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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 10-12-2005, 12:36 AM
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Exclamation Child support payments vs. house

I am seperated and up to now have not visited any legal counsel. I ended the relationship and have tried very hard to do it amicably and fairly. My ex-husband has recently moved across the country to a high paying job, and has suggested that i keep my half of the house in place of support payments for 3 kids for approximately 3 years. In rethinking this scenario, I am not sure if I have agreed to the right thing and if it is in my best interest to continue with this agreement. I am not looking for an excessive amount of money and up until now, he has made no payments..(we agreed on $700/month) for the past nine months. i cant help but think there is another motive to his suggestion, but am not sure that by agreeing to this, I am actually making the wrong move. I am not in it for my own money interests, but am concerned about my three small children.
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Old 10-12-2005, 11:26 PM
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Hi marie and welcome to the forums!

I hate to be the one who says this, but I do think you should at least consult with a lawyer for an hour or two. I’m a big fan of people helping themselves during the divorce process, but generally it makes sense to spend an hour or two with a lawyer at the beginning just so you understand your legal rights and obligations. I know that lawyers are expensive, but the cost of an hour or two with a lawyer is small compared to the amounts of money involved in your case (a house, hundreds of dollars per month in child support, etc).

I’m generally not a big fan of this sort of deal. First of all, you can’t feed or clothe your kids with this, so it puts you in a tight financial situation. Second, if your husband’s income increases over the next 3 years, you won’t get any increase in child support as you would ordinarily be entitled to. Finally, if there does need to be a change in child support in the next 3 years, it may put your property division in jeopardy as your sort of mixing your division of property and child support together.

Ultimately, though you really just need to crunch the numbers. If the equity in the house is large enough that you come out ahead even when you take what I’ve just said into account, it may be worth it.
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Old 10-12-2005, 11:33 PM
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Jeff is right.
Crunch the numbers. Look at all your options. You can't eat a house. What ever you decide get it in writing such as a legal separation agreement.
If you decide to keep the house in lieu of child support, get his name off the deed. People have a tendancy over time to change their minds.
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