Questions regarding Alimony and Child Support


#1

Hello, and first thanks for any assistance that can be provided.

I have been living in an unhappy marriage for several years and it has now gotten to the point that I need to get out for my own emotional well-being, as well as for my kids (as I don’t want them growing up in a house filled with stress, anger, etc…)

I have used both the Alimony and Child Support calculators on this site and the amounts returned were shocking, and showed me that I would not be able to afford Alimony, Child Support and just a 1 bedroom apartment in the Charlotte area.

Basic information:

[ul]We live in the Charlotte, NC area.
I work and annual gross income is approx. $115k/yr.
Health/Dental/Vision insurance is provided through my work at approx. $180/month.
My wife does not work, and has not worked since 2005.
I do not have any education past high school. (I am completely self-taught / on-the-job training)
My wife has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
We have 2 kids, 9 and 2.
We will have been married 9 years this spring.
My wife was recently diagnosed with epilepsy (which has nothing do to with the reason for divorce). It is currently controlled by medication.[/ul]

Based on the Child Support Calculator on this site, the recommended Child Support Payment I would have to make is $1,150/month. That is with both of us having 182 days/year with the kids.

Based on the Alimony Calculator on this site, Alimony payments could range anywhere from $1,700 at the low end, to $4,250 at the high end, with the overall average being $2,700.

With that said, taking a Child Support payment of $1,150 plus the average Alimony payment of $2,700, it would end up costing me approx. $3,850/month if I were to get divorced.

After taxes, 401K contributions, Employee Stock Purchase Plan contributions and health insurance and taken out, my final paycheck comes to approx. $2,150 every 2 weeks.

Except for 2 months a year, I get paid twice a month for a total of $4,300. (except for 2 months, where the 2 week payment schedule works out to where I am paid 3 times in the same month)

All that being said, is it really possible I could end up paying 89.5% of my monthly income to cover alimony and child support?

Will there be any consideration given to the amount of money I’d have left over after having paid Alimony and Child Support each month, or am I up the proverbial creek?

Thanks in advance for any help, guidance and/or answers you may be able to provide!


#2

I posted a similar posting as I’m in the same situation as you.
I’ve been married 22 yrs, 3 kids, make about 110K a year, paid twice a month
Wife does substitute teaching, her income was 8300 last year only
I also used those calculators and after child support and alimony I was looking at maybe 1000 a month left over for me
I could not afford an apartment, my car, utilities and food

I also never finished college. I’m self-taught.
Wife has college degree. So she could find a job.

Advice I received was to talk to a lawyer.


#3

The reason I gave prior posters advice to seek counsel and I’m giving you the same advice now, is that there really is no formula for spousal support in NC. There are factors that are taken into consideration as well as the dependent spouses need v. the supporting spouses ability to pay. You also have to take lifestyle changes into consideration as both parties’ standards of living, while we want to keep them the same, will inevitably decrease.

It is very doubtful that you would pay 89.5% of your monthly take home pay, but I can see from your post that you aren’t considering your voluntary contributions (which are adding to your net worth like your 401(k) contributions and stock purchase plan) and you also aren’t taking into consideration that any alimony paid will be tax deductible, so $2,700 per month would really feel more like $1,900 at your salary.

For all of these reasons and more, I think that it is a good idea to have a consultation as an attorney can help you see the forest through the trees.


#4

Thank you, Kathleen. I have made an appointment to do just that.