Calculating Child Support Payments

I have always paid my ex-wife child support over the last 12 years. We didn’t use lawyers when we got divorced and filled out the child support worksheet strictly using ONLY our pay stubs. We are now both remarried and my financial situation with my current wife has changed and its a big stretch just to make ends meet.(I know that this does not matter in calculating child support payments, just giving you a little background info). My ex-wife drives a car that is owned and paid for her new spouse’s business. She also pays for ALL of the gas for that car with a company card provided to her from her new spouse. My oldest son also uses the company card to buy his gas and we give the ex-wife money to cover “our share” of that cost. Last year, her grandfather passed away and she received around $50,000 cash and will also receive some profits from the sale of his house. The house that my ex-wife owns with her new spouse is in her name only. When modifying child support calculations, would the inheritance, the car and gas allowance and any money she receives from her new spouse to pay for her monthly household bills be counted as income for her?

Good questions. The answers "depend." If your ex-wife is an employee of her husband's company and has no other car to drive, then yes, an imputation of income would be made based on the benefits she receives. However, if she does not work for the company, then no, that income doesn't count. The inheritance from her grandfather may or may not impact child support. If the cash was received in 2016, it would affect her income for 2016. If she receives profits from the sale of his house, that will be considered income to her in the year it is received. A modification of child support amongst other things, is based on the parties current gross incomes. In certain circumstances, a person's income might be based on an average of the income received over the past 2 or 3 years. Money contributed to household expenses by her new spouse is not considered income to your ex- wife. It would be different if he were just a roommate, and she was renting a room to him. Income of a new spouse is not considered for child support purposes since the new husband does not have a legal obligation to support your kids.

Paternity Exploitation

After divorce, my ex was paid for child support for two children she claimed to be mine. I thought no different at the time. A subsequent paternity test done in January 1997 showed my daughter not to be mine. My ex kept this information from me and continued to accept monthly checks for several years after. My putative daughter found out at the same time and was stopped from telling me by her mother. What can I do to get remuneration and added punitive compensation from the ex?

Unfortunately, twenty years have gone by. It is too late to contest paternity. A child born during the marriage is presumed to be a product of the marriage, unless you objected and contested paternity at that time. Any possible defenses you may have had regarding your obligation to pay child support have also expired.

Re-married and Child Support

When my ex remarries should my child support be changed in accordance with there combined income?

No. Your ex-wife's new husband has no legal obligation to support your children. Thus, his income is not considered.

Child Support

My son just found out he has a 14 yr old son when she filed for child support he is paying on back child which is 8000.00 can they put a lien on property if it being paid each month.

If a Judgment for the past due child support has been issued by a Court, any property owned by your son can be liened.

Modify Child Support

My ex wife and I divorced in 2012. It is now 2016. She has chosen to cut down from a full time employee to a part time employee. Can she modify child support for that reason? It was her decision to work less. Our children that we have together are 9 years old and 12 years old.


No.  If she voluntarily becomes under employed, full time wages will still be imputed to her.  If she gets fired or laid off, and couldn't find another full time job, she might be able to modify the child support.

Nonpayment of Court Ordered Medical Expenses

My ex-husband and I have the same income level, so we do not have a court order to pay each other any child support. However our divorce decree states that we will split the medical insurance, medical bills, school fees and agreed upon sports expenses 50/50. I am the main insured adult on the insurance policy for the 3 boys, and due to that fact, I also receive all of the medical bills since I am the responsible party. My x husband owes me $912 from LAST year’s medical bills that he refuses to pay. That being said, I continue to pay all of the medical expenses in 2016 for insurance and medical bills so the total is growing. It’s not the amount he disagrees with, he doesn’t want to pay the entire amount because I was re-married in October of last year and he feels that since my new husband is very successful, that I now should pay for more than 50% of the children’s expenses. How do I force him to pay for his half of his own children’s expenses as they are outlined in the divorce decree? Keep in mind that my ex-husband earns well over $100K a year, so it’s not a lack of funds that keeps him from paying.

If the Court Order requires your x-husband to pay 1/2 of various expenses, and he is not doing so, you have two choices: (1.) File a contempt citation against him for failure to pay or (2.) File a motion for entry of judgment and garnish his wages.

Claiming Children on Taxes

A mother and biological father share custody of a 13 year old. The step dad (no longer married to the mother) has been awarded rights as a psychological parent . The step dad and mother each pay for all of the child’s activities and medical bills. However, the step dad does NOT pay child support. The biological father pays child support but not on a regular basis and is always in arrears. In accordance with the court order, the step dad has equal parental rights as the mother and biological father, but because he isn’t ordered to pay child support, he cannot claim the child as a dependent, medical bills or any activities on his taxes. Can the step dad have the order modified to show that he is obligated to pay child support (and actually pays it) in order to claim the child on taxes?

If there is no legal obligation to pay child support, the Court will not enter an Order re same.

Child Support in Arrears

My ex tried to pay all back child support on December 31 but as of January the Family Support registry shows he is still in arrears. SInce they didn’t recieve the money till January 4 they applied the money to the current month which then showed him in arrears still. Does this disqualify my ex from claiming our son on tax exemption this year?

The statute is vague as to the date the arrearage needs to be paid to qualify for the dependency exemption for a particular year. However, if he catches up prior to the time that you file your taxes, he would most likely still be entitled to the dependency exemption for 2015.

Signing Bonus and Child Support

I’m a professional athlete. Earlier this year, I signed on with a new team and received a signing bonus. My ex-girlfriend just had a kid that I think is mine, and she is going after child support. Will the signing bonus be considered part of my income?

Unfortunately, yes. It will be considered income in the year that it is received.

Child Support and Wage Garnishment

Question 1: My wife pays child support to her ex-spouse. Can child support garnish my wages if she changes her last name to mine? Question 2: I file an injured spouse form every year when doing my taxes and my income tax gets garnished every year. I don’t feel I should be responsible for my wife’s debts. Can I stop this from happening?

No, child support enforcement cannot garnish your wages no matter what last name your wife uses. You are not the obligor. However, the reason your income tax refund is garnished is due to your filing a joint tax return with your wife. Unfortunately, although it is your wife's debt, since she is a designated recipient of the tax refund, the entire amount gets taken regardless of your also being a recipient of the refund. In order to protect yourself, you would need to file a separate tax return.

Husband’s Child Support for Child Outside of Wedlock

My husband had a child outside of our marriage while we were on a split, “Filing for divorce”. We would like to stay married and have a child of our own. How will his child support be determined? I make more income than he does, will that be factored into the support he owes? What if he falls behind, could she come after me to pay? We live in Colorado. Thank you.

Your income does not factor into the equation. Only your husband's income is considered, and he will be given a credit for the child that you have together. If your husband falls behind in child support, the mother of the child could garnish his wages or bank accounts, or lien the house. If your husband's name is on any bank, investment, or financial account or asset including the house, even if it is jointly titled, it can be attached. The only accounts or assets which could not be attached are if those accounts or assets are in your name only.

File for Emancipation to Stop Support?

Hi, I got divorced in 2000 and my child support order states that when my daughter turns 19, I do not have to pay any longer. Do I need to file for emancipation or anything with the court to stop paying child support? Also, my ex-wife states I have to pay for college for my daughter, when in fact I know Colorado state law states I do not unless we have a signed agreement with the court and a judge has signed. Am I right about this?

Unless you have younger children for whom you are providing support, child support automatically ends on your daughter's 19th birthday. If you have other kids, you will need to modify the child support. You are correct. Unless you agreed in writing that you have to pay for college, you are not obligated.

No Income and Child Support

We were married in 1976 and had kids in 1980 and 1985. We divorced in 1994. I moved around, got married again, moved, divorced again, and moved. Now a Colorado Court ordered me to pay $87 a month for $23,000 due. I recently Heart Attack on 6/6/15, which caused me to have no income. Do I have a chance to get it dropped?

Child support becomes a money judgment at the time it is due. Since you owe $23,000 in past due child support, the judgment stands. If you truly have absolutely NO INCOME, you should contact child support enforcement or your ex-wife's attorney, or whoever is pursuing the judgment, and advise them. However, if you have ANY money available to you and you are not paying anything towards your arrearage, your ex-wife could file a contempt action against you and amongst other things, ask for jail time. Therefore, you need to pay something, even if it is $10/mo. This shows the Court that you are not trying to shirk your obligation and are making a good faith effort to comply with the Court Order, despite your circumstances. Assuming you have no income nor assets, and do not have the present ability to pay anything, there is not much they can do to you.

Paying Child Support If Spouse Withholds Parenting Time

My ex sprung a child support payment after my daughters turned two. We broke up shortly after their first birthday, but I got stuck with back child support because I just gave her cash and bought everything myself. She quit letting me get my court ordered parenting time as we’ll as not let me have any say in their life. I’m worried the back child support which continues to rise will bury me. Is there any way I can get out of the hole without paying her a fortune? She has not followed any court orders with me.

Your obligation to pay child support is independent of your right to see your kids. If she is not letting you see your kids, you need to take her back to court. However, your child obligation does not cease just because you are not seeing your kids.

If your financial circumstances have changed (gotten worse) since the original child support order, you might be able to seek a modification. However, you need to pay her something every month. Failure to do so could land you in jail. At the very least she could get a judgment against you for past due child support which accrues interest at the rate of 12% per MONTH.

Terminating Child Support for Children Over the Age of 19

My older daughter is turning 19 on August 26th. So when can I file ‘Motion to Terminate Child Support’ paperwork? and get the decision from the court in time to stop September 1 2015?

Since you indicated that your "older" daughter turns 19 on August 26th, you obviously have additional children under the age of 19, and for whom child support is presumptively still owed. Thus, child support will not be terminated. You need to file a motion to modify child support as it will need to be recalculated due to your eldest daughter aging out.

Child Support Payments After Unemployment

Do I still receive child support if my ex loses his job?

Unless and until your ex files a motion to modify or reduce his child support, he still owes you child support . Whether or not he continues to pay is another issue

Child Support When Baby Has a Different Last Name From Father

I’m unmarried and I’m pregnant. I want the baby to have my last name. Can I still get child support from the dad, even though the baby does not have his last name?

Yes, you can get child support. The obligation to pay child support is premised on paternity, not on whether the baby has the father's last name.

Child Support and Retirement Pension Plans

I was granted total custody of my 2 boys at their ages 12 & 8. They are now 22 (married) and 19 (in college that I am paying for myself) my ex wife was ordered to pay $200 a month from the beginning and never paid. Now I am going to retire and I am ordered to pay her $800 a month from my pension. I have taken her back to court and spent a lot of money doing so for teh child support but she still has never paid. Do I still owe her from my pension since she is in arrearage?

Unfortunately, she is still entitled to her share of your pension. You cannot simply offset what she owes you unless you have a court order allowing you to do so. However, your pension should have been divided pursuant to a QDRO, in which case, your x-wife would receive her share directly from the pension plan itself.

Child Support Wage Garnishment

My ex-wife is to pay child support in only the amount of $118.00 a month and is behind six months. I ask for her payments and she doesn’t have it. Should I garnish her wages as she doesn’t own any property or assets? This is real hard on our son at the age of 14 and me being a single parent with only one income.

Absolutely garnish her wages. You will need to do a wage assignment and serve it on your ex-wife's employer. You can either have the payment come directly to you or set up an account through the Family Support Registry ("FSR"). If you choose FSR, the payment will come to them, and they will send it to you. The advantage is that FSR keeps a payment record, so you will always know how much your ex-wife has paid. This makes it much easier to file for a judgment or contempt action if you need to do so.

Late Child Support Payments

Thank you for your wonderful website! My wife receives child support from her ex, which by court order is due on the 15th of each month. Since October of last year he has been consistently  late, sometimes not paying until the next month, and repeating the same again the following month  However, as in years past, he is always able to come up with all of the money in full by the last day of the year (he pays it to the Support Registry, so we don’t really know for sure what day he paid, but have assumed he made it under the wire) if it is a year he claims the 10 year old child on his taxes (He was awarded alternating years to claim her IF he is current on his child support). My question is, if he didn’t pay in full by the 15th of December per the court order, IS he actually current by legal definition by supposedly paying in full at the end of the year? Along that same line, if he is consistently late, is there any recourse?  He quit a full time job making 43k a year to go back to school and work only part time, and now has been fired from that job (because he was unwilling to work evenings and weekends) and is unemployed as far as we know (just student teaching supposedly for his teachers certificate, and therefore doesn’t have an employer to garnish against anymore). Quite frankly, this guy is the typical “guard house” lawyer, interpreting the divorce decree and subsequent revisions in whatever way suits him. He is always careful to read the decree and look for loopholes (there are many) and do whatever he wants.  We are constantly bombarded with new interpretations, and are tired of the battles.  Please help us?  Thank you again. from Colorado.

If the x-husband has paid all child support due and owing by December 31st he is current for that taxable year, and thus, able to take the deduction. Although he is consistently late, if he eventually pays up, I wouldn’t file a contempt, since it is costly and time consuming. If he is consistently late and that causes your wife hardship, it may be worth filing a contempt citation. If he is unemployed and doesn’t have wages to garnish, you can garnish his bank accounts or lien his house, if he has these assets.

Wage Garnishment From 2 Counties For Child Support

Can two seperate counties garnish my wages for child support at the same time

Good question. Answer is yes, up to a maximum amount depending on whether the garnishment is for current or past due child support.

What is Considered When Ordering Child Support?

Does the Court consider my living expenses and debts when ordering that I pay child support?

Unfortunately, no.

Child Support and Wage Garnishment

I am paying child support directly to my ex-wife, but now she wants to garnish my wages. Can I stop her?

Unfortunately, no. The statute allows for a party to garnish wages for the payment of child support whether or not you are delinquent in your payments.

Consequences of Not Paying Child Support

Will I be thrown in jail if I can’t afford to pay my child support?

If you make a good faith effort to pay something each month, it is unlikely that the Court would hold you in contempt and throw you in jail. However, even if you are unemployed, the statute requires that you pay at least $50 per month for child support.

Active Parent Seeking Child Support

I have my 2 children 100 hrs. a week, but only 4 overnights. My ex-wife is refusing to help with anything, including daycare expenses. What, if anything, can i do to change this?

Your ex-wife is required to contribute to day care expenses. This is usually added in to the child support calculation. If it is not already included, you can do a motion to modify child support to reflect your actual day care expenses.

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