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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 11-03-2016, 07:14 AM
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Exclamation DivorceMate and The Federal Child Support Guidelines Step-by-Step

In a shared custody example DM follows the example calculation from the CSG. This is an unfair distribution of child support.

The CSG example of Kaya and Peter on page 24 and 25 of the reference. The wording in the example is “Next, they decide to subtract the lower amount from the higher amount.” The language “they decide” is key here, and since their salaries are close, the error is minor, and there is no mention of spousal support so perhaps it is an acceptable overall solution. The example is prefaced with “Below is just one example of how you may determine a child support amount if you share custody.”

Example:
1 Child Shared custody in Ontario
Parent 1 income 107,000, Child support Table amount $935
Parent 2 income 53,000, Child support Table amount $479
Child support payment (by DivorceMate calculation) $935 - $479 = $456 from parent 1 to parent 2

analysis- Parent A transfers $456 from their $935 table amount leaving $479 for their shared parenting responsibilities. Parent B receives $456 to supplement their resource level ($479) giving them $935 for their shared parenting responsibilities. So parent A has a responsibility of $935 and is resourced to $479 where parent B has a responsibility of $479 and is resourced to $935. In this situation I proposed Child support amount of $228 which would leave both parents resourced at $707 in accordance with the Child support tables.

My mediator has made this non negotiable. I have to pay $935 because that is what DivorceMate says. Is this an unreasonable request? Does bad math over rule logic and fairness?

Please advise

Last edited by YGTBFJ; 11-03-2016 at 07:47 AM. Reason: phrasing correction
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:13 AM
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If you have 50/50 offset (offset is the key term here) then you pay the difference in the two amounts. If you have shared custody NOT offset then you pay full table.

Dont know where you get $228 from. Offset and full table are pretty clear.
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:21 AM
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For the mathematically inclined, offset is clearly unfair. There are a couple of posts on this forum that go through the calculations. However, be aware that judges are generally not mathematically inclined. Also be aware that many posters on this forum are also not mathematically inclined.

I will point out that mediators are not judges, and that they don't get decide what is negotiable and what is not.
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:30 AM
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Rockscan, Right, that is what I'm being told. Where does it say definitively however that this is "the way its done"? The math is incorrect. It reverses the resources. It is fundamentally wrong.
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:35 AM
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In this example $228 is HALF the offset so that both parents are resourced equally. 479+228=707 and 935-228=707.
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Old 11-03-2016, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YGTBFJ View Post
In this example $228 is HALF the offset so that both parents are resourced equally. 479+228=707 and 935-228=707.


I believe its to give the kids the benefit of both incomes together. The amounts are to keep child support even at both homes so the kids continue to enjoy a life as if there was no divorce--> kids should not suffer because of a decision made by their parents.

I don't make the rules, Im simply pointing out how a judge would calculate it. Mathematically inclined or not, judges at the superior court level don't waiver to prevent setting a precedent. The mediator may be telling you $956 because you don't have full offset custody. If thats the case, your battle is to get to agreed offset not setting amounts outside standards.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:22 AM
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Rockscan, In my example both table amounts are considered (for the benefit of the kids) and this is a 7/7 shared custody situation. My point exactly is that Child support amounts are not equal with offset. Half offset provides equality with each household at $707 in this example. How long has this been the way its done? Anyone paying offset for shared custody should be outraged. Is there a class action suit I can join?
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:46 AM
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Tayken posted a good case law here (end of the thread):


http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...custody-19563/
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:38 AM
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I've always thought half-offset was way more fair, with the added bonus of being part of a system that would allow for more smoothness of CS division with a variety of access times, not just weird jumps at 40 and 60.

But I imagine that judges and the rest believe that there is an underlying benefit to having the lower-income household receive the greater amount of CS, even in an evenly shared custody situation.

You could try changing the math explanation to see if that helps the mediator understand. Tell him/her to imagine that you pay your CS into a separate bank account, and your ex pays her CS into a separate bank account. Using your example numbers, that would put $935+$479=$1414 in the bank account every month. Now you each draw out half because you have shared custody. This gives you $707 each (as you noted above). So to skip the whole extra bank account, just have the higher income pay the lower the $228 amount.

As noted, though, a lot of people are afraid of math and get the shakes when asked to develop a deeper understanding of it. They would rather go with what they already understand than have to think about something new. That's why they invest heavily into software like DivorceMate to do the math for them, and never question the output.

You could search CanLII for half offset and see if anything pops up, but as far as I know, nobody has ever tried to stand up against it in any organized way. Nobody has the resources to do that. Most higher earners are still men, and it seems like they are just so thrilled to get the 50-50 custody that should be standard that they stop the fight there and accept the unfair offset system because they don't want to look more concerned with money than with their children.

Your mediator's job is to get you and your ex to agree. I'm guessing your ex isn't fair-minded enough to agree to half-offset when someone is right there telling her full offset is normal?
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Old 11-03-2016, 11:59 AM
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Janus,
A good thread you pointed out.

Rioe,
You have contributed quite a bit to the referenced thread. If Spousal support were not at play I may be inclined to agree with the full offset. At my numbers, which seem like an extreme difference of income, when the pie is all sliced, my spouse is at 55% NDI and I am at 45%. Furthermore, because section 7 is based on gross, i'm still responsible for over 60% of those expenses. My frustration grows. I find myself exactly in the situation described where you just agree because you have made some negligible ground.

So to your final point, yes, the question is posed to the other party, do you want more money or less money?

Last edited by YGTBFJ; 11-03-2016 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Oops
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