You were fortunate enough to meet someone, fall in love and start a new marriage together. You were aware that your new spouse has children from a prior relationship but you didn’t think about the financial complications involved that could affect your life together.
In many states, child support can be ordered even if the parent does not have visitation rights. Sometimes there is no end to paying child support. Emancipation is not automatic when the child turns legal age. The financial obligations to provide for a child are supposed to be equal among the two parents. Many times, one parent gets over on this obligation by claiming to be in the process of applying for disability and instead lives off the state. Being that disability takes years to get approved, several years can go by with the parent collecting welfare while the other parent struggles to pay support and live.
Fighting a dead-beat parent who has custody of the children takes time and money. The non-custodial parent who is trying to work and live their new life with their spouse often lives near poverty level themselves. Because the custodial parent already receives assistance because of the children that he/she cannot support, the non-custodial parent cannot receive any help should they become unable to maintain their life.
If the non-custodial parent who has remarried decides to start a family with his/her new spouse and runs into financial trouble, often they cannot count the child support that they pay in order to receive temporary assistance. Meanwhile, the custodial parent lives well. He/she might have a boyfriend/girlfriend helping out financially and many times, they are living far better than the non-custodial parent who actually works a job.
There is a lot wrong with the system. Although there are guidelines in place for determining the amount of child support paid, often family court judges side with the mother even when it is obvious that she is just being vindictive towards the father of her children. When one parent does not have visitation because of various reasons, the custodial parent is free to leave the state and the non-custodial parent still is responsible for paying support.
When you get involved with someone who has a messy past with someone they had children with, you may have no idea how this will affect your life. Many people are naive enough to believe that there are laws to protect the non-custodial parent. There really aren’t. Many states are so focused on the belief that the child should not suffer that they do not really see how biased the system is. Of course a child deserves to be supported and have a decent life. It is not their fault that their parents are not together. When a non-custodial parent who does everything to work and provide for their child can barely survive financially while the other parent has no financial worries, this is an injustice of the child support system.
Even when a non-custodial parent has visitation, the balance of who pays more is still unfair. It really does take a good attorney and time to go to frequent court appearances in order to try to make a change. Many times, thousands of dollars can be spent only to fail at getting a judge to order the custodial parent to get a job.
Starting out in a new marriage when one spouse has these impossible strikes against their finances can put a huge strain on a relationship. Money issues are a big reason for couples to argue and often can tear a couple apart. Anyone who enters into a relationship with someone who pays child support should know that they need to be able to financially take care of themselves. Depending on your new spouse is really often beyond their control. They do have a lot of guilt about the situation because they cannot control it.
Should you marry someone with these impossible financial burdens? That is up to you. Investigate the fact that in some states, your income may be considered in determined your spouses child support obligations. Do you really want your paycheck to support your spouse’s deadbeat ex? Child support is supposed to be for the child but the parent who receives the check can spend it any way that they choose. They do not need to prove it was spent on the child.
Not every person who receives child support is a vindictive low-life who uses support as a way to get back at their ex. Unfortunately, too many do abuse the system which is often on their side. Think carefully and research the laws in your state before you get caught in a situation that could threaten your financial security.
It is great to find love again but obstacles that are financial in nature can test that love. If you do choose to go forward, keep your finances separate and be prepared to depend on yourself financially. That is one way to survive having a spouse who has prior financial obligations.