I’m ordered to pay child support from the day she filed but what about all those other payments I’ve made?

Divorce attorney Jason BowmanQuestion:

I’m forced to pay child support back to the date we separated, even though I continued to pay the mortgage, utilities, medical/dental/car insurance, etc.

Is there any way I can request relief for those four months of payments I’ve made on other necessities?


First let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed to practice law in the state of New York. I am unable to provide you with any specific advice to your questions as I am unaware of all the facts and issues that may affect your case.

Child support, maintenance and all the other normal bills can really make a divorce an expensive and frustrating process. Generally, when a budget is already stretched really thin and couples are living month to month, then a court will require a party to pay all the month-to-month expenses, child support and temporary maintenance, while the paying party wonders where the money is going to come from.

In most states, child support is separate from any and all expenses. The legal theory that best describes this separation is that the Court will require you to take care of your children first. Unfortunately, many states do not give credit for all the other expenses you pay that benefit your children, such as mortgage, utilities, etc.

You should contact an attorney in New York to determine what credit the Court will extend to you and what your options are as far as reducing or eliminating maintenance or having your spouse take over some of the bills. This may provide you with some relief.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kent., office of Cordell & Cordell. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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