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Homeschooling SAHM needs separation/divorce advice - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
Ah... I tried a different calc and it estimated $1200/mo. That makes more sense. This is if I am responsible for insurance. We've had CHIP before, so I expect to try that first. This is much more reassuring.
post #22 of 33
It's important to enter negotiations asking for more than what you would be willing to accept. Then you have room to negotiate and let him feel like he is winning.I would doubt your stbx would be thinking about fair as much as he may lead you to believe (based on another thread).

Don't sell yourself short or think that be you being fair, he will too. Research spousal support - you have been staying home with kids and have not been able to contribute to your own pension. Does h have a pension? You want to ensure you account for that(eg if your half is close to your half of the debt amount, you may want to use that to negotiate yourself out of debt).

Also consider that you could have been earning more than you are had HE been staying home while you advanced your career.

Put yourself first now. It's your responsibility to your kids to ensure a fair agreement to you, so they can have a similar standard of living at either home.

I would also consider the longer term picture. Eg if the kids attend public school in the future would you REALLY want to give stbx custody EVERY weekend?

Anyway I think you're doing great. I'm just playing devil's advocate because I appreciated it when people did that for me!
post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 
Excellent points, dot1. I will include those in my number crunching. smile.gif
post #24 of 33
I also posted in other forum about going for sole custody with a right of first refusal clause (for both of you). He needs to be able to communicate well and have respectful discussions to make shared custody work for the kids; otherwise it seems the research supports a primary residence for at least the first 3 years of a child's life, longer depending on the kids. He might go for an agreement that is reviewable after a certain amount if time. This would also give YOU time to really know what kind of co-parent he is after separating. Once 50/50 is in place it is almost impossible to go back.
post #25 of 33
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post



Be careful that any collaborative law option you select does not require you to sign something saying you give up the right to go to court. 


It's my understanding that that's how collaboration differs from mediation.  With collaboration, you're still well-represented, and if things go wrong, you can still get a different lawyer and go to court.  

post #26 of 33
Some lawyers who practise collaborative law don't go to court...so you want to be sure to ask about their court experience and what percentage of cases go to trial....and compare that to averages in your region and elsewhere. Ideally you want someone who prefers to mediate/negotiate, but who has what it takes to win in court too. Hopefully you can get free or cheap consultations in your area - the more opinions you have, the easier it becomes to make sense of it!
post #27 of 33

Here's what I've learned, if you both agree with homeschooling your children, this will be taken into account when determining spousal support. I am not sure what state you are in, but here in NJ there are calculation guidelines and formulas for both alimony and child support -- see: http://www.weinbergerlawgroup.com/children-parenting/child-support/calculations-guidelines.aspx It's great if you can come to your own agreement on a sum, but don't omit running it through the calculation guidelines, if your state has them, to make sure you are getting a fair deal. You can also have the homeschool commitment written into your child custody agreement. Good luck!

post #28 of 33

yes yes, my thoughts exactly on weekends!! weekends will be sacred at a certain point, even if you manage to stay in a nontraditional set up-- not everyone else does and sometimes your and your kids' friends/family will only have time to get together on the weekends.

post #29 of 33



post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input. We've actually been working toward reconciliation and will likely start therapy in the near future. A lot has happened, as I've started working 30 hours/ week (evenings and weekends) while managing to keep our schedules carefully arranged so the kids aren't in school or other childcare. I think, for us, it is helping to open our eyes to the lifestyle of the other. He's taking on far more childcare and household chores while I am working. This obviously doesn't lighten my load any, but simply changes the amount of time we used to spend co-parenting. He's still adjusting to getting kids to bed without me, so there's still a bit of cleanup for me in the evening and days while with kids, but I expect he will manage better within a few weeks. Simply reducing our co-parenting time has helped a lot. We'll see how it goes.
post #31 of 33
That is so great to hear. I guess I didn't mean don't do child support calculator but don't show him the number I thought it would probably give you. A mile in another's moccasins does wonders doesn't it.
post #32 of 33
Originally Posted by FarmerMomma View Post

That is so great to hear. I guess I didn't mean don't do child support calculator but don't show him the number I thought it would probably give you. A mile in another's moccasins does wonders doesn't it.


I see, it's a negotiation strategy. Got it! :) 

post #33 of 33

How wonderful to hear that a reconciliation is possibly in the works.  JIC, here are some thoughts:




Originally Posted by Mama Amie View Post

Yes, thank you. That is the approach I plan to take. It seems fair to assume I should be paid fairly for my job as homeschoolers, and assume it should be equal to reasonably priced childcare for two kids during regular school hours, if not his work hours. I just need to do some math there- say $15/hour 8-4 Monday thru Thursday on top of child support average(for clothing/food/supplies). Does that sound reasonable?

 It doesn't work like this at all.  First off, if you do what is essentially a 50/50 timeshare (M-T with mom, F-S with dad) likely no one will owe child support.  They may have him pay you a wee bit because you have them one day more each week than he does.  Your 2yo isn't being HSed because she hasn't reached compulsory age yet, and your 5yo may or may not be eligible to HS depending on the compulsory age in your state.  The court will view you as a mom who just wants to SAH.  They will expect you to go to work FT.  They will not pay you to SAH.  I don't agree with this, but it is what it is.  (That's why, when my ex left me while pg, I held off on filing anything and just took whatever he offered, knowing that if we went to court I would be told to wean and go to work, ex would have gotten 50/50 timesharing, and my CS would have either been zero or pretty dang close to it.)  The court will not calculate an hourly wage for you to care for and/or teach your own kids.  It sucks but it's true.  Your only hope is to work together in mediation to get him to agree to what you want and then pray the judge just signs it without seeing how unconventional it is.


Also, once you live apart, even if nothing is filed, you will probably be eligible for public assistance.  You needn't wait for a final judgment to apply.


Originally Posted by Mama Amie View Post

Oh, he's totally on board with HSing and making sure I am financially stable. That's what he says, and I believe it. Of course, I'll have legally binding documents in place for whatever we agree upon.

Yeah, my ex said that, too.  He promised to give me $300 cash monthly and pay for gas and insurance for my new car, as well as make the $250/mo payment.  What I got was the $900 paycheck that was deposited the day he took off and then a month later he crept in the garage in the middle of the night and drove off in my car, which was in his name so I was screwed.  That was it.  Oh, no, wait...one time he came in my car to pick me for a midwife appointment...so, yeah...

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