You are here

Worried about possible court results

emma5678's picture

My SO is in the process of divorce and child custody. BM wants custody of the kids (even though she hasn't wanted custody or to be an active part of their lives in the 4 years before filing for divorce), child support, alimony, and SO to pay her lawyer fees.

Worried about the possible outcome, and how the court comes up with if alimony should be paid or not, and how much to be paid. Would paying BM alimony even if he gets full custody happen? She doesn't have a job (her own choice, nothing to do with having to put her career on hold to care for the kids, and she has already had 4 years to get back on her feet anyway), so she wouldn't be paying my SO any child support (she gets 2000 a month from VA and that is it, plus money from GI bill when she takes classes at a college).

My SO makes a decent income, but if he has to pay her alimony + her court fees, he wouldn't even have enough left over to keep a roof over their heads, pay for daycare, for everything the kids need, etc. SO is currently on her health insurance from the Army (45 a month, nothing out of pocket at military base facilities). Once he has to get his own insurance through his work (Which he will need, because he needs expensive treatments every 6 weeks), it will cost him 500-800 a month monthly, plus a very high deductible + copays. Right now, he has about 1000 left over every month. 1000 left over that will soon be going to health insurance and his treatments... he cannot go without the treatments. As it is, even without paying her a dime, he will be tight on cash each month.

If she gets the kids, child support, and alimony, he will be in similar/even worse position. The amount he would have to pay in child support would be more than what he is currently paying each month for the kids to live with him.

So I am wondering if the court would take this into account.... If him having to pay her alimony would cause him to lose his home, ability to pay for the kids, and loss of job because he would have to move back with his parents in another state, would they just not require him to pay her? just pay her a lot less? Tell him he will have to figure out some way to make it work, work longer, get a second job, etc?


Pharlap's picture

The idea is to always ask high and then work your way down from that. BM here asked for ridiculous things from DH and got pretty much nothing she demanded.

emma5678's picture

I have no problem one parent paying the other when it is necessary/for a short amount of time while they get back on their feet. My SO had basically already been paying her alimony for the first 3 years after they separated.. he sent her ridiculous amounts of money all time time when he didn't need to.

twoviewpoints's picture

...and she continued to provide his health insurance all those years. Worth at least an initial value of perhaps $800 a month.

emma5678's picture

Value and actual costs are two different things. They may have all been covered because of her discharged status, but he did pay the monthly fee often.

emma5678's picture

They may be his worries and not mine, but it will affect me and our relationship. If he has to move states away to live with his parents because he can't afford to live here anymore, I wouldn't be able to go with him and it would be a LDR or no relationship at all Sad

emma5678's picture

It would still be a shitty life to have to try to find even cheaper housing that he would be able to afford for the three of them.. He would have to basically move into a single bedroom in someone else's house to be able to afford to keep living here.. and in that case, she may want to go back to court and get custody of them, because of their housing situation not being appropriate.. especially the older they get.

twoviewpoints's picture

What happened since your earlier blog where you said:

"The money issue isn't really an issue. He makes enough that after mandatory bills and hundreds of "fun money" each month, he is able to save $1000+ a month."

Hundreds of "fun money" every month? So after necessary expenses and lots and lots of spending for fun, the guy only has $1,000plus to save a month. Amazing. :O

emma5678's picture

yes, hundreds of "fun money" now. It includes things such as eating out 1x a week, buying special snacks for the kids, taking them out to do fun things once in a while, lotto very occasionally ($10 a month). Things that are extras, but have a use.

When he gets his own insurance, it will be 500-800 a month just for him, plus a high deductible, plus high copays every 6 weeks. I can see that easily reaching over 1000-1200 a month average. He may be able to pay her ~400 a month and be fine, but then he would only be able to afford the essentials and no new cool toys for the kids, no treating them out for food, no special snacks that they like that are more expensive.. What a life for a kid so that their mother is able to have more money to blow on herself.

twoviewpoints's picture

I really hope, if this ever comes to trial, he leaves you home. You're not helping his case.

emma5678's picture

Why? because I stated that he has a couple hundred for "fun money" / extras right now, but that is expenses will greatly increase once he gets his own insurance?

Or because I said that it would be a poor life for the kids just so she can blow money on herself?

emma5678's picture

>>>When you say she hasn't been active, did she dump the kids and disappear, take them EOWE, or have they had fairly split time but you feel her time with them has been not great quality?

Yes, yes, kind of, and no... From what he has told me, for a few months after she left him, she spent time with them/EOWE. Then she moved back to her home state, then followed her new bf across the country, and only came back on breaks/birthdays. Aug 2015 - June 2016 she moved back to our state, living with a new BF, about 45 min from SO... she was supposed to see them every sunday, but when the time came, she would say "can't see them today," then it was supposed to be EOWE, and she would cut those weekends short, if she even took them at all... then June 2016 she moved back to her home state again and only has been back when she has to be here for something court related, or son's surgery... never once just to see them as the only reason for coming back.

Lawyer and everyone SO has been in contact with tells him that it is highly unlikely she will get the kids.. he overheard HER lawyer telling her she most likely won't get the kids.

She was medically disabled from the army, but is not actually disabled (some mental health issues, but hard to tell if it is all just mental, or if she is just lazy and using mental health as an excuse).

the 500-800 is just for him. His son has high-functioning autism, so he has his own medical issues that would be covered better under tricare.. if he had to put the kids on his insurane though work as well, then all his treatments would have copays as well, etc. and be even more expensive..

emma5678's picture

I am not exactly sure what the laws are... If I remember, correctly, she could go for alimony that is only paid for a certain amount of years, until court is settled, or for the rest of her life until she remarries. I have no idea how it is determined if she would get it or not, and how the amount is calculated... is it even a set %, or depend on both of their income/expenses?

He has a lawyer, don't know if he asked or asked the right questions, but he may have just forgot, or forgot to tell me.

I really don't think he was working extra hours for possible alimony and future medical, although he is worried about that. He told me that the main reason he wanted to work extra was because they are busy at work, he likes the work, he doesn't like people who do the bare minimum... well he already doesn't do just the bare minimum... he doesn't have to work hours extra each day to not be doing the bare minimum..

SM12's picture

I will never understand why a person would wait four years to file for a divorce. So basically he has the kids, pays her alimony so she can run around the country with her boyfriend on his dime?? That makes ZERO sense to me. I would have filed a long time ago, made sure I had custody of the kids.
I assume he makes quite a bit more money than she does on disability. However, I would think that if he has the kids, alimony for her would be limited.

still learning's picture

Why do you want to jump into his mess? Let me LOOOOVE him. :sick:

You should really just butt out and let him and his WIFE deal w/their issues. Why are you in the picture anyway? He's still legally married.

Go find yourself a nice single guy honey.

Maxwell09's picture

In my state alimony is highly unlikely as is lawyer fees. Child support is very likely as is joint legal. If he's had majority custody for years now then he has a good chance of getting 50:50 (week on/week off; 2-2-3) as well. Personally DH has week days and BM has every weekend as their version of "joint"custody except in the summer when it's week on/week off.

emma5678's picture

she lives 400 miles away, so every other week/2-2-3/etc. wouldn't work unless he moved back here, or traveled up here every other week.. and since she is taking college classes where she lives, that wouldn't be possible... My SO wants her to be a part of their life and isn't trying to keep them from her, all of this is her choosing. He would be more than willing to let her have them for a large part of the summer, every other major holiday break, and her come see them here 1 week every month or 2 during the school year if she chooses.

Livingoutloud's picture

Guys who live apart from their wives and don't file for divorce for FOUR years all while having girlfriends who clean, cook
and babysit for them are not good candidates for life partners. You need to run. Find someone better.

emma5678's picture

I cook and clean because I like to.. and this is the first time I have babysat for him for more than just a day every few months.

Acratopotes's picture

I'm sorry but I hope your SO has legal representation to fight it if BM wants to be nasty....

Solidshadow7's picture

To directly answer your question-

The courts do not care what expenses he has or what his costs are. They don't care if you are dumpster diving to survive on his current income. All they care about is making sure his ex wife is supported if the length of the marriage means he owes alimony, and making sure his children are supported if his ex wife is awarded custody of them.

Unfortunately the current laws support legal slavery. If he is unable to fulfill his financial obligations to his ex, he will have his license suspended, his passport taken and if he continues not to pay he will be thrown in jail.

To make this even worse-- If his income changes from whatever it currently is, childsupport will be modified upward, meaning if he gets a second job because you cant afford to live after his payments are taken out, he would need to pay even more because the income from the second job would count into the calculation. Also, if he loses his current income AFTER the case is concluded, it is possible that they court may disregard this, and continue to require him to pay CS at his current amount.

My boyfriend ran into a situation where his ex threw him out and completely stopped allowing him to see his child, then filed for sole custody. He worked through the pain by temporarily taking an assignment that required 40 hours of overtime a week and that had him living out of hotels which paid per diem pay each week in addition to the 40 hours he already worked and 40 hours of overtime. This tripled his income, he had a 30k a year job that was paying him 90k a year because of what he was putting into it because he didn't want to deal with life. But he was working 80 hours a week and living out of hotels in various cities which nobody can sustain for long periods. The attorney told us that if it went to court like that, not only would the ex have gotten sole custody because the fathers job had him unavailable, but there was a possibility that he could have been required to pay CS based on his 80hr a week income, which would have forced him to work 80 hours a week for the next 15 years, as his CS amount would have been based on an income of almost 100k a year and would have exceeded the amount in his normal 40 hour paycheck.

In order to protect him, we convinced his employer to pull him from the assignment and switch him to part time work and write a letter that they wanted him to attend school to further his career. He signed up as a full time college student in addition to the 15 hours he continued working at his job. He also purchased the most expensive health insurance for himself that he could find, which in my state is deducted from his earnings for the support calculation. When it went to trial he ended up with 40% custody. The ex, who doesn't work at all, ended up owing him child support even though she has more overnights than he does. Now of course, this left him with no money and a lot of legal fees so he had to switch to cheaper insurance and pick up more hours. She can theoretically take him back to court at any time to have the CS adjusted based on the changes, so he would then owe her something, but not nearly as much as he would have owed if we hadn't done anything.

So--- I would advise your boyfriend to reduce his income in ways that do not appear voluntary, he can't just quit his job or start working at mcdonalds instead. But this is a great time to reduce his hours to go back to school and also his last opportunity to go to school before his kids are 18. (They will not reduce his CS if he decides to go back later) Check to see if health insurance reduces income in your state, and if it does he should temporarily sign up for the best insurance he can find. Worst case scenario, none of it works and they use his previous income, so make sure he can drop his classes resume full time work and switch his insurance back if things go south.

Document all of BM's antics. text messages, emails, anything you can to prove she has not been around for the kids. Document anything you can showing his involvement with the children. The best protection against enslavement by your ex is custody of the children.

emma5678's picture

Thats how I read parts of this too... why would he reduce his hours other than trying to manipulate the system and not have to pay as much? I can see it if he just worked his normal 40 hours, and didn't do any overtime like he has been doing, but going part time just until the court is over? the courts would see that as him trying to get out of payments and likely base things off of his 40 a week salary anyway, and then he would be out the money he could have made by working normal hours during the whole process.

Solidshadow7's picture

It was because he had always planned on finishing his BA, but he worked when he was with her while BM went to school and the deal was that when she finished school, he would go. She finished right after she dumped him. When the court thing started he found out that if didn't register right that second regardless of finances and the situation, he would never be able to afford to go while still making the CS payments. After the case is complete, he cant reduce his hours anymore and he certainly wouldn't have extra left over for tuition and books even if he could manage 40 hours together with fulltime coursework. Also CS payments don't count in financial aid calculations, so even if he was taking home very little or nothing because of what he had to pay her, he still wouldn't qualify for assistance..

But yes, it did work strongly to his advantage and is a strategy that someone who is trying to avoid CS may be able to use. Just cutting your hours won't work, but cutting hours and then adding full time college sometimes will.

Also, I just want to point out that this has nothing to do with him refusing to "support his child". He was the primary caretaker when they were together because she was out doing drugs and partying and he wanted full custody due to her instability, not to mention her perverse sexual behaviors with other men that she started bringing the child around but she had the advantage. She had the house, she had possession of the kid, and she was making up false allegations about domestic violence and child abuse left and right and trying to get 100% with no visitation rights whatsoever for him. She denied paternity, she did all kinds of crap to delay court hearings left and right to try to make 100% sole for her the status quo in the hopes the judge wouldn't see the need to give him anything. My boyfriend couldn't see his son for eight months while all this was pending because she wouldn't allow it. (Flat out wouldn't allow it, a bunch of no you can't see him followed by a bunch of threats to call the police if he contacted her again followed by simply ignoring all phone calls emails and text messages.) And yes, during this time he was voluntarily sending her money for 100% of the kids expenses, even when she stopped asking for it insisting he sign over his rights instead combined with cajolery and threats. After he finally got temporary orders for supervised visitation after 8 months of nonsense, the child was clearly traumatized from what the mother had done, having severe panic attacks and tantrums every time dad left the room.

He certainly wasn't going to lose custody of his child due to the lies of his psychotic ex and then voluntarily pay her large amounts of money every month for the privilege if worst came to worst. It's not really about supporting your kid when the child in question has essentially been legally kidnapped by the other parent, as unmarried mother's have all the rights and a massive advantage in court even when they're not making up false abuse allegations. I would think child support should be for people who don't want to take care of or participate in raising their children and would prefer to place that burden on the other parent, not for those who have had their children kidnapped by the courts and the ex and now must pay the kidnapper.

emma5678's picture

Now that you have explained further about the situation, I get it. It worked in your case because the agreement was that he would go to school after she was done, and that just happened to be at he same time they split.

My SO had no such agreements. He would like to go back to school at some point, but it is not really necessary to advance is his career. The whole reducing hours to go to college wouldn't work for him though, because he was in the army as well, and also would get monthly payments to go to school from GI bill (free school + extra money each month).

As for the courts not caring how much he would have left after paying alimony, it varies from state to state. I actually looked it up for our state, and there is no set standard for alimony.. It is case-by-case. some factors are: how long the marriage was, if the spouse asking for alimony had setbacks in career from being a SAHP or other reasons, medical, differences in income, and if it would greatly negatively affect the ability to pay for their own needs after paying alimony.

So in my state, SO's alimony obligation would be considered based on the fact if he can continue to survive and pay his bills if he has to pay alimony.

Solidshadow7's picture

I know nothing of alimony. Its child support legislation that is pretty draconian.