Child Support and Remarriage


Dear 369jal:

Greetings. The answer is that the ex wife cannot go after your property, unless it is purchased with money from the marriage with ex wife and ex-husband. Some people remarry before the finances of their first marriage are resolved. She is not entitled to your 401k nor will you have to pay her child support (directly). Now, you may end up finding that your new spouse owes her a lot of money and you will be spending your money on his children, but that is one of the possibilities you are facing.

As far as the child exemption on the tax returns, yes, if either parent has the child even one more overnight than the other, they can claim the child on their taxes. Your husband-to-be should make this a negotiating point. His recourse is to ask the court to grant him the exemption.

I assume that your husband-to-be is in court proceedings since he is divorced and that is the only way to keep alimony and equitable distribution claims open. If you move in together and get married, you decrease (hypothetically) how much money he will need on a monthly basis to live, which may increase his alimony obligations.

My advice is to follow your heart, but when in doubt, wait it out! If I were you, I would wait for a final resolution of the financial issues. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


Hi: I’m dating a man who is divorced, but still resolving
financial issues with his ex-wife.

My question is this: If me and this man were to marry, could she go after my property? My 401k? Would I have to pay her child support?

I make about 3X what she does in a year, own my own home, have a substantial 401k account, etc. She has no 401k savings, a lot of credit card debt, low income, etc. More details on the situation are that while together with her husband, she went to work after community college, took progressively higher paying jobs, then wanted to go back to attend 4 yr college full-time. So he agreed, found a higher paying job an hour away so she wouldn’t have to work. She earned her degree, they divorced, and since then she has been at a job that pays lower than any of her previous jobs.

She has the training and the smarts to get a job that pays significantly more. It would, however, mean working in a larger city, and be about 1/2 drive for her (where she held previous jobs), but for whatever reason she will not make the drive, or the move.

I’m not sure if all of that weighs in, but it seems it should. I would think if she could provide a better life for her child, she’d want to. Solving the financial disputes with her ex-husband will only provide relief in the form of reducing credit card debt or purchasing a car, which she wants to do, nothing long term.

At any rate, I’ve worked hard to save and establish a good life for myself and don’t want to give it up for vindictiveness by association. I love the little girl and will happily care for her in the event she needs it. This isn’t to keep support from a
child, but to assure shared responsibility on the part of the
parents. My boyfriend pays for child support, health insurance,
and after school care. He has her 50% of the time and feeds her,
takes her to movies, plays, themeparks, etc., just the same as
her mother, so I really just don’t understand the law, I guess.
Why the mother is seemingly more entitled.

To top it all off, his ex-wife claims the daughter as a tax
exemption on her taxes. I do not understand that at all. Is
that legal? With all that he pays, and considering he has her
50% of the time, it seems he should be able to claim her. Is
there any recourse?

Sorry to get so long here. I’d appreciate as much info you can give with the details provided.