Child support: separation agreement vs child services


#1

Can a separation agreement “set in stone” child support payments that will survive future challenges?

I’m currently in process of separating from my wife (her choice), we have 4 children (3-8yrs old) involved. I do not have legal council yet. I make only slightly more than she does. She initially agreed 50/50 physical custody, the calculator (with me covering half of insurance and child care) has me paying her $187 per month in child support. I think we are close on framework of a deal to split assets, have me pay her $200/month, and have me take on majority of debt payments. After meeting with an attorney she claims to “not care about the money” but wants all the kids to physically stay with her on school nights (I would end up taking them out to eat, play, etc and put them to bed at her house). I’m more concerned over spending time with them, not where they physically sleep at night… we have agreed to split expenses already, and even if she had them a lot more we would still split clothing, etc. What I am concerned is she will end up keeping them enough that I will have them less than the magic number “123” nights, and she can go back later and get child support figures changed. If she is primary physical custody on schedule A I would owe ~$2000/mo in CS, Insurance, and child care out of my $3000/mo net salary.


#2

If I were you I would be VERY concerned about where they sleep as overnights is one very important factor used in considering child support. Based on my knowledge, I am not an attorney, she CAN get child support modified at a later date.

Lose the time with them now and it’s extremely hard to get it back later. Take 50/50 with them staying overnight with you.


#3

Just to clarify original question, can a separation agreement be written so that if I let her keep the kids over allotment in short term, I can still enforce a true 50/50 split later? Can it be written so a low payment (like $200/mo) can be made regardless of physical custody percentages. I’m taking on ~$700/month in debt payments and spliting other expenses. I can’t tell if she really truly wants them to have one place to stay on school nights, or if it is a attempt to “profit” later.


#4

My understanding is that she cannot waive the right to child support. So even though you agree to something now, it can always be changed later by a court regardless of what you agreed to.

You could give her 1 million dollars tomorrow to cover child support for the next 18 years, have this in writing, and later if she squanders the money she can still take you BACK to court.


#5

Either party can got to court over child custody or support regardless of any agreement to the contrary.