You love your fiance, but don’t love don’t love that (s)he owes back child support. Is there a way to make sure you aren’t paying for his(her) children from another relationship? You bet!!
Your income is, under normal circumstances, only relevant to determine the tax bracket. But what about checking and savings accounts? You need to keep your account separate and under your name only. As long as your spouse’s social security number is on an account, it can be levied to pay back child support.
What about taxes? If you are expecting a tax return, you can either file separately or file an “Injured Spouse Allocation” form with the IRS, form 8379. This results in whatever portion of the tax return that represents his portion is retained, but you are sent the remainder. The problem is that you cannot file your taxes online, but must mail them in with that form. Here is a link to the instructions to determine if this option works for you:
For further information, it is advised that you contact a tax attorney who can advise you regarding what you should claim.
It is important to know that there are major differences between temporary and permanent Spousal Support. One significant difference is that different sections of the Family Code apply. Factors to be considered for spousal support are found in Family Code Section 4320 through 4326. In fact, the Court must make findings on the record pursuant to the 4320 factors before issuing a permanent order. Often this number will be less than your temporary spousal support, so cutting yourself close at the beginning of a case can hurt you in the end when you are left with even less money and possibly having to incur new costs, such as insurance, that was covered by your spouse while the dissolution was pending. Make sure you understand this, and the fact that courts in Orange County usually run the numbers through a Dissomaster calculation to determine the amount for temporary spousal support, but are forbidden by law to use that calculation for permanent spousal support.
California Family Code §4326 discusses some points regarding spousal support that may be worth noting. Under certain circumstances, the termination of child support may constitute a “change of circumstance” sufficient to allow a party to file for modification of the child support order. One detail to be aware of is that the motion to modify must be filed within 6 months from the date the child support order ends. If you are near the end of your child support order, it may be worth speaking to an attorney to determine whether a modification of the support order may be advantageous.