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  #1  
January 23rd, 2009, 03:20 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,566
Hey guys, i post primarily on the TTC #1 board but i also have a step daughter so i thought i would reintroduce myself here (i posted here for a little while years ago). Anywho i have a question reguarding child support and i'm hoping you guys can provide some insight for us. I'll try to be as detailed as possible but if i leave anything out please feel free to ask questions.

Let me preface this by saying we are NOT trying to get out of paying what is deserved for his daughter, if our support was to change we actually discussed putting the difference in an account for her for later. Anyway...

Alright so dh got divorced when his dd was 1 year old, as you can see in my sig shes now a few months from being 5 and in Pre K four days a week. When Dh got divorced they settled on x amount for Child Support and X amount to pay half of the daycare costs. Well since she started regular school four days a week we figured we would go back and talk to a lawyer about whether or not the support changes since shes barely in daycare anymore. When he calculated everything up he told us there is no change in the amount he would pay, and this just doesnt make sense to us. Half of his support is specifically stated to be half of her daycare and shes only going to daycare one day a week so how can this possible be true? He told us the mom gets a "credit" because she had another baby and because he makes more money that the support she proportionally raise to meet how much he's making.

This left us with quite a few questions, which we tried to ask the lawyer and he just said "thats how it is"

First off, why does she get a credit for having another baby? Why does that impact how much support we pay for sdd? Why is the amount WE pay reflective of how many kids she has with her husband? If she has another kid does our support go up even more?! I've asked a few people about this and they're told me that the lawyer did this part backwards and its actually the support paying parent that would get a "break" for having another child not the support recieving parent because in that case if we had a child then dh's income would in a sense be reduced.

And the other part about it raising because dh's income has increased kind of makes sense, but dh's ex has increased also. He's at the same job he was at then and she actually has one that is a bit better then she had but is still within the same company so if anything there should be less of a difference between their incomes now. They both work for the same city government so they've been recieving raises at the same rate. Does support typically raise as wages increase? No one else i know that gets support has had this situation the support has pretty much remained the same the kids whole life.

I just wanted to say thank you in advance for any responses, i'm sure you get alot of annoying people on here with CS questions but i just wanted to ask here if it seems like what our lawyer told us was incorrect we might go to another one.
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  #2  
January 23rd, 2009, 04:27 PM
Christy72
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How this is done varies by state. In IL you pay 20% of your income for one child. Period. Whether or not either party has more children isn't taken into account at all. If he is paying 1/2 the daycare that could be recalculated here. The receiving parents income is not taken into account at all. If it has been awhile then his support could increase due to wages. In states like Indiana both parents income is taken into account and support is caluclated that way. I don't know of any state that would take into account another child. It is not your dh's responsibility to pay for her child. Can you talk to another attorney?

Welcome to the board. Good luck!
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  #3  
January 23rd, 2009, 07:13 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,566
Thanks, the support is through WV in case anyone else is wondering. I just... really really dont get it because all of the online support calculators (that are specific to each state so i would assume its somewhat accurate) they only ask the gross monthly income of both parents, daycare costs and health insurance premiums. Given these numbers they calc. his support at about 200 less then he's currently paying, which makes total sense to us because that would be the 200 he is no longer paying daycare costs kwim?

Based on what some have told us (and on what you guys say) we'll think of going back to a different lawyer but we might wait until she starts Kindergarten in the fall.
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  #4  
January 24th, 2009, 10:38 AM
Daisyfields's Avatar Platinum Super Mega Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In the enchanted forest
Posts: 5,257
First off, welcome, I am Chantelle, one of the co-hosts here on Blended Families. I am a step & bio-mom to 4 kids. I have to pay child-support & I receive child-support so I'm on both ends of this.

When it comes to having a child, it goes by the state's guidelines & then based on how much the parent(s) make. But it's far more complicated than that, it's based on stuff like all sources of income, overtime, bonuses, royalties, commissions, severance pay, interests & dividends, pensions....a ton of more but you get the idea.

A lot of factors come into play in determining "credits" or amounts for child support such as maintenance payments, claims of personal exemptions, relationship, parenting time, child care costs, age of the child(ren), health insurance & medical expenses, dental & vision, attribution income, other orders or obligations, or other child related expenses.

There is a chart that states go by & base it upon what the parent who is paying chil support makes to pay the person who is caring for the child. It's a "guideline"...meaning...it can be increased based on teh above info/factors I gave you or decreased if the parent caring for the child makes more money or other issues are going on. I've included a link to the MASSACHUSETTS guideline that will show you if you make $0 per week, you owe the parent $18 a week in child support. Which I find odd considering how would a parent who makes nothing pay something? Anyways... this link might be helpful & shed some light.

I know child support is confusing but honestly, the way the laws are, they are pretty reasonable. They don't modify or increase unless necessary. The only time things are a little bizzar is when alimony & stuff like that is discussed but that is seperate from the child support all together. But CS in itself is pretty cut & dry. Unless you're a celebrity or something.

HIH, GL & KUP

Chantelle

http://www.mass.gov/courts/childsupport/ch...lines-chart.pdf
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  #5  
January 26th, 2009, 10:47 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,000
Sorry you are having a hard time figuring this out. I suggest getting a 2nd opinion from another lawyer.

But one thing stood out in my mind. You said she's in pre-k 4 days a week. I'm assuming that is public school and at no cost? Where I live pre-k isn't free. Also, is it full day? My dd is in full- day school but her before & after school care cost the same as if she was in all day. And if pre-k is only 2 -3 hours per day (which is it where I live) then child care cost would be the same.

Where we are (Illinois) nothing matters except the bio dad's income. My DH pays 28% for 2 kids of his entire earned income - investments, job, lottery winnings (if there were any). It doesn't matter what his ex or her husband makes. It also doesn matter what I make (thank God because I make double what DH does!). It doesn't matter that we had a child together or that he adopted my DD. It also wouldn't matter that bio mom re-married or if she were to have more children. That makes it so much easier.

Good luck! I hope you get some answers soon!

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  #6  
January 26th, 2009, 11:15 AM
Daisyfields's Avatar Platinum Super Mega Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In the enchanted forest
Posts: 5,257
Quote:
Sorry you are having a hard time figuring this out. I suggest getting a 2nd opinion from another lawyer.

But one thing stood out in my mind. You said she's in pre-k 4 days a week. I'm assuming that is public school and at no cost? Where I live pre-k isn't free. Also, is it full day? My dd is in full- day school but her before & after school care cost the same as if she was in all day. And if pre-k is only 2 -3 hours per day (which is it where I live) then child care cost would be the same.

Where we are (Illinois) nothing matters except the bio dad's income. My DH pays 28% for 2 kids of his entire earned income - investments, job, lottery winnings (if there were any). It doesn't matter what his ex or her husband makes. It also doesn matter what I make (thank God because I make double what DH does!). It doesn't matter that we had a child together or that he adopted my DD. It also wouldn't matter that bio mom re-married or if she were to have more children. That makes it so much easier.

Good luck! I hope you get some answers soon![/b]
It goes to show you how different the laws are in each state. You really have to do your homework. I mean, really have to get down to every last nook & cranny. People can screw themselves thinking that they are going to get a modification (lower the support) & then BAM... they get screwed. A consult w/ an attorney is free. There is nothing wrong w/ going to see several of them. I'd gather ALL documents, legal, you name it, and take it from there.

I hope this helps "some"... again, it really depends on the state you live in & the circumstances around it all. I've seen people get nailed when they shouldn't have & visa verse. I think educating yourself on all the laws can only make you better aware. If that means that you know that you'll owe more moving forward, at least that can be a preparation in your mind. If that means you know it's the opposite, then again, you can move forward w/ that weight off your shoulders. Either way. I've been told SOOOO many times. "only a foul represents themselves"... get a GOOD lawyer... not a court appointed one, but a GOOD one. Yeah, it costs $2k (at least) to obtain them, but they will represent YOU, and take care of YOU, make sure YOU are not screwed. If you go in alone, you don't know. And a lawyer can always say "I need an extension" to get more info to help you out. Yes, it drags the process, it will cost you more $ but again, it can help you.

Hope this made sense.

GL
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  #7  
January 26th, 2009, 02:25 PM
JustBecca's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Suffolk, Virginia
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It does vary by state. I know that if I were to switch my CS to VA I would be getting a heck of a lot more than I am now but I am not willing to go through the headache of it all. 9 years ago when my CS was set up I was making more money than him and it was set at $150 a month because of that. I have gotten married and had 2 other children and stopped working because of my DD's medical problems. I went back shortly after her 1st surgery to get an increase and they wouldn't even take into account that I wasn't working any longer. And it stayed the same. This summer he took me to court and got the support payment reduced to $50 a month because he is working and going to school both PT. They said that he was making $700 a month but I have the POTENTIAL to make over $1500 a month if I WERE to work. CRAP THAT. So I let it go and since NOVEMBER I have gotten $19.27. Woohoo I can get Sadie a half a pair of jeans and a sock. Anyway...it just goes to show you that every state and every judge is different and I would REALLY consider getting a 2nd opinion at least.
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  #8  
January 26th, 2009, 03:06 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,566
Yes i see that it does range quite a bit, i guess i was hoping someone would be from WV here so i could know for sure! Anway to answer the question yes shes in school full day and it is through the school system so its free. She goes to her grandparents after school or her step dad watches her. In fact she doesnt even go to the babysitters on Monday all the time, probably average 3 mondays a month.

Dh paid big bucks for his lawyer for the initial settlement, and that is who we went back to. To be honest, he irked us a bit because he said "well i must have gotten you a really good deal on support the first time" which is not the case at all, in fact he didnt "fight" for dh at all the first time... the lawyer wanted to fight it out in court to get less support but dh didnt want too. Umm yeah okay buddy you got him a great "deal" alright.

Anywho, thanks. I guess we will try to find a lawyer that does free consultations (since i guess not all do, the one he used the first time only does consultations for free if you have used them previous for example)
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