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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 09-01-2010, 12:17 AM
Perserverance Perserverance is offline
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Default Child Support Adjustment

My husband has his daughter over 40% of the time and has been doing so for 11 months. She is calculating the actual physical hours spent with his daugteher, not realizing that even after his dropping her off at daycare, he is still responsible for her until she is picked up by the mom. If that correct??
He has brought the percentage to the mother attention, and of course she is looking to now elimiate a day, saying that the additional day was not part of the original agreement. He has all the emails including her offering this additional day (that would put him over the 40% mark) and its been that way for 11 months. He also has an email whereby he asks if she "would like him to take EVERY Thursday" going foward to which she said yes and acknowledged that his dauther enjoys the extra time. She had made the suggestion of him taking on more time as the daughter was experiencing separation anxiety and "needed more time with her father". She is now claiming that this additional day was meant as "irregular" and temporary. Is 11 months temporary???

Well, now she is saying she is going to have to eliminate his extra day...this only after her being advised of a possible off set amount for CS which would have him paying 11 dollars instead of 741 a month. She is starting JK in September.

My question is can she unilaterally eliminate an agreed to day that was not part of the original sep. agreement but has been status quo for almost a year and agreed to by both parties verbally and via email? Are her emails to him agreeing to this arrangement not enough to confirm an agreement that supercedes the sep. agrmt?

He is not agreeing to the decrease in access, but wonders how to go about reinforcing the status quo - possibly without going to court.

I need to make mention that they had also agreed to his keeping her on a Sunday nights and dropping her off at daycare on Monday mornings 8 months after the agreement was signed. This arrangement was made by email and was not part of the original sep. agreement. However, she is willing to keep that as part of the schedule....

I'm sure that she would never have extended this extra day knowing the percentage rule. She earns the same as he does and would mean a drop in CS and tax free $. Any suggestions?
  #2  
Old 09-01-2010, 09:02 AM
Mess Mess is offline
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Yeah, I told you so. Shouldn't have mentioned the per cent right away... Anyway it would have happened sooner or later.

She can do what she wants unless you fight it. She has a signed agreement/court order. You have sufficient cause to have that order changed, but you have to do it through the court, you can't just demand.

If I wasn't clear enough earlier, you need to go to court if she fights you. The benefit of waiting for a few weeks was that you could have had everything ready to go to court the next day, already have set things up with your lawyer, and then brought this up, and then you could act right away. School hasn't even started yet, so she can right now declare that the schedule is changing due to school. If you are in court next week, it is your word that this is about her wanting CS to continue, and it is her word that this is planned because the child is starting school. If you'd waited a month you take that argument away from her. I'm not just saying "I told you so", I am saying this because you have to understand the arguments you will face in court and what you can say and what you have to be prepared for.

Status quo is a vital legal concept here. Status quo means if things have settled into a routine for the child and she is happy and thriving then the situation should continue to not disrupt her life unnecessarily. Usally status quo sets in after 6 months to a year. You were in a good position, but not perfect. If the mother changes the scedule tomorrow and you can't get a court date until October, guess what, school has started and the child is settling into a new routine. If she is happy there goes half your argument.

Get your ass into a lawyer's office TODAY and get things rolling for an immediate motion to change your agreement. You don't have cause for an emergency motion so this could take months. Be firm with your lawyer that this be expedited because if the mother changes the schedule, every week that goes by diminishes your case.

In the meantime BLUFF. When the time comes where the child would normally be with you, go pick her up. Insist that the scedule remain the same. Don't fight, don't argue, just calmly and quietly assert yourself.

There is no hard and fast rule for calculating hours. It is REASONABLE to say that if a child wakes up at your house and is picked up by the other parent at daycare/school in the afternoon, then they are still in your care for the day, because if they were sick they would stay home with you. But this is not a guarentee. What judge you get, what mood they are in, how they perceive you, how each side's arguments are worded, what supporting facts you offer, what your credibility is like on other issues, this can all sway a decision.
  #3  
Old 09-01-2010, 10:02 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Also, I must note that it is 40% of the overnights, not hours with the child.

But otherwise, I agree with Mess. Get to court and show them she offered the day and that it has become status quo.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:22 PM
representingself representingself is offline
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Sounds to me like the poster is more concerned about her husband not having to pay child support, then she is about the time spent with his daughter...

Was this some sort of pre-meditated set up, wherein a perceived desire to spend time with the child was actually a thinly veiled attempt to establish a status quo for reduced child support??

Are you seriously trying to assert that he is "technically" still "responsible" for the child while in daycare... so therefore the 40% threshold can be met if manipulated properly!?

I am not entirely sure how the division is calculated... but I would think that 40% would be established by ensuring that the child lived, ate, slept in your home at least 3 nights each week.

They have a signed separation agreement, and if you want the terms changed, without her consent... then you will have to convince your husband to pursue a change through the court system.

But the OP's are right... as the child ages, and begins school... the schedule will change, when she reaches grade 1 and is in school full time, the schedule will change... if she enrolls in extra-curricular activities, the schedule may change....

Thinking in terms of the best interests of the child, you may want to consider being more flexible about schedule changes and realizing they are a part of life, instead of seeing every varation as a chance to get out of paying child support.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by representingself View Post
Was this some sort of pre-meditated set up, wherein a perceived desire to spend time with the child was actually a thinly veiled attempt to establish a status quo for reduced child support??
Unless I am mistaken, the ex offered an extra day as they both believed the child needed to spend more time with dad and had been doing well with it since.

Quote:
Are you seriously trying to assert that he is "technically" still "responsible" for the child while in daycare... so therefore the 40% threshold can be met if manipulated properly!?
Your position part of the reason why "hours" aren't contemplated when figuring out percentage of parenting time as overnights are easier to follow.

If you take the position that you don't include day care/school etc as part of the responsible time for each parent with the child, almost every parent in the world would only have their kid about 75% of the time.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:01 PM
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The hours vs days vs who is responsible when kids are daycare/school/sports argument is an age old one when measuring the % of time children are with each parent.

It's too bad that the rules are not more codified because the current system is a breeding ground for conflict. From what I see it appears to be unique to each case. Of course when the time spent is close to the 60/40 split, it is easy for each parent to argue their own position. It really sucks though that it is so all or nothing when at the margin. I've often thought a little more of a sliding scale for support is more appropriate, although would give rise to other problems.

In this case, Perserverance does not come across to me as being financialy motivated. The impression I got was that the child is being shared more or less equally and the parents make the same amount of money. It therefore seems unfair to me that one of them has to pay the other over $700 a month.

But Perserverance did not provide the details of the parenting schedule. That would be helpful.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:09 PM
representingself representingself is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
Unless I am mistaken, the ex offered an extra day as they both believed the child needed to spend more time with dad and had been doing well with it since.
No, you are correct. The Ex did offer Dad some extra time... which is wonderful for both child and father.

It is just unfortunate that step-mom sees it as an opportunity to manipulate the system to save a few bucks.

I assume that there was an agreement for the mother to have primary custody and that the father would exercise access and help financially via child support... but when the mother is agreeable to sharing extra time, she is then manipulated into a status quo that could potentially remove her eligibility for child support.

Now mom is going to retaliate and restrict the extra (non court ordered) access... The child will lose the extra, quality time with Dad, and Dad will most likely fight the ex to maintain the new status quo....
What was becoming a civil relationship will become poisioned once again... stress and conflict will flare and in a couple of years when this finally gets through court....

IF Dad is lucky, he will prove his claim and get awarded the offset amount... which is great since he will be paying his $30,000 legal fees off for years!!

The Lawyers will walk away with a ship load of cash, and who wins?
Not the bitter ex wife, or the broke husband.... and certainly not the conflicted and innocent child......Only the Lawyers fat bank accounts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
Your position part of the reason why "hours" aren't contemplated when figuring out percentage of parenting time as overnights are easier to follow.

If you take the position that you don't include day care/school etc as part of the responsible time for each parent with the child, almost every parent in the world would only have their kid about 75% of the time.
I really don't have a "position" per se, as I have no idea how this percentage threshold is determined... I was just guessing.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by representingself View Post
I assume that there was an agreement for the mother to have primary custody and that the father would exercise access and help financially via child support... but when the mother is agreeable to sharing extra time, she is then manipulated into a status quo that could potentially remove her eligibility for child support.
But you don't know if that assumption is correct, which is why I said it would be good to know the details of the parenting schedule. And why do you conclude that the mother was "manipulated"? If the schedule was close enough as ordered that another day would tip the scales, then the fair and reasonable solution is that these two parents who share their child more or less equally and make the same amount of money should not have one of them giving the other over $700/mth!! That's not manipulative at all!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by representingself View Post
If Dad is lucky, he will prove his claim and get awarded the offset amount... which is great since he will be paying his $30,000 legal fees off for years!!
How about, if the schedule really is within the 60/40 split, then Mom is ripping Dad off each month and it needs to end? What drives my thoughts on this mostly is that each of them makes the same amount of money and they are hovering around shared parenting. If that's true, it's obscene that Mom is getting CS.

BTW, for a CS amount of $741/mth, the income level is $83K and they are both earning the same amount.

Hopefully Perserverance shares that parenting schedule, which will end all the what ifs.

Last edited by dadtotheend; 09-01-2010 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:36 PM
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As mentioned in other post entitled "40% calculation".....

Pick up Saturday @ 6pm - drop off to daycare Monday @ 8am
(every two weeks)

Tuesday pick up @ 11am - Wednesday drop off at daycare @ 10:30am

Thursday pick up@ 5pm - Drop off at daycare Friday @ 8am

It has been stated that the "Thursday" access was added to the schedule under mutual consent 11 months ago... same is not included in the current enforcable order of the court.

In the other post... with the addition of the Thursday access... the threshold was met and exceeded at 43%.

If there is similar income and shared parenting, both mother and father should implement the offset method. I am not arguing that point.

My issue is that Preserverance is collecting full guideline support from her ex for her child(ren), but has a problem with her new husband paying guideline support for his child. The double standard is maddening.

Preserverance repeats over and over again, that Dad does not have a problem paying support, Dad doesn't want to cause conflict, Dad enjoys the extra time with his daughter.... and in the next sentence claims that "she"is going to send a letter to the mother and "she" is going to make sure that things get done by the book...

I understand wanting to assist and support ones husband, but sometimes, people should mind thier own business...

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Old 09-01-2010, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by representingself View Post
I understand wanting to assist and support ones husband, but sometimes, people should mind thier own business...

True enough.
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