Military retirement, child support custody


#1

I was in the military 24 years and was married for the last 11 of those years. I am retired now and working overseas as a contractor. I came over here to try to get out of debt and fix up our house in NC to sell it so we could move back west. Most of the bills are in my name and my name is on the loan for the house but both of our names are on the deed to the house. My wife admitted infidelity and we are talking about divorce. I just had some questions about it

  1. I know that there is a child support calculator. Is VA disability/retirement pay included in figuring income?

  2. How much is she entitled to of my retirement.? I’ve heard that it is a percentage of the time married versus time in the military?

  3. My wife has used my 9/11 education benefits to get an LPN license. Will that affect the amount of child support that I pay?

  4. For most of our marriage there has been just my income. My wife has also been financially irresponsible with my income. That is one of reasons I am over here. If I can show her financial irresponsibility with our financial records, will that have any bearing on the amount of child support or retirement she is entitled to?

  5. If I am working overseas will I have to pay more child support and how will that affect custody.

  6. If I go back to work in the states and take a cut in pay how easy is it to change the amount of child support I am responsible for?

  7. How likely is it that I will have to pay alimony?

  8. We have a joint account that she has as much access to as I do. Should I send my paycheck to a different account?

Thanks,
Joe


#2
  1. Yes, disability pay is considered income under the child support guidelines.

  2. There is no set rule about how much retirement she is owed. Equitable distribution tends to be an equal division of the assets and debts unless there is an equitable distribution factor that the court feels means that one party should receive more of the marital estate. Ideally, all assets would be split evenly, but sometimes, that is not the case if one party wants more cash and the other more retirement savings. If you are looking to split the retirement evenly, the marital portion is calculated by dividing the marital months of employment with the total months of employment. This is called the coverture fraction.

  3. Child support is based on incomes. If this benefit could be claimed as income to her, it could impact the child support obligation.

  4. It will not impact child support, but waste is one of the equitable distribution factors that the court considers.

  5. The child support calculator takes the number of overnights into consideration.

  6. You can move to modify child support, but the court may impute income to you if you voluntarily take a pay cut.

  7. If the court determines that she is the dependent spouse and you have the ability to pay alimony, you will likely have to pay some.

  8. You can, but you should know that cutting off support without discussion will provoke her to file a lawsuit. If you want to do things amicably, you should still have some of your check deposited in the joint account as support. When you tell her, it may cause her to empty the accounts, so make sure that you have taken money from the accounts so you aren’t left without any funds and cancelled any automatic withdrawals so that you don’t incur additional overdraft fees.