Spousal support and health insurance

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Spousal support and health insurance

Unread postby 03cobra » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:44 am

Ky- 2 kids 6 and 3. Married 10 years, in the planning stage, but things are heating up. I make roughly 100k, she makes about 15k working part time.
Through snooping, she went to a laywer and esitmated spousal support at 1200 a month with 50 50 shared parenting. My lawyer (free consult) estimated at 750 a month. I want to stay at no more than 1000 a month, if i offer to pay kids health ins, and pay a portion of private schooling, could these be used to negotiate a package deal? Meaning, i pay her 700 a month, pay kids health ins, and contribute 300 a month into kids catholic school, would be seen as a good faith offer?
Just looking for opinions, thank you
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Re: Spousal support and health insurance

Unread postby lionel2013 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:27 am

If you've been paying the health insurance premiums for your kids so far, and given the very large income disparity between you and your wife, the court may simply order you anyway to continue paying the premiums for your kids. You can give it a try, but not much of a bargaining chip IMHO.
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Re: Spousal support and health insurance

Unread postby Broken Machine » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:19 pm

In my state, paying for health insurance factors into the calculation for child support. Spousal support is negotiable. It might be temporary as well. It depends on your state, length of marriage, and how employable your wife is. I'm not sure this is the same in all states but spousal support can be considered income to your wife and will affect the child support rate.
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Re: Spousal support and health insurance

Unread postby nr552 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:27 pm

03cobra wrote:Ky- 2 kids 6 and 3. Married 10 years, in the planning stage, but things are heating up. I make roughly 100k, she makes about 15k working part time.
Through snooping, she went to a laywer and esitmated spousal support at 1200 a month with 50 50 shared parenting. My lawyer (free consult) estimated at 750 a month. I want to stay at no more than 1000 a month, if i offer to pay kids health ins, and pay a portion of private schooling, could these be used to negotiate a package deal? Meaning, i pay her 700 a month, pay kids health ins, and contribute 300 a month into kids catholic school, would be seen as a good faith offer?
Just looking for opinions, thank you


Here's what you need to look at consider, and these are all separate:

#1 - Parenting time (custody) 50/50 shared. At the young age of your kids, you may have to do a 2/2/3 schedule (kids with one parent Mon-Tues, the other parent Wed-Thurs, then Fri-Sat-Sun (rotates EOW for each parent). -- Once the kids get older, 1 week on, 1 week off. -- Get that settled/agreed upon, include with your parenting time "ROFR" terms, anti-move away clause, decision making re: health & school matters, etc (it's in the list) then:

#2 - Child Support-- Based on 50/50 parenting time %, calculated per your state guidelines (if any)-- and "mom" has to work full time, or be imputed with full time 2080 hours x min wage$ at the VERY MINIMUM (again, depends on your state, but I would fight hard for that, and tell your attorney that's what you want) ... you don't bring that up with your ex until AFTER you have settled your parenting time. Additionally CS includes your paying of your kids health insurance, 50% of all out of pocket medical/dental/etc costs, 50% of school tuition, extra curricular activity costs -- Other considerations: claiming the kids for tax purposes-- if mom makes "squat" and you are 6 figures, who would benefit MORE by claiming the kids on their taxes? Run the numbers for both you and your ex claiming the kids-- you may benefit by ALWAYS claiming the kids-- and pay your ex CS above state "guidelines", and it's a better net net for you (plus she'll get more CS feeling like she won.)

#3 - division of assets/debt -- I put this #3 for a reason, before spousal support, and it's important. Normal (in most states) division of assets and debt, is 50/50 split. Not knowing your situation, you need to be looking at your housing (own or rent) assets, if any; tangible assets-- furniture, cars, boats, airplanes, whatever; bank accounts, all financial assets -- including your 401k (she'll get half of that). Have credit card debt? She'll be responsible for 50% of that. -----> all of these things are negotiable... which leads into

#4 - Spousal support. Rule of thumb has been (at least in my state of CA), SS if awarded, 1/2 the length of the marriage. A 10 year marriage in CA is deemed to be a "long term marriage" which leaves it up to the judge to reserve the decision on the duration and amount of $$$ for SS. I would argue/offer no more than 5 years. SS is to help offset the lifestyle change (talking legal terms here, not what I personally believe in), and that the supported person needs to become self supportive-- Once you iron out the length, you need to look at actual monthly amount. Your state may use a standard calculation (based upon your statement of what your ex is looking for and what your own attorney is telling you). Here's where the negotiations happen -- You've ironed out parenting time, your CS is set, you have division of assets/spousal support that you can bargain. SS is a tax deduction for you (*new tax law --alimony deduction repeal would affect divorces carried out after December 31, 2018. The new rule wouldn't affect anyone already paying alimony.)

SO, consider the tax advantages of pay more SS with her taxing on more debt, less assets, etc...
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Re: Spousal support and health insurance

Unread postby dad2grls » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:39 pm

It would help to know your state, it can make a BIG difference.

Generally speaking all the "extra stuff" you're willing to throw in, including health insurance and $300 for private school is something you'd be ordered to pay over and above child support anyway, so even if you settle without going to court your soon to be ex's attorney won't allow you to use that as a bargaining chip because they know it's not something you'd get if you left it to a judge.
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Re: Spousal support and health insurance

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:13 pm

The state is Kentucky.

OP, if money is so tight, then why are you focused on paying for private school? What are they offering that cannot be found with the "unwashed masses" of public school? Private school is a perk of marriage, and you're not going to be married anymore.

Also, you're a bit ahead of yourself. What's your plan to lock in 50/50 parenting time? You want to be locking in custody before you ever discuss finances. The only finances you should be looking at right now is how to implement austerity measures. What can you turn off, unsubscribe from, sell and otherwise do to reduce expenses? Once divorce is filed, you're locked in with your current expenses until the divorce is finalized. And if you're concerned about a $250/month delta for combined support, how do you plan on financing an attorney?
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Re: Spousal support and health insurance

Unread postby Trevor » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:48 pm

It's the catechism. But OP knows (surely) that CCD is available for the kids to be indoctrinated, should they attend public school.

OP, if you remain engaged in their educations, little in the way of public school curricula deficiency (real or imagined) is beyond the repair of a good Dad.

Even in Kentucky.

(Are you in either Jefferson or Fayette County?)
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Re: Spousal support and health insurance

Unread postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:19 pm

Pay child support per state calculator. Crunch these numbers yourself. Use a variety of scenarios.

You and I both know her part-time employment is nothing more than a perk of marriage. And now that marriage is ending, that perk must end.

Try getting her wages imputed: starting point; minimum wage @ 40 hrs/wk. Ideally, before divorce is finalized, she needs to become fully self-supporting (as much as possible). Alimony (if any) should be rehabilitative, not her pension.

Since you've been paying it all along, you will likely be on the hook for health insurance. But do diligent research. See if you can deduct insurance premiums from child support.

Child support "deviation;" monies paid in addition to child support - This includes daycare and tuition for private school. Start think in terms of austerity - measures to be implemented now, definitely not later:

1) You may have the best of intentions, but can't predict your financial future.
Indeed, K-12 is a long-term commitment. With that in mind, you want no mention of private school (tuition) in your decree. It's not like you can't send your kids to private school. It's just that you don't want to lock yourself into something you can't get out of. Private school is not a bargaining chip.

2) There's no getting around it, daycare (to be differentiated from private school - in your decree, you want built-in flexibility) will continue for some time. Try getting a 50/50 split on daycare costs.

03cobra wrote:.....she went to a laywer and esitmated spousal support at 1200 a month with 50 50 shared parenting. My lawyer (free consult) estimated at 750 a month. I want to stay at no more than 1000 a month.....
Lock in your parenting plan (50/50) first and foremost. Don't even discuss alimony. She needs to become fully self-supporting ASAP. If she knows she's gonna get alimony, she'll have no incentive to get a full-time job.

But if you must pay alimony, lock in a termination date certain (half of marriage length, at most) and a no-modification clause. The lone exception to modify would be if your lose your job, take a pay cut, or become disabled (even temporarily).

Tom
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Re: Spousal support and health insurance

Unread postby lionel2013 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:36 pm

With that in mind, you want no mention of private school (tuition) in your decree. It's not like you can't send your kids to private school. It's just that you don't want to lock yourself into something you can't get out of.


Excellent point Tom. Same thing applies for stipulations on paying for college education. I didn't have to agree to private school, but I stupidly agreed to a stipulation on paying for college education and now I greatly regret it (should have consulted this board before I signed off on it).
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