In the U.S., roughly half of those married end up divorcing, many with children who will require financial support for many years to come. If your soon-to-be husband or wife pays child support or has child support arrears, you may be wondering what your obligation may be after you officially tie the knot.
While you owe no duty of support to your spouse’s children, you do have an obligation to support your husband or wife. With this in mind, if your new spouse earns very little, some states might consider your income as grounds to deviate upwards when determining child support, especially if excluding that income would lead to extreme and severe hardship to the child support recipient.
Under the laws of most states, a noncustodial parent’s tax refund can be seized to apply towards back child support. If you file jointly, the Internal Revenue Service can collect past due child support against your anticipated refund. However, in many cases, you may file an “injured spouse” application with the IRS and may be able to have your portion of the refund returned to you – just the bureaucratic hoop jumping many of us would rather avoid.
In many states, past due child support may create a lien against the obligor’s real and personal property. To avoid having the assets you are bringing into the marriage from being viewed as fair game, it is important to keep your separate, non-marital property in your own name – aka no mingling of assets with the debtor. Keeping cars, real estate or other property that you own separately titled in your name only may prevent them from inadvertently falling into the hands of the child support court.
If you have questions regarding how your remarriage will impact your child support obligation, contact the Law Offices of Ronald L. Bell PC for help. Our Libertyville Illinois family law offices can provide you with assistance with complex divorce matters such as marital asset division, divorce with a business, child custody and support issues, post-decree modifications and more.