outdated laws

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2006
outdated laws
28
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 3:16pm
Do you feel there are some laws that are a little outdated? I am thinking of awards of alimony, being able to get half/a portion of your spouse's retirement if you were married more than 10 or 20 years (for military I know for sure), and caps on child support. Caps on childsuppor: if you pay well over the "average" amount it takes to raise a child in a certain area of the country your child support should be capped at that amount not based on the % of your income. I am also thinking of instances where one parent after a divorce went back to school and was able to earn a much higher salary later on. Should that parents child support keep going up up up or should there be a cap at a certain point?

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: tea_time
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 4:55pm

Alimony isn't statutory in most places and is done on case by case basis here. Unless the marriage was very long and the wife hasn't working in a long time, the wife doesn't work and the children are very young, or the wife is disabled, it's hard to get. In most cases, it is limited to be rehabilitative--2 years to get training and a job, etc. You will also see shifting CS to bigger alimony payments because there are tax advantages to alimony.

In many cases, retirement is the parties' greatest marital asset. If DH & I stay married 10 years and then divorce, I have a legal right to part of his retirement. Much of DH's retirment is based upon money he put in to the system that took away from our household resources. I was also 26 when I married him, so almost all our assets were accumulated jointly. Depending on the parties relative contribution to the marriage and the length of the marriage, an allocation of retir

I'm not sure what you're getting at about a CS "cap." The money to raise a child varies from family to family and city to city. I think it would be damn near impossible for the court to calculate an amount each year for CS purposes. In some states (it's difficult here) you can get a downscaled CS amount if the award creates a "windfall" for the recieving parent. As much as CS based upon a percentage isn't perfect, the court system trying to determine how much it costs to raise a child is worse.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
In reply to: tea_time
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 5:05pm

On the CS cap, CS is designed to keep the child as close financially as they would have been had the marriage not ended, so a cap isn't appropriate. Think of it this way, if the child was living with the high wage earner, more $$$ would be spent on him or her.

On the military retirement, touchy subject for me. Military spouses truly give up their careers. It is very hard to build a career, save, move up, when you are moving around a lot. I am a military spouse & have been able to, but I'm one of the lucky ones. So I think that military spouses earned that retirement too.

For the record, when BM remarried she waived her right to DH's retirement in the original divorce papers. Smartest thing that DH ever did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2006
In reply to: tea_time
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 5:16pm

I was thinking of an instance in which a couple opened a restaurant together and once it became very successful the ex wife was awarded $1600 per mo. for one child. In the area they live in, that was a pretty good sum, especially considering it was suppose to be *half* of expenses for that child per month. The man and his new wife were the ones that opened the restaurant and both of them worked long hours in order for it to be successful. I am thinking somewhere around the $1000 mark there probably should have been a cut off. Now they are opening another restaurant in a different location and I am sure if that restaurant makes a lot of money the ex wife will be back in court again asking for more money. I think for ordinary Joe's the court system works out okay. But when you consider the new wife was the one to put down a hefty amount for opening the restaurant and worked just as many hours as her dh did, it seems unfair to have anyone reaping extra benefits from that.

As far as the retirment I am not fully informed about that but I do know of some military people who were married for 10 years to their spouse (no kids), divorced, he went on to have a second wife with children, had a 30 year career and his first wife gets a cut of his retirement. Doesn't seem fair to me. I guess I figure in this day and age if you choose to stay home you are taking your own risk in that. If you were both working shouldn't you just leave his alone and he leave yours alone? Because of the increased incidence of divorce shouldn't people be more aware of the choices they are making when they are married?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-1998
In reply to: tea_time
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 5:36pm

From what I know, alimony is very rare these days, and only awarded in pretty specific circumstances.

Setting a cap on CS seems like a bad idea. As a PP said, the point of CS is to keep the children at the same standard of living as they would have experienced had the parents stayed together. If either parent's income goes up for whatever reason then it seems to me that their children should benefit from that.

That said, I think it's time for more states to change their CS calculation guidelines to take BOTH parents' income into account.

_________________________________________________________
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2006
In reply to: tea_time
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 7:42pm

I remember reading a long time ago about a stepmom who wanted to have children with her dh but knew he needed to earn more money to make that happen. She paid to send him through school on her dime and when he graduated and got a better paying job she was anticipating having more children with him. Well the first thing that happened was his ex wife took him for increased child support. Stepmom was really angry because she said if he had stayed married to her or more specifically if she hadn't paid for him to complete a college degree bm wouldn't be getting more money. There was the argument that CS wasn't meant to keep the children in the style of living they would have had if their parents stayed married because chances are if the parents had more kids they wouldn't be getting as much and so forth. So that brings me to the question of:

Should CS be reduced if one of the parents goes on to have many more kids to support with a new spouse?

Should the federal government step in and make CS/Custody laws the same no matter what state you are in? Simplify things a little?




Edited 12/6/2006 7:44 pm ET by tea.time
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-14-2003
In reply to: tea_time
Wed, 12-06-2006 - 9:43pm

"Should CS be reduced if one of the parents goes on to have many more kids to support with a new spouse?"

In my state, the CS takes into account both bios incomes & the number of children. My DH's CS went up when BM had another child by another man. That's right. There was ANOTHER father who also had to pay CS, but my DH pays more because she chose to get pregnant. Of course, CS would also be recalculated if I had a baby.

But unless the stepparent is actually supporting the bioparent, I don't think that the step's income should be counted. It's not their responsibility.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-1998
In reply to: tea_time
Fri, 12-08-2006 - 12:13am

>> Should CS be reduced if one of the parents goes on to have many more kids to support with a new spouse? <<

No. People should not have more children if they can't afford to.

>> Should the federal government step in and make CS/Custody laws the same no matter what state you are in? Simplify things a little? <<

Unless you are planning to change the Constitution, I don't think so.

_________________________________________________________
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
In reply to: tea_time
Fri, 12-08-2006 - 2:11am

"From what I know, alimony is very rare these days, and only awarded in pretty specific circumstances."

In TX when I got divorced there were several things to be taken into account and it had to be several of the things. Like I was abused, cheated on, we agreed for me to stay home and take care of the kids, I was currently going to school to better myself so I could support the kids etc... I met every criteria they had for it and could have gotten 650.00 a month for 7 years or until I remarried. All I wanted was enough to make sure my house payment was made so I said that's all I wanted. Of course the lawyer wanted to go for the whole 650.00. My ex was telling me he'd give it to me but he didn't want it written into the decree but I told him I won't sign it if it's not. He now tells people he willingly gave me money so I knew the house payment could be made. uhhh, no, it was either that or my lawyers goes after 650.00 a month. His lawyer told him to take the lesser amount as I would get the 650.00. I had planned on never even dating let alone getting re-married so my plan was to accept alimony til I graduated and could support the kids then stop it. Everyone told me to keep getting it but save it for the kids. Didn't matter because I fgot married about 18 months after the divorce.

"Setting a cap on CS seems like a bad idea."

My exs' 4th wife was getting 1500.00 a month for her twins, the cap in TX she said, but he was also paying her 200.00 a month for daycare, which he wasn't required too. My ex was loving that, I know he was sad when it stopped when CPS took her kids because of him.

"That said, I think it's time for more states to change their CS calculation guidelines to take BOTH parents' income into account."

My husband's ex claims she doesn't work but she does internet porn. I'm sure there are others who do things like that too but think people don't know. How would one prove the income for something like that? My SIL found it and sent me the link. The first 10 minutes were 40.00 then went from there.

 

Avatar for jeffkristi
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-1998
In reply to: tea_time
Fri, 12-08-2006 - 11:19am

"No. People should not have more children if they can't afford to."

But it's not about "being able to afford it" It's about changing family dynamics and costs. Why is it that evey other parent can lower the amount for the first children after later ones are born except for NCPs? If a CP has more children, they will naturally spend less on the first born. When I was born, my parents spent less on my older brother than they did before I was born and even less on both of us when my younger brother was born.

Going by the theory of "being able to afford it" in the way that it's applied to NCPs, all parents should continue to spend the smae amount on each child no matter how many more are born and that's just not practical.

Having more kids just means that the same amount of disposable income is split up differently and should be the same for NCPs.

Jeff

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-19-1998
In reply to: tea_time
Fri, 12-08-2006 - 1:24pm

I pay CS to my EX. I consider it a monthly bill just like any other monthly bill. If I can't pay my monthly bills, I shouldn't take on any more, now should I? I am in a position of possibly having to make the choice to NOT have any more kids because of those simple, very basic economics. I see my responsibility to the children I already have as my first responsibility. Quite simply, they were here first.

And I would give the same advice to an "intact" couple who wanted to have more kids - if you can't afford it, you probably shouldn't have more.

_________________________________________________________
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." 

Pages