“I would never.”

“This is why kids used to always be a deal breaker for me…. Nope, not gonna happen.”

“I’d certainly want the best but I’d also have to consider that these 2 made the kids and they need to be legally and financially responsible. My income should not bare the responsibility of their inability to make this work. Now if he under-worked and stayed out of work to avoid responsibility then I’d leave him.”

These are just a sampling of responses to this article about the reader’s wife having to pay child support to his ex-girlfriend and mother of his children:

Dear Miss Jia,
My wife first introduced me to your site, now I have become an official Miss Jia follower. Normally I would seek advice from those who I surround myself with but this situation is a lost cause. Recently my wife graduated top of her class earning her M.D. in Pharmacy, accepting a position with Walgreen’s. Her annual income to gross is anywhere from 75,000 to 80,000 a year. As you know when you are married, your gross income is combine to make one.
We don’t share bank accounts nor do we file our taxes together. First let me say my wife income is twice as much as I make, which I don’t have a problem with. A few weeks back I picked up my child from a neutral meeting place which has to be open to the public (Court Ordered). By no means do I converse with the mother of my child about anything unless it has to do with my child.

No, I’m not going to talk about how she is this and that. I knew how she was from the beginning. She made the comment of how she couldn’t wait to get me back in court because we are “big money” now.I am paraphrasing. So, a week or two goes by and my wife is served with official court documents requesting her appearance in Family Court. Now mind you this is my child. My wife cares for and has a healthy relationship with my daughter. My wife is being sued under that statute that my child’s mother can’t provided the type of life style that my wife and myself can provide and it isn’t fair to our daughter.

My wife is basically refusing to come to a settlement agreement and as she states she would rather go to jail than pay for my child’s mother living expenses (We both know it isn’t for the use of benefiting my daughter). Now, my wife suggests that we file for custody. I don’t want to take my daughter away from her mother but I also do not want my wife to be upset if the court rules in favor of the amount my ex is requesting (I have a feeling they’re going to rule in her favor). I do think is an excessive amount for a five year old. I feel as long as I am providing for my child and she doesn’t have to go without the daily necessities for living it shouldn’t be a problem.

This situation has caused a problem in my marriage my wife feels as she didn’t build a career for herself so my ex can benefit from her earnings. My question is does my wife have the right to be upset, or should she just accept things for the way they are because she knew what she was getting into knowing I already had a child?

The responses to that article both on and offline have been epic and polarizing.  Men shaking their heads in disbelief.   Women angry at the thought of paying another woman child support for children she has no legal obligations to –  and –  on the other and women angry and feeling entitled to higher child support payments due to the remarriage and higher income.

If you ever want to polarize a room?  Enter this article as the topic of the day and watch what happens!  Initially I thought women would sit in solidarity with the woman seeking higher child support payments but nah.  We work hard for our coins and we want our men to be responsible with theirs.

So this now begs the question:  where in the hell does this happen?  What states allow the new spouses income to be calculated and under what circumstances?

Take notes.

States That Allow New Spouse’s Income To Be Calculated For Child Support

California, Illinois and Pennsylvania allow new spouse income to be calculated.   Keep in mind that this is not the final and definitive list as new laws are enacted and changed daily.  However, as of the writing of this article those states will calculate your new spouse’s income.

Floridians  and Washingtonians will be happy to note (or not) that the law does nor allow for the calculation of the new spouse’s income in the determination of child support payments.


“Some states, such as California, take into account a new spouse’s income when making child support payment determinations only in extraordinary cases. Extraordinary cases are defined as unemployment, underemployment, income reduction, and/or other reliance upon a new spouse’s income. In extraordinary instances, it must be proved that children would suffer extreme hardship without imputing income of the new spouse.

The reason for this exclusion is that the new spouse has no legal obligation for the financial support of stepchildren. It is true that the new spouse’s income assists the household and may help meet needs of children on a voluntary basis. But there is no legal duty for this income to be imputed into support calculations.”


“In Illinois, courts may now consider income of a parent’s new spouse on an equitable basis when determining child support. In Illinois and similarly-minded states, courts are no longer required to ignore financial resources contributed by a new spouse. Instead, Illinois courts are free to give consideration to whether new children are brought into the household through remarriage, the ability of one to support himself, and contributions for health insurance, health expenses, daycare, and other discretionary factors.”

Extraordinary Circumstances

California uses “extraordinary circumstances” when determining the inclusion of the new spouse’s income.  Here’s how they define these circumstances:

“What is an “extraordinary case”?  The Family Code states the following are examples of “extraordinary cases”:  (1) quitting work or intentionally reducing income, and (2) intentionally remaining unemployed or underemployed.  Although these examples may pertain to your situation, courts rarely include “new mate income” when calculating support.  Generally, if the custodial parent falls under one of these extraordinary cases, the court will usually impute income to the custodial parent rather than use new mate income.

However, “new mate income” is used to adjust the net disposal income based on the tax impact on the payor’s income.  Also, “new mate income” can be a basis for recalculation if a parent marries someone wealthy because the taxes will increase.  In other words, “new mate income” has an effect on the tax consequences which can have an effect on the amount of child support.  However, “new mate income” will not be added to the income of the custodial parent which would then lower child support.”

Know Thy Partner’s Financial History.  Please Don’t Let The Smooth Sex Fool You!

The sex is good until the court garnishes your check.  Your check for children you did not make nor any legal leverage in their affairs.  You just cut the check every month.  If you’re ok with that then stop reading here.  If not, read on.

Communicate.  Discuss your partner’s financial issues upfront.  Especially if they are small children involved and there is an active court order mandating or garnishing payments.  If you live in a state where the new spouse’s income is considered and/or your man fits the extraordinary circumstances bill – it’s best you have a talk sooner rather than later.  It’s all fun and games until your check gets garnished for kids you did not bring into this world.

Check His Credit.  I am a huge fan of checking your partner’s credit before jumping the broom.  No judgement, but because I need to know that we’re on the same page financially.  Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.  If you have outstanding child support judgements and your license is suspended because of it then I’ll need you to handle that before we jump the broom.  Truth be told, that would actually be a show stopper for me because neglecting this area is a red flag.  I work too hard for my check to give it away to an ex-girlfriend.

Don’t come back here crying because you’ve been warned.  Talk to your men about any outstanding child support payments before you jump the broom.

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