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Standard of Living vs. Undue Hardship

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  • Standard of Living vs. Undue Hardship

    I've got a question and curious as to the experience on this forum.

    I have 50/50 access & joint custody. As a result, I pay offset CS as I am the higher income earner. However, both our homes currently have an equivalent standard of living before CS come into the question. As a result, despite my higher income, my standard of living is lower.

    From what I understand, I must 1st prove undue hardship before they consider standard of living? Is that the case? To be clear, I know that I do not meet that threshold, but it seems wrong to create a situation were you are creating an un-equal standard of living?

    Curious as to what the norm is here.

  • #2
    Standard of Living...

    That is subjective and depends on what you consider or what you have used to personally determine that each household is equal. The law just cares about your annual income. I am willing to bet many parents on this forum paying CS have stories that their ex receives more money per month than they do. My ex is and has a house worth 3 x more than mine, drives a fancy car, takes vacations and drops the kids off to me whenever he wants (I never say no), yet I pay child support because I make 35K more than he does. I pay more in taxes and monthly fees (parking, pension, union dues, medical and dental) at work so my take home is less than his. I think you have to be living in a box before the courts will determine you are experiencing "undue hardship".

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    • #3
      Lots of people pay child support to a house with a higher standard of living even though they have shared custody. It isn't fair, but it is hard to fight.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the feedback. It's a tough pill to swallow since it isn't fair. In my case, my ex stopped working and managed to find a doctor to sign a note or a "golden ticket". She gets to avoid work and I have to provide increased support to cover the shortfall (we are 50/50).

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        • #5
          Standard of Living

          If ex has quit working how is her standard of living higher?

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          • #6
            Household income is what I am referring to. My ex can afford to not work as she is getting benefits and I'm covering the shortfall. Her new partner makes significantly more so she doesn't have much incentive to work.

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            • #7
              Imputed income?


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mom2414 View Post
                Imputed income?


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                That would be my best suggestion.

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                • #9
                  She has a medical note. At best you are looking at a $10-20k imputed income, which won't make much of a difference.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the input. My situation is that mom doesn't want to work and found a doctor to sign off. She is re-married and her spouse makes good money (I don't have a problem with this, all the better for my child) and they can afford to have her not work. However, ex now expects me to top up CS as a result and the courts agree with this, since her spouses income doesn't come into play.

                    I'm sure as a support payer (i am in a 50/50) this would never fly.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gilligan View Post
                      Thanks for the input. My situation is that mom doesn't want to work and found a doctor to sign off. She is re-married and her spouse makes good money (I don't have a problem with this, all the better for my child) and they can afford to have her not work. However, ex now expects me to top up CS as a result and the courts agree with this, since her spouses income doesn't come into play.

                      I'm sure as a support payer (i am in a 50/50) this would never fly.


                      So a doctor put their licence on the line just because your ex doesnít want to work? She must be pretty special for a doctor to risk their licence over her... or maybe itís the truth she canít work. I guess I just donít know many doctor who would risk their livelihood because someone doesnít want to work.

                      Sorry itís tough but regardless of her standard of living because of her new partner, that has no baring on what you pay. If you had a new partner would you be okay including her income for cs purposes?


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                      • #12
                        Well, having lived with this person for some time and witnessed some very questionable doctors notes, I can certainly attest that "it happens".

                        I have no problems whatsoever comparing my standard of living (including my spouse). Isn't that the point, there shouldn't be a disparity for the child between the two homes.

                        Doesn't this seem like a double standard? You get married and you are "economic partners". So why isn't people's "economic standard of living" considered? Both my ex and I are remarried and have 50/50 joint custody.

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                        • #13
                          My partners ex HAS argued that our household income and our standard of living is unfair. A judge told her to get over herself.

                          This is an unfair situation but its one many people find themselves in. Either you fight it with a realistic argument on her ability to work or you try to come to an agreement outside court. If you self rep the only thing you lose is costs if unsuccessful. Or you simply let it go, buckle down and do this for your kids and count down the years to when its over.

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                          • #14
                            You are talking all over the place, but your only concern seems to be with the cs table amounts.

                            Your ex is on LTD for more than 2 years, which means she is catastrophically disabled - while receiving about 80% of her salary. You said she may also be receiving CPPD which means she's getting even more income. All of which is grossed up and added to her cs amount. I receive both and pay cs/ss as well. You're already paying offset. She's either making the same as before or a little less, either way the change to support would be minimal.

                            She has a medical note. At best you are looking at a $10-20k imputed income, which won't make much of a difference.
                            My ex had a couple medical notes saying she can't work, but was still imputed full time minimum wage. It should have been more, but a specialist is needed at trial to match education/experience with a proper income.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Berner_Faith View Post
                              So a doctor put their licence on the line just because your ex doesnít want to work? She must be pretty special for a doctor to risk their licence over her... or maybe itís the truth she canít work. I guess I just donít know many doctor who would risk their livelihood because someone doesnít want to work.
                              A doctor can write a note to someone if the don't feel like working saying the person cannot work due to medical reasons. This will not put their licence on the line.

                              Let's say I go into the doctors office and complain about lower back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome from typing. My doctor will listen to me complain about how painful it is for me to work and how I feel the pain is so severe I cannot work. Then the doctor will write a note saying based on my reported symptoms I cannot work. That is all the court needs. Then it is a flip of a coin on if the court will agree (mostly they do) or not agree.

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