Child Support


#1

My wife and I separated back in September. We agreed I would get the kids on Wed and every other weekend and I would pay $1,100 in child support and she would get 100% of the estate (which is probably valued over 100K) except I get one car, and I assume $120,000 of my school loans. Aside from that we had no debt on the date of separation. I offered her 100% of the estate because I love her and I don’t want to disrupt my daughters current lifestyle (we separated due to incompatibility issues). Anyway, this was an oral agreement. I told her to get an attorney and have the separation agreement done but it has been delayed due her fault.

We are now disputing our original oral agreement, which I know is not binding. We are somewhat amicable though and we want to settle this out of court. Now she wants $1300 in child support and to claim one dependent and 100% of the estate. We have two children, 3 and 5.

The issues/questions I have are this:

  1. She now wants full custody so under the guidelines she would be entitled to $1,600 in child support. At $1,300 (and I pay $250 for health insurance) she is getting more than one third of my paycheck and this is going to affect my standard of living. She is currently living in a $214,000 house. I am living in an apartment and too much debt to buy a house. I pay $1,600 a month in school loans. I didn’t live with spouse full-time when I was in school for 7 years and I paid for my apartment, utilities etc. when I was in school. I finished school in 2011 and we separated in 2012. Do my school loans factor at all in regards to the child support guidelines considering the facts? Also, since I am offering 100% of the estate would this be a factor to consider for child support?

  2. Her attorney thinks $1,100 is unreasonable, even though I’m giving her 100% of the estate, and my wife is not working a full-time job, and will not, and makes a little more than half of what I do and she is getting the tax benefits for day care etc. She could earn close to what I earn if she worked a 40 hour work week. I’ve read the other posts in here about imputing income but do I have a chance of imputing income?

  3. She signed up my daughter for the most expensive private school in Fayetteville and I offered to move to any school district because I am in an apartment and can easily move. (We both live in bad districts). I supported her as long as I didn’t have to pay for it. She agreed and I didn’t sign the paperwork. Now she wants more child support, I believe, to finance the private school. Is this a factor to consider?

I do not have the funds to hire an attorney so I am doing this solo. Thank you for any assistance.


#2

The agreement the parties enter regarding equitable distribution does not come into consideration when the court utilizes the child support guidelines to determine the child support obligation. If you cannot reach an agreement on child support that you are comfortable paying, you should reconsider your agreement on the division of the marital estate (including your debts).

Whether income is imputed depends on a lot of factors, but yes, her earning potential could be taken into consideration. The cost of private school, unless she can prove it’s necessary, should not be taken into consideration for the child support calculations.