Divorce laws related to the financial needs of the children are set up so that the parent with the highest income pays child support. It is very rare to have a couple with matching incomes divorce and neither have to pay anything.
I have 50/50 custody of our children with my ex-husband. I pay him child support and wondered if this is now the norm since we share custody or something dictated by the state I live in, which is what I was told by my attorney and why I agreed to it among other issues. When I tell people this they are shocked and ask why since it is a 50/50 agreement. He was not working at the time of our divorce (spousal support is also paid by me) but he is now employed.
I wonder if this is worth revisiting with an attorney to get it dismissed or the amount lessened now that he is working and I can barely make ends meet due to the money paid to him. I am curious if there are other Mothers in the same situation.
Each state has child support guidelines that dictate how much child support is paid. That amount is based on time with the children and income of the parents. It is common for child support to be paid by one parent to the other is a 50/50 custody situation. A parent will pay less child support in such situations but, if one parent has a higher income than the other, the state will take that into consideration when deciding custody and child support.
In my opinion, it is well worth revisiting with the court if he is now employed. His income needs to be taken into consideration when determining child support payments. You should petition the courts for a downward modification in child support and spousal support if you can prove that he now works and has an income.
I suggest you do not share with him that you are going to request a modification in child support. You don’t want to give him a warning that would enable him to quit his job and become unemployed again. Hire an attorney, file the petition and let him be notified through legal channels.
As for other mothers in your situation, sure there are a lot of mothers in your situation. There are also a lot of fathers in your situation. Divorce laws related to the financial needs of the children are set up so that the parent with the highest income pays child support. It is very rare to have a couple with matching incomes divorce and neither have to pay anything.
Child support is also figured by parenting time. I make considerably less than my ex. If it were not for my parents and boyfriend I would be homeless and never have any food due to the amount of money I must pay my ex. I pay many expenses for the children outside of child support due to his unwillingness to provide for their needs. The “system’s” laws have many loopholes in which narcissists jump to use to their advantage.
Cathy Meyer says
The article mentions parenting time and income of the parents. Regardless of the income of each parent, each parent is still financially responsible for their child/children. There are federal statutes that each state must follow when setting up their own child support guidelines.
When my ex and I divorced his income was 15 times mine. There were many times my children and I had dinner with family and friends because there was no food in our house regardless of the fact that he was paying child support. There are many things my children would have done without in those early years if not for my parents. Just because there was a disparity in income between the two of us doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a financial responsibility to my children also. He paid what he was ordered to pay. I scraped up what I could get to take care of my end of the deal until I could recover financially.
It took a year post-divorce to dig myself out of the financial hole I was in and our life leveled off a bit. My ex never purchased a jacket, a pair of jeans and very rarely even gave a birthday or Christmas gift. He did however; live in a million dollar home on 400 acres with a 26 stall stable for his horses. And even with his income and assets he never paid over $1,000 month in child support and that was decreased considerably when our oldest went to college 4 years after the divorce.
There are no loopholes when it comes to child support. There are strict federal statutes that mandate how states calculate child support. If there were any loopholes, my ex would have found them and so would I because I definitely needed more than I was getting.
A parent who has no income would be ordered to pay child support, regardless of how much the other parent earned. Why? Because, as parents we all have a financial responsibility to our children.
And that responsibility can cause things to feel pretty bleak, regardless of whether you are paying or receiving child support. Below is the link to the federal child support guidelines.
X DeRubicon says
In your example, you poster is lucky her ex didn’t fight for primary custody. I think we will be seeing more and more of that as we have more stay at home/work from home dads and also the traditional high paying jobs for men are drying up and guys in their 40’s and 50’s are finding that there next job is harder to get and pays significantly less. It used to be that hit in their 60’s.
Where I live shared custody child support is 1.5 x (because two households cost more than one) the minimim visitation number (based on both parents income) and then adjusted for the ratios of their income and overnights. So the only way 50/50 overnights equals no child support is if both parents make the same amount of money (and you ignore other expenses not covered by child support like medical insurance). The challenge is that the historical expectation based on working dad (with minimal visitaion) and stay at home mom is out of sync with today’s realities. The courts now expect stay at home mom’s to go back to work and support themselves (alimony is now mostly temporary) and they expect parents to co-parent and not to minimize the parenting time of the other parent.
With my ex-wife (I have sole custody), she sees paying child support as a huge insult. She honestly expected that our divorce would eliminate me as a parent and I would visit a couple of times a month. She actually has dissed me with mutual friends, telling them that I don’t pay child support (skipping the part where I have sole custody and she has supervised visitation). Somehow her mindset is stuck in 1950.
I will say that the standard child support tables kind of fall apart when the custodial parent makes significantly more money. They were built to handle the opposite situation. They also get a bit wonkey in 50/50 situations as well. At least it’s better than in some states, if you make more, regardless of parenting time, you pay. Congrats mam, you broken through the glass ceiling, now pay up!
I don’t think it is state law, but we have a clause in our agreement that we will review every two years (swap the past two years tax returns) and adjust as necessary and if there is a documented change in circumstance (job loss, pay reduction, disablity, etc…) we can address it immediately. The frustrating thing is that armed with that clause, my ex petitioned to get her child support reduced while she was on disablity and she got turned down (not by me) and is technically 3 months behind. Got hung up in some review office and she’ll need to hire a lawyer to get it fixed, which of course she can’t afford. I’ve told her not to worry about it and to let me know if it causes her any actual issue and I would try to assist.
cori stone says
You responded to “Greg” and said ” I do request you point out specifically where in the article my anger at my ex is “obvious.” My ex isn’t mentioned in the article! My ex never complained about paying child support. If there was one thing he was clear on it was his obligation to support his children.” When in fact, you did mention your ex in your article and said that he left with 87% of his income and was livid about having to pay the other 13% in child support.
Joan Archibald says
I think it is very simple. 50/50 parenting time. 50/50 support for children financially. Money should not be exchanging hands. I would be that we would see less battles in court. This is not about parenting. These articles are about money.