You are here

CS and Covid

justmakingthebest's picture

I am still dealing with my ex and his wife wanting to reduce CS. (He is military and is retiring after his 20 yrs- this does give a retirement check but not enough to solely live off of for most people at the ripe age of 41). He is going to be a stay at home dad to their children. 

Apparently they consulted with an attorney in CA (where they currently live) who said that due to covid people are being allowed to stop CS until schools open up and they can find child care where they live. They are moving to Maryland in March. 

I just can't wrap my head around that. Maybe it is a thing, but at the end of the day they can hire a nanny to take care of their kids. He has a Master's degree in project management and 21 yrs of military service moving right outside of all of the major DC bases. There is no way he wouldn't be making 100K or more plus his $2900 per month retirement check. He is CHOOSING to stay home with other kids and not provide for his older children. 

Am I crazy in this? I told his wife that we are just going to have to go to mediation over it. I can't in good conscience voluntarily reduce CS when I am currently taking so much less than would be awarded to my kids in court. 

Has anyone here been able to have their DH stop paying CS because of Covid and "2nd" family children's childcare? I am curious what a judge will actually say... 

Is anyone in Maryland? Are daycare centers even closed there? 


futurobrillante99's picture

I could see COVID as an excuse if your ex was LAID OFF or FIRED. He's voluntarily RETIRING when people in his field are still being hired. I'm also in Maryland. Daycares are is the gov't and all the types of job you describe. Many are considered critical infrastructure.

I think they are ALL trying to BS you. I'd let them know you WILL be going to mediation. Your ex should only retire early IF he can continue his commitments to ALL his children and his commitment to your children together precedes his younger children.

CajunMom's picture

You can't just "stop" paying CS. CoVid may cause some people to NOT be able to pay due to job loss but that doesn't mean it just goes away. It means, you will be in arrears and will have to catch up once back at work. Just like with rent/mortgages. I'd question if they even got that "advice" from an attorney. I'm not in Maryland; Louisiana. Our day cares are open. In fact, many were allowed to be open here as they cared for kids of front line workers. 

I'm sorry. I'm angry for you. Your ex is being an ass. Head to court.

tog redux's picture

I could see maybe stopping CS if someone was unemployed during COVID, but otherwise, I haven't heard anything about it.

Yes, you should go to mediation. This doesn't seem right that he can choose not to work and not to support your kids.

nengooseus's picture

At either his current rate of pay or an appropriate rate, based on the work for which he's qualified.  VA courts are well-acquainted with people trying to do squirrely stuff after they retire from the military, so I wouldn't expect too much issue.

His lawyer in CA might be right...  In CA.  In VA, we tend not to play around with CS.  As residents of VA, the CS case should be here, if I'm not mistaken.

I know you have a good relationship with your X, so i hope you all will be able to work it out, but he's underestimating the rigidness of VA courts if he thinks a dad is going to be able to cut CS to stay home with the kids--especially in Hampton Roads, where we are as traditional as it comes!  If he decides to be an idiot and keep pushing, I think you're on stable ground to take it to court.

ndc's picture

Is your order in California?  If not, I wouldn't give a lick of credence to whatever advice they got from a California attorney.  None of my friends who get or receive CS here in my state (which is in the midwest - neither California nor Virginia) have had their CS affected by Covid.  Of course, day care centers and, for the most part, schools are open here.

It might make sense to consult with an attorney in the relevant state, just so you know where you stand before continuing discussions with your ex.  Don't let them bully you or take advantage of the fact that you've been reasonable.

Wilhelm's picture

In Australia if your pay reduces child support reduces. If any of the other parties have other children child support is recalculated as it is a percentage of income.

Here is the partners pay is less there are government payments for average to low income families. 

If his children are young I can understand him wanting to spend more time with them. He probably missed out on this with your kids as he would have been off serving the country.

tog redux's picture

Well, too bad for him - he has two other kids to support. These are all choices that he's made, to be in the military and to have more kids.


justmakingthebest's picture

Thanks everyone!! 

I am just going to play it cool and go to mediation. I may do a little research and find a few daycares that are open in their local area to present at mediation. 

I don't want this to ruin what we have with coparenting but I have to stand up for my kids in this. If roles were reversed he would be losing his shit over me voluntarily not working and him being expected to pick up my slack for our kids financial interests. 

SteppedOut's picture

I was told by a CS worker that they are not enforcing right now (drivers license suspension, etc). They still owe...and arrears build, just no enforcement.

justmakingthebest's picture

See... and in talking to my kids SM she is worried about going into arrears so she wanted me to drop the case with DCSE and just have them pay me directly. I was like... that just seems like a bad idea.

I think she knows that at the end of the day, even if they don't pay, their taxes will be confiscated if he doesn't. Also, not a word about this has come from my ex. Only his wife. Which is really starting to grate on my nerves. 

SteppedOut's picture

Yea....I would be annoyed talking to his wife and never him about it too. It is 100% not her place and I would bet she is pushing for this. Shame on both of them for thinking this is an "okay" request. Sheesh! After you have accepted less for years already! 

ETA: Why are they talking to the kids about this at all?? This is not something they should have to worry about! 

Winterglow's picture

Ok, I'm totally ignorant of all this but... What would happen if you said "OK, as you're going to be at home, let's switch to YOU being the custodial parent! " But get a re-evaluation of your cs first. 

futurobrillante99's picture

What a GREAT idea!! Now you can shift custody over to him and let him be full time daddykins. Your CS will be imputed against what he could earn and you won't have to pay him much, if anything. Bahahaha!!

justmakingthebest's picture

Lol! Something tells me that wouldn't go over well! 

My kids are older too and don't want to move to another state.

Winterglow's picture

I think I'd be tempted to throw the idea out there just for the sheer pleasure of watching him implode ...

skell76's picture

of our attorney about BM being a SAHM as I have no doubt if her and her partner have a baby she will stay home with the baby. We were told if it's a choice to stay home the CS will be reviewed at their earning potential. Your ex CAN still work, he's just choosing not to.  

ESMOD's picture

Ok... please do not agree to what he says because "he said a lawyer told him XYZ"  If he seriously wants to "go there" with this.. then.. bring it.. I would tell him that you clearly interpret his staying at home as a choice and as such, CS would be imputed at what he could be earning.. not actual. 

Second, I would further state that if it is at the point where he is now claiming that daycare makes work impossible, then let's switch to full custody for JMTB and we will impute CS on his full earning potential for FT custody.

You have gone easy on him.  His choice to not work is his choice.. he is capable of working.. he does not HAVE to stay home with them.. and btw with the vaccine rolling out.. the covid excuse is going to run thin because schools will be returning to in person learning.


advice.only2's picture

I can see why he's your ex!  He will probably regret opening this can of worms when he finds out he is still going to be on the hook for a significant amount of CS and that will cut into their ridiculous idea that he stay home so they can save money. 

simifan's picture

Ex had BM's income inputed as an RN when she became a stay at home mom for her other children (ex had primary custody). It infuriated her spouse so much soon she was working & he was stay at home dad. :-) 

Refuse to talk to the wife about it. You made your point clear. They an take it to court or not. I would make sure if you have to go to ourt you get everything the state will give you - don't settle for less 

justmakingthebest's picture

I have taken less for so long. This time, I am not. He should have just delt with it.

They are in the process of buying a $506K home. Maybe if they can't afford CS they should buy a more modest home. 

ndc's picture

For sure. If he takes this to court to try to lower CS, let the court calculate the amount and don't agree to a penny less. It's his choice to try to short his kids, and your choice to protect them. You can always take any excess CS ordered over what you get now and put it in their "launch fund."

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

with your ex, how old are they exactly? I would at mediation bring up the amount of years left of CS for the children you share and while it is a nice luxury that he can retire so early and be a stay at home dad, there is still x amount of years left that he has responsibility to support his teenage children and he can enjoy the luxury without paying child support when they age out if he wants to pay less.

Personally I feel like your ex and his wife are communicating a lot with you right now because they know they don't actually have a leg to stand on having a judge grant this reduction of child support especially when it is just for the sole purpose of he wants to be a stay at home dad, he is not unable to work due to a physical or mental handicap, he has not been laid off, etc. I think you just stick to yourself and wait till mediation.

justmakingthebest's picture

They are 13 and 15. So while there isn't a ton of years left, there is still 5.5 left for my daughter to graduate. 

I think they were hoping that I would just quietly agree, but I just can't. Not this time. I would be much more understanding and work with them if it was a case of a layoff or something, but this is a choice to play daddy daycare over taking care of his other children and I just can't sit by and let them receive less. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

quite a few more years left for sure!

I don't blame you, especially when teenage years are the MOST expensive ones. I agree I think they are like she has been so reasonable before there is no way we can't come to some kind of agreement that works in our favor to do what we want.

futurobrillante99's picture

You live in Virginia, right? I would file for a CS modification RIGHT NOW to adjust it to the RIGHT amount and establish it in YOUR state's court system. Then good luck to him trying to get it modified because he's taking "early retirement."