their own. Support should be freely given, but it should also be used for that child's well being and I believe abuse of support money is where a lot of the problems begin.

  9. If you are the 2nd wife then you should have already known about the first child and support money. Please try to understand how you would feel if things were reversed.
Better to open your home and heart to this "other" child or you will live in anger for many years.

By cybergrannie

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January 4, 2010 Flag

We live in Ohio and my husband owes back child support. The magistrate says that they can include my income in the calculations to determine how much he pays a month now. Why should my income be included? It's not my debt and they are not my kids.

Melinda from Cleveland, OH


Calculating Child Support

I would say that is how the law in Ohio has been written. It most likely is true in many other states. Here is an example of a law in Maine. A married man who lives in New Hampshire, but works in Maine has to pay state taxes to Maine. If his wife works in New Hampshire her income has to be included in his income for Maine taxes. Doesn't seem fair, but folks in this catch 22 have taken the case to court and lost every time. You could investigate the law with an attorney, but I wouldn't spend to much money on the attorney. (01/29/2009)

By Harry

Calculating Child Support

I'm guessing that they have to include your income, because it affects how much your husband can pay out. If he wasn't married and had to live on one income, he'd have less money to give to his kids. Because he's married to you, he's living off two incomes and therefore will have more money available to support his children.

I also worry when you say things like "it's not my debt" because in many places when you marry someone, their debt becomes your debt. Not sure if this is true where you live or if it applies to child support, but now that you are married you may want to look into just how separate your finances really are. (01/30/2009)

By ANon

Calculating Child Support

I hate to say this, but the CSEA takes all household income into account when calculating his obligation to his children. Regardless of whether he pays or not, or whether the childrens' custodial parent is responsible with the CSEA check, he still rightfully owes it. The CSEA can garnish your tax returns if he's behind. You'll have to file an Injured Spouse Claim Form (I think it's #2754) as long as he's in arrears.

No, it isn't fair, and a lot of guys I know (my own father included, when I was a child) manage to bypass this. The child support law is one of several reasons my middle son is appealing to our county for custody of his son. Our oldest just prefers to make his new love help him survive while half his paycheck gets split between the mothers of his first two children.

I'm sorry you ended up with a jerk who wasn't up-front with you. Hope things work out for you. (01/30/2009)

By JustPlainJo

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In This Guide
Child Support Worksheet
Getting Remarried and Child Support
Business and Legal Legal Child SupportFebruary 19, 2017
A gavel and money.
Is Stepparent Responsible for Child Support?
Writing a child support check.
Paying Back Child Support
child support paperwork
Are Siblings Accountable for Back Child Support?
Child Support Money
Paying Child Support
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