Getting Remarried and Child Support

Many parents, both custodial and non-custodial, have questions regarding the effects of remarriage on child support. This is a guide about getting remarried and child support.
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July 18, 2016 Flag

I am going to be marrying my soon to be husband and he is on SSI and has kids that he sees once a month. He went to the courts before I met him and they ruled that he did not have to pay child support. Can his ex come after me for child support?

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July 19, 20160 found this helpful

Child support laws vary by state and the specific child support situation that will exist upon your marriage. You should consult an attorney specializing in child support and family law in your state. You can find an attorney by referral from your regular attorney or your local state American Bar Association:

http://www.lawyerslegallaws.com/

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July 19, 20160 found this helpful

Addendum:

Depending upon the specific state laws, even common-law and "live-in" partners may be required to contribute child support the the partner's children.

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July 21, 20160 found this helpful

Many state laws are different on this subject so you will need to find out how/what laws will come into play when you get married or maybe even if you are just living together (and how long together etc.).

Some information can be obtained through state agencies but an attorney who specializes in this would be so much better as this is something that could make a very big difference in your lives.

I have heard of a person getting married to someone on SSI that has not had to pay support and the ex returned to court and the judge reevaluated the income AND included the income of the spouse and that included any SS benefits.

As all the respondents have suggested - get an attorney in your state - no matter the cost.

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September 8, 20160 found this helpful

You should not be held accountable. If the mother, custodial parent, is voluntarily unemployed, the judge should use her spouse's income for calculation. Judges and lawyers do what they want. Good luck.

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April 13, 2012 Flag

My ex-husband is trying to have my new husband's wages included in the child support calculations, so he will not owe any child support for his 2 kids. Can he do this?

By Nikki Z.

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April 15, 20120 found this helpful

It never ceases to amaze me what ex-husbands will say or do to get out of paying their child support payments. The guy must have up all night thinking this one up.

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April 15, 20120 found this helpful

No, he can not. The only way he can get out of paying child support is to sign away his parental rights to your new husband, if the new husband is willing to adopt the children.

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April 15, 20120 found this helpful

Ask your attorney. Also,most states have a division of the DA's office that deals with child support.

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April 16, 20120 found this helpful

"Foxrun, no it is not based on heresay!"

Of course, you are going into court and your defense is someone posted on Thriftyfun what happened to someone. It is heresay and not admissiable. NikkiZ. needs the advise of an attorney.

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Anonymous Flag
April 16, 20120 found this helpful

I am laughing so hard right now! I don't think Foxrun understands that you really don't need to have a lawyer in order to present or defend your case in front of a judge for child support issues.

All you need is to go to the courthouse and tell the clerk what is happening and they will give you the proper court paperwork to fill out along with written instructions or in your case with your ex taking the initial action you will be notified by the court of the hearing and you can present your side of the case and talk to the judge directly at that time. It's totally silly to pay for a lawyer when it isn't necessary. That is money that could be going towards the children instead of giving it to a stranger who charges big bucks. And even if you pay for a lawyer the decision is going to be exactly the same anyway.

As someone else mentioned here you can also get a free consultation from child support lawyer specialists. If that would make you feel more safe then call to make an appointment with at least two different ones and make sure the consultation is free. Go prepared with a list of questions and you'll learn alot in that short period of time. Also, know they will try to pressure you into hiring them so just let them know you'll sleep on the idea.

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April 16, 20120 found this helpful

"I am laughing so hard right now! I don't think Foxrun understands that you really don't need to have a lawyer in order to present or defend your case in front of a judge for child support issues."

I'm laughing also. What I am saying that you don't understand is Nikki needs the advice of a lawyer. Didn't say she needed one to represent her in court. Read my earlier response.

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Anonymous Flag
April 16, 20120 found this helpful

In all fairness, Foxrun, I'll say you did indeed use the word advice but you did not make it clear that Nikki didn't need to 'hire' and/or 'pay' an attorney ;-) And I still stand my ground that it is not heresay. You do not need to talk to an attorney. You can simply talk to the clerk of the appropriate court. They can't give you advice but they are trained to help and guide you in the right direction.

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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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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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September 29, 20100 found this helpful

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

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

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

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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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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March 23, 2007 Flag

My ex-husband is remarrying. Will his new combined income increase my child support?

Elba from Onalaska, WI

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March 23, 20070 found this helpful

I was the second wife, and my late husbands ex-wife and her husband took us back to court, we live in Massachusetts, to have my income added to his income. They wanted more in child support. We, my late husband and I both worked and we also had two children of our own in addition to his two daughters from his first marriage. The court system had us fill out two (2) financial statements, one for him alone, and the other with our combined incomes. Thankfully the court here in Massachusetts only used his income. We were living week to week as it was and any additional child support really would have been a total burden on us.

He was a wonderful father, paid his child support, and never missed a visitation day, which was 2 days a week and they stayed over 1 weekend a month. I love my stepdaughters dearly, but, their mother's income was not even factored at all. In the end we had custody of the older daughter and the child support was not lowered, and my late husband's ex-wife did not have to pay any child support for the daughter we gained custody of. This all happened back in 1986, I'm not sure what the standards in Massachusetts are today.

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March 23, 20070 found this helpful

No, her income is not figured in and in fact, you could get less CS should they have children together. If they have a child, the amount your xh "owes" in support to that child is subtracted from his gross income. It is whatever the state guideline for one child is (or however many they might have). THEN what is left is used to determine how much he pays for the children the two of you had together.

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April 6, 20070 found this helpful

In Kentucky, the first born child gets, I hate to say it this way, but 'first dibs'. My X had a son with his 1st wife, and when it came time to figure her CS, it was based on his full income. When they figured mine, it was his income MINUS the amount he pays for CS on child #1. In the end, she receives $140 for one, and I receive $105 for two. No, doesn't seem right, but that's the law.

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July 30, 20070 found this helpful

My question is: My current boyfriend owes back support, so after marriage will cs take my income taxes? Michigan

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September 23, 20080 found this helpful

I am the second wife, my husband have two kids from 1st wife and now we also have two kids of our own. Can his support be lowered?

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December 14, 20080 found this helpful

My husband and I live in Maryland and he's stuck paying his ex $1500 a month for their two kids. Mind you we don't have $1500 and his kids live with us. My question is could we receive child support from the mother even though he's remarried.

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February 4, 20090 found this helpful

It depends on your State laws and the Custodial mom has to apply to Court for an increase. The people who are saying 'no' are misinformed. It varies from State to State. My advice to 2nd wives is to keep your finances separate from your husband's. If you file joint Tax returns be aware that your information will show if and when Family Court asks for a copy of your husband's Tax statement. If the case is in a State that includes the 2nd wife's income when determining ability to pay - a joint tax filing can cause his ordered support to increase.

In States that include the second wife's income/assets be careful about adding his name to property of yours. Don't buy property together jointly until your support case is no longer active. Keep your finances separate. NY State went after my assets when I paid my fiance's child support after his heart attack. My advice and concern is for second wives and partners. The Ex wives need no help. They have government paid free attorneys and biased laws on their side. Keep your finances totally separate, even if it means loosing some tax deductions.

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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

Answers:

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)

By PIKKA

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.
(01/09/2010)

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.
(01/10/2010)

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

Answers:

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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