Two Part Question Stepmother And Child Support Arrears

by Teresa

Question one. I just married my husband. He has 3 kids that he pays child support for. Recently I was told his ex wife was going around town saying as soon as we file taxes she is going to request a child support change once she can see my income. She apparently thinks I am making big bucks. So not true. I make about 35,000 a year, and my husband makes less than 12,000. Now I am wondering if we should file separately in case she does request to see his tax forms...could they raise his child support based on my income listed the tax return, even though I am the just the stepmother????

Question two. The children and mother live on a Nebraska reservation. Out of spite, she filed for child support payment with the reservation and ALSO with the state of Nebraska so he had both of them coming after him for his monthly payment. He contacted the tribal court and told them the situation. They said the court order is thru them and he is to make payments to them. In the meantime, we get a bill every month from Nebraska saying he didn't pay, send it right away, and each month is added to arrears which is growing and growing. Again we contact the tribal court which tells us they sent letters to Nebraska telling them the money is owed to them and not the state. So we think its being taken care of and then another statement from Nebraska comes!!! We've called both Nebraska and the tribe's court and get the run around. So now it appears he is in $12,000 in arrears with NE even though he has been paying the tribe all along. WHAT DO WE DO!!

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Child Support Questions
by: CSA Staff

Hello Teresa,

Thank you for sharing your situation. The answer to question 1 is that Yes you should consider filing married but separate in your income taxes. Some states do include the spouse's income when calculating support. It really is better to be safe then sorry. Also if he falls behind in his support payments, then they can offset the tax return even your portion if you file together.

Question 2: You must contact an attorney. It is illegal to have two cases open. If she opened two cases deliberately then she could be in trouble with the courts. An attorney will be able to get this quickly resolved. It is important to take care of this, otherwise he will keep falling into the arrears.


by: Teresa

Thanks for your response. We will more than likely file separately. Although I am wondering if it is worth talking to a lawyer to see if the state of Nebraska can use my income???

Yesterday we again contacted Nebraska...they are looking into it yet again. It seemed like the woman we talked to wanted to actually resolve the issue. She is calling us back Friday. The biggest problem we have had when dealing with both the state and the tribe is getting in touch with a person who actually wants to help you resolve an issue! Hopefully this woman does it, or I am getting a lawyer like your suggestion.

by: Anonymous

Just an update. We finally talked to a woman at the Nebraska Child Support office who figured this out for us. VERY VERY helpful. Its all settled and the arrears are off the Nebraska books!

Now I just have to worry about tax time!

by: Anonymous

teresa you dont have to file married seperately you can file married jointly and fill out a either injured spouse or or innocent spouse form and the state will not take your portion of the taxes only what is his portion. if yo file seperately you will get less money.

by: Anonymous

We weren't really worried as much about the state taking the taxes as much as my income being included with his, for next time they determine how much child support he owes. From what I understand some states do calculate total household income when determing child support, and some just do the fathers income. If they ask for a tax return to calculate, they would see both our incomes if we filed together.

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