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  • Re-negotiation of child support

    My ex just formally asked that our income tax information is exchanged and the CS payment amounts need to be re-negotiated.
    50/50 custody and I am paying him an offset in child support.

    The seperation agreement in signed in Nov 2011 dealt with child support. It states that in June of every year, a party may ask for re-negotiation of support. However it also states the due to an injury in 2011, my ex's income was much lower than normal. As I supported him through his months of disability until he was back to work, the child support was based on his 2010 income levels.

    He is now working part time and making more than he did in 2010. He is requesting that the CS is calculated on the 2011 gross income - which would means 400/month more for me to pay him even though now he is making double what he did in 2011.

    Am I screwed? I can't afford to pay him more. And with the extra CS considering his current income, I will be in the poor house buying kraft dinner and visiting the food bank while he is enjoying his 2012 income and disproportionate CS.

    I had my lawyer draft the seperation agreement with the clauses on the income levels to try and avoid this situation.....

    I really cannot afford to hire a lawyer yet again.....

  • #2
    It is normal for CS payable in June2012-13 to be based on the 2011 income, because the tax return gives the 'most reliable, least arguable' numbers.

    Yes, it is a year lag, but will work out in the long run.

    Note that if his income goes down, he will be in the tight spot because of this lag. Hopefully he has heard of saving.

    Comment


    • #3
      the way i am reading it is that his income went down in 2011 but he still payed on his 2010 income which I am guessing was higher. He probably had a tough time of it then but he did it. Now its time for it to even out. The poster should of realized that this would happen and budget accordingly herself

      Comment


      • #4
        The thing to realize here is that NEXT YEAR, things will even out. He's making more now, so next time it's adjusted, those numbers get used and your payments adjust accordingly.

        You don't get to pick and choose what method to use on calculating based on what best suits YOU at the time. Pick a method and stick to it. By the absolute letter of the law, you should be adjusting EVERY PAY. But that is a HUGE pain in the ass, and the most common method is to use the prior years income tax assessment.

        However it also states the due to an injury in 2011, my ex's income was much lower than normal.
        His CS obligations SHOULD have been adjusted accordingly to what his disability/EI amounts were, NOT what he was "able" to make prior to his injury. You basically got a year of payments that were LOWER that they should have realistically been.

        In short, the ex is well within his rights to request it be recalculated, AND YOU have set the status quo by using his prior income from 2010 to do the 2011 support, rather than adjusting immediately for the amounts earned while injured. Last year it was in YOUR favor...this year it's in his. Problem is...what exactly???

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the responses and I completely agree with what everyone is saying if circumstances were as you describe.
          However, perhaps I did not explain the situation well enough:

          The seperation agreement was signed in Nov 2011, and that is when the offset CS payments began. He was back at work, earning an income.
          Earlier in the year, he was injured and off work for a few months. During that entire time - even though we were going through seperation, I was covering all the expenses for the kids, the house and paying his bills (i.e. even his cell phone bill and car payments).
          In Nov 2011, the CS was calculated on his 2010 income levels, with it explictly written in the agreement that in 2011, his income was low, but since I supported him through that, CS would be calculated on 2010 income levels. I was supporting him financially in all aspects during the period of his disability.

          Now, he wants to re-calculate CS payments based on a low 2011 income.

          It was never in my favor - I supported him fully until Nov 2011 when CS kicked in for the first time and the financial seperation occurred. There were no CS obligations while he was injured.

          Should the recognition in the agreement that his 2011 income should not be used for CS calculation carry through until next June?

          Comment


          • #6
            Typically, CS is based on last year's tax return, but you do have an argument to deviate from that. There is merit to argue that 2011 was a unique year due to an injury and it's in the best interest of the child(s) for CS to be based on his normal and current salary in 2012.

            Comment


            • #7
              2011 was a unique year where he was off work, he paid of his 2010 income which was higher than he was currently making... But now in 2012 he should be paying off his 2011 income and he happens to be making more than he did last year... Seems like there are double standards with the OP... She was okay with him paying off a high income when he made less but now she is upset he wants to pay off a low income when he makes more?

              You can't just decide what works for you, next year you will see the increase.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by inseperationhell View Post
                My ex just formally asked that our income tax information is exchanged and the CS payment amounts need to be re-negotiated.
                50/50 custody and I am paying him an offset in child support.

                The seperation agreement in signed in Nov 2011 dealt with child support. It states that in June of every year, a party may ask for re-negotiation of support. However it also states the due to an injury in 2011, my ex's income was much lower than normal. As I supported him through his months of disability until he was back to work, the child support was based on his 2010 income levels.

                He is now working part time and making more than he did in 2010. He is requesting that the CS is calculated on the 2011 gross income - which would means 400/month more for me to pay him even though now he is making double what he did in 2011.

                Am I screwed? I can't afford to pay him more. And with the extra CS considering his current income, I will be in the poor house buying kraft dinner and visiting the food bank while he is enjoying his 2012 income and disproportionate CS.

                I had my lawyer draft the seperation agreement with the clauses on the income levels to try and avoid this situation.....

                I really cannot afford to hire a lawyer yet again.....
                Let me see if I'm breaking it down correctly.

                You separated from your ex.
                He was injured in 2011 and could not work.
                You supported him because his 2011 income had dropped.
                Offset CS was calculated using his high 2010 income.
                He went back to work and his 2012 income rose again.
                He requested annual adjustment to CS, as per agreement, and it turns out to be based on his 2011 income.
                The number is unpleasant to you.

                From the sounds of it, yes I do think you are screwed, unfortunately. The clauses you put in to try to avoid the situation you're in appear to be cancelled out by the June adjustment clause.

                I think the main problem was that you supported him and paid his bills even post-separation, expecting reciprocity by the CS payment remaining based on 2010 income until he was back to work, and that just wasn't written into the agreement properly.

                Unless there's more wording in your agreement that you haven't mentioned yet, explicitly saying that CS adjustment was not to ever be lower than 2010 amounts due to your supporting him during his time off work, I don't see how his asking for the adjustment per the wording of your order is unreasonable.

                The big issue appears to be that you more or less paid him some SS in 2011, and it's not connected to the CS calculations at all. 2011 CS was based on 2010 incomes, and now 2012 CS will be based on 2011 incomes. Next year, you'll benefit when 2013 CS is based on 2012 incomes.

                The only thing I can suggest is that you calculate how much SS you paid him in 2011 to keep him solvent (add up all the bills you paid for him.) and then top his 2011 income up and drop yours by the same amount for the purpose of CS payments. Pay him offset accordingly, and if he doesn't like it, he can take you to court. More knowledgeable people than I can give you an idea how viable that would be in front of a judge.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, went to the lawyer. And yes, I am screwed because as Rioe alluded to - I played nice and supported him while we were seperated but before an official agreement was in place.

                  I played nice because I was trying to come out of an abusive relationship, was scared to death of him and had support at the time from others to keep me going.

                  Now I am out, the support dropped and he realizes he got me.

                  I am sitting at home alone this weekend missing my kids knowing that the kids have been shuttled off to grandparents for the whole weekend (that is typical of his custodial time).

                  I just hate the system...he gets a presumption of 50% custody, gets offset CS from me, lives off his parents, shuttles the kids off for sleepovers to relatives whenever he can (so he is not really taking care of them)... I now have to pay him 1000/month in CS when the kids are in reality with him no more than 10 days a month.

                  I know I could get a lawyer and fight for custody...I have the documented history....but when I am scratching my head as to how I will put food in the fridge when the kids are with me, I can't pay for a lawyer.

                  A note to everyone - if you ever encourage and push for someone to get out of an abusive relationship...make sure you are willing to be there on the other side. I was encouraged and now am completely on my own without help or support - not even moral, in a complete financial mess because I left....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    YOU ARE BETTER OFF NOW. It may not feel like it until after 1013's adjustment, but you'll catch up.

                    What did the lawyer say about my suggestion in the last paragraph? Do you go through FRO? If not, you could play hardball back at him that way.

                    The part about him foisting the kids off on his parents is sad, but doesn't change any CS calculations (though maybe you could pay the grandparents instead of to him! ha!), and hopefully they like their time with grandparents. As they get older, they'll realize which parent appreciates their company more, and choose their time accordingly.

                    Karma catches up, it's just the wait that's so painful.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you have all the documentation for extra SS you paid him (bills) you definitely should be credited with that. I think your situation sounds lousy and can understand how dejected you must feel. Providing support for the guy when he was injured and now having to pay too much must be infuriating to say the least.

                      You did the right thing in getting out of a bad relationship. If your friends have abandoned you then they really weren't good friends in the first place. I'd consider it just a cleaning-house phase of your life. Get a part-time job in a food service-related company and you can get some groceries/extra money. Good way to pass the time when your kids aren't with you.

                      Comment

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