The Financial Impact of Remarriage

A divorce case does not necessarily end when the judge signs the divorce decree. Often one party is ordered to pay maintenance, also known as alimony, to the other party. If there are minor children then child support will usually be ordered. As circumstances change it is often necessary for one of the parties to ask the court to modify its previous orders regarding the amount or duration of payments.

A common situation has the former husband paying maintenance, child support or both. Questions arise when one of the parties later marries or begins living with a new partner. This article will address common concerns regarding how this change of circumstances affects the payment of child support and/or maintenance.

1. If my ex-wife gets remarried does it impact my child support?

In most cases remarriage will not have any impact on child support. The new husband is not legally responsible for the children. The children are the responsibility of their parents. The court will base child support on the incomes of the parents. This often raises problems when the children’s mother marries a new husband who is wealthy. The father may have a tight budget and paying child support is a financial hardship. Meanwhile, the ex-wife and children are living an affluent life. Because the children are well taken care of by the mother and step-father the father feels his support is not necessary, at least not at the level he has been paying. The court will not usually be persuaded to reduce child support. The children remain the responsibility of their parents. The court cannot force the step-father to provide for the children and will not take his income into account. In extremely rare cases a court might grant the father a reduction from his child support if the parties’ financial conditions suggest it is in the best interest of the child or children. (For example, if the mother and step-father live rent and mortgage free in an inherited property). The burden for this type of adjustment is very high and the reduction will not usually be granted. The situation changes dramatically if the mother’s new husband adopts the minor children. In this scenario the step-father becomes a legal father to the children and is now required to provide for them. The natural father is no longer responsible for ongoing support of the children. There are two things to keep in mind about adoption. First, the adoptive father will be responsible for future support but the biological father will be responsible for any arrears which accumulated prior to the adoption. Second, and more importantly, if the children are adopted the biological father loses his legal standing and is no longer entitled to parenting time with the children.

2. If I get remarried will it impact my child support obligation?

The same rules discussed above apply when the father gets remarried. The step-mother’s income is not counted when determining child support, only the income of the parents. Furthermore, the father is not legally obligated to support his step-children, if there are any. His income will not impact the child support calculations in his new wife’s case either. Child support may be impacted if the father has another child with his new wife. This is a factor which the court should take into account when reviewing the father’s child support obligation. Now his income has to support hi current family as well as his children from the prior marriage. However, the reduction available will not be proportionate to the increase in family size. For example, if the father is paying child support for one child from a prior marriage then has a second child with his new wife, the reduction in his child support will be far less than fifty percent. Even though his older child is now only one-half of the total number of children, the support figure will be modify only slightly.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

3. If my ex-wife gets remarried, or moves in with a new partner, do I still have to pay maintenance?

The answer to this question depends to a great degree upon the wording of your divorce orders. In many cases the ex-wife’s remarriage will terminate her prior husband’s obligation to pay maintenance. However, this is not always true. Maintenance is tax deductible to the paying party if certain requirements are met. One of the requirements is the maintenance must end upon the occurrence of at least one of a list of conditions. The listed conditions include death of either party, remarriage of the recipient or cohabitation by the recipient with another adult in a marriage-like relationship. The important fact to remember is the tax code requires at least one of the conditions to apply, not all of them. It is possible to draft a maintenance order which terminates only upon the death of either party and does not address re-marriage or cohabitation. T

his is why it is so important to look at the specific language in your divorce orders. Usually remarriage is listed as a terminating condition, but it does not have to be included. Co-habitation is often a trickier issue. It is relatively easy to prove a party has remarried. A search of public records or wedding announcements in the local paper may be enough to prove the point. There are not generally any public records of parties living together, however. It can be very difficult to prove cohabitation. If the two partners each maintain a separate address, even if one address sits unused, it may be evidence they are not cohabitating. At least one court has found the payment of rent by one of the involved parties to the other is evidence they are not cohabitating. The result is cohabitation theoretically will terminate maintenance in most cases, but the practical application is much harder.

4. If I get remarried do I still have to pay maintenance?

Unless you are marrying the woman to whom you owe the maintenance, the answer is yes. Even though you may be incurring more financial responsibilities by starting a new household you do not receive a break from your maintenance obligation for getting remarried. Each of the scenarios discussed above is meant to be illustrative. The facts of each case, and the law of the jurisdiction, are paramount considerations in modification cases. If you have questions about how the changes in your life will impact your maintenance or child support payments you should speak with a qualified domestic relations attorney in your area.

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97 comments on “The Financial Impact of Remarriage

    My husband and I have been married less then two years. His ex is taking us to court to extend years for maintenance. My hubby has kidney disease because of all the stress. He signed an outrageous agreement that is not reasonable. We cashed in almost all retirement to pay her last year. We are 60 & 61 years old. She is hounding us for more and are trying to modify. In the process we are divulging a lot of bank statements. Do “I” have to dish out my paperwork? For example, my personal bank statements, Life Insurance policy etc. This seems outlandish as the case is my husbands and his ex, not mine. HELP! I resent that they are asking for my personal information. They divorced in WA. We live in Idaho.

    My boyfriend and I want to get married. He is paying maintenance to his ex right now. I am on so security disability, when we get married will they use that income to adjust his maintenance?

    Hello,
    Question ..My husband has had custody of his son since he was 8 now his 21 mom has never help financially with him. Can he still take her to child support for all those years till he was 18 and have her pay child support ?

    My bf of one year is going threw a divorce after being seprated for 2 years they have a 2.5 year old together. I am currently 3 months pregnant. We both have decided we don’t want to be together because it’s too much pain for him to be near another child without his first being around. Can I file for child support from him, if I do does that effect his soon to be exwife? If she files first do I not get child support? I make $400 a month before taxes, he makes $1,600 before taxes and his exwife makes 1,400. How will child support for both kids work?

    Hi all. I pay child support for two children.no marriage. My ex has now married and her husband claims my children on his taxes. My daughter will be soon taking his last name. My 16 old son refuses. Am I still required to pay child support? If I am no sweat. Just want to do what I am legally bound to do.

    My spouses ex is asking for more money to send the kid off to college. We currently pay a fixed dollar amount per month that they agreed to and a consent order submitted to and accepted by the courts. In the new consent order it specifically states that neither parent can, for any reason, request the terms of the consent order be adjusted or modified this includes no COLA adjustments. At no time has any agreement addressed the subject of college and despite my spouse quite rightly saying we cant afford it since we now have 3 little ones of our own, we are being threatened with court. I am at my wits end and am considering filing for separation to protect my marital assets and those of our 3 children. Any advice or constructive feedback would be appreciated.

    I got married to my husband 2 years ago. He has custody of both his kids since they were 3 and 4 years old. Since the beginning of this year, his oldest son (who will be 18 in Nov) has decided that he hates us. After many years of their mother being out of the picture she has finally come back and took him for the summer. He just texted us today saying that he would be back for the school year, but that we can’t expect him to do anything at home (clean his own room and dishes). And that once he finishes high school he will just move back with his dead beat mom. My question is what happens if we decide not to let him come back to live with us, as he literally stated that he doesn’t want to but it’s just doing it so he can finish his high school year. We have a 20 month old From our marriage and we would be keeping the 16 year old. The main question is do we have to pay child support? And if we do does my income count for it?

    Typically and by law child support is based off the “actual parents” income not the new spouse’s. I’ve always thought if the new spouse is ever to be “financially responsible” for someones child then they should have biological parental rights to that child ie. visitation rights, legal custody, etc… =)

    I’m a single mom with custody of our 4 children. My exhusband lived with his girlfriend The Whore since the day after the separation, and married her 6 years later, in May 2015. She is quite wealthy and he has no burden of daily living expenses. Her income is not considered, even though he lives very well off of it. Our 3 minor children are on Medicaid. When our oldest turned 19, he said we would have to ask The Whore to add her to her family health insurance. We could not. My ex does not pay for our 3 teen’s cell phones, our two teen drivers’ cars, car repairs or insurance, school lunches, ACT costs and tutors, school fees, cheer and gymnastics costs. In addition, even as custodial parent, my attorney felt it was in my ex’s best interest to claim 3 of 4 kids as dependents. I am allowed to claim 1, even though they live with me full time. It seems grossly unfair that he has been afforded every advantage. The income he has access to changed his circumstances.

    I’m getting ready to marry my girl friend that has three children under the age of 6 from a previous marriage. She’s a stay at home mom since day care expenses for 3 kids would out weigh what she could make financially if she got a job. She is currently receiving child support, and the kids are on Medicaid. Will our marriage or my income affect whether the kids stay on Medicaid even if the kids aren’t mine? I ask because the health insurance I would have to pay would exceed the amount recieved in child support. I have no problem providing for these kids, I already have been, I love them! But I pay a shit ton of taxes and can’t claim them as my dependants. So I’m just trying to see what’s coming.

    I am a single dad, who has been divorced since 2010. My ex hasn’t done much for the kids since 2009; in fact, she left me with 4 kids for 2 years following the divorce, with the exception of 1 day per week, which was also inconsistent. She was awarded $220,000 on blew threw it in 2 months, which was partly used for her next house and a more flashy car for herself. During those 2 years, she partied it up, had 8 boyfriends and her current husband, who I call #9 (yes, I know it’s childish), and she never took them for a single holiday, never went to a single school function or conference. Still to this day, with the exception of ONE emergency room trip, she hasn’t taken any of the 4 kids to a single medical, dental or optical appt, which trust me is quite a choir, as on of the kids has ADD. On instance she was advised by an ambulance paramedic to take my son in for stitches after being hurt from a fall St her house, she never did, and when I found out it was too late. She has never in their lives bought or organized school supplies, school registration or dealt with several school issues that have come up. She’s a mess as a Mom, and school often calls me because she can’t be reached and rarely responds to emails. She’s never bought school photos, never bought the kids a yearbook, or provided money to them to get things from the book fairs, as we know a lot of things aren’t necessary, but for a kid to be without while everyone else is enjoying is just a drop kick to their spirit and self esteem… my ex has done ZERO in almost every regard. She gets child support from me, simply because I make more, despite her remarrying a guy who owns a thriving business, which I’m certain she works for under the table, based on photos of her working on his site. She doesn’t use child support money on the kids, as they have regularly been forced to wear ripped dirty clothes, too big or too small… I even threw the junk she dressed them in in the garbage, and yes replaced the clothes with decent stuff, just to have more junk returned. I continue to replace items, because it’s hard to see your kids feeling uncomfortable in rags around their peers… she could care less. Our kids are now 12, 11, 9 and 7, and she just this week refused to pick up the kids on a day she was to have them, giving me notice 30 minutes prior to the exchange… Dead Beat is an understatement. I don’t mind providing for my kids, and I always will even though mom should be handling business on her side of the fence. Decent dad’s never mind paying child support, even if they have to go without, but it is wrong as all hell that a Mom is getting AMPLE child support, and using a small fraction on the kids. My ex goes on trips with her husband all the time, has nice clothes herself, nails and hair done, and a nice Chevy Cruz, which I’m sure she thought of the kids as they are crammed in it. Sadly my ex’s concern is her lifestyle and her husband… my kids clearly don’t rank high on her list of priorities. My kids should not have to go through that nonsense, and parents, moms or dads need to be held accountable for using support for themselves. The system needs to be overhauled, and I’m sorry, but it is the dads who are often railroaded, and it’s disgusting, especially when they are doing the right thing.

    I am a mother and been separated for 3 years with 3 boys I dont get child support. and he does not give me a cent. I consent him seeing my boys cause he is loving to them and helps them out and that’s okay with me, but reading your story and just thinking how young your kids are . If I were you I would not or you should not giver shit! and would not allowed her to see them, she does not deserve it.

    I think you don’t have any legal grounds not to consent to him seeing his kids. If you tried to withhold visitation it’s likely you would lose big in Court. You have to be the parent and be level headed. If you start acting as if you are controlling and unreasonable then you will lose.

    You have the right idea though, that he is loving and it’s best for the kids to see their father just as it is for them to see their mother.

    I’m not sure of the situation based on your post. It sounded like you had the kids when you said she left them with you so I’m not sure why you would be paying her child support still. If that’s not the case and she is the custodial parent then in a positive light you can look at it this way. Your kids got a new house to live in and a safe car to make it to and from places with that 220k. Hopefully they have the same at your place. You know, all this stuff is hard to deal with of course. I look at it like my kids are #1 to me. My ex has so many issues that I could go on for days about it. It actually negatively impact my son’s health it’s so bad. It’s hard to see another parent do things like this but the best we can do for our kids is protect them, love them and provide for them. Now that there are two homes, they have two places to go and they need to be cared for in both. Which means much more expensive than before right? I completely understand and empathize. I had to cover for my ex not paying things or not getting things for the kids many times. I look at it like that’s for the kids not her. They will remember me doing it, me being there and being a good father. At the end of the day that’s what our #1 job is and gotta put the past behind us and move forward. Good luck to you and everything will work out in the end.

    I”m a single dad, divorced now for nearly 2 years (June 2014), but separated for 4.5 (Apr 2010, she walks out) years before that. I was fortunate, cause my ex-wife made all the mistakes splitting the relationship as she Left me when I had all three (of our) kids, and no attempt to contact me or kids for 4 months. I was told many times I should have filed the divorce than, but I was naive that somehow she was the prodigal child, and want to eventually see things fixed. It was repetitive for many years, she’d left for a day, come back, many times. She also had many issues with drugs before meeting me, and coming clean in early years of our marriage was difficult. I simply had more hope than reality proved.

    Initially, she started contacting me about kids, and because I never wanted to keep her from them, as long as she was safe to be around them, I couldn’t say no, but I remained with her, them at first. She improved as mother, but never reconciled in relationship, eventually she filed divorce in Jan 2011, but due to the process, and the contesting issues, not to mention various conflicts and surprises in court, it took about 3.5 years. Initially, and during this entire time, as ordered by the presiding judge, custody remained at 2 days a week for her, as she and I initially agreed on before court, and I continued to have them 5 days a week.

    I also managed primary parenting responsibilities, like state health insurance, school, food stamps, child care, etc. When the final decree was ordered and signed, the judge changed the custody orders to 50/50, both having 2 days and 5 days one week, alternating weekends to change the next week. At the time I had less income, and due to my being primary parent sense she left 4.5 years prior, the courts awarded my Child Support. I’ve had various jobs the who time, and sense than, including trying different self employement opp, but neither ever changed the Support payments. However, sense she left, and started divorce proceedings, she has sense been pregnant with her future husb, marrying him after their son was born.

    My question is coming…. Despite my lack of strong employment, I am coming on a real good opportunity for employment, working solid hours with solid income, enough to start a new living on. I’m excited for the pending employment, but concerned she going to try turning the tables against me. She makes decent living as manager in fast food, though could be doing better in health care, she has a degree. Her new husband has strong employment, in working at a car wash as maintenance tech, and house keeper… last I known. He actually is illegal, but lived in state of AZ most his life, and stayed under radar when recent immigration laws changed, but that’s besides the point. With their combined income, and being father of their household, has some influence and care over my kids at their house, I feel their combined income should be more than sufficient to take care of them when kids are at their mom’s house, in their care (mom and new husband).

    With new job of mine, I should be able to care for them sufficiently when they are in my care, and if the numbers match ok, I don’t even mind if courts remove the child support, and I stop receiving payments from her… and keeping custody at 50% each. What I don’t want, is she trying to convince courts I need pay her, or the courts determining my income is more than efficient to provide for them, and need to help her.

    What I want to know, will AZ courts order me, a SINGLE father who been receiving child support, with new job sufficient to provide for children when in my custody, to help her, a REMARRIED MOTHER with combined sufficient income to provide for kids in her care?? I feel this would be injustice, and I wanted to try and educate self, and prepare self, and if needed, seek new attorney to ensure I protect self from anything she tries to take from me.

    You know they will take the child support guidelines and run the numbers. They have wide discretion on whether or not they will modify support it but they can modify it because technically has been a material change in circumstances. In my state it’s all about the kids so that money is not the parents it’s really just the kids money and their entitled to it because they really had no choice in these matters right? You two brought them onto the earth and now you both have the duty to support them. Those guidelines are just to make sure they get their support. Think of it this way. Either that money comes from you or her but either way it’s theirs..

    What do I do in case where the dad got married again, mom is single and not interested in a relationship, dads new wife won’t even allow him to pay maintenance or even use the medical aid. He has his own company and living a good life. The other problem, she has to be nice to him before he gives money to the child and she can’t because his married. She lost her job due to her daughters illness. What can she do and she don’t want that money for herself it’s for his child.

    It sounds like you don’t have the facts right. New wife doesn’t have ability to stop someone from paying maintenance. If there is an Order then he would have to pay.

    I give props to the men that choose to step up and take care of their children. Also on the other hand.. U must take into consideration that there are useless “sperm donors” out there that choose to make 10 babies and not take care of them. I have a soon to be 12 year old daughter who has never met her father. I gave him so many opportunities to do so. He had 3 kids before her and two of which he gave up for adoption, then my daughter. 4 months after she was born he had two more daughters… But in total has 9 that I’m aware of. Married one of the moms that he gave up the kid for adoption and had 2 more kids with her. Anyways.. He didn’t mind taking me back to court to get child support lowered to 50 bucks a week when my daughter was 3. I just recently found out he is making close to 100k a year and my daughter needs braces. So yeah.. I’m taking him back for everything I can. My child didn’t ask to be put into this position and in no way should she be held responsible for me making a mistake and having her with a deadbeat!! I would have given anything for her to have a dad but it was his choice. Guess what I’m trying to say is it’s not the kids faults and not all moms use the money on themselves. My daughter comes first and last in my life. I’ll starve before my child goes without because she didn’t ask to be put here. So I do give all props to real dads!! But not all moms are evil. U have to consider the fact that most men refuse to step up. They just wanna lay down and make a baby then run.. That’s not what most moms do.

    More and more the world’s changing right? I personally see more and more dead beat mom’s out there than ever. I even recall news stories of mom’s killing their children. I’d say it’s a bit unfair to state most men refuse to step up… Ideally both parents would be all about their kids and it wouldn’t be about who’s fault it is… If I were a kid I sure wouldn’t want to struggle with seeing that turmoil everyday..

    My kids dad and I separated last year in January 2015 and I was pregnant when that happens I move to my own apartment with our 4 years ago daughter before even that he has not been doing anything for the child every time I asked him to do something for our daughter and I also give birth to another baby girl he is not support the two he is doing two jobs the kids are living with me i I’m the one doing everything for the kids when I asked him to buy something for the kids he will tell me that he doesn’t have money ok help me to babysitter some time so that I can have a break with the kids on the weekend he also says no to that now I’m getting tired with all his behavior I’m thinking on what next step to take.

    My husband went through a separation with his first wife about 12 years ago. They had six kids total, together. When they went through a legal separation, he was ordered to appear in court for a judgement of child support on the two younger children that lived with the mother. He was told that he would have to pay $850 for them. The court advocate looked at him like he was a deadbeat dad when he got mad at the amount. When he finally said, what about the other 3 children? The court advocate asked, what other three (one was already over 18) and he said, the three that live with me? The advocate literally threw the file and said he wasn’t told of the other three children. They had to reconvene and his support was dropped to $200 a month, but he agreed to pay her $300. Now jump seven years later, she has been living with a different man and he meets me. They finally do a judgement of divorce, the three living with him over 18 and mom gets $1200 a month now for two children. We get married.. have two children and things are tight, but he has not complained about paying the support, thinking it’s best for his kids.. This last year, the youngest moved in with us, and mom has not reported the child has moved in with us and has been collecting $600 a month in child support on the one child that lives with us. We just got a letter for a review, so sent that in and now we wait. Will they make her pay back the child support that was paid out over the past 7 months? When I went through my divorce, I knew my ex could not afford to pay a lot and worked out $200 a month for two children. I think courts need to look at what the household expenses are not just gross income. It shouldn’t be so bad where people are struggling to keep their houses or to keep their electricity on just so their exes can make bank. And that’s exactly what they are doing. Since my husband’s child has been living here, we have had him ask his mother to take him school shopping etc and he was told he would have to wait until she had money.. So that tells me that the child support that he sends does not get used for the children, but more so for mom’s expenses…

    I speak as a father who pays child support to an ex-wife who has a higher income than myself. I am remarried and have two biological children and one step-child with my current wife. My ex-wife has only one child from our previous relationship of whom I pay support. My child support was entered 5years ago during a time when I was only allowed to see my child for a few hours, 2 days in a week and one overnight. Since then there has been significant changes in our lives that clearly warrant a change in the support order such as a huge variation in income between my ex-wife and myself, new parenting plan (split physical) that we agreed on almost two years ago and of course having additional children. I have attempted to modify my support through the department of child support twice at no avail. I continue to pay an exorbitant amount of basic child support and daycare expenses that far exceeds the child’s need while I’m left with nothin for my other children, keeping in mind, that I have my child for an equivalent amount of time as my ex-wife. Child support as we know it, is ordered payments to support ones child but when that support creates an undue hardship on one parent and when there exists an unbalanced standard of living between the two households then the child support ought to be changed. I chose not to enroll my children into daycare as it is expense and have arranged on a schedule that allows me and my wife to be with our children when one of us is at work. My ex-wife however, chooses to enroll our child into daycare during her days with child and wants me to pay a share of her daycare costs. The reason I shared about my experience is to show just how unfair the system is. I take good care of my child during my residential time but I’m also expected to pay my ex-wife who has more money and less financial responsibilities money to care for my child half the time she’s away from me. I have to work overtime and get assistance from my family so as to be able to make ends meet while my ex-wife sits and waits to receive what I consider personal spending money from my pay check. I’m taking my case to court and I pray that the court makes the needed changes to end this high profile exploitation. We need child support reform in this country and the department of child support has got to end the bias thats mostly against men!

    I don’t know how I feel about child support reform. It’s something people complain about a lot but never say how it should be reformed… It seems like if you had presented your case as you say and mainly the custody time has changed and you have additional children to support that would definitely warrant a material change for modification of the support Order. I’d also mention to the Judge that while in her custody she should be the one responsible for daycare if she chooses to put the kids into daycare on her days but I could see that backfiring on you if she has to work on those days. Generally speaking in my state it’s all about the kids and parenting time. Based on what you mentioned about having new kids to support and change in parenting time then you should be able to get a mod.

    My ex husband and I are divorced and he recently re-married his ex -wife, this is the 3rd time they have married. He has been and still is paying back child support to her. My child suffers because of that. He no longer calls our son nor does he spend much time with him and he never ever comes around or has anything to do with our child without his current wife. How in the world can he be re-married to the same woman he is paying back child support to???????????????

    Sounds like he makes a lot of bad decisions. You know some say both parents in the kids lives are good but sometimes I wonder if that is really true. I mean some people just were not meant to be parents..

    My husband did not py support for years before I met him. The exwife took him to court and he paid a lawyer 30k. I am divorcing him now and feel this or his child support ate die to his negligence. Am I responsible for the lawyer fees and back support?

    It’s not your kid so not your support obligation. You might be responsible for the attorney’s fees if you incurred them at the time of marriage. I would certainly argue that it was based on his past divorce though. I think it’s a good argument and you probably would get far with it.

    My husband of 14 years has an ex wife and a teenage daughter (16). Husband always paid maintenance, medical aid and school fees. Ex-wive has now re- married, decided to become a house wife and had send the expensive slow learning kid that had added to private school and after care expenses teen age girl to me and my husband (we chose not to have children in our marriage due to high demand careers) Exwive has been seeing daughter at our expense for the last four school holidays and our finances has now started to slide. I had asked husband to arrange for mother to pay some support her answer to this was ” I am not employed and have no money” Daughter was send to us before getting married and becoming house wive.

    Now What?

    Nobody has responded to this yet?

    Keep working hard so that those high demand careers pay off! If you invest well maybe you will start to see that income slide up instead of down. You could also write in complete sentences and that will increase your value.

    As you know those careers out there also require political prowess. So when you speak about children maybe you could use some tact and not call them “expensive slow learning kid”. That just sounds bad and gives people a bad impression of you.

    Fight for your kids, go to social services and talk to a caseworker , tell them what your kids r telling u its worth an investigation to really see what’s going on , don’t give up , and ifs she is getting married,what do she need more money for, and u do need to take off from your job and handle your business, take off for personal reasons and keep your job out of your business and also get joint custody of your kids , that will help too ,good luck

    Typically I wouldn’t get SS involved because once your kid is in their system they will never be out so I caution you on that. It’s best to leave that to a real emergency situation but not as chess move to get what you want or put the other party into turmoil.

    People get married all the time. That has nothing to do with money and I don’t understand your comment “if she is getting married what does she need money for”. FYI Child support is money for kids not parents. Also new spouses are not “actual parents” as defined by law soooo that’s kind of the deal with that advice of yours.

    Save your money on going to court to get custody. Chances are if you haven’t already gotten it in the divorce then you won’t and you will end up with a hefty legal bill and money you could have spend on kiddos will be spend on attorneys..

    Somebody please help. I am getting married to my fiance. We already ha 2 young kids. He has a 9 yearold boy with a previous woman, but we’re never married. He pays over 1000 in child support. His ex has remarried and her new husband makes good money, and are living a luxury life. We on the other hand are always on a tight income . I am currently looking for a job, because there is never left over money to put my kids in any activities. As soon as we get married, will that child support go down or no.

    I’m a divorced single dad of two little girls. Prior to the divorce my wife convinced me to move to a depressed area. She cheated, we divorced, and she’s remarried now. My concern is with the LAWS. The formula used to calculate “child support” isn’t for “child support” at all. It’s to maintain an “Equal Standard of Living” at both parents homes! What is severely overlooked is that the money paid by most fathers (and in some cases moms) isn’t required to care for the kids it’s required to maintain a living standard for the other parent who makes less. It’s all well and good until their situations change (marriage or whatever) and the Standard of Living at one residence improves dramatically. My ex married a Doctor. I don’t mind paying support to ensure my kids are taken care of, but it’s NOT my responsibility to support my ex wife … it’s why i divorced her. Her new husband has taken that responsibility. Her income should go to supporting her kids when they’re with her and if she’s strapped … guess what? Step up new husband and take care of your wife. Instead, they continue to go on vacations, buy toys, boats, cabins, new cars … while I’m broke, had to sell my home, downsize my living conditions, live paycheck to paycheck so I can write her a check every month. Now I’m out of a job because the are I live in is extremely recessed and I have to make a choice to move so I can make my payment and lose 50% custody of my children, or stay here to be in my children lives but be so broke I can’t hardly support them when their with me. Someone explain to me have any Judge in their right mind can see that situation as “the best thing for the kids”?? The laws are BS, they screw over people, and they are not administered in a fair and balanced way. I really needs to change.

    Lots of people say they want reform but I never hear how they will reform it. I think it’s mostly fueled by the frustration of parents seeing how much kids cost on paper. Also the fact that once sharing household expenses now have to be divided and kept up makes the strain worse. If we need to reform anything we should reform taxes and let the middle and lower income classes take home more pay. Put income caps on executives and force companies to profit share with their employees. If people were not struggling so much financially they wouldn’t complain about supporting their kids right?

    ” I don’t think it’s about an Equal standard for the parents lives it’s more like the children are entitled to a standard of living based on both parents incomes.”

    Jeremy, you are parsing words. Standard of living is what a family has; you cannot separate standard of living of the parents from standard of living of the child, period. And I quote from page 5 of the New York Child Support booklet:
    http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hra/downloads/pdf/services/child_support/noncustodial_parents.pdf

    “Using these percentages ensures that children benefit from the same standard of living they would have if their parents were living together”

    I say HOGWASH and I’ll tell you why. WAY too many variables.

    For the most part, the mother gets full custody approx 90% of the time. She usually keeps the option open to work or not. She can go on public assistance and have a “side” living of child support from the father. She may get remarried to a “well heeled” guy which usually dramatically INCREASES her standard of living, thusly as well for her children.

    The father usually DOESN’T get custody, yet gets “visitation,” yeah it sounds like prison. Therefore, he has to pay child support to the mother AND provide food, clothing, shelter, entertainment for his children on HIS time (visitation) with them. If he can’t keep up HIS standard of living for the children as compared to the mother’s standard of living should she “marry up” then the children suddenly don’t want to see impoverished dad anymore.

    Being impoverished and under obligation to pay child support for 18 plus years (yeah it goes to 21 in my state at least, but same “child” can vote at age 18 whilst the mother receives “child” support for said young’un) definitely puts a crimp in the father finding another mate as most women do NOT want to financially support a man and become a sugar mama.

    This is especially the case for blue collar men whose earnings do not match the white collar fathers and yet who often pay a substantial amount in child support.

    It has often been said that child support should be distributed like an EBT card, in that there are limitations on what it can purchase and that it should be child related. This is a GREAT idea, but will never see the light of day due to so called “women’s rights.” Statistically speaking, it’s only a matter of time before those women who are collecting child support become mates to a man who is PAYING child support and all of a sudden, attitudes change. I’m pretty sure same sex couples will also soon find this out.

    Should the father find a woman that is willing to take on the baby mama drama of being a second wife, often the child support magistrate DOES take into consideration her income because it more than likely goes to support the father. The magistrate then considers any income that the father earns as being “freed up” to pay even more child support just because said father is NON custodial.

    So yes, ladies, if you hook up with a man who has a child support obligation (not even in an arrears situation) you will be paying indirectly for your “step children.” Ask me how I know this! LOL And I say this a true single parent in the eighties who somehow managed to raise two children to productive adulthood without child support AND without slandering the father.

    Don’t even get me started on debtor’s prison. . .which is alive and well in the “family” court system vis-a-vis taking away a man’s ability to work through confiscation of professional licenses of all things, including his driver’s license. God forbid if you are a father who pays child support and are laid off in these least eight years of horrific economy.

    Child support is for kids. Alimony would be maintenance for her. I don’t think it’s about an Equal standard for the parents lives it’s more like the children are entitled to a standard of living based on both parents incomes. Whether that money comes from you or her it’s really the kids money. The idea is the parents would make good decisions with that money and use it for the kids. Same as if you were married and you both had that money in one account. You both have to be on the same page about where that money will go (easier said than done, I know.) Will it go to boats, cabins, new cars? Or will it go to the kids college fund, tutoring, extracurricular activities, food, clothing, toys etc.

    If you lost the job and income went down then so did the kids standard of living. Your support obligation would be modified based on a material change in circumstances. Her new husband doesn’t have to support your kids though. In all fairness they are not his kids and unless he adopted them then he wouldn’t have any financial obligation to them as it should be.

    If it were me, I’d stay poor and close to my kids anytime. Money is not happiness and your kids will learn that from you if you stay strong about it. Good luck to you!

    That is all nothing agains the mother of my stepdaughter. She has now 6 kids from different fathers, my stepdaughter is the oldest one, she is getting 25 % of my husband gross income, but studies say parents only invest 16 % of the gross income to raise a child. why does he has to pay then 9 % more? And nobody here needs to think thats all he has to pay, the mother doesnt want to spend a penny of the child support on the child. The only thing she is buying is food with the food stamps she is getting. She doesnt buy any clothes, shoes, school supplies, pay for haircuts or even want to pay the gas money to bring the child to a doctor. If my husband doesnt pay for anything else the child just doesnt have any school supplies or fitting shoes and clothes. We had that alle before when my husband said for that he is paying every month child support. She let the girl running aroung with to short and to tight clothes and shpoes for almost a half year, but in these time she was able to make party at least 4 times, buy herself a new car and got every 4 weeks her nails done. Just 2 weeks ago she asked for a raise. For what she needs a raise? She doesnt even pay anything…

    Oh! You guys should meet my husband’s ex-wife! She’s Asian, can speak decent english but doesnt want to work! And she even has the nerve to ask for additional money from my husband.. The thing is, the divorce judgement says “NO MAINTENANCE” but my husband has to pay the child support.. last year of June, she asked for an increase of $100 because the baby is drinking too much milk! (child is only 1 yr old and support is $189 per week) but the judge dismiss the case.. now.. she;s doing it again! we received a summon because she needs $100 increase! not even a year!!!

    The cost of milk is crazy these days! haha…

    Ask the judge next time your in there to give you something to prevent her from frivolous claims. Not sure what they can do but I’ve heard of Judge’s doing things to stop people who keep going dragging people to Court for trivial reasons. Keep good records of the judicial abuse and bring it up each time you go to court. Order the transcript afterwards and use it as evidence in your future trials. Good luck!

    I just read this article and am recently going through a divorce myself. Its more than upsetting how the”system” treats men. So bias, then you have “some” not all, who knows how to work the system to their advantage and drain men of their hard earned money. It frustrates me to no end. I would love to get a child support reform legislation in process for this injustice to men. Granted, there are men out there that need to step up to the plate and provide for there own regardless of ex. Children are unfortunately in the middle of this war, and don’t choose to be. It’s a very sad reality.

    What would you reform specifically?

    I agree with you that there is a huge bias towards men. I remember filing out forms that had the husband as the default section for the child support payer. They could’ve put parent 1 and 2 but they didn’t even though my state already had legislation that specifically addresses that there is no gender bias allowed when it comes to support.

    The best thing is to take care of the children the next is 50/50 custody the reality is it might not be in your favor to choose a option is to not take on a family life are make it work and move on to better the new one

    “. The court cannot force the step-father to provide for the children and will not take his income into account. ”

    No, the court is a fraud with allowing child support to continue when the ex spouse remarries. The married couple are getting a tax free income stream from the ex-husband who’s forced to continue to pay child support (or go to jail), when the child is reasonably now taken care of by the step-dad.

    CHILD SUPPORT REFORM IS BADLY NEEDED!

    Why would a father want to stop supporting his kids regardless of the Mother’s status. You have kids, you don’t get to decide how much support they deserve. I know fathers that willingly put every extra dime towards their kids, yet I have an ex who won’t pay for a 10 dollar field trip.

    In my experience, it isn’t that they don’t want to support the children but the mother makes it extremely, irrationally difficult. I have an SO with 3 kids from a previous partner and they’ve been separated for 15 years. We don’t live in the States so child support laws aren’t the same. My SO used to pay child support, but stopped after his ex repeatedly denied him from seeing his children, and hid one of his sons from him for 3 years when he entered a new relationship. I have spoken to this woman personally and have asked her to put aside her anger at my SO and let him see his kids, but she has been rude, irrational and verbally violent. This woman cheated on my SO a number of times by the way, and that’s why he left. We’ve chosen to cut her off from our lives because she’s given us nothing but heavy hearts. So in this case, the father has all my sympathy. Some single mothers are just downright bitter and it isn’t worth the headache trying to reason with hate-filled people.

    At least he can stop paying support because she has purposely denied access. Not so in the states; he’d be thrown in prison. In my case, my SO has not seen his kids for almost 7 years now due to the mother and her family alienating all three of his kids.

    She is practically mayor of her town of 5,000; she works for a well known gov’t anti-father agency so has a lot of pull. My SO still dutifully pays his two mercedes benz payments (lowest it’s been for over a decade) for 12 1/2 years with another 7 1/2 to go. She’s remarried to a six figure guy and has just purchased a vacation home in a resort area. Meanwhile, we live paycheck to paycheck (mostly MY paycheck)

    @Rabbit:
    Seriously, Rabbit. Your comments are disingenuous. Idiotic, even. What you did not say is that the DEADBEAT MOM doesn’t get to decide how much support the children will actually receive. Oh – except that she can decide because the “child support” is paid to the MOM, not to the children!!! She controls it!!! And she is not accountable in any regard.
    You did not state the specifics of your case – who pays child support, etc. Based on your comments, I assume it’s the dad. So, wouldn’t the $10 field trip fee be funded out of the “child support” moneys?
    You may have no idea how difficult it is for the RESPONSIBLE DAD to make ends meet – having to pay maintenance and child support, and not being able to claim a tax deduction for the children (whom his “child support” payments ostensibly support) – on top of providing for his own household. AND – on top of that – buying necessities such as clothing and personal care supplies for his children because the DEADBEAT MOM won’t.
    Frankly, making ends meet isn’t even the real issue: the problem is that the money paid for child support GOES TO THE DEADBEAT MOM! The “child support” money that I paid should have bought clothing and such for my children. But their DEADBEAT MOM used it for her own benefit. So – yes, I have a problem paying “child support” to a DEADBEAT MOM.

    Soooo. Here’s the deal….The Court is not a fraud. Someone else who is not the actual parent is not obligated financially to a child that they have not adopted or created which is completely fair right? I mean you would feel pretty unfair if you had to pay for my kids because I communicated with you via a blog. It’s pretty similar to that. The fact they married has nothing to do with your kids and your obligation to support them.

    Every day you don’t have your kid with you, think of it as paying for someone else to care for your child. In my case, in my area that’s 100/day per child. That’s really just the daycare costs from 9-6:30pm If I considered a full 24 hour day I guess it would be $300/day/per child. If I needed 5 days per week that 1500/week x4 6k per month. I have two kids so that’s 12k per month. Not sure what you’re paying but usually the child support guidelines are nowhere close to that, so you still get a bargain. Long story short if you wanted to be rich or well off then you should’ve gotten a better job or made your millions before having kids. Time to pay up or yes go to jail. Why should the state be burdened with having to support your kids when you don’t want the burden yourself?

    Hey anyone who can help, my ex is getting remarried, she is asking for more child support knowing the more I give I won’t have an apt to have a relationship with my kids and my job doesn’t wanna give me time off to go to court and I’ll lose my job and be held in comtempt please help she doesn’t deserve the money I pay for my kids, her fiancé yells at them they are scared and wanna live with me

    Not sure if you’ll ever see this or if the situation got resolved by now but I would look into the custody laws in your state. My fiance found out his kids can be any age to choose where they want to live the judge just has to say they are competent enough to make the choice. The problem for us is his kids are educated in the state of Florida and they come across as a little slow.

    If that’s truly the case then fill out a long form financial statement and ask the Court to consider your expenses. My ex was able to get a modification to lower her support by doing this. You should try it.

    I think it’s disgusting how men get royaly screwed when it comes to child support, they act like she was raped and didn’t intend on having a child and didn’t know the costs and consequences involved, spread your legs your gonna have to pay for a kid, but taking a man for more than he has is disgusting, be fair you don’t want him around your child he shouldn’t have to pay more than he can afford for that child, the courts are idiotic too, if she screwing a new meal ticket that meal ticket should pay for what’s around him…….. this coming from a woman…..

    Completely agree. I was totally screwed over, even more so, because I have a child with special needs. I’m broke. Living in a small condo. She is sitting pretty in the 3100 square foot house we bought just 3 months before she divorced me. Its absolutely discusting!!!

    I think it’s disgusting that any man would complain about paying child support. Is there somewhere better your money should go than to your children ?

    Im a great father, i have my kids half the time. Their moms boyfriend pulled a gun on me because he doesn’t like me, she left me. I take great care of my kids, she’s a dead beat and because I’m doing well for me , my children, new wife and baby my ex wants child support. She nev3wanted to work when we were married now she still expects a free ride. Fathers should provide for their children, not their dead beat mothers.

    Sure if the money goes to provide for children that’s great. But if the mother is already set up with a new hubby or boyfriend, that money is just going to support her lifestyle. You made a bad decision WITH the father. Move on already, and let him start over too. I’m a woman who is sick of seeing these mothers who are basically the new “noble savage”. Not at all Noble, but definitely Savage.

    I agree here. You stuck your willy in her and didn’t pull out. Pay your damn dues and be a man. So be it, you were dumb enough to commit to buying a 310o Sq ft house. I’m guessing everything was just peaches and cream at that point. I’m dealing with a child support issue. But you two disgust me. Because she finds a man that could take better care of her and your child you feel you shouldn’t have to pay. That says a lot about what kind of worthless father you are. 2 make the baby, 2 are responsible so take care of your responsibility. I do not agree with the equation of how they determine the cost. But damn. I will always support my children. I can’t believe you two could even post that lame statements. You should be ashamed of yourselfs, or I should just be ashamed of the lazy America where people do not need to be held responsible any longer. Get a vasectomy if all your gonna do is blame everyone and not take o n your God giving responsibility. Chumps

    @Rabbit:
    You just don’t get it! “Paying child support” is NOT the same thing as “money going to your children.” There is little that is more disgusting than my children’s support money being squandered by their deadbeat mom. (Paying her attorney’s fees because she refuses to work is one of those more disgusting things.)
    If only the “child support” money had gone to my children. Instead, it went to their deadbeat mom to whom I paid a whopping sum including maintenance and child support. The children repeatedly asked me to buy them clothes and other necessities because their custodial parent (the DEADBEAT MOM) would not do so.
    If you don’t recognize that there are deadbeat moms, then you are either naïve or willfully ignorant – much like the system.

    What ??? Just B/C a man Doesn’t Think he is paying the Fair amount of child support does not mean he is a bad or non-loving father. We are all here to find out our rights and with all this Woman should be paid the same as a man B.S. you would think they would also want to go ahead and raise their children with Less Money from the Biological father…
    Maybe like all the other men i see commenting Im Jaded.

    It’s raise your children right? Your kids are entitled to the money. Not the ex spouse. If you don’t think what you’re paying is fair then run the child support guidelines in your state. Once upon a time a bunch of experts came together and testified in front of legislation on how much it cost to raise a child in your area. Then they made a law that required the parents to pay to support their kids so the State didn’t have to. I’d say they know what’s needed and if you like at daycare costs chances are whatever you’re paying is a bargain compared to daycare or preschool.

    I would like to write here my own experience. I am an Asian indian woman. My husband was divorced ( Of course his ex wife does not have any kids and he was not paying her support as she was working ). I have been cheated by his and his family people’s shower of love on me prior to marriage. The moment I entered into wed lock all love gone and only their control and authority started. They forced me to have kids , After 2 kids I did not want to have any more kids….I accidentally conceived and I went through it, only on the promise that he would allow my sister to adopt the child( my sister is childless). After the birth he broke his promise and forced me to keep the 3rd kid. After having 3 kids his mother and his siblings were looting his money, he does not co operate with me in maintaining the family, planning for family . Worse still he does not sleep with me at the telling of his mother. I have been treated like a servant maid doing all chores of house and taking care of kids. Finally I kicked him out of my life and of course awarded child and spousal support by court. Even though I am highly qualified and was working in India i could not work after marriage b’cas I had to do all chores and take care of kids. I lost all precious years of making my career. Now I live in bayarea paying high rent. I want to move to other state , he does not allow me, I have to fight in courts to get move out. He threatens me that he would quit job so that he does not need to pay support. He never loved me romantically , I lost all my youth in a dirty marriage. Now even though I am trying no man is willing to marry me because i have 3 kids. So I lost all my life…..No guarantee whether I will get another man. I am suffering emotionally , hating my life ….
    Some one said a woman feels as if she is raped and have kids. No one understands how much a woman struggles to carry child, give birth and raise them. All her time she devoted to raise her children, she could not do job while a man concentrated in his career and earned. Had she not had children she would also have concentrated in job and career. So having children bacame a sin, she has to suffer lifelong loneliness if other man does not accept her. You are only seeing man’s side and not woman

    And this is why arranged marriages are bull crap. Sad that this happend. How old were you and how old was he when you to were arranged to be married? Had to be arranged right?

    It is hard situation, be strong, and always think that there are many people did not have the chance to have kids, but you got these lovely angels. Maybe you only met this man to get these kids, and you continue your life with them to make your life full of joy. always imagine tomorrow when your kids grow up and become stronger, they will take care of you, not their father. You might meet another man, and maybe not, but who care if you have your kids in your hug. they are the real joy of life. Be strong and have faith in yourself and your skills

    I agree, my ex wife is a dead beat living with her parents….. She’s 30 years old with three kids. I have fifty fifty custody and because i work hard and continue to climb corporate ladder she’s entitled to child support!? I remarried and have a baby at home. This is an injustice and Arizona doesn’t give a crap. No justice in the desert.

    Sorry, but I strongly disagree and the “rape” comment is highly offensive. Women can be in the same boat, should the father have custody. My ex is a dead beat, not realizing he still has a commitment to the child’s basic necessities! Let’s not make this about one parent or the other – child support is meant to keep the child fed, all necessities can be maintained – BOTTOM LINE. To make this a case of exes alone, is pathetic. And frankly, all comments are forgetting the most important thing – THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD AND NOT ONE PINNED AGAINST THE OTHER – PERIOD! I would LOVE to hear an argument, a VALID argument, when the cost of groceries increase with each year, clothing, etc. for the growing child or children.

    Finally, someone who gets what child support is all about. Good! I’ve been writing to everyone on this page so far and this is the first comment I’ve come across where someone seems to actually understand why child support exists.

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