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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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  #1  
Old 06-14-2010, 07:47 AM
donnel8 donnel8 is offline
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Default spousal/child support question

We are in the middle of writing up the SA. I have a question about support.

I make 87,500 and my wife makes 110,000. What is the child support payment on that amount if we will have joint custody and 50/50 access? In reality it will be closer to 60/40 because she is away on business frequently. She will be moving up the ladder quite quickly and in the next year or two her income will be closer to 125 000.

Is the child support payment different then the contributions we both make for daycare? My understanding is she will have to contribute a little more then me because of her making more. Correct?

Should I push for some sort of compensation (spousal) because of the increase in her income and the fact that I will be with the kids up to 60% of the time or is that a losing battle and I should move on??

I am a teacher and have a secure job with a great pension - unfortunately she will be taking half of it! lol
She also does not have a lot of investments in her name so the pension trasfer will be pretty close to half over a 10 year period.

Thanks,
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:43 AM
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Look at the table amount for each of your incomes. She will owe you the difference b/w what each of you would pay.

It won't be a lot, so consider bargaining away what she owes you for CS against her entitlement to your pension.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:51 AM
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You are working it out amicably between the two of you? Congratulations, you are saving about $20k each, at minimum. Count that $20k towards your settlement amount, she could easily afford to give you a hard time if you start going after every nickel and dime.

You aren't absolutely obligated to go "by the book", and if you round things off to settle quickly then like I say, you are saving tens of thousands.

You should look over the Federal Guidelines yourself and use the worksheets they give and directly quote the tables. Why, because if you say to your ex "Some guy on the internet told me how to do it on a napkin while I was having a drink at the bar and using my laptop on the wifi" she will not be happy with the numbers. Download the worksheets and print them and fill them out and provide her with a copy just so you both know you agree on the figures and nothing was left out.

Short answer to your questions: The offset has her paying you $180 per month CS based on your numbers, and one child. You should go through the worksheets though and fill them out properly and account for income variation, and show her something concrete. The idea should be that these numbers aren't "yours" they are from the government website and she should be confident about that. She may not argue now but she may argue in 6 months.

For expenses, usually you are talking child care and any medical expenses over $100 per year. You can include sports activities or other lessons if they are a) a cost that someone in your income bracket would consider extraordinary and b) generally something that is somewhat vocational, like will lead to a competitve level, a career, future coaching, scholarship etc. The cost has to make it a special expense, and it shouldn't be just for fun, it should be justifiable. There is wiggle room.

In general expenses should be shared equally in your case, the child support is supposed to equalize your budget for the child and you each pay for clothes, transportation and basic sports and rec activities. The section 7 expenses would be split proportionate to your income. You could do this through the CS and increase the monthly amount, or you could split it by having you each pay proportionately to the provider. If you each write a cheque then you each can show you are involved with your child and the administration of the childcare is fully aware of this because you are both taking turns paying. In my case this is prefered, but you should decide for yourself.

As far as spousal goes, it doesn't sound like your marriage limited your career. Your income isn't (using superficial numbers) drasticly lower than hers. Spousal would be calculated after child support is paid, and with children it is based on net after tax income, so you don't end up that far below her. This is a fight you won't win and it will kill your amicable negotiations.

Pension wise, since she will have a greater income going forward, you should try to cut a deal on that and ask to limit the pension split, but again if it ends up looking like it will push you into lawyers' offices then it's not worth it. Once this is all finalized and you are moving on with your life, you will appreciate that you settled faster and with less fuss.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:03 AM
donnel8 donnel8 is offline
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I just talked to my lawyer and he told me as long as there is under 60/40 split, there is no child support. Is this correct? We will have shared custody, 50/50 access. I make 89500 and my wife makes 110000. There will be a difference in our contribution towards child care but definitely no child support.

Was I misinformed??
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:27 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnel8 View Post
I just talked to my lawyer and he told me as long as there is under 60/40 split, there is no child support. Is this correct? We will have shared custody, 50/50 access. I make 89500 and my wife makes 110000. There will be a difference in our contribution towards child care but definitely no child support.

Was I misinformed??
Your lawyer is not 100% correct, but may not be off by much.

The formula that is supposed to be used in cases like this is you take her guideline CS amount and your guideline amount and the lower number from the higher number.

So she makes $110,000 a year which equals $955 a month in support. You make $89,500 which equals $794 a month in support. So the difference would be that she pays you $161 a month as a sort of equalization.

However, given both your incomes and the fact that the difference is only $161, which compared to your incomes in negliable, a judge may not order c/s from her to you. And I doubt $161 is worth the cost it would take in legal fees to fight her for c/s (which you may not even get).
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:58 PM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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the difference for us is $93 a month. Both lawyers thought that I shouldn't even be paying, given that I am also paying part time tuition (which would reduce the payment effectively to about $0). But I still pay. WHY? because if he ever gets vindictive and seeks retroactive pay, I might be on the hook for thousands!. Until a judge decides (or we sign an SA) I will keep paying. Actually, the amount will be going down July 1 to about $30 difference, and I will still pay.

If your lawyer has recommended you don't pay, then I suggest you put the money aside until things are finalized. Even after 6 months you could be asked to come up with $1000+!
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:07 PM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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AH me, YOU are the one who should be paid. Oops!
Then it is up to you whether you ask her to pay. It makes for a good bargaining chip!
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnel8 View Post
I just talked to my lawyer and he told me as long as there is under 60/40 split, there is no child support. Is this correct? We will have shared custody, 50/50 access. I make 89500 and my wife makes 110000. There will be a difference in our contribution towards child care but definitely no child support.

Was I misinformed??
Ask your lawyer to cite the paragraph of the Family Law Act and/or any court decisions he is using because you want to get a second opinion for his legal advice.

Tell him you want this as an official advice in writing, signed by him, that you can show to another lawyer.

He is wrong, and if he is trying to give you a helpful compromise position he should say so. All decisions in your case are yours to make, they should be informed decisions, and your lawyer should be a reliable source of information.

It sounds like, just going by your short description, he is cutting corners and manipulating you to take the quick and easy solution HE prefers. He is not necessarily wrong, but it's not his decision to make.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:13 AM
donnel8 donnel8 is offline
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I am totally confused.

We are having one lawyer draw up the separation agreement then I am going to take it for independent legal advice and feedback. I don't know where he is getting the info from then to be honest. He stated that as much as we can agree on now will save thousands if we can avoid lengthy negotiations down the road. Is there a paragraph of the Family Law act I can send to him and ask for clarification?

We have two kids so when I plug it into the Federal Tables I get the following

Her support 1526.00
My support 1275.00
The difference 251.00 - should be paid to me

I am sure he is trying to draw a compromise. How hard should I push for this? Until what age should a parent pay support? If I have to hire my own lawer to fight this out is it worth it?

All tough questions I do not have answers to!

Can anyone give some additional suggestions and/or examples of what is happening in your own SA with child support? We have joint parenting (or custody whatever you want to call it) and equal access.

While I want to be fair and not argue over minimal costs, 251 per month does not seem minimal to me.

Advice??
  #10  
Old 06-16-2010, 09:21 AM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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$251 is not minimal. But if you fight it then you are going to end up with court costs that equal a whole lot more.

The standard is to adjust incomes every July 1st according to your Line 150 and the table guidelines. it's reasonable to assume that both of you are going to see changes in income over time, and you need to address that.

If you make a wash of the difference, how much does that apply for? What if she gets a huge raise and should be paying you $500 offset? What if she loses her job? Is she going to be as fair to you (and make a wash of what you would pay her?)

As much as you want to just sign this and get it over with, you need to remember that this SA will stand for a LONG time. You need to think about the future and make sure that whatever you agree on will be able to address changing circumstances as much as possible.
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