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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 02-15-2007, 03:40 PM
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Question child and spousal support

My ex husband and I have shared custody (50/50), how do we calculate child and spousal support? I see the federal and provincial charts for child support and it says on the webiste that for shared custody the spousal support should be the net disposable income shared 50/50, but how do the two supports (child and spousal) work out? Are the two separate amounts? In the States, child support is paid until children leave school and spousal support is only paid for half the duration of the years of the marriage. Are the two supports worked out differently and if so how long does he have to go on paying for?

Does spousal and/or child support take into account having to pay rent? In other words, does the spouse who earns more have to provide a housing for spouse and kids (in shared custody agreement pointed out above) on top of spousal and child support he pays?
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:16 PM
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It is my understanding that if you have 50/50 shared custody there is no child support paid to the other parent.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:05 PM
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I believe that may be incorrect, as I understand it each parent pays the other according to thier respective income. As per the tabled amount, result is higher income parent pays what I believe is refered to an offset amount. I might add that is if your are forunate, it could be full table amount in some cases, there are a variety of scenerios that could play out, but it is certainly safe to say the higher income parent pays. There is plenty of information on the forums if you want to do a search.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:24 PM
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Catherine M,

as you mentioned,

As a starting point, Child Support for 50-50 time sharing arrangements by the following example for one child:

Parent A earns 60,000 per annum

Parent B earns 50,000 per annum.

Using the Ont child support calculator downloadable at this link

http://download.jupiter.come2store.c...ator2_2007.xls

Parent A would pay $557.00 per month
Parent B would pay $462.00 per month

Now subtract the difference to calculate the offset amount of child support which is $95.00. The parent with the higher income pays the $95.00 as child support to the lower income parent.


For Spousal Support and applying the Advisory Guidelines as listed:
6.7.1 Shared custody

Where the spouses have shared custody, the starting point for the calculation of child support under s. 9(a) of the Federal Child Support Guidelines has been the straight set-off of table amounts for the number of children subject to shared custody, based upon current appeal decisions.

That amount is then adjusted, usually upwards, but occasionally downwards, based upon s. 9(b) (increased costs of shared custody) and s. 9(c) (other circumstances, including actual spending, assets and debts, etc.).

Under the basic formula, we deduct the child support paid from the payor’s income and then we deduct that child support amount paid plus a notional amount for child support from the recipient’s income, to obtain individual net disposable income.

Shared custody requires some changes to this basic formula.

Assume for the moment that the payor is paying only the straight set-off amount of child support in a shared custody case. If we were only to deduct the smaller set-off amount of child support for the payor spouse in a shared custody situation, that would misrepresent and understate the payor parent’s contribution to child support. Shared custody assumes that both parents spend directly upon the child in their shared care. We would propose that the full table amount (plus any s. 7 contributions) be deducted from the payor spouse’s net disposable income. For the recipient, we would deduct the notional table amount (plus any contribution to s. 7 expenses). This would be done in the calculation of INDI, even though the child support paid by the payor and received by the recipient would be the straight set-off amount.

To make matters more difficult, courts often increase the amount of support beyond the straight set-off amount, sometimes to reflect the increased costs of shared custody (or the respective abilities of the parents to incur those increased costs) and sometimes to adjust for the recipient parent’s larger share of actual costs. Occasionally, an amount lower than the set-off will be ordered. The determination of child support in shared custody cases remains uncertain and controversial. The Supreme Court of Canada has heard an appeal from Contino v. Leonelli-Contino and that decision may provide some greater guidance on the interpretation of s. 9.

In the meantime, there remains the question of what the with child support formula should do in a shared custody case where a court orders either more or less than the straight set-off amount. For now, we suggest that no adjustment should be made in either case and that the individual net disposable income for the payor and the recipient be calculated as described above. This method of calculation may have to be changed after the decision in Contino.

If we follow the method of calculation described above, it turns out that the spousal support ranges are basically the same in these shared custody situations as in sole custody situations. Shared custody arrangements do not result in any lowering of spousal support. A typical shared custody example can demonstrate this result.

Example 6.4

Peter and Cynthia have separated after nine years together. Peter works as a reporter at the local television station, earning $65,000 gross per year, while his wife Cynthia works for a local arts organization, earning $39,000 gross per year. First, assume their two children, aged 8 and 7, are in the sole or primary custody of Cynthia. Peter’s table amount of child support would be $879 per month, Cynthia’s $557 per month. Assume no s. 7 expenses. Under our proposed formula, assuming entitlement, which may be contested in this case, Peter would pay spousal support to Cynthia in the range of zero to $302 per month. (At zero spousal support, Cynthia would have 42.7 percent of INDI.)

But what if Peter and Cynthia shared custody, say on a week about, 50/50 basis? First, assume Peter only paid the straight set-off amount of child support, i.e. $879 – $557 = $322. We would still deduct from Peter’s income the full table amount of $879 and we would still reduce Cynthia’s income by her notional table amount of $577, but Cynthia would now be receiving only $322 per month, an amount removed from her income (no longer the full $879 paid in the sole custody setting). The result would be the same range for spousal support as above, zero to $302 per month.

I am fine tuning an advisory spousal support calculator which is about 95% complete. I will have available for download shortly.

lv
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherine M
My ex husband and I have shared custody (50/50), how do we calculate child and spousal support? I see the federal and provincial charts for child support and it says on the webiste that for shared custody the spousal support should be the net disposable income shared 50/50, but how do the two supports (child and spousal) work out? Are the two separate amounts? In the States, child support is paid until children leave school and spousal support is only paid for half the duration of the years of the marriage. Are the two supports worked out differently and if so how long does he have to go on paying for?

Does spousal and/or child support take into account having to pay rent? In other words, does the spouse who earns more have to provide a housing for spouse and kids (in shared custody agreement pointed out above) on top of spousal and child support he pays?

First, let me congratulate the both of you for going 50-50. Kudos all around. Yeah!

Second, never, ever, never involve the judges or the courts. Only use the judge to grant the divorce. You can do EVERYTHING yourselves.

Third, never, ever, never use lawyers. Unless you need a second opinion... but be careful. They can move you in a direction away from common sense. And they drain bank accounts - money certainly needed elsewhere at a time of divorce.

Fourth, set deadlines. Have everything resolved in 6 months or less.

Finally, it is very hard for us third-party folks to give advice when we know nothing of the entire situation. Number and age of children, careers, expenses, income, equalization, etc., etc., etc.

Remember that you can do whatever you both want, as long as you both agree. Perhaps you and your ex could sit down, look at all day-day expenses (rent, etc) for each of you and come up with a plan. If you need some guidance, use the set-off approach for child support. Make note too of you is claiming the deductions, who is getting the tax benefits, and so on. Spousal support is a little more tricky since there are so many factors involved. Again, not knowing your incomes, length of marriage, etc., hard to give a ball park. It should be though a reasonable amount and with some type of termination (time, remarriage, cohabitation, serious dating) and expectation of use.

Your last question is interesting. When a figure is determined for support(s), it is up to the recipient to provide all the basics of life. So, indirectly support pays for rent, etc. But it is not a one-one ratio. You have to provide your share of the costs. So, child support is not a payment to set the kids up cost free to you. Don't forget, your ex also has to set up a place for them when the kid(s) are with him. The same goes for spousal. Unfortunately recipients begin to feel that way and that's when the quagmire of courts and lawyers deplete the bank accounts.
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Everest369
It is my understanding that if you have 50/50 shared custody there is no child support paid to the other parent.
That would make too much sense. And we must not have predicability in our family laws. How would the lawyer's eat?

Although that would certainly fuel even bigger custody battles. Always remember: kids = cash.
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:38 PM
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Question child and spousal support - more questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalvelocity
Catherine M,

as you mentioned,

As a starting point, Child Support for 50-50 time sharing arrangements by the following example for one child:

Parent A earns 60,000 per annum

Parent B earns 50,000 per annum.

Using the Ont child support calculator downloadable at this link

http://download.jupiter.come2store.c...ator2_2007.xls

Parent A would pay $557.00 per month
Parent B would pay $462.00 per month

Now subtract the difference to calculate the offset amount of child support which is $95.00. The parent with the higher income pays the $95.00 as child support to the lower income parent.


For Spousal Support and applying the Advisory Guidelines as listed:
6.7.1 Shared custody

Where the spouses have shared custody, the starting point for the calculation of child support under s. 9(a) of the Federal Child Support Guidelines has been the straight set-off of table amounts for the number of children subject to shared custody, based upon current appeal decisions.

That amount is then adjusted, usually upwards, but occasionally downwards, based upon s. 9(b) (increased costs of shared custody) and s. 9(c) (other circumstances, including actual spending, assets and debts, etc.).

Under the basic formula, we deduct the child support paid from the payor’s income and then we deduct that child support amount paid plus a notional amount for child support from the recipient’s income, to obtain individual net disposable income.

Shared custody requires some changes to this basic formula.

Assume for the moment that the payor is paying only the straight set-off amount of child support in a shared custody case. If we were only to deduct the smaller set-off amount of child support for the payor spouse in a shared custody situation, that would misrepresent and understate the payor parent’s contribution to child support. Shared custody assumes that both parents spend directly upon the child in their shared care. We would propose that the full table amount (plus any s. 7 contributions) be deducted from the payor spouse’s net disposable income. For the recipient, we would deduct the notional table amount (plus any contribution to s. 7 expenses). This would be done in the calculation of INDI, even though the child support paid by the payor and received by the recipient would be the straight set-off amount.

To make matters more difficult, courts often increase the amount of support beyond the straight set-off amount, sometimes to reflect the increased costs of shared custody (or the respective abilities of the parents to incur those increased costs) and sometimes to adjust for the recipient parent’s larger share of actual costs. Occasionally, an amount lower than the set-off will be ordered. The determination of child support in shared custody cases remains uncertain and controversial. The Supreme Court of Canada has heard an appeal from Contino v. Leonelli-Contino and that decision may provide some greater guidance on the interpretation of s. 9.

In the meantime, there remains the question of what the with child support formula should do in a shared custody case where a court orders either more or less than the straight set-off amount. For now, we suggest that no adjustment should be made in either case and that the individual net disposable income for the payor and the recipient be calculated as described above. This method of calculation may have to be changed after the decision in Contino.

If we follow the method of calculation described above, it turns out that the spousal support ranges are basically the same in these shared custody situations as in sole custody situations. Shared custody arrangements do not result in any lowering of spousal support. A typical shared custody example can demonstrate this result.

Example 6.4

Peter and Cynthia have separated after nine years together. Peter works as a reporter at the local television station, earning $65,000 gross per year, while his wife Cynthia works for a local arts organization, earning $39,000 gross per year. First, assume their two children, aged 8 and 7, are in the sole or primary custody of Cynthia. Peter’s table amount of child support would be $879 per month, Cynthia’s $557 per month. Assume no s. 7 expenses. Under our proposed formula, assuming entitlement, which may be contested in this case, Peter would pay spousal support to Cynthia in the range of zero to $302 per month. (At zero spousal support, Cynthia would have 42.7 percent of INDI.)

But what if Peter and Cynthia shared custody, say on a week about, 50/50 basis? First, assume Peter only paid the straight set-off amount of child support, i.e. $879 – $557 = $322. We would still deduct from Peter’s income the full table amount of $879 and we would still reduce Cynthia’s income by her notional table amount of $577, but Cynthia would now be receiving only $322 per month, an amount removed from her income (no longer the full $879 paid in the sole custody setting). The result would be the same range for spousal support as above, zero to $302 per month.

I am fine tuning an advisory spousal support calculator which is about 95% complete. I will have available for download shortly.

lv
Thanks for the advice, though I admit to not understandding most of it. Is there any way you could reply in layperson's language? Is spousal support a separate amount to child support? Does one support last longer than the other? For example, child support, I understand, lasts until children finish school. How long does spousal support last? Is it linked to years of marriage? We have been married 13 years, have two children shared 50/50 custody and he earns around 3 - 4 times as much as me.

Catherine M
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:18 AM
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Catherine M,

as you mentioned,

Quote:
Is spousal support a separate amount to child support?
Yes. Child support is calculated using the child support guidelines and amount is Dependant on the custody regime prevailing. Spousal support is determined by basically that one party has means and the other has need.

Quote:
Does one support last longer than the other?
It is Dependant on the facts of the case. At any time one party can bring forth litigation on the grounds of a material change of circumstances.

Quote:
For example, child support, I understand, lasts until children finish school.
Yes usually child support is payable until the child obtains their first post secondary degree or diploma. However, if the child withdraws from parental control, child support would end.

Quote:
How long does spousal support last?
Good question but it could be indefinite. Duration of such is Dependant on the facts. Again, a party could bring forth action to cease on the grounds of a material change of circumstances.

Quote:
Is it linked to years of marriage? We have been married 13 years, have two children shared 50/50 custody and he earns around 3 - 4 times as much as me.
I do suspect that you have need and the other has means due to the differences in income. I suspect spousal support could be payable until the youngest child graduates high school as you length of marriage is under 20 years. However, your own education and ability to support yourself will also be considered. Rulings on this issue are all over the place.

lv
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:26 PM
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Question Wow, thanks for some real answers!

Thank you so much for being so clear in your answer. I live in Africa (but am Canadian) and it have been very difficult to get answers and very scary thinking i might make some big mistakes. I really appreciate you sending me such clear answers.

A few more questions:

Should the agreement we sign be open ended in terms of length of time?

Would the agreeement differentiate between the two supports to be paid? In other words, would it state a figure for child support and another figure for spousal support or would the two figures be lumped together?

Thanks

Catherine M
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:32 PM
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Catherine M,

as you mentioned,

Quote:
Should the agreement we sign be open ended in terms of length of time?
Most separation agreements form all or part of the Divorce and often survive once the divorce has been granted. The terms of the agreement are basically up to the parties.

Quote:
Would the agreement differentiate between the two supports to be paid? In other words, would it state a figure for child support and another figure for spousal support or would the two figures be lumped together?
Yes. Keep the two supports separate. Reason being is child support is not taxable to the recipient where as periodic spousal support is tax deductible in Canada for a payor.

In consideration that you live in Africa and your ex spouse may live in Canada, it is more difficult to calculate the offset child support. The tables factors the province of residence when concluding a table amount of child support payable. Each province has their own respective tables due to different tax rates.

lv
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