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Am I paying too much? 50% physical custody and still paying $1,900 per month in support.


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#1 Feeling_Fleeced

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:58 AM

I am a single father with 50% physical custody of my two children, both younger than 12 in Washington State. My kids live with me 50% of the time.

I have a career with above average earnings (including bonus for 2011, over $19,000 per month). My ex wife earns about $45,000 per year as a teacher.

I pay all Health Insurance. I also pay all tuition for the kids' private school education at just over $10,000 per year.

The standard calculation in the Child Support Worksheet was $2,250 per month. I was able to get this amount reduced to $1,900 per month as the "children reside with the party obliged to pay a transfer payment a significant amount of time."

Since the children live with me half the time, is this too much? All the expenses she can claim she has due to the children are duplicated at my house as they live with us an equal amount of time.

Do I have a case to have my child support obligation further reduced?

#2 Ted_from_Texas

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:17 AM

I don't know much about Washington child support guidelines, but from the numbers you post in your message it appears you're paying only about 15 percent of your income for child support and tuition. Seems rather low to me. All things being equal, if your income is five times that of the other parent, your support obligation should be five times as much as hers. Your attorney can give you a better idea of what you should be paying.

#3 FindLaw_Amir

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:00 AM

The amount of child support paid by noncustodial parents is determined at the state level, but some general guidelines can be applied universally. You may visit the Family Law Center: Child Support and read Child Support Amounts as a good resource to learn more about this subject matter. For further clarification, you may want to consult with a local Washington Child Support Lawyer.
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#4 pg1067

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:50 AM

Adding to what Ted said, child support is usually premised on the belief that X% of the parents' aggregate income should be used to support the child. Let's say for purposes of illustration that the percentage for two children is 25% of aggregate gross income (in reality, certain deductions are permitted, and net income is used, but the explanation will be simpler if we use gross income). Using the numbers you provided, 25% of your and ex's aggregate income ($273k) is $68,250. Since the children live with each of you 50% of the time, that obligation is or should be borne equally by each of you (on the theory that the kids should not be living in luxury with one parent and living in squalor with the other). However, based on your relative incomes, she should bear only about 16.5% of the total obligation (since 45,000/273,000 = 16.48%), which would be $11,250 (16.48% x $68,250). As a result, you should pay her the difference between 50% of $68,250 and $11,250, which is $22,875 (or $1,906.25 per month).

I don't know the specifics of WA child support law/guidelines, and it is purely coincidental that the percentage I made up results in a number that is exactly what you are paying. It is likely that your payment of the kids' health insurance gets taken into account, and the payment of the school tuition might also get taken into account. But I hope this explanation makes the point.

As to your question, I don't really see why you would think you might be able to get your support payment reduced. You said that "[t]he standard calculation in the Child Support Worksheet was $2,250 per month." Presumably, the calculation that resulted in that number took into account all of the information in your post (as did whatever caculation produced the $350 reduction of that number). Right?




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