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How do you calculate SS and CS?

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  • How do you calculate SS and CS?

    Hello All,

    I'm hoping some of the more math minded may be able to explain where I went wrong.

    I'm trying to calculate a 'what if' situation and the numbers don't make sense. As well as why is it that if I earn more, that the CS payments don't increase in line with what I earn?

    When I calculate CS and SS under "shared" custody I pay an extreme amount of SS (in this case 600+). If I use "spouse" custody, I pay way less SS (under 60$).

    In both cases CS stays the same at 1139$.

    For sake of simplicity, I'm using the following;

    Website: (they advertise being the only ones to use Divorce Mate in their calculations, and only correct one)

    My income: 75K
    Spouse : 10K
    Kids : S14 and D12
    Married 10 Years.

    My main reason is I'm trying to see if it's financially worth applying for an opportunity at work, and if it's worth the stress.

  • #2
    Do you have confirmation you will be paying ss?

    Do you have off-set with 50/50?

    If you have a SS agreement, is there something in it to have your ex become self sufficient?

    Donít sacrifice your career because you donít want to pay your ex. If you are going to be aging out of cs in 8-10 years that amount will go down. If you have some self sufficiency for your ex then that number will go down. In 10 years, will this decision to not go for a promotion impact your earning potential, other opportunities and/or pension?

    I think this is two decisions...whatís best for my finances and whatís best for my future. One may be painful now but better in the long term.


    • #3
      I had to make this call a few years back when I received a job offer close to doubling my salary. Yes, I paid more child support but I still took way more money home. But I was also not required to pay any SS.

      Use also income tax calculator and see how much of a difference there is in your clean home take cash.

      If it's an extra 200 dollars, it's not worth the added stress on you for your ex to benefit from. Your child will likely not see any benefit from your side but a stressed out dad.

      BUT, as rockscan stated, is the career move one that will enhance your career? If so, go for it. For me, I thought it was but the department I moved into had to downsize and I was ultimately laid off. So for me, it would have been better to stayed at the original position . BUT, it all worked out because now I don't have to pay any child support and can go back to finish University full time.

      Trust and go with your gut feelings and what feels right thing to do at the moment.

      Trust your instincts.


      • #4
        I am currently paying SS, and do not have 50/50 offset as the kids are not with me 50/50. In my agreement we have a clause that she should try to find work or SS is terminated.

        Yes, it would be an advancement of my career and we are also facing downsizing. We've had a few people take early retirement and that created openings in long established positions.

        I don't worry about paying SS or CS, as Tunnelight mentioned I was looking at what my remaining net income would be. I agree it's just one point in the pro / con column.

        What I don't understand is how it calculates the SS numbers. I thought that if we had 50/50, then I would pay less SS. In this case, it looks like the less you have your kids the less SS you pay.


        • #5
          Originally posted by rockscan View Post
          I think this is two decisions...whatís best for my finances and whatís best for my future. One may be painful now but better in the long term.
          I had a brief conversation with my lawyer about this yesterday- because I've been offered an opportunity for advancement and significantly more salary. But my lawyer said based on what he's seen- I should be prepared for my ex to fight harder for shared custody so I would be paying him set-off CS. And I was wondering if it would drive my ex to seek SS where he wasn't before. He said it might. But because we were married <5years, he'd be hard pressed to get it. He was very candid about the fact that when CS flows to the household with more $$$- it makes things much harder to settle.

          He advised me to take the job anyways- because it's a significant career advancement. He said just try to hold off on the start date. lol.

          All this to say- to the OP- I feel your pain.


          • #6
            To Asphense...

            I'm not 100% but I think the reason that ss drops as you get less time with kids is....

            The system prioritizes child support over spousal support (as if it really is any different at the end of the day lol). I suspect if the government had its way the higher income earner would pay 50% of their net as CS and the other 50% as SS. Unfortunately, that would result in the death of the payor and the end of the gravy train.

            So, if you have the kids less, then CS goes UP which usually means SS goes down (remember, the government needs to leave you a few crumbs to keep you alive to continue as a slave to your ex). By the same token, I've heard that if CS stops (ie the kids age out), then SS can INCREASE since you have more money. Did you really think you deserve to actually keep the money YOU worked hard for lol ?

            Yes, I'm really bitter about this effin corrupt and evil family law system. I so totally regret the decision to get married - I'm actually furious at myself for being so stupid as to put myself in this type of financial danger in the first place - it will never happen again that's for sure.

            Anyway, hope things work out for you. I would urge you to fight hard for a HARD end date so you won't be bleeding SS to your ex until you're dead....


            • #7

              You ask a great question and I see no one has answered it.
              Not only will I answer it but I will recommend a course of action for you.
              You don't say where you live but I'll assume Ontario.

              Children Living with your spouse

              She gets 16,160 in family benefits

              Children Shared
              She gets 8,524 in family benefits
              You get 2,935 in family benefits

              Your next question may be why do we combined get less government benefits than she does alone? The reason is because of our corrupt family court system. Child benefits are calculated based on your net income. She gets her proper benefits based on shared custody but you get less because your income goes over some thresholds and your benefits are cut back.

              So what happens with shared custody is this
              She gets 636 less per month
              You get 244 more per month
              A difference of 392 per month less in benefits.

              To make up that difference you pay her about 540 more in spousal support so you split the loss in income.
              Her (636) + 540 - 50 (approx tax she will pay) = (146) less for her
              You 244 - 540 + 130 (approximate tax break) = (166) less for you

              So you're both losers and the government pockets the money and thanks you very much for your contribution to the national debt.

              Recommended course of action

              1. Pay full child support and keep spousal support as low as possible.
              2. Do not ask for shared custody and do not ask for offset.


              Under 1, you get more money for both of you
              Under 2, you get less money for both of you AND you don't ask for offset because she will just ask for more spousal support. It is alot easier to get rid of child support than it is to get rid of child support so pay more child support and less spousal support.

              In other words, don't change anything otherwise you will regret it.

              PS The way to solve this problem is for child support to be taxable to the recipient and tax deductible for the payor. Then benefits would be calculated equally because your net incomes would reflect your actual pre-tax income. This is the way it was before it was stupidly changed. I won't go into why it was changed in 1997- that is another story entirely.

              You're welcome.
              The Accountant.


              • #8
                Hey Accountant, I have a question.

                Couple married 25 years. He is a Financial Advisor. She was a a stay at home mom. They separated and divorced only 2 yeas ago and the youngest of two children has graduated university and is no longer a dependant.

                Mom thinks her SS should increase because Dad no longer has to pay CS therefore he makes more.

                I say no.



                • #9
                  she could request a "review"
                  note government SSGA - SS with children and SS without children.


                  • #10
                    I see Karma has asked this question on another thread so I will respond to it here.
                    Essentially Arabian has given accurate information that she can request a review.

                    Every situation is different so my response is geared to this particular circumstance. They were married 25 years and have only been divorced 2 years. The guidelines talk about spousal support being payable from half the relationship time to the full relationship time (12.5 years to 25 years). So she will definitely get a review. But it depends what is written in the agreement so this question is impossible to answer. But if assets were split equally and given the fact she was a stay at home mom for 25 years, she can't be expected to earn a substantial income in two years. It also depends on the income. I know financial planners that make 100K but also other ones that make 500K. We don't know if he is an employee or self employed.

                    I'd need much more information to answer your question.

                    While this may seem counterintuitive, it is always better to pay higher child support and less spousal support (or none if possible) because spousal support is much harder to get rid of. Once you agree to pay spousal support, in a Judges mind you have agreed she needs it and it will continue and may increase regardless of what happens with child support.

                    It would have been more tax advantageous for me to pay spousal support and less child support but I didn't do that. Now child support is ending and she can't get spousal support. Shes already tried after child support started reducing (she wanted it retroactive for 6 and it went to trial and she lost. "Spousal Support dismissed" were the sweetest words i ever heard from a Judge.


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