Paging Martha and any other lawyer types...

SecondCor521

Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
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Boise
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
 
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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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.

Ha
 
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?

:eek::eek::eek::eek:

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.
 
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?

:eek::D
 
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".:bat: :angel:
 
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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.
 
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.
 
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::rolleyes::bat::rant:
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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Got to admit old bible man is sailing awfully close to the wind ....

Ha
 
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
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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. :)
 
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!
 
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?
 
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.

Ha
 
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?
 
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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