Support/child care expense

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Support/child care expense

Unread postby needmygirls » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:15 pm

Background : divorced with calculated child support for the last two years.

During the initial calculations of support both myself and Ex wife were both working making X amount of money. At the time we had a significant amount of childcare expenses because the youngest child was at daycare all day all week. My lawyer told me after the childcare expense was all gone (when youngest enters school) that that it could be taken out of the support calculation and that it would lower my support approximately 100 dollars a month.

We no longer have the daycare expense and I was considering having support recalculated.

Since the initial calculation my ex wife has quit her job and is currently not working at all. Nothing has changed with my income or employment. How will her not working affect the calculation? Would I be making a mistake to have it recalculated, is there a possibility that I end up paying more since she isn't working? Thanks I advance
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Re: Support/child care expense

Unread postby Outis » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:19 pm

Just ask to have her income imputed at her previous wage, since she voluntarily quit.

Bit of a crapshoot, though. The judge could impute anywhere between minimum wage and her previous wage.
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Re: Support/child care expense

Unread postby lionel2013 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:35 pm

In many/most states, CS is calculated based upon clear, set formulas, available on the internet (IL is one of those states). If your state is one of them just go on the web and run the calculations. Even if it is not, the divorce statute in your state should provide enough guidance for you to predict the impact.

Also: since this is about CS, not SS, the judge may not cre she quit her job and may not impute her any income if by doing so the children would suffer, in the Court's view.

So the message here is: get busy on the web.
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Re: Support/child care expense

Unread postby steelmark » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:45 pm

Dicey call there because of the old “it depends” answer.

If they don’t impute income or impute it at a lower amount than your original math, you could end up worse off than the $100 you are seeking.

My work related child care expenses are split 50/50 and independent of CS, I’m not understanding why the change in child care expenses has any impact on CS in your case...

How is child care addressed in your decree?
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Re: Support/child care expense

Unread postby needmygirls » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:13 pm

Steelmark: without having it in front of me at this time I believe the childcare numbers were imputed because we each were responsible for 50% of the total during that time.
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Re: Support/child care expense

Unread postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:20 pm

Here's the deal: Right under your nose, prior to divorce, your ex had been working her game plan pre-emptively.

Even post-divorce, it remains incumbent upon you to manage your case personally. Situation awareness.

needmygirls wrote:My lawyer told me.....
1) Famous last words, Bro.
2) This is your attorney prepping you for a post-divorce court appearance; child support modification. More attorney fees to generate.

needmygirls wrote:.....after the childcare expense was all gone (when youngest enters school) that that it could be taken out of the support calculation.....
Q: What's wrong with your attorney's advice??

ANS: Child support and child care should never have been combined. Instead, you agreed by way of stipulation to a child support deviation. You're locked in.

What you should've done:

1) Pay her child support per state calculator.

2) You pay 50% of child care expenses directly to child care provider. That way, when child care is no longer needed, all you have to pay is child support. No muss, no fuss, and above all, no court appearance.

The way things now stand, child support and child care are combined under the umbrella of your current child support obligation, with no specific provision for child care. That means, until the court rules otherwise, you're locked in to the terms and conditions thereof.

In Oregon, child support can be revisited 3 yrs after the last order was written. Two years down, one year to go.

needmygirls wrote:.....my ex wife has quit her job and is currently not working at all.
In one year hence, your ex will have a well-established (new) status quo. Do you see her two-pronged game plan unfolding here??

1) Even though child care is no longer necessary, she continues to collect tax-free money in the form of child support.

2) If you file for CS modification based upon change in circumstances, her CS contribution will be significantly lower for her because she's unemployed.

3) At best, in the way of CS modification in 1 yr's time, what you can reasonably expect is that her income will be be imputed @ minimum wage @ 40 hrs/wk. You should start doing CS calculations well in advance - like right now. Crunch your numbers based upon a variety of scenarios.

Read your decree, Bro. Please tell me that I'm wrong about child support and child care being combined.

IMHO - She's working her game plan, Bro. Now that she's a SAHM, if you file for a CS modification, I'll bet a month's pay she'll counter with a motion for parenting plan modification - her primary; EOW for you.

My 2¢

Tom
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Re: Support/child care expense

Unread postby lionel2013 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:49 pm

It would be highly unusual for child care expenses to be lumped in with CS, unless you specifically agreed to it.

As the fountain of wisdom named Tom K. just said, stop relying on your glorious attorney and start doing your homework. Beginning with dusting off your own divorce decree, and enlisting the help of our collective friend Google.
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Re: Support/child care expense

Unread postby lionel2013 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:52 pm

And since you trust your attorney so much, instruct him or her to hammer your X as to why exactly she quit her job, make him earn his pay.
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Re: Support/child care expense

Unread postby needmygirls » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:26 pm

Maybe I can explain more clearly or maybe I just completely screwed up.

The child support number was not pulled out of thin air.. It was based on the state calculation.. Im looking at it now. I was awarded 161 nights and NJ 204 per year. The support number was based on those figures. In the support worksheet in my decree it states that both myself and NJ are both responsible for 1/2 of child care cost of 491.25 per month. It also states in the language that each party is responsible for paying 1/2 of the cost.

I did a different support calculation based on the same numbers on the decree worksheet minus the childcare cost and it lowered my obligation. What am I missing if I screwed up so badly?

Also so am I hearing this all right.. Since NJ had a job, voluntarily quit her job after having another baby with Mr wonderful, that she can be a stay at home parent t for a year or so then modify a parenting plan or child support number... Wouldn't every woman in divorce do this then?

I ended up with what I have now based on the feedback from this forum, I went to a full court proceeding to lasting two days before NJ offered a settlement in front of a judge. Are you telling me that it was all a plan to quit a job, have baby and then have a judge grant her more support and more parenting time, if so I royally F'ed up.
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Re: Support/child care expense

Unread postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:26 am

needmygirls wrote:The child support number.....was based on the state calculation.
So far, so good.

needmygirls wrote: In the support worksheet in my decree it states that both myself and NJ are both responsible for 1/2 of child care cost of $491.25 per month.
Is this amount paid to your ex??.....or do you the child care provider directly??

In terms of child care vs child support: Who pays what??.....and to whom??

When you pay your ex CS, are child care monies and child support monies combined (as in deviation)??.....per decree?? In other words, is there a deviation in your child support order that also covers the cost of child care??

Stated differently, If you're no longer using child care, why are you still paying for it??.....unless of course, your child support order has a built-in deviation.

Q: Who wrote the final order??

Tom
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