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Is Paying Child Support Required by Law?

Is Paying Child Support Required by Law?

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  #1  
Old 11-12-15, 09:52 AM
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Is Paying Child Support Required by Law?

My spouse and I are separated and I'm in the process of writing up a separation agreement. I am having difficulty determining if child support is required by law or only if the custodial parent (me) requests it. Reason I am asking is because my spouse said the other day that we don't need a child support agreement and that whoever has our daughter at any given time pays for the expenses. Is it legitimate to put in the agreement that neither party is seeking child support? I'm afraid if I do so, that it will come back to bite me a year from now when the divorce is final (i.e. back child support). State is Virginia.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-12-15, 11:26 AM
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If you are the custodial parent, she is the one who would have to pay 17%, of the gross earnings. (NY, don't know about VA) That's for 1 child. She is smart to suggest that an agreement isn't needed. She was talking, to someone.
 
  #3  
Old 11-12-15, 11:31 AM
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What does your lawyer say? if you don't have one - get one!!

Probably out of date but when I got divorced in 1982, I got full custody of our kids. The lawyer put in the divorce papers that she was giving her half of my property to me in lieu of child support. I didn't like that because she had no money in the property and seldom cleaned the house but the lawyer explained to me that the judge wouldn't approve the divorce without some provision concerning child support. I know a lot has changed since then but you still need a lawyer to look out for your interests!
 
  #4  
Old 11-12-15, 12:15 PM
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Yes, I have spoken to several lawyers and retained one last year. We haven't spoken in a while though so things are a bit hazy.

The Virginia shared custody calculator is based on both parents incomes and the percentage of time the child spends with each parent. There are deductions to income for spousal support (if any) and health/dental insurance (which I currently pay).

It makes sense to explain how the support is being allocated and in what form regardless if anyone is actually receiving money from the other. Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 11-12-15, 12:30 PM
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The Virginia shared custody calculator is based on both parents incomes
You didn't say shared custody. You said that you were the custodial parent.
 
  #6  
Old 11-12-15, 01:20 PM
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You didn't say shared custody. You said that you were the custodial parent.
I meant that I have her more often that my spouse. Sorry, this is my first and hopefully last time having to do this.
 
  #7  
Old 11-12-15, 03:31 PM
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There is no need to apologize. I was just wondering about the change, in circumstances. Just remember to keep the legal & emotional aspects separate when you discuss the situation. Have one conversation, at a time. It's easier for men than it is for women but I thought that I would mention it anyway.
 
  #8  
Old 11-12-15, 08:06 PM
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Not being a lawyer it looks to me like you are the main custodial parent and you therefore are entitled to child support from your soon to be ex-wife. If circumstances change and your daughter stays with her mother more often then the child support issue would change too. This definitely though is something you should have an experienced divorce lawyer to guide you. Preferably not a close friend as that way emotions don't get involved and you will get better professional advice.
 
  #9  
Old 11-13-15, 08:12 AM
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Just want to add, since you can go to jail for not paying child support, I'd imagine it is required by the law. Of course if the main parent doesn't pursue anything, I'd guess no one's going to actively go after the other. But seems it's both parents responsibility to raise and pay for a child regardless of the law.

Personally, I would not agree to something like that. Even if you had 50/50 shared custody, what if say a large dental expense or whatever, happened when the one parent had them at that time. Would it be fair for that one to have to pay the whole $5,000 just because the child were in that home at the time? (Just an example). Wouldn't be very fair, IMO. :NO NO NO:
 
  #10  
Old 11-13-15, 08:13 AM
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Every state is different, this really is a question for an attorney familiar with your state laws.

That said, I agree that not putting child support into the agreement would only benefit your wife.
 
  #11  
Old 11-13-15, 09:05 AM
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Even in a joint custody situation, one parent is designated as the primary. That parent's home will become the child's legal home address, school district, etc. There are also substantial income tax advantages that only one parent can claim. I think the judge will force you to make this decision or make it himself.
 
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