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Old 02-16-2007, 10:47 AM
Decent Dad Decent Dad is offline
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Originally Posted by Catherine M
My ex husband and I have shared custody (50/50), how do we calculate child and spousal support? I see the federal and provincial charts for child support and it says on the webiste that for shared custody the spousal support should be the net disposable income shared 50/50, but how do the two supports (child and spousal) work out? Are the two separate amounts? In the States, child support is paid until children leave school and spousal support is only paid for half the duration of the years of the marriage. Are the two supports worked out differently and if so how long does he have to go on paying for?

Does spousal and/or child support take into account having to pay rent? In other words, does the spouse who earns more have to provide a housing for spouse and kids (in shared custody agreement pointed out above) on top of spousal and child support he pays?

First, let me congratulate the both of you for going 50-50. Kudos all around. Yeah!

Second, never, ever, never involve the judges or the courts. Only use the judge to grant the divorce. You can do EVERYTHING yourselves.

Third, never, ever, never use lawyers. Unless you need a second opinion... but be careful. They can move you in a direction away from common sense. And they drain bank accounts - money certainly needed elsewhere at a time of divorce.

Fourth, set deadlines. Have everything resolved in 6 months or less.

Finally, it is very hard for us third-party folks to give advice when we know nothing of the entire situation. Number and age of children, careers, expenses, income, equalization, etc., etc., etc.

Remember that you can do whatever you both want, as long as you both agree. Perhaps you and your ex could sit down, look at all day-day expenses (rent, etc) for each of you and come up with a plan. If you need some guidance, use the set-off approach for child support. Make note too of you is claiming the deductions, who is getting the tax benefits, and so on. Spousal support is a little more tricky since there are so many factors involved. Again, not knowing your incomes, length of marriage, etc., hard to give a ball park. It should be though a reasonable amount and with some type of termination (time, remarriage, cohabitation, serious dating) and expectation of use.

Your last question is interesting. When a figure is determined for support(s), it is up to the recipient to provide all the basics of life. So, indirectly support pays for rent, etc. But it is not a one-one ratio. You have to provide your share of the costs. So, child support is not a payment to set the kids up cost free to you. Don't forget, your ex also has to set up a place for them when the kid(s) are with him. The same goes for spousal. Unfortunately recipients begin to feel that way and that's when the quagmire of courts and lawyers deplete the bank accounts.