Thanks for your question and good morning.
The child support folks cannot touch your wife's income here since she is not a parent and is not legally obligated in this situation..
The court here can order garnishment or payment of child support from you.It is important here for you to respond to the court filing and complete any financial information they request.That way they can certainly see that you have limited income here.
Also you may start to gather any proof you have that kids either lived with you or that you paid money here to the ex for the benefit of the children,The court may well allow you offset here based on the evidence that you present and reduce the amount of the arrearage,
You will have to respond here in writing to the court and judge in California if you want to reduce this here or even eliminate it .The court may well hear you evidence and testimony on the issues.Explain your circumstances here in writing and sign it and file it with the court.Again if you have evidence to support reduction it would benefit you to submit it for consideration as well.
Here is self help with forms to file your response here in California.
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Pursuant to California Family Code section 4058 gross income for purposes of child support "means income from whatever source derived". Subsection (1) specifically identifies social security benefits as included.
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