Child Support

I am divorced for a year and at that time we just continued our separation agreement to count towards towards the ‘rules’ of the divorce. Ex never worked and still doesn’t - Moved in with a person making much more than I do so she could continue to have excuses for not working. We have two children ages 10 and 7 and I have them approximately 30% of the time. The wording for the CS is as follows:

it is hereby decided mutually between parties that the Husband shall pay $1,500.00 per month in child support. Husband shall pay $4500.00 every three months on the 1st day of every 3rd month. (Nov 1, 2011, Feb. 1, 2012, May 1, 2012, etc.) If Husband’s payroll schedule changes with a new job, Husband shall pay his support every two (2) weeks, or in line with his pay schedule from his Employer. Said obligation shall exist until the youngest child turns 18 and graduates high school.

I just received a raise and added 150 per month onto that quarterly payment meaning i now pay 4950 per qtr. When and if she ever decides to have any sort of income do I have the right to get it amended based on the calculator? Do I have any rights in this situation or am I at her lazy mercy?

I believe you can get it amended every 3 years assuming a 15% change in income and/or a qualifying life changing circumstance (e.g. job loss, crippling illness).

Interesting…So instead of playing nice guy and letting her know of my raise and telling her that in turn she gets a raise…I had a 3 year window to wait? I have to make sure all is good on my side so that if she ever does get a job I can show that I have played fair and been honest about everything.

I had read that rule was instituted to stop flooding the courts with parents asking for child support to be updated every time their ex’s income goes up by one penny.

Unless your agreement states otherwise I don’t think you’re under any obligation to tell her your salary. If she is really wanting to know she could spend the money to get it subpoenaed from your employer

Lastly – I don’t know the case law on stay-at-home’s but usually if the kids are old enough (school age) and she is capable of getting a job but won’t, they can impute income on her.

Anyone have legal input on the stay at home income computed amount?

Not an Attorney

There’s no income imputed for being a stay at home mother…I believe what EOL was referring to, was that you could have income imputed on her based on her education, previous work history, jobs she could hold, etc…So, let’s say she has a college degree, is physically/mentally capable of working, and once held a job paying 40K a year. Then you could have the court impute an income to her based on those criteria since she’s simply choosing not to work based on personal reasons.

You could seek a modification at court, but you would have to overcome the presumption that the amount specified in the agreement is reasonable to meet the needs of the children to get another amount ordered.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to argue that the court should impute income to her. The child support guidelines state:

the court finds that a parent’s voluntary unemployment or underemployment is the result of the parent’s bad faith or deliberate suppression of income to avoid or minimize his or her child support obligation, child support may be calculated based on the parent’s potential, rather than actual, income.