Reducing Child Support - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-15-2010, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been divorced for roughly 2 years. Original child support and alimony were set at 1000 and 500 respectively. My salary was originally 70,000 a year but has dwindled to 40,000 because of the economy. With car payment and my house payment and expenses I still have to pay for my kids (braces and clothes) and lots of ex wife debt I don't think I can make it this next year. I also had a second job that has also disappeared and was not calculated in the setting of the child support. My original agreement with my ex was that I would pay 1500 but now things are so tight that I have literally lived off of my credit card for the last 2 months. How bad of a person am I for getting child support reset?
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#2 of 8 Old 01-16-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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I wouldn't think you were a bad dad if you tried to get your child support reduced. You may want to post in our Frugality and Finances forum to see if bankrupcy may be an option for getting rid of the ex wife debt, if you feel it is too much of a burden for you. You can also get ideas on how to reduce your own expenses so your paycheck can go a little further.

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#3 of 8 Old 01-16-2010, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted it here because it's the Dad's section and I don't feel to comfortable posting anywhere else. The problem is I have a business and my personal finances are always looked at by vendors (as of last year). It would not allow me to continue to run my business. I would have to close it and there is no guarantee that I would get a job. Owning a business does give me a lot of flexability to have my kids.
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#4 of 8 Old 01-16-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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Are you on friendly terms with the ex? I ask because my brother and his ex worked things out without the courts. There was a period of time that my brother paid little to nothing--but then when his son needed braces and later a car, he bought both of those things completely. Maybe you could work something out in terms of specific items that you can provide at this point in your life.
Things stayed "nice" between them until he remarried (which was after she remarried, btw) and then she got nasty and started getting lawyered up for money.
I also don't know what your schedule looks like or who has the kids when, or their ages, for that matter. But I know that we pay almost $1000 a month for child care for our kids (one all day, the other in an afterschool program) and that would be greatly reduced if one of us stayed at home (like I used to do).
You mentioned payments for other things--can you reduce any of those before the child care? Maybe look into that--again, don't know much about your situation.
The final thought is this: you shouldn't have to pay for the ex's debt--that sound unreasonable, again, depending on the situation. I would try to get rid of that before the child care reduction. How would the kids be doing without that income?
Just throwing out some thoughts.
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#5 of 8 Old 01-16-2010, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I wouldn't say we are on friendly terms. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. She uses my parents a lot (or used to) for child care and running the kids around. Kind of eats up my child care time so i have to pay for child care. Over the holidays I tried to work things out so we both weren't giving the kids a ton of stuff. She didn't like that idea. The agreeement was i take the debt and I keep the business. Instead of taking it to court and paying through the nose for court costs, I took the easier way out. I wish i would have held her more accountable for her spending. She was squirreling money away, and using all the money in the checking account and credit cards.

I look at it this way. I have flexibility so that she can work more and I can keep the kids more. She is unwilling to take advantage of that. My parents are willing to take the girls more but she is unwilling to do that. She works around 30 hours a week not making much money. She could make more, she's smart. I on the other hand work approx 60 hours a week just to barely stay afloat. Cutting back on her child support makes me feel guilty but it shouldn't....right?
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#6 of 8 Old 01-16-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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if you were still together, the household would have experienced economic setback from your loss of pay, so it is no different since you are divorced... you have to legally reset the child support so you can pay less, and so ex cant claim she agrees then get you for nonpayment later. Hopefully she has a good income so the children will still be cared for well, or if not, the difference in the support may qualify her for some aid programs

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#7 of 8 Old 01-16-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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How long does the alimony run? Most courts don't award alimony anymore, and if they do, it's supposed to be for a short period of time until the ex spouse can get back on his/her feet and earn some cash. If she's already working, I don't really understand the alimony award in this case. I'd try to get rid of that before touching child support.

In the event that fails, it does no harm to file for a reconsideration of child support. You can file yourself fairly easily; most states provide forms. Many states even have child support calculators on line so you can plug in your new salary and see what you would be liable for.
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#8 of 8 Old 01-19-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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Your not horrible.

If you were still together there would be less money. Many parents are having issues with this and are having to reduce child support. It is normal to make you feel guilty. Even if you were married you would feel guilty.

Please have it done legally of the state can come back and haunt you.

I have a friend that was on Chemo. Because she did not have a reduction in income but an increase expence (medicine) the state would not wave or reduce child support. Luckily her ex felt sorry for her. If they were together he would not have the money. He gave her the debit card to pay for meds. The state went after her for the month she didn't work enough. Her ex didn't want the money. Luckily he wasn't on jerk mode.

I agree you want to check on the frugality board and review bank rupcty options. If you don't do something NOW the Child support becomes another debt that cannot be washed away but will only burdon you and your kids more.
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