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Marriage to someone who owes child support

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by Shelle, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Shelle

    Shelle Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am about to marry a man who has a child support agreement and also owes back child support. Can the mother of my fiancé's child come after my income or bank account for child support once we get married?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No.
     
  3. Shelle

    Shelle Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Just to verify is there anything at all she can do to me? I want to make sure there is no way at all she can come after my money once we are married. She is very vindictive and has already stated she could get more child support if my fiancé and I are married.
     
  4. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    You need to be careful though about combining income and tax returns. You might need to file "married filing separately" -- while they can't garnish your wages, they might be able to garnish combined accounts.

    (personal perspective) And honestly, I am not so sure I would jump into marriage knowing he was behind in support of a current child. For whatever reason. It might be very valid, but I would want my fiancé to have at least the arrears part over before I'd sign that marriage license with him. Because you are right, even if they can't take your money, this can cause issues in your future, especially if you go on to have children with him of "your own"
     
    Michael Wechsler and leslie82 like this.
  5. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Stepparent income is not used to determine the child support obligation.
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Depends on what you mean by "come after my income or bank account." If/when you marry this guy, then you also marry his financial mess. However, you are not and will not be personally liable for his child support obligations. His ex will not be able to garnish your wages and should not be able to levy on any bank accounts solely in your name. However, joint accounts may be at risk, as would any joint income tax refund.

    Absolutely (although this is an incredibly broad and general question, so don't read too much into the answer).

    Depends on what you mean by "my money."

    Having a kid with a deadbeat can have that sort of result.

    It's possible that your marriage could result in a decrease of your fiance's living expenses such that his disposable income increases, which could warrant an increase in his support obligation.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Anyone can sue anyone they can serve to seek payment for debts they believe are owed to them.

    No, this woman can't sue you, but if you commingle your assets with the man she is pursuing; you could see your assets taken.

    You can take legal action to have the assets returned to you, and that will eventually happen.

    That presumes the woman has assets left for you to pursue.

    It is better for you not to mix your money with his.

    That way, when his assets get frozen or levied against, yours will remain availbe to you for your use.

    It might be better not to marry a person who has a tough financial problem which could cause you pain, as an innocent bystander.

    Frankly with all the fish floating and swimming in the "Sea of Love", you might serve yourself better by looking for one that has less baggage.
     
  8. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    My husband owed quite a bit of child support when I met him (his ex-girlfriend had gone on public assistance at one point so when she broke up with him and filed for child support he had to pay the state back for that) and he worked a lot of extra hours to be able to pay off his obligation faster.

    We kept separate bank accounts, partly because that way if they garnished his account they wouldn't take my money (and they never did garnish his account).

    We always filed our income tax jointly, and one year the child support agency garnished our federal income tax refund, "just in case" he went into arrears - a couple of payments had been late that year because they were garnishing his wages and his employer failed to send the payments in timely, so they kept our refund for six months, and then sent it to us. So that was a bit of a pain, but certainly not the end of the world.

    We aren't all lucky (or smart) enough to find "the one" the first time around. Everybody comes with a certain amount of baggage. I waited 20 years between marriages to find the right guy, and I would have missed out on having a life with my best friend and the love of my life if I'd decided right off the bat that I needed to look for someone who had less baggage.
     
  9. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Well-Known Member

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    I know this is true in Indiana.... A friend of mine was in the same mess. After being married for two years they put his name on her house deed. That is when all heck broke loose, as they attached the child support to the home. I don't know the details of this happening.
     
  10. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    No - but if you file a joint tax return with him the state can garnish your tax return and it can take up to six months for you to get it back.

    But she cannot get your bank accounts. And your income doesn't get factored into his child support. His child support changes if HIS income changes. His ex is a moron.

    I agree with others I would be a bit leery about marrying this guy if he isn't paying support. My ex husband - I ended up paying his child support because his other ex said we couldn't see the kids if he didn't pay. I told him to take her to court that's illegal but he said "no it's easier to pay her." (Yeah because he didn't pay...). I would think about this if I was you.
     
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  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Avoid any deadbeat, male or female.

    Avoid a deadbeat (male or female) who is behind in child support.

    There is no excuse not to support your children.

    If a human being won't support his or her child, don't expect him or her to be a real partner to you.

    Yes, there are exceptions, rare exceptions.

    But, hey, its your life to do with as you will.
     
  12. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    You can search the forums here for horrors dealing with joint accounts that have been the subject of information subpoenas, liens and garnishment. As others have mentioned above, while you can separate some of the mess legally it's a headache that you'll be hearing about indefinitely. I wish you the best.
     

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