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Could/should I consider child support

Started by orais007, Nov 14, 2007, 02:59:25 AM

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our court signed custody agreement has me at 42%, but my children are with me most of the day 5 days a week with 2 overnights each week. I feed them, 2-3 meals a day, pick them up from school, help with homework, take them to the parks, soccer practices. STBX has only nights after 8pm and 1day a week. I work graveyard shift and cant change without having to pay childcare which defeats the purpose.  STBX makes almost twice my pay because of my limitations. Do you think I could get childsupport?


I'm pretty sure you can't. With you on record as having the childern 42% of the time believe it or not the other parent could get you for child support because legally they have the child for more time. You first would have to get the custody slanted in your favor on paper then go for child support. And since it is so close to 50/50 unless there is a drastic difference in income between the two homes it isn't going to be much. At least that is what I see around here.


Establish a pattern and that takes 6 months to a year.

Crunch the numbers in your state's CS Calculator.

Then decide.


Child support is not typically awarded based on the percentage of time the kids spend with you or the number of meals they eat with you or who buys their clothes, etc. Instead, it's awarded based on the percentage of overnights - which (as you've pointed out) can be a very different figure. If you had the kids from 6 am to 10 pm every day, fed them all their meals, bought all their clothes, etc and your ex had them from 10 pm to 6 am every day, you'd have 0% overnights - and be paying the other person support.

That's the standard rule. The courts certainly have the ability to override the standard in cases such as this.  Keep in mind that salary enters into the equation in some (but not all) states. (So if your stbx is making much less than you are, you could end up paying support even if you have 50% or more of the overnights.) In your case, your ex is making twice what you are, but has 5 overnights vs your 2. You'll have to do the math, but I would guess that you're not going to be able to justify support - or at least it will be a big uphill battle. Basically, you'd have to convince the judge to ignore the standard which is based on overnights. I'd suggest talking to an attorney familiar with the practice in your area to see if that's something your courts will consider. It's one of those things that makes sense, but that doesn't mean it will happen.


Personally I would concentrate on the fact on how much time you get to spend with your kids and how much quality interaction you get with your kids. Support may be based on overnights but seems to me that you get the most quality time with them. To me this is priceless.

Yes there are extra costs involved but....isn't getting time with your kids the real important thing? So many parents do not get this and concentrate on money instead of the quality of life with your kids.

IMHO it is completely priceless to have the quality time with the kids despite the extra cash it takes to feed them. I would rather sacrifice items for myself and go without than to ask for support.

I am lucky though - no support is exchanged between DH and BM. We just got almost full time of a teenager (which we all know is hard to keep food in the hosue for!) However, we would never ask for support based on the fact that we now can provide a happy healthy stable home environment for SS to thrive in and that is most important.

Good luck on what you decide! Try not to think of the financial impact - think of the items that can not be obtained through money - pure/true happiness, love and interaction are all free to the heart and mind!


like Mixed said. Also, while doing that include the potential thousands of dollars you will spend on legal fees and the bad will it will cause. If it is still worth it, post here again and we can help you with the next steps.