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