Are you giving love a second chance and getting married again? If you’re a noncustodial parent who pays child support, it’s important to understand how owing child support can impact your new marriage. We decided to dedicate a blog to this subject because a lot of people don’t realize the extent that child support arrears can strain a second marriage, and believe us, back child support can cause undue stress on your new relationship!
Here’s the deal: When you owe child support, the local child support agency will automatically swing into action after a certain amount of time passes. Each child support agency has tools in their toolbox to help them collect past-due child support. If you’re happily remarried and these bad things start happening to you, things between you and your new spouse can go downhill fast and we don’t want that to happen.
Ways Child Support Can Strain Your New Marriage
Here are some examples of how child support arrears can impact your new marriage:
- If you owe a certain amount, your driver’s license will be suspended. If you couldn’t drive, would your spouse have to be your personal chauffer?
- Child support arrears can lead to the suspension of professional, business, and occupational licenses. If you have such a license and it’s suspended, you may not be able to work and earn an income. How would this affect your relationship?
- The funds in your bank accounts, including joint bank accounts with your spouse, can be seized. This means that even your spouse’s earnings that are deposited into a joint bank account are fair game.
- If you file joint tax returns and you have a refund coming back to you, the tax refund will be taken for child support. If your spouse had plans for the money, this can anger them.
- If your spouse wants to take a vacation overseas and you owe $2,500 or more in child support, you will be denied a U.S. passport and your travel plans will be canceled.
- If you win money from the lottery, it can be taken for child support.
- If you own a house with your new spouse, a lien can be placed on your property for child support, barring you from selling or refinancing until the child support is paid off.
- Child support arrears will be reported on your credit, and this impacts your FICO Score and the interest rates you pay on auto loans, mortgages, and credit cards.
As you can see, child support arrears can definitely cause undue stress on your second marriage. As such, it’s important to be fully aware of the consequences of not paying child support and if you ever can’t afford your payments, to petition the family court immediately for a downward modification. Child support is not retroactive; orders do not change until a court says they’re changed – so act quickly if you ever need your child support reduced.