Does step parent have to pay child support?

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Latest post 03-01-2012 11:36 AM by NicoleM88. 8 replies.
  • 02-29-2012 5:11 PM

    Does step parent have to pay child support?

    I'm engaged to be married next year, and I'd like to be sure of what I'm getting myself into. My fiance is on child support. (1.) Will I be responsible for child support payments as well once we're legally married? I've read that my income will be taken into consideration to help calculate child support payments, which is reasonable and fair. (2.) In the event that my husband lost his job, would I be responsible for child support payments then?

    Are there any resources that help explain child support and step parents in the State of Illinois?

    I'm in the process of opening a child care center. How can I protect my home, business and wages from garnishment? Of course, I'm assuming the worst case scenario, but I'd like to know. (FYI my child care business will either be Incorporated or a LLC).

    Thanks!

  • 02-29-2012 5:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Does step parent have to pay child support?

    In most cases step parents incomes is not used. It may come into factor as far as living expenses etc but mom probably cannot get an increase just based on your income. You are not required to make his child support payments should he not be able too he would just go into arrears until he is got up. Also if he ever goes into arrears, a lien can be put on any housing owned by both of you and any joint bank accounts levied.

  • 02-29-2012 5:26 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
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    Re: Does step parent have to pay child support?

    You are not legally liable for child support for a chiild that is not biologically yours (or yours by adoption). However, if future hubby defaults on his payments for any reason, an intercepted tax refund, for example, might not distinguish between how much of the refund is yours versus how much is his, if you file your taxes jointly. Any assets that are jointly owned could be at risk. However, the state usually does not go after assets unless the arrears get pretty high.

    Usually, the new partner's income is not directly factored into the support obligation. However, some of his overall living expenses could be less and that could factor into the CS calculations in some states.

    If your spouse lost his job, he needs to file for a modification or reduction of his CS obligation ASAP. Child support modifications are seldom retroactive, so the longer he waits, the deeper the hole can get. Since some people find new work very quickly while others need more time, the CS enforcement agency may allow him to make temporailry lower payments until such time as he obtains new work at which point, he would be expected to "catch them up". If he is in a field where finding new work is going to take awhile, he might want to consider a more permanent modification of his CS obligation should this one happen.

    As a practical matter, when you are married, you are on the financial ship together. If one of you puts a financial hole into the ship, you both probably will sink. But, you cannot be held directly liable for his obligation.

     

  • 02-29-2012 5:35 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Does step parent have to pay child support?

    Some states do look at the income of any new spouse as part of the CS overall situation

    You might be smart to sort out IL view--I didn't look it up.

    Sometimes EX makes a point of seeking new spouse data--and if you have independent wealth/resources you might be hesitant to disclose same via a joint return etc.

    It worth a technical discussion with divorce legal counsel as to if you want to join one legal financial ship....



  • 02-29-2012 6:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Does step parent have to pay child support?

    as far as I know, you don't have to support someone else's child.

    However, it could play a factor into what your wife/husband can pay.

    At least with me, they asked for everything I paid from electric to dry cleaning.  

    I don't think they could garnish your wages or anything, as it's not your child, but it is possible to effect what your wife/husband has to pay.

    Well, let me amend that, if your spouse were to fall behind on child support payments, and you had a joint bank account, that's up for grabs so far as I know.  So be careful if she/he falls behind.

    As an aside, my wife and I both paid child support from previous marriages.  It never effected us, but whatever that is worth to you.  We both always just paid what we agreed to and it all went fine so far.

    Good luck!

     

  • 03-01-2012 8:22 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Does step parent have to pay child support?

    it is NOT necessarily reasonable or fair that your income be a factor in his meeting his separate obligations but the answers can be pretty state specific and convoluted....and my read is that even the determination of "net" income for the CS formula in IL is a bit convoluted--and some use less polite words to describle it.

    The decision to blend financial pots has more than just social ramifications --it might matter a lot --it might help, it might hurt, it might no change much at all  ---it might help picute a lot as to tax issues or health care coverage or borrowing ability  -but I do think its worth you personally sit down with a skilled seasoned IL divorce for a paid discussion of options/issues ---and even if the answer is to be married has no real impact on your particular fact pattern and his obligations at least thats a seasoned view and not a random assumption/guess.



  • 03-01-2012 10:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Does step parent have to pay child support?

    Another point you should be aware of....in the event you have children with him and then you divorce, (or even if you stay together)  his child support obligation will not be reduced because you decide to have children.

    Some states consider subsequent children as a reason to not increase child suport obligations and some will not even consider subsequent children at all.  Thought being - if you could not afford child support plus the costs of more children, you shouldn't have more children. Many states will not "punish" the first child(ren) because the parent decided to have more children.

    If you are married and have more kids, then your income would matter to be able to provide for your children.

    If you divorce, his child support obligation to you may not be much at all depending what his first obligation is.

    It is something to consider.

  • 03-01-2012 11:28 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Does step parent have to pay child support?

    And a few see it the other way around as well if second one fails as well  -children of a failed 2d marriage can be factored into overall equation--to net loss for the first round of kids --wonder if anybody ever gamed the rules with a deliberate 2d divorce of convenience ?

    Whatever you think--get some legal advice so you make an informed choice......

     



  • 03-01-2012 11:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Does step parent have to pay child support?

    Thank you all! I'll definitely be seeking a lawyer.

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