A person who has children in two different relationships has to pay child support using the Federal Child Support Guidelines for each separate household. The amount of child maintenance the payor pays to the first household is included in the calculation pursuant to the guidelines but it still results in a higher amount of child maintenance than one would pay if the number of children were combined.
For example, if the payor earns $100,000 and has 3 children in their first marriage and 2 children in their second the payor will be required to pay $1,923 to their first spouse and $1,478 to their second spouse for a total of $3,401.
If the 5 children were all from the same relationship the payor would only be required to pay $2,591 to their first spouse.
The payor can argue that this payment causes undue hardship but the threshold for succeeding with an undue hardship claim is very high. It may be possible to meet if the payor also has significant debt resulting from one or both of the relationships.
Deborah A. Todd