In all 50 states, both parents are legally obligated to support their children,
whether they are married, never married, or divorced. If you are the noncustodial
parent and you have been ordered to pay
child support, it’s important to understand the many ways that child support for
a child from a previous relationship can impact your new marriage.
Why do we bring this up? Because in the United States, about 50 percent
of all marriages end in
divorce and the chance of divorce is even higher for second marriages. While we’re
only guessing, it is highly likely that one of the reasons why the divorce
rate is even higher for second marriages is because of all the “baggage”
people bring with them.
From dealing with child support to
alimony (spousal support) to ex-husbands and wives and stepchildren who don’t
accept the new spouse, and exes who won’t let each other move out
of the county or state because of the former couple’s children,
blended families can be challenging. Since child support can strain a
new marriage, we thought we’d dedicate an article to the subject
to help readers out in this department.
How Can Child Support Affect My New Marriage?
In our experience, a lot of noncustodial parents are unfamiliar with the
effects of not paying child support. They mistakenly believe that if they
can’t pay or if they don’t pay, there won’t be any adverse
consequences, but that is hardly the case! If you’re remarried or
getting remarried, here are some key ways child support arrears can cause
undue stress in your new marriage:
- Your joint bank accounts can be levied, even if the money in the account
is from your new spouse’s paycheck.
- A lien can be placed on your residence so you can’t sell the home
or refinance it until the child support is paid.
- If you win the lottery, it can be taken for child support. This could ruin
the celebration with your new husband or wife.
- If you get a tax refund, it can be taken for child support. This could
stress out your new spouse who had plans for that money.
- If you and your spouse want to take a vacation abroad or go on a honeymoon
in a foreign country, you won’t be able to obtain a U.S. passport
if you owe more than $2,500 in child support.
- Your Florida driver’s license can be suspended, forcing your spouse
to drive you to and from work and anywhere else you need to go.
- If you hold any business, professional, or recreational licenses, they
can be suspended if you owe too much child support.
- You can be held in contempt of court, fined and jailed. How would this
affect your marriage?
- If you owe back child support, your monthly payment plus some (up to a
certain percentage of your income) can be garnished from your wages leaving
you with even less take-home pay, thereby creating financial stress in
your new marriage.
If you are ordered to pay child support and for some reason, you can’t
afford to pay it, it’s important not to ignore the issue, otherwise,
you face all kinds of unpleasant enforcement actions that can cause a
lot of upset with your new spouse. Instead, our advice is to
contact R. Gregory Colvin, LLC right away to tackle the matter head-on and to find a resolution.