Most people who have been married or married, divorced, and remarried can attest that “marriage takes work.” With over 40 percent of all first marriages ending in divorce, it’s not very encouraging to learn that second marriages have an even higher rate of divorce.
When you think about it, second marriages often involve blended families, exes who are still in the picture because of the kids, child support, and spousal support. Considering those factors, it’s understandable why a second marriage may have more risk factors than a first.
If you pay child support to your ex and you’re engaged or on your second marriage, it’s important to be aware of the many ways child support can impact your second marriage and not in a good way.
How Can Child Support Debt Affect My New Marriage?
Child support may seem harmless, but if you fall behind, the local child support collection agency can take all kinds of enforcement actions against you, which can add undue stress on your new relationship. Here’s what you need to know:
- If you fall behind on child support and you owe $2,500 or more, you will not be able to obtain a U.S. passport and you won’t be able to leave the country. If you had a honeymoon abroad planned, this can put a wrench in your plans.
- If you owe child support, your stimulus check may be reduced or eliminated entirely.
- If you filed taxes jointly with your spouse, their portion of the stimulus check can be taken to pay your child support arrears.
- If you have a joint bank account with your spouse, funds can be seized to pay your child support debt, even if the funds came from your spouse’s earnings.
- If you own a home with your new spouse, a lien can be placed for child support, preventing you from refinancing or selling your home.
- Your driver’s license can be suspended, forcing your spouse to become your chauffeur.
- If you have a tax refund due, it can be taken for child support.
- If you have a professional, business, or occupational license, it can be suspended, preventing you from earning income.
- Your child support debt can be reported on your credit report, lowering your FICO score.
- You can be arrested for contempt of court, fined, and jailed (this is usually a last resort).
As you can see, delinquent child support debt can certainly add stress to a new marriage. If you need help with a child support matter or need to request a downward modification, please contact Arnold Law Group, APC to get started.