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Old 08-10-2007, 02:38 PM   #21
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Your youngest child is 5 in 13 years she'll be 18 and you'll only be 51 .Why the rush ??
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:09 PM   #22
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OK, I know you asked for legal advice -- and this ain't it. But you've posted before around family issues so I'll take the liberty of weighing in,and you can tell me to butt out if you like.

As I recall, you've posted about your divorce in the past. I remember that you were really struggling with it, given that your spouse had initiated the split and without giving you reasons you could understand.

With your current post, folks are wondering whether you want to ditch the obligation to the kids in favor of a life of leisure. But given your history, I'm wondering if there's some larger goal and that the "child support" focus of your message is distracting us?

Assume that the court and your ex go along with what you want. What then? Do you really want to spend more time with the kids, driving them to school, making lunches, etc. when you're not working? If so, is this more of a custody question than a child-support issue? And does that point to a feeling that you're losing touch with your children now that you don't all live together all the time?

Or maybe (as often happens to me), a disappointment in one area has caused you to be dissatisfied with everything for a while? Maybe you feel like you now hate your job and want to retire, but it could be a passing phase of your recovery?

Or maybe you've just been incredibly stressed over the past year or so (who wouldn't be!) and need time for yourself to chill out and take stock? The path you'd been going down for years has been cut off -- it takes time to find a new direction. Maybe something other than the full-blown retirement -- a sabbatical, say, or a break between jobs? Seems court and Ex might go along with that more quickly, and you could revisit the retirement issue after you've gotten some perspective.

So... before you get into that nasty court business... what specific goals would a reduction in child support help you to meet?
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:48 PM   #23
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Or maybe you've just been incredibly stressed over the past year or so (who wouldn't be!) and need time for yourself to chill out and take stock?
We men are supposed to be so tough about emotional things, but it just isn't so. I went out to buy some fish for dinner, and while I was chatting with the clerk, a guy about 40 or 45, one of his buddies came up. "How's it going", he said. Whereupon the clerk said “Not too great, my divorce just became final”- and he almost broke down into tears. That telltale struggle with the mouth.

Believe me, I could relate.

I am not a good suggester, but I also would be very wary of making big changes. Having a job is a good thing, not a bad thing when you are hurting, or even just when you are single again. You have the money to go out with people, hang out after work, whatever- to avoid some of the loneliness and sadness that can creep in. And you have something important to think about, and to help you remember that you are a competent adult human being.

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Old 08-10-2007, 09:57 PM   #24
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Just curious.... is $1400 a month for 3 children way out of line? From a mom's point of view, in my area (Northeastern Ohio) that sounds like plenty. But we have a low cost of living here. From a father's point of view that would be a large bite out of most paychecks. OP says he makes $100K, but doesn't say where he lives.

If you've received or paid child support, how does this compare?
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Old 08-11-2007, 04:47 AM   #25
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Just curious.... is $1400 a month for 3 children way out of line? From a mom's point of view, in my area (Northeastern Ohio) that sounds like plenty. But we have a low cost of living here. From a father's point of view that would be a large bite out of most paychecks. OP says he makes $100K, but doesn't say where he lives.

If you've received or paid child support, how does this compare?
I will try to reply more later when I have the emotional energy and restraint that a proper reply deserves, but I do have what I need to reply to Sue J and to clarify a point or two.

I live in Idaho.

The $1400 figure is the figure that the Idaho Supreme Court calculates as de facto fair according to their guidelines based on our combined incomes as well as our custody. I have 34% custody and my ex-wife has 66% custody.

I do not currently make $100K. My reference to that figure in the original post was what I might be making in future dollars 8 years from now. I currently make $74K.

Above and beyond child support, I pay 80% of their health care, including medical/dental/vision insurance premiums/copays/out of pocket, school tuition, child care, school supplies, and extracurricular activities. I currently spend, according to Quicken, just under $70K per year, of which $34K is spent directly on my kids, $13K is taxes, $10K is mortgage interest, $4K is spent on food and utilities. $7K per year goes for everything else. I spend on all recreational activities approximately $1K per year, which thus far has included taking my kids down to visit family in the SLC area and take them to Lagoon.

My kids have always been fed well, clothed, sheltered, loved by their parents, played with, been taken on trips, read to, teeth brushed, prayed for, are always seatbelted and in a car seat when required, prayed with, taken to church, taken to parks, zoos, and museums, on hikes, camping, spent time with extended family including cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, read to, taught, sent to good schools, had all necessary medical, dental, and vision care, been listened to, been bathed, hugged, and given ice cream. And they will continue to get all that from me until they graduate from high school, at which point I plan to be able to ensure that they each get a college education.

As Caroline correctly points out, my wife chose to divorce me.

It wasn't clear from my original post, but I was thinking about trying to retire in my late 40's (with my current child support obligations I have a projected retirement date of 53). I had lately been thinking it would be cool to spend more time with my kids before they were grown and gone. But to do that would require reducing my expenses. What's my biggest expense? Child support. Well heck, if I were retired, I could spend more time with my kids, which would increase my custody and therefore decrease my child support. And maybe it could be reduced because I was retired and not making as much. But it would be voluntary, and I didn't know how the courts felt about ER.

More later,

2Cor521
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Old 08-11-2007, 07:04 AM   #26
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Nice reason to buy an annuity that pays $1,400 a month for the 13 or so years it may be necessary for. Then your financial obligation is satisfied and if you have enough other assets to RE you could go for it. Fortunately, some may say unfortunately, your financial obligation to your children is far from the only obligation.
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Old 08-12-2007, 12:09 AM   #27
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Sam, I am down to earth. Are you trying to imply that an equal number of father's take on the total responsibility of their children after a divorce? Then you, my friend, are the one out of touch.
I am certainly not saying that every mother is a saint. I've had girlfriends who had custody of their children, and resented the hell out of it. Why? Because they wanted to party and be free. And, frankly, it made me sick, because they literally spent so little time with their kid(s) as they felt they could get away with. Always putting them in day care or at a friend's or family member's house. And I always felt sorry for their children, because kids do know when they are loved and wanted. You hurt FOR them (the kids, that is) and wonder what will become of them later.
But, facts are facts, it is most often--by far--the woman who takes the responsibility for the children and has them in her care after a divorce, whether by her choice or the Judge's decision.
And, whether you want to admit it on this board or not, there is a whole shi*load of fathers out there who leave...and never contact the kids or send money for their upkeep.
And I did NOT say every father was bad, did I? No, I did not. Some fathers really bend over backwards to see and care for their kids. Some are wonderful, and it is the mother who is the mean and vindictive one.
HOWEVER, there are waaaaaaaay too many fathers who leave...and that's all they ever do for their kids: no support, no visits, nothing. Are you going to argue with statistics?
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Old 08-12-2007, 09:22 AM   #28
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But, facts are facts, it is most often--by far--the woman who takes the responsibility for the children and has them in her care after a divorce, whether by her choice or the Judge's decision.
And why did Judges decided that way? I would guess that because most of the times, it makes more sense for the male to continue to work to earn money to support the now broken family. The other way would results in catatrosphic financial disaster for all parties involved.


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And, whether you want to admit it on this board or not, there is a whole shi*load of fathers out there who leave...and never contact the kids or send money for their upkeep.
I don't have statitics on this matter as I have never attempted to study the subject. My observation during my 30 years stay in this country tell me there are a large number of women who simply leave. They don't even bother filing for a divorce.


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And I did NOT say every father was bad, did I?
It would be totally unreasonable and childish for anyone to say that. But you implied (my interpretation of reading your writing) that men are mostly the bad guys in divorces. You also implied (interpretation again) that most women are victims in those divorces.

You can have the last word. I will no longer reply to you on this thread/subject.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:14 AM   #29
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Do you have a decent relationship with your ex-wife? If so, why don't you ask her how she feels about it? If you explained that you could actually save her time and money by picking the kids up from school, taking them to practices and games, doctor's appointments, feeding them at your place three or four days a week, etc. she may be fine with a reduced child support. If so, your two lawyers could work out the paperwork and you wouldn't have to go back to court, I wouldn't think.

But to go to court and have your your ex hear of this first through legal means sounds like a bad idea to me. JMO.
FWIW, talking this over with you ex and having her in agreement is VERY important. The custodial parent has enormous influence with the children and maintaining good relations with her is in your best interests.
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Old 08-12-2007, 08:50 PM   #30
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1400 X 12 16,800 and they do not live with you? I am guessing you get to have 1 or 2 of the kids as your write off dependent on your income tax.



I do like the idea of buying the annuity for a set time for the 1400 a month and be done with the financial obligation at 18, however as a parent the financial obligation only gets bigger after 18 with college weddings and such. Man good luck, the wife left you ugh, sorry man.
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Old 08-13-2007, 03:25 PM   #31
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Since she left him, I doubt she will be thrilled with his ideas - or letting him spend more time with the kids. Opinion only. My heart goes out to you 2Cor...good luck & hopefully your kids will appreciate your efforts when they are old enough to 'get it'
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:40 PM   #32
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Here's the thing. We don't know all of the details of the OP's divorce, or exactly why his wife left him and received custody of the kids. His question relates to ER, which unfortunately is not likely going to be a possibility -- even if his wife agrees. There's the little test in the law called "best interests of the child", and neither parent can waive child support. Thus, a judge will do what is in the best interests of the OP's three kids, which in all likelihood the judge believes he or has already done by awarding $1,300 in child support. If the OP were disabled or unable to work, that would be one thing. Simply wanting a reduction in child support payments in exchange for promising to spend more time with his kids won't likely do much.

As a general matter, however, I consider the entire child support system to be inherently unfair to fathers, since in most cases they never get the choice as to whether they want primary or full custody. There is no requirement in the law for custodial mothers to account for the child support they receive. Finally, there are even numerous cases of men being held responsible to pay child support for children that aren't even theirs.
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:24 PM   #33
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Finally, there are even numerous cases of men being held responsible to pay child support for children that aren't even theirs.
The great state of Washington is a world leader in this "support your wife's love child" movement. Really fun for the cuckold, and massively enhances his self esteem.

Ha
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:46 PM   #34
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...good luck & hopefully your kids will appreciate your efforts when they are old enough to 'get it'
Alas, this comment reminds me of a sad story, for what it's worth...

A friend of mine wanted a divorce 30 years ago -- he had two very young children at the time. His wife (enraged at this turn of events) offered to let him have the house and forgo child support if he'd give up all rights to the kids. But he loved his kids and refused the deal.

A year or so later she moved them to Florida with her new spouse, fought tooth and nail against his every visit, and in the meantime filled the kids with every negative thing she could make up about him. Despite a costly long-distance battle to see them, and the judge's eventually ordering the ex-wife to bring them to court "with their suitcases packed," he couldn't overcome the handicap of her influence. His kids never did grow "old enough to get it."

His daughter does not speak to him and got married without his knowing about it. His son doesn't return his calls. It's incredibly sad to see his eyes tear up when he talks about it.

Sigh. I don't mean to be a downer here, but we haven't yet taked about what the children will think about this move. It seems that any divorced parent who loves their kids might want to examine every action from their point of view. And this includes thinking about the long-term ramifications of pissing off the other spouse.

Yes, he or she may have done terrible things, may have hurt you, may have been evil incarnate. But a parent has tremendous power over young children's minds and the attitudes they'll carry for the rest of their lives.

One might want to think long and hard before giving an ex-spouse the ammunition to tell a kid that "you can't (do that / have that / go there) because Daddy doesn't want to pay for you anymore."
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:41 PM   #35
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One might want to think long and hard before giving an ex-spouse the ammunition to tell a kid that "you can't (do that / have that / go there) because Daddy doesn't want to pay for you anymore."
One other poster touched in this important but very non-PC aspect. Just as history is written by the survivors, attitudes in children are often formed by the parent who is present. Some custodial parents are very fair and go out their way to let the kids have the best experience possible in the circumstances with the other parent. But plenty others do just the opposite, indulging in various manipulations to poison the atmosphere with the other parent.

I think a non-custodial parent, usually of course the father, basically has to ask himself “should I cut my losses and exit this whole situation, or should I try to salvage whatever I can?”. Cause salvage is what it is. If you stay, I agree with Caroline-always ask yourself “how might this act or statement that I am considering be spun against me?”

Things can turn out better than you ever might have thought though. I know a woman who essentially tried to bankrupt her husband as they were going through divorce. She was truly vindictive and even did things to hurt him that easily could have backfired on her.

But once that was over, she has been great at providing access to the Dad under basically friendly and supportive terms. She hates her ex, but she wants her son to have a good relationship with his Dad, and she facilitates and supports that.
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:47 PM   #36
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I feel sorry for lots of divorced fathers who work to do the right thing. My hub was asked to leave their home because his wife decided she was gay after 18 years of marriage. He had to leave his kids. He was heartbroken. She moved in a 22 year old woman that week.

He pays about 30K per year in child support (2kids), pays 100% insurance, all activities, etc. He also pays 100% of college - she is supposed to pay but said she can't. He has to pay child support and college at the same time.

She is underemployed on purpose. She has the capacity to earn 100K or more, but took a job at a school earning 50K so she could have summers off. the youngest is 13.

She is not a terrible person or anything, just self absorbed.

I second the suggestion to talk to your ex. She may want the help with the kids.
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:58 PM   #37
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Don't marry self absorbed people,
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:20 PM   #38
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[ make darn sure its for ever!![/quote]


Interesting just how do you do that ? I'm sure a lot of us would like to know .
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:22 PM   #39
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[ make darn sure its for ever!!

Interesting just how do you do that ? I'm sure a lot of us would like to know .[/quote]


Luck I guess
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