There are no good answers. A woman, after finding out she is pregnant, has the option of saying, "I don't want to be a parent" and choosing either abortion or making an adoption plan. Alternatively, she can opt to parent the child. A man, upon hearing a woman is pregnant (with his child) must wait to know her decision. If she chooses parenting and he wants to be a parent--great. If she chooses abortion or adoption and he's in agreement, that's good, too. There-in lies the issue. If she chooses adoption, and he wants to parent, he can petition for custody (then the tables might be turned on the issue such as that at hand from the OP--now mom might be paying dad child support because he's raising the child--whether or not she has anything to do with the child's day to day life unless there is a stepmother available to adopt). If she chooses abortion, and he wants the child--too bad, so sad. If she chooses to parent, and he does not want to parent a child with her or at this time, well that will affect him for the rest of his life, as well as the standard of living for his future wife and (wanted) children. Imaging wanting only to be a stay-at-home-mom but be unable to because he's paying child support to another child on the other side of the country whom he has never seen because of a one-night-stand or a failed relationship or a "friends with benefits" situation--so your income is necessary for your family's day to day life.
This is so offensive. Seriously? My ds is supposed to go without so some lady can be a SAHM? Thank goodness his dad won't marry someone like that since he actually does want to parent. Adults need to be able to handle disappointment, and if being a SAHM is that important, don't marry someone with another child.
That's why *I* didn't. I was actually engaged to some guy who had kids from a previous relationship, and I saw how much of his income went to that child. While I don't begrudge taking care of any child, I realized that if we were going to marry, unless I worked--and then I feared the state would compute my income in determining his child support--(ie, he earns $35K a year, I earn $40K a year, so they consider more of his income in the child support calculation) our standard of living would be way below the poverty line--but we wouldn't qualify for anything because our income was too high. By the way, the mother's income was about $30K per year--until she chose to quit her job and she was living with her boyfriend who made close to $50K. That is neither here nor there. Being a SAHM *was* that important to me. Having at least 2-3 children was important to me. I don't know if I'd have had even one child with him, unless it was a surprise. But, no matter how we worked the numbers, it would not work out. (Unfortunately, I married someone with aspirations of being a writer and who, since getting out of the army almost 8 years ago, refuses to work a traditional job until the whole writing thing takes off--so I don't get to be a SAHM, and I'll be (pleasantly) surprised if I get to be a SAHM by the time my youngest is in high school or college (can you tell I'm pissed about having to re-enlist--again. DH swore the last time was the LAST time).)
As for marrying someone with a child, what happens if the couple doesn't even find out about the child until after the marriage and when the wife is pregnant or the husband has an affair and gets the OW pregnant?
Why should the wife be financially punished for that (with the loss of her husband's income--money that should be going to the benefit of their family? I know someone (who didn't find out about the child until after she had children) and for her, seeing that child support check every month on the bank statement just upsets her, especially when she can't afford to buy her own children shoes.)
But, anyhow, the italicized portion was the important part I was trying to say. The part that (by the way, I'm sorry that phrase was deemed offensive. That was not my intention, it was more looking at it from another angle, which I explained above) was at the end was just an aside.
I beleive the bolded only happens in rare circumstances. I know it happened to a family member of mine b/c he kept using his wife's income as a reason to seek custody (ie, saying that he should have custody b/c he was married and his wife worked and so he could provide a better standard of living - the judge got sick of him being in court harassing his ex, so he calculated her income into the support amount).
And more importantly, why should a CHILD be punished because his dad got married and the new wife doesn't want to pay child support? People shouldn't have more children than they can afford - b/c the government can't exactly afford to support everyone's unlimited children either. I'm sorry, but looking at it from that angle almost makes it worse - adults are required to provide for their families. When its not financially feasible for mom to SAH, then thats too bad. There are mom's WITHOUT step-kids who can't afford to SAH, why should a child be denied financial support from a dad whose new wife wants to SAH? The CHILD needs to be supported. The WIFE can work.
As for the italicized part, no there are no good options, the system is not perfect. The system never has been perfect, and it probably never will be. However, creating a double standard where men can have sex all they want with no consequences, but women have to keep it in their pants or parent all alone is certainly not the answer. That would essentially legalize the already double standard of women are sluts and whores if they have more than one partner, but men are studs if they do the same.