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Stepmoms income and child support

curlyq_ld's picture

Does anyone know if the court can take my income into consideration for child support? I am nurse who works full time as my husband has been out of work for over a year due to the economy. My stepson lived with my husbands exwife last year and we paid her child support and I provided health/vision/dental for him through my job. He moved in with us in May and is going to school up her now. His mom has never offered us child support, even though we paid her when she had him. My stepson is not doing good here and is going to move back with his mom in May when school gets out. My husband is not going to pay child support unless she takes us to court because she didnt think she needed to pay us. She works partime, my husband not all, and I work full time. We are anticiapting that she will be taking us to court over this issue. question. If my husband has no income, he relies on me financially, can she come after my income for childsupport?

imagr8tma's picture

I am not sure - i know in VA they dont. BUT you may want to check with the childsupport rules for your state just to make sure.

********She doesn't have to love me or even like me - it doesn't change a dang thing..... So get over it and move on BM!************

littlelucy's picture

OH HELL NO! I researched this before getting married. You are not financially responsible for the support of his children. You were very generous to provide health/medical/dental for him, but you were not obligated to.

JustAnotherSM's picture

Yes, your income can be considered if DH is unemployed. I'm in IL and my DH is a stay-at-home dad by choice, although the economy is preventing him from re-entering the workforce as quickly as he'd like. BM recently took us to court to reinstate CS (latest agreement stated no CS). They couldn't take 20% of my income b/c SS is not mine, but they used our household income to determine what we could afford to pay. I had to provide our tax returns for 2008. I was also ordered by the court to provide medical/dental for SS. I was more than disappointed/disgusted with the decision. Although it did make me smile to know that BM's mouth dropped to the floor when she learned that I make about 4x what she makes Smile

kodiak's picture

I also live in IL and we have been worried about the same thing. DH works full time but we are worried his ex can ask for increased support because of my income also now (we were just married four months ago). Was yours taken into consideration simply because he has been staying home, or is that rule of thumb in IL?

TheWife's picture

I am IL too, and I am pretty sure they only do that if DH is not working...


Rome wasn't built in a day, and my marriage won't be either.

JustAnotherSM's picture

Welcome Confused. You are wise to keep all of your finances separate. DH and I dated for 8 years and kept everything separate. We combined assets when we got married and it was the worst decision I could have made. BM went off the deep end when we started having kids of our own, and it has put me into financial ruin.

Curly, please be wise and keep your finances separate. It will be easier to protect your income this way.

littlelucy's picture

Definitely keep money/assets separate. SD13 once asked me how much money I made, I of course doubled the figure because I knew BM was really the one asking - and trying to figure out how to get her hands on it. Now SD13 is constantly asking me to buy her things. I once bought her a cherry chapstick, which she promptly lost!

OregonMom's picture

I don't know what state you are in but in Oregon and Washington the step parents income will not be considered as they are not their child. BUT what does happen, if your husband is out of work, is they will look at what he made in his last job, and/or consider what they think he is "capable" of making based on past employment history, education, etc, and they will IMPUTE that income to him (in other words pretend he's making it when he really isn't). This is to avoid the situation where BD stops working in order to avoid child support. But in many situations it simply isn't fair. Sometimes the court will take that into consideration - for example if BD is disabled, etc. But if its his own choice (even a very valid/noble choice such as to be stay at home dad) then they won't care.

So based on that imputed income that you aren't really getting, the court will tell him that he is responsible to pay $xxx amount, and if he literally can't pay it, in order to avoid contempt of court and jail time for him, guess who will end up paying? YOU! But it won't be based on your income rather income the court thinks he could be making.

This is how it is in OR/WA but could be different in your state.

0moredrama's picture

Just for future reference if you know you will be facing court for any reason go visit the top 5 lawyers in your city. Make sure to get something signed by them ei car parking validation anything to prove you were there. When you do this it keeps the other person in being able to hire that lawyer so even if you cant afford the best you can bet the other cant get the best either. By just visiting that lawyer even on a free consult they cant represent the other party. Smile and good luck Im goin thru my own ex's 'baby momma drama'. uhg its so draining emotionally mentally and financially.

Rags's picture

No as a StepParent your income can not be considered in the calculation of CS. However, since you support your DH and he has no income any CS obligation he has you will likely pay. Though he is not working the court will likely impart income to him based on his historic earning potential and he will be liable for CS based on his earning potential.

I am the custodial StepDad. My wife is hte CP. Though as a StepParent my income "can't" be considered for setting CS levels and since my wife receives CS for my SS the idiot family court judges always seem to find a way to reduce BioDad's CS obligation because "StepDad makes a good living and BioDad should not be penalized by having to subsidize an artificially elevated standard of living for (the kid)". Sooo....... BioDad gets his CS reduced because of my income.

Success is rarely final. Failure is rarely fatal. It is character, courage and consistency of effort that count. Vince Lombardi (with some minor Rags modifications) To each according to their performance, screw Karl Marx. (Rags)

jojo68's picture

Some states do consider the total household income in consideration for child support and can even come after the stepparent for child support if the BP is not fulfilling their obligation. Check online or with an attorney to see what holds true for your state. I know someone who was married to a man who had a child that he was paying CS on and he (the husband) passed away. My friend (his widow) had to pay his remaining child support.