Are Existing Obligations Considered In New Support Orders?

Mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

How do child support laws work if I already have orders from two different states and am now being sued for child support for a third child?

I am the father of a child who the mother had while she was married to another man. They have since divorced and through a paternity test it was proven I was the father even though I have never known the child.

Now she wants child support from me, but I already have two child support cases in other states and I make almost no money.

Can she get child support from me even if the baby was born while she was married to another man? Will the court consider my other child support obligations and realize I am broke and unable to support another baby?


This answer only includes general divorce help for men since I am only licensed to practice in Missouri and am thus unable to provide any legal advice on divorce on the laws in your state.

In Missouri (where I practice), paternity of a child can be established through Child Support Enforcement. Child Support Enforcement is an Administrative Agency that is monitored by the state with the sole purpose to ensure that the true parents of the child participate in payment of support instead of the state providing support.

From the information you provided, it appears you are a low wage earner and have two other outstanding child support orders from a different state. In Missouri, Child Support Enforcement will consider the outstanding orders and reduce the amount of support you are required to pay for the child in Missouri based upon the existing orders of support.

Missouri’s Child Support Enforcement officers should explain the procedure to you; however, given the complex nature of your situation, you may benefit from hiring legal counsel to protect your interests.

Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of your legal rights and legal advice on divorce, I urge you to contact a family law attorney immediately.

To set up an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Michelle Hughes, an Associate Attorney in the Jefferson County, Missouri office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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