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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 03-26-2011, 12:12 PM
Research Research is offline
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Default Sep Agreement: How Court Reviews CS?

My spouse & I are creating a separation agreement. We will be moving to be closer to family and will both have unpredictable, low income for a few years. We are on good terms.

We will maintain one residence for the children, taking turns being present (50/50). We would prefer to work out between us the finances related to maintaining the home and caring for the children in this unique situation, such as initially a 50/50 contribution to measurable mutually agreed upon expenses, rather than rely on fixed table calculations and frequent disclosure of financials and the flow of money from one person to the other.

The questions follow:

1) When filing for divorce, even if we have an agreement, must we include our whole financial situation for the judge to assess if our agreement is appropriate?

2) Must a fixed amount payable to one party be decided on, which the judge will set if we have not? We then lose all flexibility in determining our own arrangement. If paying the expenses directly results in a discrepancy from the court ordered amount, this would put one party in risk of a claim should relations sour.

3) I made 60/60/$40k in the last 3 years, and my spouse made 10/20/$20k (busy with babies, now over). We have similar earning power & will both work parttime. Will a judge take into consideration the loss of work from the move? A 3 year average, or last year’s statement, would create a large amount payable that does not represent our current equal situation.

4) Perhaps postponing the divorce proceedings as long as possible would at least give us the interim flexibility to follow our own arrangement, and give our income a chance to equalize on paper?

5) With the separation agreement in place, what are the pros and cons to delaying divorce? (Besides the obvious fact of ending the legal marriage and being able to remarry. And for the court to more easily enforce the terms.) Is it mostly just a paper matter at this point, or are there financial and other ramifications?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:05 PM
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Rioe Rioe is offline
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It's the separation agreement, not the divorce, that hinges on financial situation, which is kind of frozen at date of separation. Delaying the divorce won't change the financial situation one bit, so I'm not sure why you would want to. Except maybe if you don't have a will and want your ex to get everything, or if you want someone's health benefits to continue to cover the other.

When filing for the divorce, a judge will want to see that everything financial is closed off and agreed on before signing. It doesn't have to be fair, it just has to be mutually agreed on.

That's a hefty decision though, to maintain three households between the two of you, and ties you together even more so that sharing children would. Is that really something you think would reduce stress, instead of increasing it, especially considering your incomes are unpredictable and low?
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:41 PM
Research Research is offline
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Thanks for the response, Rioe. I know the courts put the children's best interest first, so I was wondering if tracking and splitting expenses would be considered unacceptable and we'd have to make payments based on income.

I know what you're saying about the extra household...it just doesn't sound great to shuttle the kids around, either.
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