Originally Posted by violet_
Right. So, somehow I thought I was writing about how frustrating it is that my DH, who quite literally has paid thousands of dollars per month in child support and visitation (not even counting all the health insurance and medical), who has never missed a payment for 5 years, who even sends her extra money when she asks, and who even kept paying his full rate for three months after being laid off, hoping it would be short-term, now has to fork over $3000 just to ask that it maybe get modified, since his income is now, you know, $0.
And I thought it a bit odd that I would possibly be expected to support these children I have no legal rights to, when their mother, who makes a quite fine income and has no child care expenses (so just the normal stuff, and trust me, with DH's check each month, she doesn't have to spend a nickel on her kids, or even on her own mortgage), would somehow get to keep her income private while I fight to keep mine private.
But, I see, what is most shocking here is that some state somewhere thinks that the older children can make do on 90% of what they had been getting, on the assumption that my child may deserve some support from her father too -- you know, 10% of what they get.
Yes, very shocking.
Sometimes I forget how selfish and entitled people get when they receive unearned income on a regular basis.
it's frustrating to deal with such inequity: From what you've described, the ex-wife is free to make whatever post-divorce choices she wishes (to work or not to work, to marry a wealthy man, to have subsequent children...) and it is considered none of your husband's business. Whereas if he
moves forward with his
personal life, his child support obligations may increase
if his household income goes up due to his new wife working, yet those obligations may NOT be reduced
if he suffers a loss in income. Plus, the court scarcely recognizes his obligation to support children from this same new wife
who can be required to support his prior
children with her own
, that sounds convoluted and wrong!
#1- Are you quite sure about all of this? You've read the laws yourself and aren't relying on the interpretation of a lawyer with a vested interest in having you believe that it's all so up-in-the-air and precarious that you need his (expensive) help?
#2- In the last decade, my state's family law has been largely revamped and I'm sure it was due to lawsuits from people complaining that the previous standards for both custody and child support were unreasonable. If people like your husband don't stand up and make these arguments, nothing changes. (I know, I know - like you have nothing else to do, right?)
#3- If the child support guidelines you're dealing with are clear and straightforward
, have you considered going pro se
and saving the $3,000? You'd still have the cost of your husband flying out to the jurisdiction his kids live in, for court. But he should be able to petition that the hearing be scheduled at a time he would be out there anyway. (Even if he doesn't go there to visit, evidently he has to fly out there periodically to pick up his kids and fly back with them? If he stayed there for a day, to attend the hearing, at least he wouldn't be buying additional
airfare just to go to court.) It is a tightrope, I realize. On one hand, you're risking that the ex will have some hotshot attorney who might steamroll your husband. On the other hand, it's effective to be able to say to the court, "Look, I'm not spending money on attorneys while claiming I can't afford child support. I'm experiencing genuine
financial difficulties and not just trying to weasel out of my responsibilities. So, be fair." You probably do want to have an attorney for subjective things like contested custody. But if there are consistent standards for child support calculations in that jurisdiction, there may not be much wiggle-room in the outcome. Here, it's usually a straightforward calculation: income, the kids' expenses, percentages... plug everything in and see what number you get.
#4- Don't be so hard on the responders who seem to question you. Despite your current frustration, I'm sure you can sympathize with the fact that there are women out there whose exes don't
care about supporting their kids. There are non-custodial parents who either underreport their incomes or choose
not to earn what they're capable of earning while their kids are still minors, just to reduce how much support they pay. There are also irresponsible men who carelessly impregnate woman after woman, serially reducing the significance of their financial contribution toward each individual kid. Some of the same laws
that are unfair to your responsible
husband CAN reign in these other types of fathers and discourage women from wanting to have babies with them. There's a wide range of experiences out there. Furthermore, child support is not the same as a government handout, like you allude. I'd be angry in your position, too, but that statement wasn't fair.