Uncooperative Spouse, next step?

If this goes through to court, you would need to use the guidlines as they are in the child support calculator on the home site. Child support is based on the parents incomes, insurance and daycare fees paid out and the number of overnights the child spends with each parent. The “floor” you are referring to would be what your monthly salary is, no negotiating. The only way to deviate from those guidlines is for you and your ex to agree on an amount and to sign an agreement. Be aware though that it can be brought to court at any time in the future, and your salary would be verified and used then.

The best scenario for the child is basically what you two are doing now, sharing time and working out the details between you. It is more emotional, stressful, and expensive to go to court for custody or child support. Run the calculator and see what you would be paying if this went to court. If you are dividing the time equally between you then my suggestion is you pay a reasonable amount of child support if you make considerably more and split everything else. You pay for stuff during your time, and she pays during her time. Medical bills, pay out half…school supplies (when that is an issue), pay half.
You must keep in mind that if you are going to have joint legal and physical custody you will need to work together to raise your child separately.
If custody is not decided by the court or an agreement then each parent has the right to 100% custody of the child. If she is taking the child on a vacation, you may get her to agree to contact you if plans change.
You can file for absolute divorce after one year and one day separation. Custody and child support can be filed for at any time and does not have to be decided prior to absolute divorce. Equitable distribution and alimony must be at least filed claim prior to absolute divorce. There are do-it-yourself divorce kits at some of the local office supply stores and there are also some forms on this web site.

Hello and thank you in advance for your answers and time.

I have been seperated from my spouse for 5 months now. We have been going back and forth for the past 5 months on the contents of our seperation agreement. We are down to one last point, but it seems my spouse is not ready to budge. We are basically managing our lives as they are seperate but without any formal agreement signed. The one last point we can not agree on is the setting of a “floor” for my salary as it relates to Child Support. I currently earn 65k per year and am willing to agree to a floor, but of only 35k per year, my spouse is not ready to sign the agreement unless the floor is 60k per year.

The parts of our unsigned agreement in a nutshell are as follows:

  1. Debt: There is about $150k in debt. In the agreement which is not signed we have agreed on how to split this, I have taken about 75% of the debt and my spouse 25%. Also, we have been managing our debt along these lines also.

  2. Assets: my spouse retained about 90% of what was in the home and I have agreed to leave my spouse with about 65% of the equity in the home also once the agreement is signed. My spouse lives in the home and pays all mortgage and utilities that go along with this.

  3. Child Custody: we have a 3.5 year old. We have agreed on how this will be handled yet again it is not signed, however we have been following the basic rules we set forth for about 4 months now and it is going quite well.

My questsions are as follows:

  1. We often argue as to the percentage of child care expenses each of us is responsible for. However my argument has always been that I am responsible for the percentage of my income as it relates to our two incomes together. Currently that is roughly 66%. As long as I stand by that, is that ok?

  2. Without us agreeing on child support terms we have not signed the agreement. Are there some guidelines or laws that state how custody is to be handled between 2 parents that have no agreement in place? The most important thing to me on this planet is my daughter and not having an agreement scares the begeezies out of me.

  3. Can I force mediation without the use of an attorney? The legal bills have piled up and I simply do not have the funds to keep paying an attorney. My thoughts are as follows: 1. We have basically agreed on everything accept for the floor amount and i could use this point as leverage/proof during mediation by simply making the point that we have agreed on everything but this, please help us close this one point. My fear is that if we go to meidation, my spouse will deviate from our “not signed” agreement and try to collect alimony and maybe ask that i take more debt. Not being an attorney, I do not know how these things work. However my thought is that if my spouse thought they could get alimony or me to take more debt they would have pushed this issue already. So basically how does mediation work and are the prior points we have agreed on valid or do you have to start from scratch?

  4. Child Custody: If the only thing stopping us from signing an agreement that would also outline our custody agreement can I force this issue in court by myself? I am a great parent, provide a good place for my daughter to live, my family is very involved with my daughter, I participate in taking my daughter to the doctor, I even pick my daughter up early or on request from my spouse when my spouse needs my help. I have paid for at least 66% of all daycare. Again, we have been on a 2+2+3 schedule for about 4 months and everything seems to be working fine, I have no reason to beleive that anything other than what is the norm would be ordered. What are my options here? My spouse wants to take our daughter on an extended vacation and I am fine with that but very very afraid without there being some document in place.

  5. Can I get a divorce after being seperated for the year even if all of the items above have not been settled? What forms do I file? How do I file them? Is there a place I can get free help with this? A book I can buy or a kit?

Thanks again for any direction/help you provide.

Spouse A