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Messages - Stirling

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Child Support Issues / RE: Taxes
« on: Mar 12, 2007, 07:52:38 AM »
If the BM is not working then she has no tax liability so the personal exemptions for the children are being wasted.  See if you can cut a deal with her when you would split the tax savings related to you claiming the children.  This way everyone comes out ahead.  

"and yes, sales receipts came in during January through April."

These are the records that you can use to try and support your case.  

"I think a person with no business experience would see that as a reasonable way to calculate. I must be wrong though, because Soc and the attorney seem to think that it will be annualized starting April."

Again I would ask your attorney to explain to you why the annualization should start in April.  Perhaps he doesn't understand the fact apttern correctly.  That the distribution income your husband received in April relates to work/services that he performed in January through April.  That April draw represents several months worth of income based on several months of actual work done.  Not to include Jan. through Apr. in the annualization assumes that your husband only worked and earned income in one month.  In a way the April distribution is kind of like deffered compensation.  

You may want to try and explain it to your attorney using an example that includes the attorney.  Such as:

Mr. attorney you are a partner in a PC and you take your compensation in the form of a draw/distribution as cash flow allows.  You work and collect payments for your work for several months.  Unfortunately, the cash flow needs of the business don't allow you to take a draw/distribution for several months.  You wife has decided to divorce you and wants to calculated CS starting with the first month you had a draw/distribution and not allow in the CS calculation the months where you didn't receive a draw/distribution.  

Child Support Issues / RE: Actually...
« on: Oct 20, 2006, 12:34:23 PM »
"DH's business started in January 2006 after he was laid off the October before.

He didn't get a distribution until April 2006 and the last one Dh received was in August. What Dh's lawyer is saying is that the judge will take the total distributions and divide them by 5 months instead of the 10 months to get the monthly amount.

Dh just received a small distribution in October, so maybe this will move the judge to 7 months."

What your attorney wants to do to seems to me to distort the CS calculation.  If the business was started in Jan. and the first distribution occured in Apr. I would think that the income distributed is related to the business activities that occurred from the start of the business to the date of distribution.  Accordingly, the monthly income should be calculated from the Jan. date the business began until the most recent distribution.

Has your attorney given you a reason why he wants to ignore the business activities that were conducted from Jan. to Apr. which resulted in the distribution?

Can your husband prove through company records etc. that the Jan. trough Apr. business activities generated the money that was used for the distribution?  One of the foundations of accounting is to match revenues with expenses.  To be consistent with this principal you would need to match the Jan. through Apr. business activity with the distribution that was made.  

This is a simple matching of the business activities to the funds distributed.  I would think that it is reasonable to average the total distributions from the date the business started to the most recent distribution.  

Also, how did the business receive its cash at the beginning of the year?  Did it recievecustomer payments from Jan. to Apr. but retained in the business until the business's cash flow allowed for a distribution in Apr?  This would support including the months of Jan. through Apr. in the averaging.  


Did the Business receive it's first customer payment in Apr which was used to make the distribution?  Please note, if such an Apr payment was made based upon business activities that occured in Jan. through Apr. you still have an argument to include the months of Jan. through Apr in the average.  However, if the Apr. customer payment related solely to business activities conducted in Apr. it makes the argument tougher to make.

One final thought.  I beleive you said the business is an LLC.  For federal tax purposes will this LLC be treated as a C corporation or a flow through entity similar to a partnership or S Corporation?  If it is to be treated as a flow through entity, and the LLC is expected to have a loss for the year, then your husband should be allowed to include his share of the expected loss in the CS calculations.  Just a thought.

Child Support Issues / RE: I guess we are SOL then.
« on: Oct 20, 2006, 10:31:23 AM »
Can you withdraw your pition for a CS reduction, or has the CP filed for a modification as well?

I think Soc. is trying to tell you that you need to get creative in your approach and arguments in order to support your case.  

If I understand your situation correctly you started a new business at the beginning of the year which initially generated significant income.  Currently, the business is not generating as much income.  Your concern is that a pending CS modification will result in an over-stated CS award based on the beginning of the year profits.

I don't know the details of your business, but here are a few arguments that you could use if the fact pattern is there to support your case.  First is what Soc. suggested, that you gather support to show that your business is cyclical.  That given the nature of the business you make more money in the beginning of the year and less at the end of the year.

You could also try to make a case that the beginning of the year profits were extraordinary and non-recurring in nature.  That it was a one time event and the end of the year profits is a more realistic expectation of what your future income will be.

As Soc said you will probably need some kind of expert to testify in order for your arguments to have credibility with the judge.  

I agree with Soc when he said that judges/attorney don't like math.  This is why the will give credibility to an expert financial witness.  It is also why a judge may lean towards just annualizing your year to date income for the year and use that in the CS calculation since it is simple to do and is based on a lodgic the judge can understand.  Again you have the burdan of proof to show that annualizing your year to date income will distort the CS calculations.  You need to prove what a realistic expectation of your future recurring income will be.

If your new business is so volitile that a reasonable projection of your future recurring income is not possible then you should consider, as Soc. suggested, to cut a deal with your Ex which deviates from the guidelines.  Soc. suggested to base CS as a specific percentage of your actual earnings.  Again get creative here in trying to come up with a compromise that everyone can live with.

Good Luck!!!

Child Support Issues / RE: There are some NCP's out there that...
« on: Oct 18, 2006, 04:03:16 PM »
"On the contrary. There are a great many problems that can be solved with money. Lack of individual access to good healthcare and legal representation is a big one. Money can buy time, security, health, and a good deal of personal liberty. Most of the science, technology, government (and it's not all bad; try living somewhere chaotic for a while) and art you live with comes from rich people who had liberty to futz around. Your movies/entertainment comes from rich filmschool kids. Regarding which, don't make the mistake of thinking that people work only for money, and will stop working if there's no financial benefit."

You misunderstood what I wrote.  I said, "money issue cannot be solved with money".  Throwing money at a money issue merely enables the person to continue to make poor financial choices.  The examples you gave were non-money issues.

"Values, ethics, mores, and hard realities are what drive the formation of laws"

Actually its lobbying that drives the formation of laws.  

"I'm well aware, btw, that my ethics and the ethics behind c/s formulas don't match. Also that in a contest, the law wins. I'm not planning on budgeting for more than the minimum. But none of that has to do with my original question."

I'm glad to hear that you are budgeting for a realistic CS award based on the legal guidelines.  As far as your original question goes, like I already said each person's unique set of moral and ethical belief systems related to parenting their child will determine their views of how that child should be financially supported.  

"Your part about no moral sense or ethics being better than another works only if you're a relativist."

We live in a relative world so what's your point?  

Moral and ethical beliefs are merely choices.  If those choices no longer serve you, or support the person you want to be, or the life experience you want to have, then choose again!  Adopt a new set of beliefs that do support the person you want to be and the life experience you want to have.

"That's a magic word, control, isn't it. No, it's a sensible budgeting and quality-of-life issue."

By the very nature of CS the quality of life at issue is yours rather than your daughter's since she indireactly benefits from CS.  Remember, all CS is is a redistribution of wealth from one parent to the other.  The child has no legal claim to it, and there are no legal restrictions on how CS is spent.  Also, your daughter is enjoying your Ex's net income after CS since it enhances his lifestyle and she enjoys that lifestyle during their parenting time.  It seems that you would rather have the extra money above CS to enhance your home's lifestyle, at the expense of your Ex's lifestyle, and have your daughter enjoy it their rather than at your Ex's place.  Still seems controling to me.

"If the money is not reliably in the budget, I can't plan to spend it on dd. Not an issue for one-time expenses, but for ongoing expenses it is. Random gifts of money are very nice, but I'm not budgeting for ___ lessons based on them. Which may just mean dd doesn't get those things."

Welcome to the harsh world of divorce and it's unpleasent realities.  Most of us have been dealing with these issues for years.

Like I said before, if you want your Ex to pay a portion of lessons, then allow him to be a valid part of the decision making process.  If you sign her up for an activity and then tell your Ex that he should pay for part of it, I doubt that he would feel much like contributing towards the activity.  Again, part of being divorced means that you no longer have a say in how your Ex spends his money.  If you want him to contribute do what you can so he will want to contribute extra.

"Actually if X wants to designate the money for certain things for her, that's fine with me. So long as I know the money's actually going to show up.  If he regards it as 'his' money, btw, then he hasn't promised it to her, has he. And that's at the heart of the matter."

I have no idea if your Ex will live up to his word if he agrees to pay for things outside of the provisions of the court order.  You should have a better feel for his level of responsibility and reliability, after all you married him.

Child Support Issues / RE: There are some NCP's out there that...
« on: Oct 18, 2006, 01:36:50 PM »
"Because he or she loves the children and is a stand-up type who doesn't have to be told how far he can support his kids; trusts the CP to spend the money wisely on the kids (or makes alternate arrangements for disbursement); and understands it's to the children's advantage if the CP can budget for and plan with the money. My father, incidentally, did this. Paid (much) more than was required and gave my mother nearly all the assets, though this would never have been ordered. I know other stand-up NCPs who do similar."

Again, you are confusing the law with your own moral and ethical belief system.  

I hope that you won't be too disappointed if your Ex decides not to be legaly bound to pay more than the CS guidelines.  Your Ex can still pay extra if he choses to without being court ordered to do so.  Again I suggest that allowing your Ex to effectively co-parent with you with encourage him to pay extra.

And for the record I gave my Ex over 90% of the marital assets, over 60% of the joint cash flow, and split the marital debt 50/50 in our divorce agreement.  In addition, I am currently paying guideline CS for three children even though we only have one minor child (I never reduced CS when the other two were emancipated).  

"then the CP can't budget to include it"

I see, so the heart of the matter is a control issue.  Part of getting a divorce means that you no longer have control over how your Ex choses to spend his money (over and above CS).  

As far as you budget goes, I would suggest that you only budget for guideline support.  

From your posts it seems that you are fairly new to these divorce related issues.  Myself and others who have responded to you have many years of experience dealing with these issues and are trying to help you, and give you realistic viewpoints.  We are giving you our real life experiences.  I think that your expectations may not be realistic, and judging by other posts many people seem to feel the same way.  Does your attorney think that you have a realistic chance at getting a CS award above the guidelines?  I suspect that the only chance you have of this happening is if your Ex voluntarily aggrees to it, and from what you posted he doesn't seem to be inclined to do so.  Again your moral and ethical beliefs have absolutely no bearing on the CS laws.

"After 18 there are ways to put that towards college extras incl. saving for graduate school expenses and help with first-homebuying or business-establishing, and after 23 one continues to save for both the kid and any grandchildren. Please. Yes, of course I would do all that."

Just curious, do you ever plan on teaching your child to stand on her own two feet and become an independant contributing member of society, or do you intend to subsidize her existance and keep her dependant upon you for the rest of your life?

You don't solve money problems with money.

The bench mark of a successful parent that I use is that a successful parent is one who prepares their child to be an independant contributing members of society as quickly as possible.  

Child Support Issues / RE: There are some NCP's out there that...
« on: Oct 17, 2006, 09:25:57 AM »
There are some NCPs out there that have decided that they will not pay CS.  To that end they have structured their lives so they don't have to.  In some cases they work off the books.  In other cases they don't work at all.  They would probably be living a more abundant and prosperous life if they would pay the CS and spend there time working on ways to attract more money into their life rather than on figuring out ways to avoid paying CS.  

It makes sense to earn that extra dollar even if 30% of it will go to CS.  The other 70% inproves the NCP's lifestyle which their child will also enjoy.

Edited to add:
I would not recommend that a NCP get a second job since that would most likely cut into their already limited parenting time.  

Child Support Issues / RE: There are some NCP's out there that...
« on: Oct 17, 2006, 09:16:00 AM »
I assume that when you say "min-CS" you mean in accordance with the guidelines, and what you are looking for is an agreement with the NCP to pay above what the guidelines would require.  Barring extenuating circumstances a judge doesn't really have much wiggle room to deviate from the guidelines.  However, you are correct that the NCP can agree to pay more than guidelines and it would become part of the CO and be legally binding.  Of course there is no incentive for the NCP to do so.  Why would the NCP voluntarily obigate himself to pay an amount that a judge has no ability to award otherwise?  Also, the NCP can still pay for extras if he choses to without the extra amount being included in the CO.  Do you really think that your Ex will be agreeable to paying CS in excess of the guidelines?

Edited to add:
Many years ago when I was going through my own divorce my Ex presented me with a CS offer during a settlement conference with our attorney's.  Her generous offer was that that I would pay 150% of the CS guidelines until our children turned 23 years old which is 5 years after our state's normal age of emancipation.  I can still hear her attorney telling me that "this settlement can be done if both parties agree to it" (since a judge could not order it otherwise).  I then asked her attorney, "if this is such a great deal would you take it if you were in my shoes?"  My Ex's attorney remained silent.  So then I looked at my Ex and said, "Like your attorney I'm going to pass on your offer".  

Child Support Issues / RE: There are some NCP's out there that...
« on: Oct 17, 2006, 08:17:00 AM »
"he's got disability income"

I'm now confused.  Your Ex is on disability yet you posted that he should get a second job.  If he's disabled how can he work?

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