In the United States, about five out of ten marriages will end in
divorce. What’s worse is second and subsequent marriages have an even higher
risk of divorce. In
Psychology Today, Mark Banschick, M.D. wrote: “Past statistics have shown that in
the U.S. 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second, and 73% of third
marriages end in divorce. What are the reasons for this progressive increase
in divorce rates? Theories abound.”
As Dr. Banschick examined the various reasons behind this increased risk
of divorce, he mentioned second marriages being rebound relationships.
He mentioned how the people were often “vulnerable” and didn’t
allow enough time to get their priorities on track before getting remarried.
Dr. Banschick also talked about people entering their next marriage for
the wrong reasons, and failing to internalize the lessons from their first
divorce. He said people are likely to repeat the same mistakes, which
can make them vulnerable to similar conflicts and once again, another
However, we believe that one factor in the failure of second marriages
is the stress associated with the first divorce, namely
child custody and
child support. But for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on how
child support matters can place undue stress on a second marriage and
sometimes weaken its foundation.
Don’t Ignore These Child Support Issues
We’re not going to candy-coat it: Second marriages can suffer because
of child support issues – in more ways than one. Unfortunately,
many couples who are happy and madly in love will get married, only to
have all kinds of child support issues place stress on their finances
and their relationship. But the question is, how can child support impact
a second marriage? Here are just SOME of the ways:
In California, once you reach arrears in the amount of
30 or more calendar days, your various licenses can be suspended, including your driver license,
a business or occupational license, a professional or recreational license.
Learn more by clicking
here. If your driver license or business license is suspended, how will that
affect your ability to pay your portion of the bills? How would your new
spouse react to this problem?
If you end up owing your ex $2,500 or more in child support payments, you
will not be able to obtain a U.S. passport. This means you can’t
take that honeymoon to Europe, or travel abroad with your sweetheart.
Click here for details.
If you buy a house with your new husband or wife and you fall behind on
your child support payments, the Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) can
file a lien against your new home. Such a lien would prevent you from
selling, refinancing, or transferring the home until you satisfy the lien.
This can really affect your finances if you need to sell or refinance
for some reason. For more information,
Expecting a nice tax refund this year? Well, if you owe child support,
your tax refund may be taken to repay the child support debt. This can
stress your spouse out, especially if he or she was looking forward to
that money to put it in savings, pay off credit card debt, or take a much-needed
vacation. However, if your spouse files a joint return with you, they
may be entitled to request a portion of the refund back from the IRS because
they are not responsible for the child support debt. This is called an “Injured Spouse Claim.”
- If you win the lottery, it can be taken for past-due child support.
- If you owe child support and you have a joint bank account where your spouse’s
paycheck is deposited, the “joint funds” in the account can
be garnished for your child support arrears. This can not only wreak havoc
on your budget, but it can greatly upset your spouse, who’s hard-earned
income went to child support.
- Your 401k can be garnished for child support arrears, adding more stress
to your marriage.
- If you’re injured and unable to work, it doesn’t end your child
support obligation. Child support can be taken from unemployment, workers’
compensation, and Social Security Disability benefits. It cannot however,
be taken from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because federal law prohibits
it. So, even if your income is drastically reduced, child support can
still be taken from various types of benefits, further decreasing your
monthly income and adding more stress to your new marriage.
As you can see, if you’re entering a second marriage, there are a
number of ways that child support arrears can prove challenging. Just
remember that the local child support agencies have a lot of tools in
their toolboxes when it comes to collecting past-due child support, many
of which can lead to arguments over finances with your new spouse.
Child custody challenges with a new marriage can be hard sometimes, but child support
arrears can be even harder, especially if you ignore the problem or try
to avoid your obligations. But all hope is not lost. There are solutions.
What You Can Do to Be Proactive
You want your new marriage to last and you want to shield your spouse from
unnecessary stress. The best way to protect your interests and the integrity
of your new marriage is to understand the child support laws and the consequences
of failing to pay child support.
3 Rules for Dating After Divorce
If something happens; for example, if you lose your job or become injured,
contact our firm at once to ask the court for a downward
modification that reflects your current financial status. By being proactive, you can
greatly reduce if not eliminate the negative consequences of letting your
child support arrears spiral out of control.