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Old 05-18-2006, 10:37 PM   #1
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Hello, my husband was just summoned to court for child support. Until now, he and his son's mother split almost everything 50/50. She remarried about 2 years ago and her husband makes over 7 or 8 times at least what my husband makes. They don't really "need" the money and she even said that. She's doing it to spite us. We do understand that he has certain responsibilties for his son which is why we have been giving her money whenever needed without question. My question is, will her husbands income count as her income too when in comes to determining child support? She is a homemaker who stays at home and has a housekeeper, but still sends her 2 other children to daycare. Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2006, 12:25 AM   #2
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I find it odd that you think the father should be excused from financially providing for his child if the custodial mother happens to marry someone who earns a good living.

The answer to your question is yes and no. The new spouse income is used in calculating support, but the more the new spouse makes, the higher the support order will be. Let me explain....

The new spouse's income is not counted as "income" in calculating the order. However, when you add the income of custodial mom with her new spouse's income (which is what must be done when they file jointly), it will put them in a higher tax bracket because the joint income is so much greater than mom's income alone. Higher tax bracket means less mom pays more taxes on her portion and the order will go up (everything else remaining the same). Make sense?

You also need to understand that new husband is not legally responsible for this child. YOUR husband and the mother are financially responsible.

It probably is spite, as you say. I've litigated enough cases to know.

Good luck.

P.S. My analysis is according to California law, but most state laws will likely be similar on this issue.
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Old 05-19-2006, 12:33 AM   #3
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First, thank you for your reply. I would like to explain that I don't think he should be totally excused financially. I just don't think it's fair that while she is living so lavishly, it will be as if she has no income at all.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rbb333:
[qb] I find it odd that you think the father should be excused from financially providing for his child if the custodial mother happens to marry someone who earns a good living.

The answer to your question is yes and no. The new spouse income is used in calculating support, but the more the new spouse makes, the higher the support order will be. Let me explain....

The new spouse's income is not counted as "income" in calculating the order. However, when you add the income of custodial mom with her new spouse's income (which is what must be done when they file jointly), it will put them in a higher tax bracket because the joint income is so much greater than mom's income alone. Higher tax bracket means less mom pays more taxes on her portion and the order will go up (everything else remaining the same). Make sense?

You also need to understand that new husband is not legally responsible for this child. YOUR husband and the mother are financially responsible.

It probably is spite, as you say. In my experience, the women are the most spiteful after a divorce, and I've litigated enough cases to know.

Good luck.

Ronn (Child Support Attorney)

P.S. My analysis is according to California law, but most states are similar with this particular fact pattern. [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 05-19-2006, 12:54 AM   #4
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I understand. Just reminding you that new spouse is not financially responsible for your husband's child but your husband is. The more a new spouse gets involved in her partner's child support matters, the worse it gets. The expense affects you, of course, but you knew what you were getting into when you married him. He should be handling this and you should stay far away from it. You are not a party to the case and it is really not your affair. But, I know you won't be happy about that true statement and you don't have to listen to me either. Just something to think about.
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Old 05-19-2006, 01:13 AM   #5
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Its hard not to get involved, but I do see what your saying. Thank you very much for your advice, I really do appreciate it!


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rbb333:
[qb] I understand. Just reminding you that new spouse is not financially responsible for your husband's child but your husband is. The more a new spouse gets involved in her partner's child support matters, the worse it gets. The expense affects you, of course, but you knew what you were getting into when you married him. He should be handling this and you should stay far away from it. You are not a party to the case and it is really not your affair. But, I know you won't be happy about that true statement and you don't have to listen to me either. Just something to think about. [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 05-19-2006, 11:56 AM   #6
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by needadvice:
[QB] Its hard not to get involved, but I do see what your saying. Thank you very much for your advice, I really do appreciate it!

I know it's hard not to get involved because it directly effects you financially! I respect you for admitting that and not getting angry with me. It's all small stuff in the big scheme of things anyway. Nobody has a gun to your head, right?
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:22 PM   #7
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needadvice-in addition to what RBB said, in PA, the mother's income potential before she quit working will be used in determining her responsibility of the child support, so it will not be as if she is not working, in fact she will be judged on money she is not currently earning, based on her income potential.
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:38 PM   #8
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Hello Ronn,

Glad to see you're still posting; I was worried you might have gotten bored with the board.

I agree that ncp's have a duty to their children, and it doesn't make sense that their duty would be lessened because some other person is now providing money to the children. However, what about the "Voluntary Reduction of Income" portion of the support guidelines? This is from the web page for PA law:

"(1) Voluntary Reduction of Income. When either party voluntarily assumes a lower paying job, quits a job, leaves employment, changes occupations or changes employment status to pursue an education, or is fired for cause, there generally will be no effect on the support obligation."

If the cp becomes a housewife, reducing their monthly income to $0, why wouldn't that be a voluntary reduction of income? I'm assuming this wife must have had a job before she married the rich guy, to have had a 50/50 CS arrangement before.

Heh...I'm thinking of my own situation...I get hardly anything from my ex-wife because I make a lot more money than her. If I married a rich woman and became a stay-at-home dad, I can't picture the judge saying that my ex now needs to pay more because of it

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Old 05-19-2006, 02:39 PM   #9
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Heh....netsurfr...you beat me to my point. I started researching/writing about a 1/2 hour ago, and when I got back here you'd just posted
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:58 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for all your replies! That's my point exactly...now because she is a stay at home mom, are we going to have to pay more because she has no income? Anyway, the mother had said that the courts asked her to bring her income tax return to the conference because her & her husband filed jointly and his income is her income??? Now I'm really confused. Why would they even ask her for that if it doesn't matter?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BigBobby:
[qb] Hello Ronn,

Glad to see you're still posting; I was worried you might have gotten bored with the board.

I agree that ncp's have a duty to their children, and it doesn't make sense that their duty would be lessened because some other person is now providing money to the children. However, what about the "Voluntary Reduction of Income" portion of the support guidelines? This is from the web page for PA law:

"(1) Voluntary Reduction of Income. When either party voluntarily assumes a lower paying job, quits a job, leaves employment, changes occupations or changes employment status to pursue an education, or is fired for cause, there generally will be no effect on the support obligation."

If the cp becomes a housewife, reducing their monthly income to $0, why wouldn't that be a voluntary reduction of income? I'm assuming this wife must have had a job before she married the rich guy, to have had a 50/50 CS arrangement before.

Heh...I'm thinking of my own situation...I get hardly anything from my ex-wife because I make a lot more money than her. If I married a rich woman and became a stay-at-home dad, I can't picture the judge saying that my ex now needs to pay more because of it

Later,
Bobby [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:21 PM   #11
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I was doing some research on the web and came across this :

"Child Support

Pennsylvania�s child support guidelines apply in virtually every case, unless special circumstances are present. Both parties� gross incomes and certain child related expenses are taken into consideration when calculating the child support obligation . The child support payments should continue until the child reaches eighteen years of age, and may be extended through the child�s secondary education."


The mother also said today that they wanted her to bring her income tax return papers because she filed jointly with her husband
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Old 05-19-2006, 10:42 PM   #12
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I just want to say that I am totally understanding where you sit, although I do not sit there. I think it is your business as when you marry you combine the finances and share financial obligations. Sure you aren't a party to the actual agreement but this is stuff that effects everyday living. And, you came on here saying you've been paying and continue to pay. I would hope the laws would not allow her to just stop working, make nothing and therefore cause you and your husband to pay more. It is not just your husband paying, you are married.
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:35 AM   #13
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Thank you! It is very comforting to hear that. She told me the other day that they actually make over $750,000 NET and I just find it so hard
to believe that that doesn't count for anything.
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Old 05-20-2006, 07:14 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by needadvice:
[qb]Both parties� gross incomes and certain child related expenses are taken into consideration when calculating the child support obligation."

The mother also said today that they wanted her to bring her income tax return papers because she filed jointly with her husband [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Hmmm...the "parties" are your husband and his ex, so I don't see how "gross incomes" is going to include that of the rich new husband.

The court is going to ask for the tax returns because that's the best way to verify her income. Her husband's income will also be on the same joint return, but that doesn't mean that they're going to consider it her income.
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Old 05-20-2006, 08:00 AM   #15
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needadvice-I really don't think your husband will have to pay more in child support unless his own pay has increased. If that is your only concern, I don't think there is much to worry about. It is his children and he should be responsible, including if he makes more. As the income from her husband is not considered in determining the child support of your husbands and his ex's kids, your own income is not considered in determining the amounof support he has to pay. I noticed you never mentioned anything about your own income. I know it is hard to deal with the financial obligations in this situation since you have married into it, but you knew he had kids before he took that step and my belief is those kids come first whatever happens. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but that is how I feel. If it was too much for your husband to handle, he shouldn't have made a move that makes his obligations more difficult for him to handle.

I do wish you luck, but like I said if your concerns are what I have read, I don't think you have much to worry about. PA is pretty good about not letting someone who was making money with a child support obligation to eliminate that obligation by choosing to lessen their income by their own actions.
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:34 AM   #16
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I keep hearing is "it's his child and he need to be responsible". When has he not been? He has been and always will be. But just because the mother quits her job, does that relieve her of her financial duties? Does that make it fair that we would have to pay more in support because of that? If so, I see something extremely wrong with that. Some say that the steparent shouldn't be financially responsible for the stepchild? Why not? When someone marries a person with a child, the steparent should take partial responsibility for that child in all aspects, financially, emotionally, etc...all four of us are now his "parents". So just because I'm his stepmom, than I guess I don't have to responsible for him at all? No, of course not. The support we pay does affect me too. Although it comes out of my husband's check, it's still money not being spent on other necessities, so where does that other money get taken from? My check of course which I understand. I think those who are saying that the steparent should not be somewhat financially responsible are very wrong. Why should the only responsibility that the steparent be relieved from be that relating to money? Would it be ok if I has tons of money and only bought my child the best things and not my stepson because I'm not financially responsible for him? No. I strongly believe that all four parents are equally held liable for that child. Therefore, just because she remarried and quit her job, that no way justifies why we should have to pay more which ultimately will happen since she technically has no income.
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:41 AM   #17
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I can see why you are getting upset. I would be too. I am hoping that you aren't getting the feeling people are looking at you like the storybook evil stepmom because I don't think that is what is meant although it kind of seems to be coming out that way.

I agree with you wholeheartedly on what you are saying, btw. If I were to find the love of my life and marry, that man would not be the love of my life unless he was willing to share in all the responsibilities of parenting my children. I am no longer an "I" I am a "we" That doesn't mean I'd expect my ex to not be responsible but dang, two people can't get married, one having children -- how can they ever mesh as a family if it is that only one in the marriage is "party to" the children.
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:17 PM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by needadvice:
[qb] I keep hearing is "it's his child and he need to be responsible". When has he not been? He has been and always will be. But just because the mother quits her job, does that relieve her of her financial duties? Does that make it fair that we would have to pay more in support because of that? If so, I see something extremely wrong with that. Some say that the steparent shouldn't be financially responsible for the stepchild? Why not? When someone marries a person with a child, the steparent should take partial responsibility for that child in all aspects, financially, emotionally, etc...all four of us are now his "parents". So just because I'm his stepmom, than I guess I don't have to responsible for him at all? No, of course not. The support we pay does affect me too. Although it comes out of my husband's check, it's still money not being spent on other necessities, so where does that other money get taken from? My check of course which I understand. I think those who are saying that the steparent should not be somewhat financially responsible are very wrong. Why should the only responsibility that the steparent be relieved from be that relating to money? Would it be ok if I has tons of money and only bought my child the best things and not my stepson because I'm not financially responsible for him? No. I strongly believe that all four parents are equally held liable for that child. Therefore, just because she remarried and quit her job, that no way justifies why we should have to pay more which ultimately will happen since she technically has no income. [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Hey,

We're just giving you information; don't be getting mad at us. Right now, the law in all 50 states do not consider the income of the spouse of either the cp or the ncp. If you want to change that, write congressmen, but we're just telling you what the law is before you go to court.

We haven't said that he should pay more anyway. We've said that unless the amount he's making changed since the last order, the amount he's paying now shouldn't change. We're assuming there is a prior order...is that true?

The system isn't perfect, and it's pretty hard to make laws that apply to every situation perfectly. I dunno about the idea that spouses should absorb legal responsiblities from natural parents, however. Stepparents will assume legal guardianship over a child, but only if the natural father gives up his rights to the child. It makes sense that only the two guardians of the child would be involved with supporting it.

...and netsurfr has a point, that if the situation was reversed you'd be arguing the other way. What if *you* made $700,000. Do you think that your check should be used to calculate your husband's CS?

That's pretty much the situation that I have. I make so much more than my ex-wife, that her CS payments were pretty much nothing for most of his life. I'm getting $75 a week now after I took her back to court. Now somehow it doesn't seem fair, that because I'm the one that settled down and chose a responsible path, that it makes me 90% responsible for supporting him. It's not my fault she made the poor life choices she did, resulting in where she is now...why isn't it 50/50 (at least)? I think of the guy she's been living with for 5-6 years, and how her low income doesn't exactly reflect her standard of living. It seems that it should enter into the CS forumla somewhere, but I don't really see a fair way to add it in either. He's not responsible for my kid...

But anyway...listen to us about the Voluntary Reduction of Income thing...it should be a good arugment why your existing support order shouldn't change. Really...if you go into the courtroom talking about the rich husband's money, you are just going to get reprimanded by the judge the same way that rbb reprimanded you (and the judge will have reprimanded 1000 times before)...

Later,
Bobby
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:38 PM   #19
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Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not getting mad, I'm just trying to make a point. I do appreciate the feedback and that is why I came here. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course. The situation was reversed 4 years ago (we of course didn't make nearly that much money, but did make more than her). When she paid support, it was only $50 a week because he made more money. We paid much much more than that with during the mutual agreement. The whole thing has to do with her willingly quitting her job and the courts seeing her as having no income. If the situation was reversed and I did make $700,000 a year and my husband quit his job, would it be fair to her? I think even saying that 1/4 of that income is hers is fair just as it would be if it was the other way around.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BigBobby:
[qb] <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by needadvice:
[qb] I keep hearing is "it's his child and he need to be responsible". When has he not been? He has been and always will be. But just because the mother quits her job, does that relieve her of her financial duties? Does that make it fair that we would have to pay more in support because of that? If so, I see something extremely wrong with that. Some say that the steparent shouldn't be financially responsible for the stepchild? Why not? When someone marries a person with a child, the steparent should take partial responsibility for that child in all aspects, financially, emotionally, etc...all four of us are now his "parents". So just because I'm his stepmom, than I guess I don't have to responsible for him at all? No, of course not. The support we pay does affect me too. Although it comes out of my husband's check, it's still money not being spent on other necessities, so where does that other money get taken from? My check of course which I understand. I think those who are saying that the steparent should not be somewhat financially responsible are very wrong. Why should the only responsibility that the steparent be relieved from be that relating to money? Would it be ok if I has tons of money and only bought my child the best things and not my stepson because I'm not financially responsible for him? No. I strongly believe that all four parents are equally held liable for that child. Therefore, just because she remarried and quit her job, that no way justifies why we should have to pay more which ultimately will happen since she technically has no income. [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Hey,

We're just giving you information; don't be getting mad at us. Right now, the law in all 50 states do not consider the income of the spouse of either the cp or the ncp. If you want to change that, write congressmen, but we're just telling you what the law is before you go to court.

We haven't said that he should pay more anyway. We've said that unless the amount he's making changed since the last order, the amount he's paying now shouldn't change. We're assuming there is a prior order...is that true?

The system isn't perfect, and it's pretty hard to make laws that apply to every situation perfectly. I dunno about the idea that spouses should absorb legal responsiblities from natural parents, however. Stepparents will assume legal guardianship over a child, but only if the natural father gives up his rights to the child. It makes sense that only the two guardians of the child would be involved with supporting it.

...and netsurfr has a point, that if the situation was reversed you'd be arguing the other way. What if *you* made $700,000. Do you think that your check should be used to calculate your husband's CS?

Later,
Bobby [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:49 PM   #20
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No, I am definitely no the stereotypical "evil stepmom". You're are completely right. I married my husband fully aware that I was going to be stepmother. When he's at our house, I cook for him , help him with his homework, comfort him when he gets hurt, shop for the things he needs her...just as I would do for our daughter. If it was me with the child from another relationship, I wouldn't want anyone to treat my son/daughter differently. When two people marry, there lives become one and I think it's unfair when people say that I should just stay out of this and allow the two biological parents to handle it when I'm involved in everything else or that the steparent is pretty much responsible for everything else but financial matters.
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Old 05-20-2006, 01:12 PM   #21
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">...and netsurfr has a point, that if the situation was reversed you'd be arguing the other way. What if *you* made $700,000. Do you think that your check should be used to calculate your husband's CS </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Nobody knows that without actually asking her, it is an assumption.

I didn't see her as ever getting mad.

If you read through this thread I see it as being immediately jumped on. There is some "information on law" there but also a lot of other stuff that I believe was unnecessary and not all that friendly and worse, making us all out to be the otherwoman/otherman haters (not haters, but let's be honest, a few of the responses haven't shown much ability to take another's viewpoint.
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Old 05-20-2006, 01:17 PM   #22
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I apologize for talking in the third person needadvice!
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Old 05-20-2006, 01:27 PM   #23
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(and my other note is that there has been some excellent legal advice here, too) I'm a witch today, a miserable witch, so pardon my interruptions here. I was just getting all annoyed at a few of the things said and certainly not at the majority of it. I'm useless anyway because I have had no flipping input as to the answer!LOL Adios I shall leave this poor dear thread alone
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:58 PM   #24
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I'm sorry if I offended but the bottom line and directly to the point of this post is what I said earlier:

"I really don't think your husband will have to pay more in child support unless his own pay has increased. If that is your only concern, I don't think there is much to worry about. PA is pretty good about not letting someone who was making money with a child support obligation to eliminate that obligation by choosing to lessen their income by their own actions." This is supported by your own research on "Voluntary Reduction of Income."

Hope to see you around the board.
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:56 PM   #25
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SueP:
[qb] (and my other note is that there has been some excellent legal advice here, too) I'm a witch today, a miserable witch, so pardon my interruptions here. I was just getting all annoyed at a few of the things said and certainly not at the majority of it. I'm useless anyway because I have had no flipping input as to the answer!LOL Adios I shall leave this poor dear thread alone [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>SueP: I admire that kind of honesty. You're alright in my book. (I only read the last two posts, but had to commend you for taking responsibility for yourself!)
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:05 PM   #26
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BigBobby:
[qb] Hello Ronn,

Glad to see you're still posting; I was worried you might have gotten bored with the board.

I agree that ncp's have a duty to their children, and it doesn't make sense that their duty would be lessened because some other person is now providing money to the children. However, what about the "Voluntary Reduction of Income" portion of the support guidelines? This is from the web page for PA law:

"(1) Voluntary Reduction of Income. When either party voluntarily assumes a lower paying job, quits a job, leaves employment, changes occupations or changes employment status to pursue an education, or is fired for cause, there generally will be no effect on the support obligation."

If the cp becomes a housewife, reducing their monthly income to $0, why wouldn't that be a voluntary reduction of income? I'm assuming this wife must have had a job before she married the rich guy, to have had a 50/50 CS arrangement before.

Heh...I'm thinking of my own situation...I get hardly anything from my ex-wife because I make a lot more money than her. If I married a rich woman and became a stay-at-home dad, I can't picture the judge saying that my ex now needs to pay more because of it

Later,
Bobby [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>That is absolutely correct. In fact, in California, the new spouse's income can be considered in the equation in an "extraordinary case" leading to "extreme and severe hardship". CA Fam.C. 4057(b) However, I have yet to see this happen.

FC 4057.5(b) allows the court to consider new spouse income if the obligor intentionally quits and relies on new spouse income or is underemployed or unemployed. Remember, there is a duty to maximize earnings for the benefit of the child. Give up the job you already have to rely on your spouse's income and you may get a support order based on the spouse's income.

Ronn (ChildSupportEnforcers.com)
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:57 PM   #27
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rbb333:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BigBobby:&lt;br /&gt;[qb] Hello Ronn,&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Glad to see you're still posting; I was worried you might have gotten bored with the board.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;I agree that ncp's have a duty to their children, and it doesn't make sense that their duty would be lessened because some other person is now providing money to the children. However, what about the "Voluntary Reduction of Income" portion of the support guidelines? This is from the web page for PA law:&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;"(1) Voluntary Reduction of Income. When either party voluntarily assumes a lower paying job, quits a job, leaves employment, changes occupations or changes employment status to pursue an education, or is fired for cause, there generally will be no effect on the support obligation."&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;If the cp becomes a housewife, reducing their monthly income to $0, why wouldn't that be a voluntary reduction of income? I'm assuming this wife must have had a job before she married the rich guy, to have had a 50/50 CS arrangement before.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Heh...I'm thinking of my own situation...I get hardly anything from my ex-wife because I make a lot more money than her. If I married a rich woman and became a stay-at-home dad, I can't picture the judge saying that my ex now needs to pay more because of it &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Later,&lt;br /&gt;Bobby [/qb] </div></BLOCKQUOTE>That is absolutely correct. In fact, in California, the new spouse's income can be considered in the equation in an "extraordinary case" leading to "extreme and severe hardship". CA Fam.C. 4057(b) However, I have yet to see this happen. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;FC 4057.5(b) allows the court to consider new spouse income if the obligor intentionally quits and relies on new spouse income or is underemployed or unemployed. Remember, there is a duty to maximize earnings for the benefit of the child. Give up the job you already have to rely on your spouse's income and you may get a support order based on the spouse's income.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Ronn (ChildSupportEnforcers.com) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

RBB, this is exactly what she is saying... this would be considered an "extraordinary case" cause she intentionally quit her job and is relying on new spouse income. Shouldn't the new spouse income then become a factor in determining the amount of child support? or did I read that wrong?

By the way, I realize this is an old post, but I am very interested in hearing the answer, since I may have a similar situation.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:04 PM   #28
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BigBobby:
If the cp becomes a housewife, reducing their monthly income to $0, why wouldn't that be a voluntary reduction of income? I'm assuming this wife must have had a job before she married the rich guy, to have had a 50/50 CS arrangement before. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've never seen a state guideline that includes the new spouse's income when calculating child support, and I've talked to a lot of people from different states and helped them look up their guidelines. I've never even seen the tax bracket come into play because that WOULD figure in the new spouse's income and that would be unfair to either side. The new spouse has no obligation to the child, and therefore their income would not be subject to legal support proceedings.

As for the stay-at-home mom: the least amount any state can use in calculating child support is the federal minimum wage at full time, because it is reasonable to assume that anyone who is not disabled is capable of getting a minimum wage job at McDonalds and working 40 hours a week. Minimum wage is $892.67 per month, therefore, if she claims no income, her income would be calculated based on that amount. I was told this when I filed for child support when I was not working soon after my ex and I split. I got a job before we went to court for it, so the order was based on my income at the time, but the lowest they could use was minimum wage.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:28 PM   #29
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Heh...hello, and welcome to the site! I've noticed that you're a posting torando...

I'm not sure if you meant to be arguing for or against me in this thread, but I think we're mostly saying the same thing. I would disagree a little bit with the minimum wage rule, however. If a neurosurgeon quit their job, the judge would consider their earning potential to be that of a neurosurgeon...not that of a McDonalds worker. I'd believe that minimum wage is the lowest earning potential that they'd believe an ncp to have, however...

Anyway...welcome to the site! There's a few of your posts that I've been wanting to respond to, but I'm wicked tired tonight...

Later,
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:39 PM   #30
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Bobby, I agree with you 100%!!

What I was referring to was a homemaker who did not have a degree or the employment history that would show a potential for earning more. In the situation she described above, the CP was a housewife.

I couldn't agree with you more on the earning potential. I'm fighting my ex on that very premise. He was making almost $22/hr at a union job when he was fired over po-rn. He admitted he did it. He cost us everything we had. I'm fighting for CS based on what he WAS making, and I have proof as to what he made and why he was fired (letters from the unemployment commission here where he appealed his denial of benefits and why they ruled against him. Shows why he was terminated.)

Thank you for your warm welcome. I just found this site yesterday and I'm really excited to finally find a positive atmosphere to meet people who are going through what I am.

Thank you!!!
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:04 PM   #31
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Heh...thanks for clearing that up I'm kind of tired tonight...

You know, being a single guy for many years with few opportunities to get out each month, I actually have a healthy respect for what po-rn can do to keep a man's sanity.

But even I have to ask...what would you do with it at work???
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:30 PM   #32
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He was a telephone installer/repair tech for a major phone company. He was on his own all day. I don't even WANT to know what he'd do with it at work!!!

I have no problem with po-rn if you need it. More power to ya! I just think it's completely stupid to mess with at inappropriate times - like WORK. He's completely full of sh**, but that's just MY opinion.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:39 PM   #33
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

My ex recently married a woman worth $42million. He has our 2 children 6 days a month. Dad used to make $70-180K a year. Now that he is married he only earns $40k a year. I earn $20k a year. I barely make ends meet but I do my best.
Ex now wants to modify support based on fact that he is accountable for new wife's tax commitment. My support will be cut in half based on the calculations.
I don't understand how this is in the best interests of my children. They will certainly go without while in my home but the few extra hundred dollars now going to his and his new wife's home is basically a nice dinner. (which they do often)
My children are also finding this grand life style very appealing. I feel like I'm losing them to the money. I take them to a movie once a month as a treat and Dad flies them to places like the Turks and Caccos. We are talking $50k just for a weeks vacation. I don't even make that in a year.
I have no idea how to handle this.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:01 PM   #34
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

I am so so so sorry kidscomfirst. Welcome to SFV. Unfortunately, I have no idea on how it works in CA.

As far as how it works where i'm from, it's only the parents income, plus childcare/health costs, plus a flat fee for each child that counts. I'm hopeful someone will come along with better advice.

Again, I'm so sorry--and I know you're under a lot of stress. Certainly your children will be dazzled by the dazzle, but do not give up on them and keep doing what you're doing for them. Kids are smarter and catch on to things we don't think they do...and they will understand that you are the one giving them undivided attention and love and support. Love comes in many forms and not from $$.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:34 PM   #35
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

My understanding is that if a person can make the same amount but choices not too, CS doesn't change, or at least it should not, regardless what the situation is other than something out of there control.

someone else may know more

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Old 05-28-2014, 09:58 PM   #36
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

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My understanding is that if a person can make the same amount but choices not too, CS doesn't change, or at least it should not, regardless what the situation is other than something out of there control.

someone else may know more

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Seems like there are two issues on this thread. The issue of what fair child support is - and on that I believe that most states use a federal forumla that's based on simple gross earnings between the custodial and non-custodial spousal income

I think there is an attempt to make it simple and unbiased when possible

But then there is the other issue about earnings potential and actual earnings.

I think that's where a judge comes into play

In my case my ex has basically chosen not to work - any work she does is hobby work or a minimum wage job to pass the time.

Now, she actually has a Masters Degree (which I basically paid for) but she chooses not to work in her field at the earnings level her degree should allow

If the shoe were on the other foot, and I, as a non-custodial Dad, had a Masters or PhD but CHOSE to work at McDonald and claim I could only afford say, $100 a week for my children, I suspect a Judge would say "I don't think so - use your Masters"

Whether they will do that in my ex-wife's case and treat her the way they would a man remains to be seen

But that's where some of the gray and not so gray area comes into play
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:06 PM   #37
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

It actually is not based on a federal formula. There are three main models for calculating child support and that depends on the state.

It would be worth consulting with an attorney in California. In Oregon, where I practice, if father chose to stay at home or reduced his income, there are ways to impute the advantages that step parent provides. But you have to know what you are doing.

The tax situation has nothing to do with your child support issues.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:04 PM   #38
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

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....
Now, she actually has a Masters Degree (which I basically paid for) but she chooses not to work in her field at the earnings level her degree should allow

If the shoe were on the other foot, and I, as a non-custodial Dad, had a Masters or PhD but CHOSE to work at McDonald and claim I could only afford say, $100 a week for my children, I suspect a Judge would say "I don't think so - use your Masters".....
I understand what you are saying. What I was referring to was if a person has an order for a certain amount of CS, based on work the person was already doing and had done for years prior, then decided to not work by choice.
...Not so much the potential one has/had but more so one's status quo.

in your case/post she would have potential yet never obtained employment, so it would be hard to determine if she has the mental fortitude/ ability to obtain a job in the degree field, on the other hand once she has and you sue for CS... that would change things.

again as LsL has stated, "... it does depend on the state" "It would be worth consulting with an attorney..."for these grey areas.

I would add that there are many factors that play a role, but status quo is usually what more of us base our decisions on, even in daily personal life
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:35 PM   #39
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I understand what you are saying. What I was referring to was if a person has an order for a certain amount of CS, based on work the person was already doing and had done for years prior, then decided to not work by choice.
...Not so much the potential one has/had but more so one's status quo.

in your case/post she would have potential yet never obtained employment, so it would be hard to determine if she has the mental fortitude/ ability to obtain a job in the degree field, on the other hand once she has and you sue for CS... that would change things.

again as LsL has stated, "... it does depend on the state" "It would be worth consulting with an attorney..."for these grey areas.

I would add that there are many factors that play a role, but status quo is usually what more of us base our decisions on, even in daily personal life
Yeah - I'd go with what the lawyer said!

In my case, a RI retired Family Court Judge who was involved in my attempt at a mediated legal separation told me that in our state the courts generally use the federal formula which simply uses the gross income amounts

That may be a simple default for the Judge not wanting to get bogged down in nuances of expenses during mediation

In court I suppose anyone can argue anything justifiable.

In terms of work history though I can't believe though that a judge would look favorably on a parent with proven earnings potential who simply chooses to take a low wage job to avoid child support.

In my specific case my ex is claiming to have the full mental capacity to provide care for the kids - but then will also attempt to claim impaired mental capacity that prevents her from working. The latter is true - and that impacts her ability to care for the kids, but she simply cannot have it both ways.

My preference would be to waive child support from her entirely, and provide 100% of the care for the children to ensure they are never in harms way again. Narrowly averting becoming yet another national headline of a mother taking the lives of one's children tends to put money in a different perspective!
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:19 PM   #40
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Sorry all!
But i want to ask you!
My son often watch cartoon everynight. is it ok??
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You might put this under it's own tread topic

I will answer.... My boys watched to oldie cartoons and they've done pretty well. I am a huge proponent of outside activities and exercise as much as possible though.
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:51 PM   #41
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

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I find it odd that you think the father should be excused from financially providing for his child if the custodial mother happens to marry someone who earns a good living.

The answer to your question is yes and no. The new spouse income is used in calculating support, but the more the new spouse makes, the higher the support order will be. Let me explain....

The new spouse's income is not counted as "income" in calculating the order. However, when you add the income of custodial mom with her new spouse's income (which is what must be done when they file jointly), it will put them in a higher tax bracket because the joint income is so much greater than mom's income alone. Higher tax bracket means less mom pays more taxes on her portion and the order will go up (everything else remaining the same). Make sense?

You also need to understand that new husband is not legally responsible for this child. YOUR husband and the mother are financially responsible.

It probably is spite, as you say. I've litigated enough cases to know.

Good luck.

P.S. My analysis is according to California law, but most state laws will likely be similar on this issue.
Rbb - I know this is an old post but wondering if you are still around to give you opinion. My husband currently pays $400 a month in support which was determined 3 years ago when his son was 3 and he had 28% visitation. 2 years ago he went back to court for more time and now as 40%. We did not seek to modify child support with the increased time share. When my SS is here, we provide food, clothes, housing etc...IN addition we equally share all other costs with his mother (sports, school, medical etc).

Recently my husband got a new job (and a raise) and ex wife is seeking $900 in child support a month. Although my husband got a raise, he wasn't making that much before. We want to start a family of our own so his raise was what we were counting on for the added costs for our own children.

His ex wife does not work. 2.5 years ago she quit her job when she had her first child with her new spouse. When she did work, she only make around 32K annually. My husbands to raise puts him at about 65K annually. Even if we get the judge to impute her old income, it hardly affects our payment...maybe by like 50 bucks a month. I have read CA Family Code 4057.5b and it says new spouse income can be counted if it would create an extreme hardship to the child if it wasn't included (in this case it would because the mother is not working and when she did only make 30K) and if the mother is voluntarily unemployed and relying on new spouse income.

my question is, have you ever seen this happen? I don't want her new husbands money, but it seems crazy to pay $900 a month and share expenses to a child who is with us 40% of the time.

In addition, her request for modified support came a few weeks after my husband filed (again) for more time with her son seeking 50/50. He has always sought 50/50 even at the time of divorce but has settled with the attorneys as his attorney stated the judge he received is more mother-friendly when kids are young

---------- Post added at 01:51 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:48 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by Lab401 View Post
Rbb - I know this is an old post but wondering if you are still around to give you opinion. My husband currently pays $400 a month in support which was determined 3 years ago when his son was 3 and he had 28% visitation. 2 years ago he went back to court for more time and now as 40%. We did not seek to modify child support with the increased time share. When my SS is here, we provide food, clothes, housing etc...IN addition we equally share all other costs with his mother (sports, school, medical etc).

Recently my husband got a new job (and a raise) and ex wife is seeking $900 in child support a month. Although my husband got a raise, he wasn't making that much before. We want to start a family of our own so his raise was what we were counting on for the added costs for our own children.

His ex wife does not work. 2.5 years ago she quit her job when she had her first child with her new spouse. When she did work, she only make around 32K annually. My husbands to raise puts him at about 65K annually. Even if we get the judge to impute her old income, it hardly affects our payment...maybe by like 50 bucks a month. I have read CA Family Code 4057.5b and it says new spouse income can be counted if it would create an extreme hardship to the child if it wasn't included (in this case it would because the mother is not working and when she did only make 30K) and if the mother is voluntarily unemployed and relying on new spouse income.

my question is, have you ever seen this happen? I don't want her new husbands money, but it seems crazy to pay $900 a month and share expenses to a child who is with us 40% of the time.

In addition, her request for modified support came a few weeks after my husband filed (again) for more time with her son seeking 50/50. He has always sought 50/50 even at the time of divorce but has settled with the attorneys as his attorney stated the judge he received is more mother-friendly when kids are young
I should have said that her new husband likely makes 2.5-3 times what my husband makes. We are not trying to get out of paying child support (even though it seems crazy to pay money in a shared custody situation when the other parent quits working) but we're just looking for it to remain around what it is currently...$400.

My husband does not have a degree (currently going back to school for his associates) and his ex has her Masters...although has only ever make around 30K so i'm not sure what her degree will really help our case
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:59 PM   #42
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

Rbb is no longer around. I am a family law attorney, but not in your state.

I have seen a new spouse's income count when mom quits to be a stay at home parent. You do not get to voluntarily quit and theN get significant more child support.

The question is whether the child support is unjust under the facts. With a 60/40 split there is no question the amount is unjust.

I would not argue to the court that you want a family. That is irrelevant. The issue is how will this hurt the child. I would point out father never asked for a modification last time and that he overpaid. And that it really was not an issue then. I would then turn to an argument that shows mother benefits GREATLY from the new spouses income. Part of the argument should be that the extra 500.00 a month will create a huge disparity in both homes which will severely effect the child.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:02 AM   #43
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

Spouses income shouldn't be considered.

If CP voluntarily quit, she should be imputed with past wages. If NCP got a payraise, that should be considered.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:05 PM   #44
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Default Re: CP remarried, spouse income count?

Well read the laws. In a shared income state, it can and does count. And if the mother quits and benefits from the new spouse, it should. Generally I don't think a new spouses income should count. But if it does not count, the NCP is penalized by paying more child support. That is not fair or equitable.
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