Can my fiances ex wife force him to pay more child support after we marry? 37 Answers as of June 26, 2013

I am making plans to marry a man who has been divorced for 6 years but still pay child support. Can his ex-wife take him back to court for more money citing increased household income after we marry?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
As a general rule, no. Support is based on the parent's income. While there are exceptions to the rule, the burden would be on the ex-wife to prove these deviation criteria are met. That is hard to do.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/10/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
As per the child support guidelines your income IS NOT included in the calculations.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/8/2011
Law Office of James Lentz
Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
She can try but most courts do not factor the income of the new spouse.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/6/2011
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
Normally, just getting married is not an event that would cause a change in child support. So, your fianc's ex-spouse could not increase the child support without something more. Some of the things that could result in a change in child support include: if one or more of the children have changed age brackets; if one of the children has developed some special need; or if one of the party's incomes have changed in some significant fashion.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Your question is a valid one, I hear it often and the answer is very simple. You are not financially responsible for the child(ren) he had with another woman therefore your income is not considered in the child support calculation. There is only one circumstance in which your income is even looked at. That occurs only if he has gotten a variation downward from the child support tables because his household income at the time was such that using guideline support would create a financial hardship sufficient to overcome the presumption of guideline support. That is one very high bar, it is nearly impossible to get a downward variation - though I did succeed in getting one about 10 years ago which I will use here as the only example of which I am aware that will get the downward variation:
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/5/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    Generally, no. Child support is based on the income of the parent, and does not include the income of the parent's spouse.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    No. Your income cannot be used.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Under Minnesota law, a new spouses income cannot be used to calculate child support. Child support is based exclusively on the incomes of the two parents and the parenting time with the children.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    that is not normally the case.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Your income is generally irrelevant to any child support determination. However, if his income has increased since the date of the original order and if her income has stayed the same or decreased, then it is possible that the child support might be increased. However, it is still only based on the combined income of the two parents of the children, not their spouses incomes.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    No, his income is used to determine his child support obligation - not total household income.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, child support is calculated based upon the income of only the parents.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Your income cannot be counted as his, even after you get married. The ex may claim that his income has increased based on your contribution to the household bills, but only if this is substantial. I suggest you consult a local Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    No, your income can not be used as a means to calculate support. In fact, child support is to be paid from the separate property of the supporting spouse. The only way that the new spouse income would be considered in a ruling for child support is where the parent willfully quits his job or remains under employed in order to avoid their support obligations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    That would put you at a higher tax bracket and DECREASE his child support obligation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    If there is a substantial change in circumstances they could can re-evaluate the payments. Generally the parents income is considered. Your husband should talk with his divorce attorney about what to expect give his present circumstances and what the order states.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    The PA Support Guidelines are initially based upon the respective earnings/earning capacities of the parents only, but many other factors must be considered, including things like who is paying for health insurance, what other minors a parent is responsible for, etc. and the court can then deviate from the guidelines a bit by considering things like "other household income."
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    While the state guidelines only take into account his income, judges can deviate from those guidelines, and the family income (and expenses) certainly would be looked at and could affect the numbers. A prenuptial agreement and other planning may help him (and help you sleep better at night). See a lawyer before the marriage to get one.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Your income would not be used in the child support calculation. Unless your income significantly reduces his living expenses or you pay his expensed on his behalf, thereby reducing his monthly expenses, most likely remarriage in and of itself would not result in a child support increase. Either parent's income or financial circumstances must have changed or the child's needs must have changed in order to maintain a child support modification. So unless the marriage results in a significant change in the financial circumstances of your fiancee, it's probably not likely that would result in a child support modification.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    So long as the children are under 18 she can always return to court and ask the court to review the child support order. The judge will base that decision on the income of both spouses and many other factors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Your husband is forced to reveal your income if you live in his household. It is usually not a basis for changing the support however, but it could be a basis for a deviation from the standard calculation. Often, the amount she might gain in extra support is offset by the cost of going and risk of going to court and not getting anything more.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    Answer: Your specific legal question is: "Can ex wife take your soon-to-be husband to court based on increased household income when we marry?" On this alone, the answer is NO-as the court cannot use a new spouse's income for purposes of recalculating child support. The only factor the court can consider is changes in tax status, e.g. "single" to "Married filing Jointly"-this would minutely affect the support figures. There is one exception to this rule: when father intentionally stops work due to new wife's significant income level (e.g. he doesn't have to work and both agree to live off of wife's income alone). This exception is rarely applied by the courts. Most likely, ex wife will go back to court if ex-husband has a significant increase in his personal income and/or significant reduction in his living expenses, e.g. he's living "rent free" after marriage-resulting in INCREASED disposable income. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    The income of the parent of the child is the only income that will be used to compute a child support award. The household income is not a factor in those calculations.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    A new spouses income is not considered in a child support modification. The case is between the incomes of the "parents". Of course if a case can be made that a new spouse is someway paying the father, then that receipt of many could be considered. This is very rare, and would depend on how money was being transferred between the new married couple. The simple fact that the new household has more income is not relevant to a child support modification. My best regards,
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    DONWEST Legal, LLC
    DONWEST Legal, LLC | Dondi S. West
    Hello, No. In Maryland, your income can not be considered in the child support guideline calculations.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    To the extent that additional income into the household reduces your fiance's living expenses, that could come into play in a child support hearing. Judges are not eager to do this, however, because it discourages remarriage. The additional income should also not be considered a "material change in circumstances" unless it reduces your spouse's living expenses by more than one-third.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Anyone can file anything, but it is not an automatic basis for an increase:
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    She can always take him back to court to seek a modification of child support but the amounts will be based solely on his income. Your additional income is not a factor unless he were to reduce his own income because of reliance on yours.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    The simple answer is, "yes, she can always seek a modification of child support based on changes in circumstances up until each child is 19 years of age." Whether or not she will get an increase is impossible to know without much more information about the perceived "change in circumstances". But, your income will not be considered in deciding whether or not any increase is justified and his remarriage is not, by itself, a change in circumstance that justifies any change - up or down. For his child support purposes, your income is your income - not his.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Actually, your income is likely going to reduce the amount of support she would receive. The reason being that you have no obligation to support his children from the first relationship, so his income doesn't increase. However, your income likely will move him into a higher tax bracket, resulting in less of his cash available for support, thus reducing his support obligation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Your income is not included for purposes of his child support obligation.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    In Arkansas child support is calculated off of what the non-custodial parent's income is and the income of the spouse is not included.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    The support is based on the parents income, not the new spouse. However, if you and your new spouse file jointly, there may be tax filing status implications that could affect his income and the support he would pay.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    The Court typically considers only the incomes of the parents, not the new spouse.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/5/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney