Is my ex-husband's 2nd child supposed to get more child support than the first?

Jennifer - posted on 04/05/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I was granted child support in my divorce about 6 years ago. Back then I was working 2 jobs to support my son. Now I am married, I have another child and I am a stay-at-home mom that home schools. My husband works full-time to support our family but he is paying child support on a child from a previous relationship. He should bring home 400.00 a week, but only brings home around 180.00/week on a good week. We are supposed to get 645.00 a month (there was no change in the amount in 6 years) and this only started about 2-3 months ago. The first check I got was for the full amount of 645, the other 2 amounts have been less. Now, I am grateful that I am getting anything at all and the 645 is plenty to help us pay our bills, but we are not getting that much in reality. The thing I have a problem with is he is paying almost 1800 a month to his other ex- wife for one child. Her amount wasn't that much until the second month that I received child support. She was only getting 605 a month until I started getting mine. Now mine has been cut short. I called the child support office to see what was going on and to see if I could get my case reviewed since it hadn't been in 6 years and they told me that if he is paying a larger amount to another case that is might actually make my support decrease if it is reviewed. Does that sound right to anyone. I don't know how child support really works, but it seems like they are telling me that my child (which was his first child) is not as important than his second child. I don't want a substantial amount of money like she is getting, I would just like to get enough to help us with our bills.

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Staci - posted on 04/07/2013

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You definitely need to get your case re-evaluated, I know in michigan the amount of support is based on the fathers income and the mothers. But if you go to court the amount should be more evenly split.

Michelle - posted on 04/06/2013

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Well Jodi has covered it pretty well. I'm also in Australia so we have different rules.

Jodi - posted on 04/06/2013

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I'd be ecstatic with $645 a month........ believe me, my $30 a month doesn't go anywhere supporting a teenager.......

I am not going to pretend to understand the child support system where you live. I am in Australia and it is based on your taxable incomes each year (plus calculations on costs of raising a child, age of children, etc).

I am surprised you even know how much he is paying to his other ex - I don't think it is even any of your business, to be honest. Unfair, yes, but where I live, it is irrelevant, the two cases are separate, and neither ex knows what the other is getting unless they are all discussing it amongst themselves. It's called privacy.

So while I can see why you think it is unfair, and why you can't understand it, I think it is one of those things that you are going to have to move on from.

It could be because he sees your child more often than the other one, maybe your family has a higher income that the other family. Here, the amount you pay is based on a very complicated formula of family income. If her income and his income combined are very high, then the child is assessed as being entitled to a higher living standard than your lack of income and his income (in which case if you were still together, the living standard would be lower, so therefore, the expectation of child support is lower). It could be that he is required to cover daycare costs in some way so that she can work too, maybe that was negotiated. Or maybe it was private school fees, maybe it is payment to cover insurances. Who knows?

If you can't get yours reviewed, I think you need to just move on. I get that you and your husband are living on very low finances, but you guys made your choice for you to stay home with the children. Your ex wasn't involved in that choice, so he shouldn't have to pay for it.

Jennifer - posted on 04/05/2013

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I'm sorry I didn't mean to make this confusing. My ex- husband is paying child support for both me and another ex-wife of his. He is paying her 1800 a month and me 645. My child support was set 6 years ago and hers was only set a year ago. She had been getting only 605 until March of this year and right after I got my first check she started getting 1800 a month. My case has not been reviewed in 6 years, but when I asked for a review today they told me that if he is paying her that much money that my support would probably decrease. I know that it is based on combined income but if there has been a drastic change in income, being that I don't make nearly as much as I did 6 years ago and he makes 4 times as much as he did back then why would my support go down. It makes me think that his second child is more important than his first.

When I mentioned my husband now I was just stating that he is the only one working and even he is paying child support and our finances are exceedingly low. Sorry for the confusion, my mind was in a lot of places. But thank you for the response.

I hope this helps clear it up.

Michelle - posted on 04/05/2013

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I'm confused. The way you have written this is that your husband is paying you and another woman child support. Why would he be paying you if you are married?

Now since you also have another child (and I'm assuming from your husband) that means he has a dependent (if you are living together) and the amount he pays out should be reduced for everyone.

I think you need to clarify some things for us.

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