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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 05-15-2010, 05:53 PM
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Hi – first time poster here. I’m looking for feedback on my support agreement that we signed last year. Specifically, when we file for divorce (uncontested), will this agreement pass the reasonability test or should I expect trouble from the courts?
  • Child Support: We follow the federal tables
  • Spousal Support Amount: I pay her 3.75% of the difference between our base salaries annually (paid monthly)
  • Spousal Support Duration: 4 years (5/1/09 – 4/1/13)
  • Married: 7.5 years
  • Kids: 2 (7 + 5)
  • Custody: Shared 50/50
  • Childcare Expenses: Shared 50/50

Income - Me:
  • Total Income (Line 150): $171,606
  • Taxable Income (Line 260): $152,280
  • Total Taxes Payable (Line 435): $51,310

Income – Her:
  • Total Income (Line 150): $52,398*
  • Taxable Income (Line 260): $37,453
  • Total Payable (Line 435): 4,378
  • Universal Child Care Benefit (Line 117): $1,900
*included $2,400 in spousal support I paid her ($300/month from 5/1/09-12/1/09)




Child Support:
  • My number: $2,243.63
  • Her number: $753.00
  • Difference: $1,489.63
Spousal Support:
  • (My base salary – Her base salary) * 3.75% / 12
  • ($149,000 – $49,000) * 3.75 = $3,750 annually, or $312.50

Total Support:
  • $1,489.63 + $312.50 = $1,802.13
Thanks for your assistance.

If I have left out any pertinent information, please let me know...

Edit: We split all childcare costs, clothing, activities, etc. 50/50.
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Old 05-15-2010, 06:04 PM
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If a judge were to decide, then you would be sharing child care and other special expenses (e.g. sports, medical) proportionate to your incomes. Also the SS looks low but I'm not an expert on that area, so I don't know.

If you have both been abiding by the terms you lay out, and she is in agreement with them going forward, then the court will probably endorse your arrangement. A judge may ask the questions above, but more importantly, the court will probably be content that you have worked it out between the two of you and grant the divorce.
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:12 AM
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Much detail - However, is it more advantageous for each parent to claim primary residence of one of their children considering shared custody?

On the face, although shared custody - both children live primarily with the other parent.

Welcome to the forum...
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:59 AM
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I agree that the spousal support aappears a bit low, but then again we don't know the full situation.

Supposed to bring her up to 45% of the Net Disposable Income, but when you factor in CCTB/UCCB (appears the OP is allowing her to collect it for the full 12 months), Spousal, etc....it's probably pretty close.

He's in a much higher tax bracket than she would be.

Note on the activities...it appears that he is willing to split ALL activities/etc, regardless of whether they fall under the "special expenses" category or not.

As long as she's ok with it, looks alright to me.
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:53 AM
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Thanks for the assistance...

Given that this is year two of our separation, this is the first time we've had to alter the CS and SS amounts (since signing the SA). What do we need in the form of an agreement to the new terms? Thanks...
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:16 AM
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CS is supposed to increase or decrease according to the custody arrangements and the incomes of the parents automatically anyway. Most of the time it's written into a formal separation agreement to avoid having to return to court just to have it formalized.

If you DON'T automatically adjust it, you can be forced to pay it anyway at any time in the future. Automatically adjusting it saves you some pretty big financial headaches in the long run.

I would imagine agreement in writing between you is sufficient to show good faith.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:44 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

1) Would we need to have witnesses present and signing for this?
2) Does anyone have a link to sample templates?
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Old 05-17-2010, 05:04 PM
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I would recommend having a lawyer look over it. That is not something you want thrown out because one of you didn't get independant legal advice.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:50 PM
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Considering potential of EQ to spouse amount for each child ... I recommend you run the numbers by a CA. Heres why...

For tax year 2009, Line 305 - 10,320.00...substantial over years.

Split the CTB and increase periodic spousal (to reflect CTB Split)...which is also tax deductible.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:55 PM
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I put your numbers through the spousal support calculator but of course there is a ton of missing information - for example

(1) are there rotating or non rotating benefits?
(2) who pays for benefits such as medical dental etc? Perhaps one employer covers them and the other does not?
(3) are you basing your child support on your total income? it seems way too high - I based it on your base salary 149,000
(4) why the big difference between your base and total income? To get a proper calculation, an assessment of that income would be needed to determine whether support should be based on it ie did you receive a bonus or is it investment income?

Having said all that, here is my ballpark figure for you (and it is really a ballpark because of missing information)

You owe her between 300 and 600 more per month in spousal support than what you are paying.
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