Spouse Support proposal thoughts

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Spouse Support proposal thoughts

Unread postby Wow987 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:47 pm

Background: Recently started mediation to help with formalizing the divorce agreement. Living in Georgia. 3 children younger than 10yrs old. Married for 15 years. Im working full time (40 hour weeks) and spouse has flexible work hours and works while children are at school, and some evenings. Gross income split is 80/20. I still live in the house and want to get Parenting Plan and Financials agreed to before making the move.

There appears to be a set dollar amount for child support and I will need to pay $2000/month. Spouse wants $500/ month in addition for spouse support.

Question: does the $500/month spouse support sound fair/ reasonable? I have no idea. Have briefly spoken with an attorney but they wouldn't commit to anything without opening up a case. I dont know if I should just accept this amount so we can move on with the mediation process, or dig my heals in and put up an argument to reduce the $500. Also, what is a realistic duration that I would be expected to pay this amount?

Any thoughts, suggestions. Am I missing something? Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Re: Spouse Support proposal thoughts

Unread postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:12 am

Settle on a parenting plan first and foremost. Think 50/50. All other issues are secondary.

Lock in geographic restriction to your local school district. That will guard against move-aways. You also want ROFR (right of first refusal).

Wow987 wrote:.....spouse has flexible work hours and works while children are at school, and some evenings.
Her abbreviated work schedule is a perk of marriage. Now that marriage is ending, that perk must also end. She needs to be gainfully employed: W-2; 40 hrs/wk. Fully self-supporting must be the goal.

Think of alimony as a bargaining chip. If she gets alimony, what will you get of significance in return??

If you must pay alimony, at the very least, you want a termination date certain and a no-modification clause. No matter how much or how little, alimony must never be her pension.

Alimony is highly negotiable. Your best bet is to buy her out.

Have you read The List??

http://forum.dadsdivorce.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13374

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Re: Spouse Support proposal thoughts

Unread postby Campfire » Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:36 am

I highly agree with Tom regarding a buyout if alimony becomes inevitable.

Is your STBX finavialy savvy? Are you sure you will have to pay her alimony? What is your state verbiage on alimony? Does it contain wording such as "reviewable/permanent/etc. ?
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Re: Spouse Support proposal thoughts

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:11 am

Wow987 wrote:Question: does the $500/month spouse support sound fair/ reasonable? I have no idea.

Georgia has no statues for spousal support. However, the judges in each county tend to have their own agreed-upon standard. Example: In Gwinnett County where I divorced, judges award up to 40% of gross for one-third the length of the marriage. So you need to have a conversation with your attorney and find out your court's culture about spousal support. Without income numbers, it's impossible for us to tell you if $500/month is "fair". It's certainly low, compared to anecdotes in this community.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. What are your custody goals? As was mentioned above, you want to solidify your parenting plan before discussing financials.
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Re: Spouse Support proposal thoughts

Unread postby LovingDadof2 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:16 am

Agree with Camp and Tom, try to get 50-50 parenting plan and geographical restriction (tied to school district) locked up first.

Is your mediation voluntary? What if mediation falls apart? Any money you will have been giving her will be seen as a gift and could also be considered status quo for temp orders if you go to trial. So don't agree to an amount unless it's something you can afford to pay for a long time (many Dad's here have been living with temp orders for 3 years or more.) There is no guarantee you will complete the divorce process in mediation, so be careful what you agree to.
Last edited by LovingDadof2 on Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spouse Support proposal thoughts

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:46 am

Mediation is voluntary in my county until it isn’t. The judges aren’t interested in presiding over divorce actions until there’s been an attempt between the parties to work it out. If you don’t voluntarily go through mediation, then they will order mediation. Only once you demonstrate via good faith effort that your action isn’t a good candidate for mediation will your case move forward with the judge.
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Re: Spouse Support proposal thoughts

Unread postby Wow987 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:43 pm

Ok, so Im obviously getting ahead of myself and Parenting Plan needs to be #1 priority. Did I mention that Im new to this... :(

Mediation is voluntary right now.

Without changing the original topic too much, maybe I can get some insight on 50/50. This means the children stay with each parent for the same number of nights per year?

Ultimately, that is what I would want but everybody around me keeps challenging me on how that is going to work with me having a full time job. I have standard working hours 8-5pm. The only option I can think of, to make it work, is I would need to put the children into after school activities (ASA) until i am able to collect them at 6pm in the evenings. Also, there are way more School holidays than work vacation days that i am entitled to. Their mother currently has the flexibility, and is surely the best person to be looking after them. I dont know how other single dads do this, but is it not in the childrens best interest to not be forced into ASA's during the alternating weeks that I would have them?

Single dads, please share with me how you manage. I'm guessing I have not considered the variety of options out there.... because i dont know what they are yet.
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Re: Spouse Support proposal thoughts

Unread postby massdad1234 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:42 pm

OP - you have it exactly right. Not only that, if you and the STBX can learn to be business professional, you can work together on logistics for watching kids. You have some great ideas on how to cover it and you should also consider those "friends" who sound to me like they are trying to talk Dad out of their children's right to equal time with dad.

Here is the thing. (divorce not final) My two oldest that are in elementary school beg to go to after school activities. Make sure you are spending quality time with them when you have them, but put yourself in their shoes. Highly active time minimally supervised with younger authority figures with their peers. There is nothing wrong about that and you should feel blessed to be able to provide exciting opportunities. There are also websites like care.com were you could potentially land flexible child care needs.

Bottom line, plenty of single parents do exactly what you are considering and their children are fine. Personally I would flip it to a carrot.

Remember, 50/50 means you get to make decisions independent of the mother and don't need her permission to do so. On the flip side, she may do as she pleases as well.
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Re: Spouse Support proposal thoughts

Unread postby Wow987 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:17 am

Thanks guys, I appreciate your feedback. It has given me even more to look out for and consider.

I am going to end this original forum, and open a new one to discuss the options for the 50/50 Parenting Plans. Let me deal with that before worrying about financials.

Thanks again.
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