Divorce without payments?


#1

My wife is an attorney. Right now she makes about 75% of my annual earnings while working part time. If she goes full time, she would earn about 125% of my annual salary. She will return to full time work in about 6 years when both children are in school.

If I divorce her now, will her potential income (125% of mine) come into consideration in alimony or child support rulings or will only her current income be considered?

If only current income is considered, can our alimony/child support agreement be recalculated on my behalf once she returns to work full time so that I receive support?

Is it possible that we could divorce without ever paying each other alimony or child support assuming our incomes are comparable, we have 50/50 joint custody of our kids and we both agree to this arrangement?


#2

Only current income is considered, at the time of calculation of support. Child support can be recalculated 3 years after determination of the same, and if there is a 15% change in support. It is unlikely that her income going up will allow for a modification of alimony however, since her increased pay will not constitute a substantial change in circumstances on your end.
It is possible to divorce without support, so long as you both agree.


#3

Thank you for the prompt response.

In the aforementioned scenario, I figure I will have to initially make payments to my wife because her income is lower than mine. If her income rises above mine, will my alimony payments to her get canceled?

Assuming my wife eventually earns more than me, will I have a legal basis for compelling her to tell me how much she earns? If she earns more than me for several years, can I get refunded alimony payments I made to her during the period she earned more than me?


#4

Alimony can be modified if outlined in a court order upon a substantial change in circumstances. If alimony is outlined in a separation agreement, it is not modifiable and therefore you may want to include a specific date of termination (for instance when the children reach school age).
Alimony paid is not refundable. You can include language in an agreement forcing income reporting.