Can the wife recover any of the child support paid to the husband’s illegitimate child’s mother during the duration of the marriage in the divorce settlement?

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Can the wife recover any of the child support paid to the husband’s illegitimate child’s mother during the duration of the marriage in the divorce settlement?

We have been married for 18 years. My husband had an illegitimate child before our marriage which he didn’t tell me about. Over the course of 18 years he has paid out almost $120,000 in child support. As we both have supported our family jointly during our marriage I feel this financial burden has also affected my financial situation. What are the chances of recouping any of this money in divorce?

Asked on November 21, 2017 under Family Law, Iowa

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

What you are asking is if you have a dissipation of marital assets claim.  That depends on the entire set of facts and circumstances here and you should speak with your attorney about the difficulty in proving that. Understand, though, that child support is not an option to pay.  It is intended to make sure a child is taken care of by a parent rather than the state.  And the child is the innocent party so the courts may not view this as a dissipation but case law and tha facts will resolve that.  Know that if there is an order of support you have no leg to stand on. Good luck.


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