My ex and I currently have a written support agreement in place instead of an actual court order for child support. My husband and I recently had a baby and decided that it would be better for us financially if I stayed home instead of returning to work, since my paycheck would just barely cover the cost of child care for the baby + 2 after school cares (for kids from my ex). Can I legally ask for my in support from my ex since I will not be generating an income in order to help support our 2 oldest kids (not the baby)? I know that my ex will try to use the argument that I voluntarily did not go back to work and therefore he should not have to pay more in support because of it and I want to make sure that I can legally ask for more before launching into an argument with him on it. (He is already paying less than what the NC Child Support Calculator says he should be paying because he refused to agree to pay more…)
I had a long response typed up to explain, but it is not worth it. If my ex were paying me the support that he should have been paying when I WAS working, then this would not be an issue at all. However, since my question is apparently being disregarded by the ACTUAL lawyers here I will move on.
nowin – it’s people like you that make those looking for help weary to come into forums like this and ask for it. I apologize for not giving you my ENTIRE back story so that you could give me your incompetent “not an attorney” opinion. And for the record, my ex also remarried and his new wife has a child from a previous marriage – whom my ex supports more than he does his own children – and I’m sure that his wife’s ex pays the correct amount of support based upon their lifestyle and all of the “extras” that he can afford… So no, it’s not my thinking that “makes women look bad”. It’s the men who refuse to support the children that they helped to create and do everything they can to get around it.
Actually, when a party has an additional child (or children) it does alter the child support calculations. When completing the calculations, there is a place for you to input that you have an additional child.
If 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. Judges aren’t supposed to impute income unless they are able to make this finding, but it’s my experience that they will find any reason to impute income if they can.
I would run the calculations 2 ways, one with you having $0 income and one with your previous income. You may still find that he should be paying you more even with your imputed income, especially if there are less child care costs for the other two children since you are now able to take care of them as well.
I think the biggest issue you haven’t addressed is whether the agreement has a provision for modifying the child support obligation. if not, he could argue that the amount agreed upon is just and reasonable to meet the needs of the child and the child support guidelines shouldn’t be applied in your case. I would look into this before bringing suit for child support.
To expand on a point Kathleen addressed… new children DO impact child support, however they cannot be used as a motion to modify. Meaning – you can’t modify soley because you had more children, but should you modify for other reasons, the fact you have more children will now be calculated in.