What can I expect?

When my ex and I split, we did one of those “do it yourself” legal separations. He never stuck to it, so in order to get timely child support I took the agreement we’d signed and had notarized to CSE. They took it “verbatim” and never did the worksheets. It’s been 3 years since that was done, and now we have a court date on 10/22/12 to review child support.

We have 2 children and I have them almost 100% of the time. We do not have a formal custody/visitation agreement. I’ve kept a calendar of the overnights I’ve had the children the past 3 years. We do not pay child care, and he carries insurance on the children but they do not take any employee premiums out of his pay. He has a standard W2 job, plus he’s partial owner of a bakery.

When we have this hearing; will they set a new child support amount right away? How will they know that he’s got self employment income in addition to regular income? Will his “bills” affect the amount of child support set? Do they take bonuses into account? He’s had significant (25k-40k) bonuses from his regular job; and even just factoring in what I “think” he makes in gross pay without counting any bonus or self employment income I come up close to $800.00 a month short. Thank you for any insight you have on this; I want to be prepared for the hearing.

The CSE worker should review the documents provided and run the calculations and try to get a settlement between the parties. If you cannot agree to an amount, they will have a hearing. Both parties will have to present evidence to the court of their income and expenses for the children. If you don’t believe he is being forthcoming, you need to let the judge know what you know about his bonuses, etc. so that he/she can make an informed decision. The only bills that are taken into consideration are those for the children.