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Old 02-01-2009, 12:08 PM
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Default Child Support and Spousal Support

Hi everybody. I told my wife of 15 years yesterday that I think it will better for both of us and our two kids if we are not married.

Anyway, I want at the bottom of my heart to share custody 50/50 and to let the kids continue to grow up in the same town with as little disruption as possible... but I fear that my wife will have none of it. So...

Thinking that we might be forced down the "normal" route of the kids living exclusively with her, full time, and having the courts decide how to distribute the household income, I'm trying to investigate what that distribution will look like.

I calculated the standard Child Support based on this table of simplified Ontario Child Support schedule. That's very straight forward.

Now I've also read in a number of places that Spousal Support is "more of an art than a science" but that a recent study shows that it normally aims to adjust the net household income to in our case 55% for the payee...

But what I can't figure out is whether that adjustment is after consideration of the Child Support. In other words, when I subtract the Child Support from my net monthly income and add it to her net monthly income, she's already at 65%...

I have a sinking feeling that Spousal Support is actually calculated without regard to Child Support. So in other words, if I want to calculate what I'll likely have left over each month, I should first adjust for Spousal Support, and the subtract the schedule amount for Child Support.

So my n00b question is: how are the two forms of support calculated?
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:39 PM
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First, 50/50 custody is your right, so don't give up on it. If you want meaningful input into the raising of the kids, you must have joint custody. If you have had a traditional marriage, where you work and she takes care of the kids, don't worry you will figure it all out in less than half a year and feel very comfortable with it all. To avoid loosing the 50/50 option (your right!), start right away with that and stick to it, if you start with something else less than 50/50, you may be stuck with it. If you really are not going to be married anymore, things are changing and part of the change is you take care of the kids half the time and work full time, as well as her. So initially stay in the house, (maybe each of you leave every other weekend to start the 50/50 thing), then decide who gets the house, or if you are going to sell it. Arrange for accomodation where you can each have the kids half the time, then start with that. Address how she will get back to working, maybe some retraining etc....

Second, you and your spouse can come up with any agreement that you want - but to make it binding (assuming it is reasonable), you need to have full disclosure, take care of the kids properly, and you should each have independent lawyers that advise you (of course if it is reasonable then they will say it is not and try to get a fight going...). DON"T LET A COURT or the LAWYERS tell you two how to divide up your family and raise your kids - that is crazy - but just be aware of what is normal - it will take both of you time to understand what is normal.

Third, CS is calculated first based on income, then SS is calculated second, and SS amount for NDI splitting is dependent on CS, so don't worry. CS is easy (just follow the tables - for 50/50 custody you use the set off method (look up each of your income amounts, give her the difference).

SS can be based on need and NDI (Net Disposible Income (after CS is factored in) - which I totally totally hate - its like being married - you work hard - they benifit - you don't work hard - they are detremented, and visa versa - who wants that. In cases where one spouse has permanent career damage due to the raising of the kids, SS can be based on need I suppose, but hopefully you can come with with something more 'business like' - see how each were damaged (you probably not, her perhaps), then compenstate her for that damage - which should be time limited as you can both work toward her career being totally reestablished. In this case SS can be based purley on what happened in the marriage, and not the future - you are separate! Just get used to the idea that CS is simple and based on actual current income and should be adjusted according to that (a lot of people seem to have a problem with this - have CS adjusted - but hopefully you can agree on a written method to automatically adjust it based on actual incomes without involving the courts - perhaps a minimum income can be enforced (for example if you loose your job, you wouldn't stop spending money on your kids (food, shelter, etc), you would have to reduce spending and live on credit or assets for a while until you got working again))

My SS to my ex is done this way - it was easy to assess the damage to her career and how long it SHOULD take to reestablish it, if things go normal and she works normal etc. So now I pay her a time limited SS and it was determined by where we were when we split and is not dependent on ANYTHING in the future! That is an end to the marriage and allows each of us to feel independent. NDI - yuck! We both agreed to this more independent method - but it was easy to calculate in our case. You both have to accept the fact that one will make more than the other at any point, but that is okay - you are not married anymore - a tougher pill to swallow for the one that makes less - probably her - but maybe not, it depends on the situation. But if you make more, and you are compensating her for the damage to her career, it should be looked at that she benifitted from your higher income level equally while you were together, and now that you are not together, that benifit goes away - assuming again that she is compesated for her loss and she was not a direct part making your career happen.

Regarding calculating SS before CS - this is what our method was (calculate SS (which was based on compensation and not need), then adjust incomes to after SS is transferred, then use that to calculate CS), but her lawyer said that the judge wants to see CS calculated first when we get the divorce done (I am not sure if this is true though) so I just did the math to reduce the SS accordingly so that it matched our original method in value. Note that SS is taxable by receiver and deducted by payor, and CS is not.

The main thing is that if you are fair, have it written down, and tell the lawyers and the courts that you don't need them, you will be dong a great service to yourselves and your kids.
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:01 PM
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Thank you SO MUCH for responding so quickly. That is a load off of my mind. Some of the calculations I was getting were very scary indeed.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:17 PM
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It is no longer considered "normal" for the mom to get sole custody, all the money. While gender bias is still present in the courts, gender equality is more the norm.

Any gender bias you might encounter is trumped research as to how the system works.

Hopefully the two of you can agree and avoid the courts. billm's post above is a very good one. He's completely right about the lawyers. They will create conflict to try and get you to fight and line their pockets in so doing.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:36 PM
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If your wife stayed home and raised the children then she is entitled to SS despite what dadtotheend says. He indicates a person who is quite bitter about his marriage ending.
I would suggest that you sit down and try to talk things out reasonably. I am sure you wife if in agreement to your marriage dissolution then perhaps you can work things out. Having children living in 2 different homes can be harmful to the children.
I can certainly understand why you would want to have that 50/50 split. But as Adults we often bicker over things that are important to us, and leave out what is really more important to the Children.
Talk about the children together as they are human beings and precious at that. Not as objects as dadtotheend seems to do. Perhaps the joint custody is a very good and realistic idea for your family but you must have a primary home and you must be careful because of schooling, after school events, friends of the children.
Often times children are ripped out of the home they grew up in because of selfish Adult fighting on who will have them more. Sit back and really think about it. Tell your wife she needs to do that same. I suggest they stay in the home they have grown up in, or if the house needs to be sold, then in the very same neighbourhood as they were living in. Damage to children from Divorce is often unseen and only shows up when the grown up. I can tell you this from my personal experiance. I grew up in a single parent home. Although when I got to know my father as a young adult he was abusive and not a nice person at all. He was a bitter man and was mean. I do not have any use for those kinds of people. I believe it is important for families to stay together if possible, but if you must part, then do not be like dadtotheend and be bitter. DO what is RIGHT for the CHILDREN and NOT YOURSELVES.
Remember your children will hold you accountable when you get older for the wrong choices you make for them today. So please think it over long and hard and talk with a counsellor, or a minister before you talk to the Lawyers.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deut7 View Post
If your wife stayed home and raised the children then she is entitled to SS despite what dadtotheend says.
Oh? What did DTTE say about that? I don't see anything in his post about entitlement to SS.

Cheers!

Gary
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:30 AM
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Seriously..??

This thread originated nearly 2 years ago, so your advice is pretty much useless at this point.

Try checking the date next time..
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deut7 View Post
I would suggest that you sit down and try to talk things out reasonably.
You mean like you did at post #9 here http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...-support-1497/ when you referred your ex's request for access to the lawyers?
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary M View Post
Oh? What did DTTE say about that? I don't see anything in his post about entitlement to SS.

Cheers!

Gary
No of course he would not. DTTE is only thinking of children as possessions. I rather doubt that he was much of a father until he heard the Courts say you will have to pay. Then he wanted something he helped to create. Sorry to say this but it is proven time and time again and not by me, Dads are normally in name only until their is a Divorce. then they want the precious little ones in an effort to lower their support obligations. What a shame that really is.
This is run primarily by men so you will think with the head between your legs instead of the one between your shoulders. Such a sad thing but true thing.

Sorry guys I know you are not all this way, but the Majority are and that is the simple truth.
Those like that make me laugh. You are so sad. If you want them, then want them always not just when a divorce comes around. You make me ill. and DTTE is makes me most ill. He is not a Dad he only thinks he is one. He fights to make himself look good but he does not appear to be good enough to be allowed alone around children. I would not allow him around my child. He is certainly not good enough and that is why his former wife is fighting him. If I could meet her, I would surely help her. She deserves all the help she can get to stay and keep her children free from his horrific biases and terrible ways.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deut7 View Post
...Dads are normally in name only until their is a Divorce. then they want the precious little ones in an effort to lower their support obligations.
...
Sorry guys I know you are not all this way, but the Majority are and that is the simple truth.
Those like that make me laugh. You are so sad. If you want them, then want them always not just when a divorce comes around. You make me ill. and DTTE is makes me most ill. ..
Deut7, I agree, you are ill.

On behalf of my father, myself, and my son - fu.
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