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Paging Martha and any other lawyer types...
Old 08-10-2007, 11:14 AM   #1
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Paging Martha and any other lawyer types...

For those of you keeping score at home, I am a 38 year old divorced father of three kids, 12/7/5.

And I know I should ask my real attorney this, but she charges $210 an hour and you folks are free.

The single largest line item in my budget is my child support payment, at $1400. Ethically I believe in supporting my kids and have thus far made all my payments on time and will continue to do so. This payment is calculated based on several things: the total of my ex's and my income (it is assumed that a certain amount of a family's income goes to support the kids; a larger percentage of the first X dollars, and lesser percentages of additional levels of income), the ratio of my income to hers (we contribute to the children's expenses in proportion to our income), and the percentage of custody we each have (we each are assumed to spend on the children in proportion to the time we have them).

Finally, there is this thing called imputed income, which is where a CEO who voluntarily quits his CEO job to work at Walmart to try to spite his ex-wife will still be assumed to earn a CEO salary and will be assigned a child support amount based on the CEO salary instead of the Walmart salary.

The rules are silent as to retirement. My questions:

1. Do you think a request to lower child support based on retirement would work? In my particular case, I might go from a salaried position earning $100K to living off dividends and 72T payments totaling $30K. (I could easily see the court using the imputed income clause as an argument against this.)

2. Do you think it would be ethical to even try to reduce child support payments in conjunction with retirement as described in question 1?

3. This one is way out there and probably would get the standard "It depends", but anyway: How do you think the court would look on increasing my custody based on retirement - I'd be able to be around more, pick them up from school, etc.

2Cor521
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:19 AM   #2
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Legal opinions aside, if I understand correctly, you want to stop working at a very early age and basically tell your very young children to fend for themselves on a greatly reduced support payment so you can live a life of leisure? Not sure you'll find a lot of support for that strategy here...
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:25 AM   #3
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I am really looking forward to the informed answers on this one!

My guess would be that if you try this, you will be offered a choice between paying at your current rates, or retired to Folsom.

You also have to consider that if you were to win somehow, you leave yourself very vulnerable to losing your kids respect and a chance to be in their lives long term.

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Old 08-10-2007, 11:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by farmerEd View Post
Legal opinions aside, if I understand correctly, you want to stop working at a very early age and basically tell your very young children to fend for themselves on a greatly reduced support payment so you can live a life of leisure?

nice....


why did you have kids?


Having been married to a man paying CS while they lived with us (we were too poor to go back to court), I see where he is coming from. Reduced $$$ since he can increase his parenting/custody TIME. I am curious to see what our legal system members have to say.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmerEd View Post
Legal opinions aside, if I understand correctly, you want to stop working at a very early age and basically tell your very young children to fend for themselves on a greatly reduced support payment so you can live a life of leisure?

nice....


why did you have kids?
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:44 AM   #6
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Legal opinions aside, if I understand correctly, you want to stop working at a very early age and basically tell your very young children to fend for themselves on a greatly reduced support payment so you can live a life of leisure?

nice....


why did you have kids?
Which is a strong argument for not allowing people to have children until their parents have money in the bank. I believe there are plenty of people making $30K a year with 3 kids. Would you go to that family and tell them what you said to SecondCor521? Do you ask CEO's who work 80 hour weeks why they had children?

Depending on your location I think that if you showed that your plan (with the spouses knowledge) was to have kids, retire early and nurture your children with time, not money then I think a judge would recognise that and act accordingly.

Oh course my motto has always been "Have a kid, Go to jail".
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:46 AM   #7
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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.
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All this over $1400
Old 08-10-2007, 11:47 AM   #8
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All this over $1400

Wow. All this over $1400. Do you realize how this makes you look?
That is NOT much CS for 3 children.

Go sit in a quiet room and think about what you want for your children's future.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:56 AM   #9
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On behalf of all the other single mothers out there who have busted their humps and either worked Godawful hours or 2-3 jobs sometimes to raise their kids; but, also, managed somehow to attend many--if not all of their little school and activity events--and feed them, clothe them, drive them to school ALL BY THEMSELVES as their ex- decided his "retirement" and partying was more important:
I just hope you are SINCERE when you say you are interested in REALLY spending more time and doing more with your children.
Guess I have just heard one too many stories from my other single mother friends about neglectful, uncaring ex's....... It would be nice if you were one of the sincere, caring fathers doing what he should do for his children. There are just too, too, too many of the other kind...unfortunately, from what I hear from other single mothers, the majority just leave and that is that. On with the party, I guess.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:00 PM   #10
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Got to admit old bible man is sailing awfully close to the wind ....

Ha
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:06 PM   #11
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Not my area of law, but check your pms.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:10 PM   #12
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2Cor521,

I thought I read that you were planning for a retirement in you 50's in which case your support payments would be over, right?

JD
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:19 PM   #13
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2Cor521,

I thought I read that you were planning for a retirement in you 50's in which case your support payments would be over, right?
I thought that was the case too.

2Cor521,

I have the feeling that there's more behind your story. It's hard for me to believe someone making 100K trying to weasel out of paying $1,400/mo to supports his own young children.

Obviously, you don't have to justify your action to anyone. But this is a public forum, and the lack of info (if indeed a lack) might make you look like the most irresponsible human.

Good luck.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:19 PM   #14
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Wow, lots of strong opinions here... I'm surprised at the "selfish jerk" sentiments. The OP didn't say, but why should we assume that his kids will be worse off with less child support? Maybe he intends to spend more time with them in ER. Maybe he thinks the they could still have a good life while spending less. Granted, I agree these things shouldn't/couldn't be decided without the input of his ex-partner, but I don't see why he should automatically be vilified for asking about them.

It does seem like if you get divorced and pay child support while making a good salary, you're kind of screwed for a while. If married, you'd be able to take a lower paying job (or ER) and there's not much your spouse or kids could do about it. (Once again, I'm not recommending doing this without talking about it with your family first!) In a bunch of cases, I've seen this board recommend that people not stress themselves out working a high-powered job while their family lives in comparative luxury. I don't know whether this is the case for the OP, but it would certainly suck to be handcuffed to a stressful career by CS.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:38 PM   #15
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I agreed to ongoing spousal support in 1997 for ten years. When I ERd in 2002, I just factored the extra costs into the budget.

While the suggestions here are good, OP needs to know his legal rights before having any conversation with his former spouse.
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:08 PM   #16
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OK, I edited my response to be politically correct.
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:15 PM   #17
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Guess I have just heard one too many stories from my other single mother friends about neglectful, uncaring ex's....... It would be nice if you were one of the sincere, caring fathers doing what he should do for his children. There are just too, too, too many of the other kind...unfortunately, from what I hear from other single mothers, the majority just leave and that is that. On with the party, I guess.
Please get off your high horse and back to earth. For every horrible father, there is at least one just as horrible mother. Just because you're a single mother does not mean that all father/husband are bad.
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
For those of you keeping score at home, I am a 38 year old divorced father of three kids, 12/7/5.


1. Do you think a request to lower child support based on retirement would work? In my particular case, I might go from a salaried position earning $100K to living off dividends and 72T payments totaling $30K. (I could easily see the court using the imputed income clause as an argument against this.)
Hmm, I'm thinking that making the choice to retire and live off of 30K is thinking like a single guy with no one to support but yourself. Having 3 kids and child support of $1400 a month implies that maybe 30K is not enough for you to live on. If you have a house payment or a car payment are you also going to be asking for a reduction of those costs?

On the other hand, I can see where a compromise here may make more sense. Can you find a balance between less work/less stress/less income and more time with your kids in exchange for an adjustment in child support? Since the child support formula takes into account your percentage of custody, that would have an effect.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:02 PM   #19
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From a California lawyer's website: Some recent appellate decisions have held that there is an absolute right for a supporting spouse to retire at age 65. The supporting party's retirement may therefore be a sufficient basis to warrant a termination of support. However, in cases where the supporting spouse elects to take an early retirement and his or her ability, and the opportunity, to continue working exist, the court may properly deny a spousal support modification request.


Modification of Support for Cohabitation and Remarriage


Can't vouch for accuracy or applicability, but it makes logical sense, at least with respect to early retiremen.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:07 PM   #20
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From a California lawyer's website: Some recent appellate decisions have held that there is an absolute right for a supporting spouse to retire at age 65. The supporting party's retirement may therefore be a sufficient basis to warrant a termination of support. However, in cases where the supporting spouse elects to take an early retirement and his or her ability, and the opportunity, to continue working exist, the court may properly deny a spousal support modification request.
Wow, that strikes me as reverse ageism. We should demand equal rights for early retirees. ER for ER!
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