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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 03-09-2013, 01:37 AM
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Default Trying to Find a Better Way (Child support)

As some of you may know I have been doing a lot of research into the Support Tables. And to no one's surprise... They Suck. They don't do what they are supposed to, and they can impoverishment a support payer. They don't respect the actual costs of the children, the actual money available to the the family, the minimum needs of the separated Family or who is absorbing the costs.

Not that it looks like any of us can do anything about it right now, but I think I've found a better way. (I attached a spread sheet to play around with at the bottom if you don't want to read my rational).

Here are the premises and rational I used to approach the problem of support for our children:

1) Parents should not have to pay support while under the poverty line.
If they can't support themselves it is pretty damn hard to support a child. While it is each parents responsibility to get the support for themselves (ie no extra support paid to get a parent up to or above the poverty line) they will not be responsible for the costs of the child while they are "poor".

In Canada we have an index called the "Lower Income Cut Off" or LICO this is the amount of money that it is assumed to be needed to Support yourself with your basic needs. I used numbers published from StatsCan for 2010 in my support calculator.

Only income above the LICO is considered for the support of the children.
2) The basic needs of the children must be met.
All available funds from the parents will be directed to the children through support until the children's basic needs have been met.

The LICO numbers are given for different Family sizes (1 thorugh "7 or more").

The Basic needs of the children are assumed to be the LICO for a single parent home - The LICO for an individual.
3) Costs of the children should be based on actual available funds.
Only Income above the LICO from both parents will be considered when calculating support.

When estimating the Costs of the Children I used the following Formula:

Code:
(Equivalence Scale of the Single Parent Family) - (Equivalence scale of an individual)
-------------------------------------------------------------------
(Equivalence Scale of the Single Parent Family) + (Equivalence scale of an individual)
This gave me a percentage of the available funds that are attributed to be costs of the children based on the number of children in a family
4) Equivalence scale must be appropriate
The ratios between the published LICO numbers give a good indication of how these costs should be estimated, and that is what I used.
5) Apportioning Support should be based on Access and Income
I used what I saw in the Australian support system which was Access % - Income %. A negative number means you have to pay support, a positive number means you receive support. Then you multiply the new percentage by the Amount that is being directed to the children, and this gives you the yearly support amount.
6) New children in each household must be supported as well.
The adjustment has a very minimal affect on the Support amounts, but there is a LICO amount calculated for each additional child in the new household and the Costs percentage is adjusted slightly to account for the other children that need to be supported.


You can still get some extreme support amounts, but that is usually where the family income is quite low and all available funds above the LICO are being used for the children and could theoretically bring a paying parent down to (but never below) the Poverty line.


Let me know what you think. The Sheet is protected, but if you want to see my Excel stupidity the password to unprotect it is 0000.
Attached Files
File Type: zip SingingDad's Support Calculator.zip (18.5 KB, 9 views)

Last edited by SingingDad; 03-09-2013 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:43 AM
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I am not involved in child support issues (thank goodness) but I found your proposal to be quite thought provoking. I wonder about the "New children in each household..." though, as I would tend to think that child support would be relative to only the children being supported. To put it simply, people have to think carefully about bringing children into the world if they can't afford to support the ones they already have. Before people jump to have blended families they should consider the reality of the impact on their current finances, rather than what they "hope" to give or receive. It also might be a kind of double-dipping perhaps?
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:08 AM
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The new children consideration has little effect on the amount of support paid unless you are at very low or very high income levels collectively. The adjustment for new children ensures that a parent is allotted a basic needs amount to keep that new child above the poverty line, and has a very slight adjustment in the "Costs of the Children" to account for some of the spending on the new child. I even took into consideration that 1/2 of the basic needs amount and 1/2 costs for the new child would be the responsibility of (presumably) another adult living in the family.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:20 AM
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And thanks for responding...
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:46 AM
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I have not checked out your math regarding your support model. I'd be interested to see some specific examples of the tables vs your method.

Personally as a mid to high income family, I find the table amounts to be reasonable (when access is 0% by the the NCP).

I agree with the idea that all children of the payor need to be considered.

I agree that access costs for children should be considered when access is less than 40%. I think the easiest is to base it on overnights.

Quote:
If they can't support themselves it is pretty damn hard to support a child. While it is each parents responsibility to get the support for themselves (ie no extra support paid to get a parent up to or above the poverty line) they will not be responsible for the costs of the child while they are "poor".
This does not sound right to me. If both parents are 'poor', the child is not entitle to support from both parents? I disagree. Children are not to be taken care of with whatever is left over after a parent takes care of themselves. Rather it should be the other way around.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billm View Post
This does not sound right to me. If both parents are 'poor', the child is not entitle to support from both parents? I disagree. Children are not to be taken care of with whatever is left over after a parent takes care of themselves. Rather it should be the other way around.
If both parents are poor then maybe they should make some better choices in life, like getting a better job, another job or whatever. Or unless they can support the child, dont have one or more.

Who ends up supporting the child? The CP is stuck with all the expenses while the NCP gets off scot free??

I think the whole poverty aspect should be taken out, kids need support from both parents.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:49 AM
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Quote by billm "Children are not to be taken care of with whatever is left over after a parent takes care of themselves. Rather it should be the other way around."

^ EXACTLY ^
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:16 PM
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EDIT: Now that I have looked at some of this. I'm going to adjust somethings. The "Flat rate below" creates potentially really high support amounts at lower/mid range incomes.

The increase in the basic personal amount ($10820 to $19496) doesn't change support levels that much especially in 100% access situations. In fact in 100% situations (All income from one parent, and that parent has no access) That parent frequently pays more in this system.

With the premise that the children's basic needs get taken care of first it creates a "flat rate" of support that is needed for a range of incomes.

Once the basic needs have been taken care of, then the formula equalizes standard of living.

Last edited by SingingDad; 03-09-2013 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadenough View Post
Quote by billm "Children are not to be taken care of with whatever is left over after a parent takes care of themselves. Rather it should be the other way around."

^ EXACTLY ^
And that would still be true. A parent would still spend money on their children when they were in their care (they would have to). My point is that requiring a support payment that pushes an individual further below the poverty line is not reasonable.
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:38 PM
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Ok Final Version. Unfortunately I seem to have lost my ability to edit my posts.

I smoothed out the changes between Low-Mid-High Income ranges and Simplified the Support calculator (also took out the extra kids part).

The situation that is shown when you open the file is one that highlights one of the main differences between the current Method for Child Support and the what I am suggesting.

Right now a Low income parent with minimal access is still required to pay support even though they are below the poverty line. In the method I am suggesting That low income parent actually receives support from the higher income Parent who has most of the access. Not a lot, but enough to make a difference in the child's visits with that parent.
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File Type: zip SingingDad's Alternate Support Calculator.zip (96.1 KB, 9 views)
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