The Motion to Modify Child Support hearing is less than a half hour away. There are so many different emotions that I feel as the step mom and second wife. I think most people think of the divorced mother struggling to eek out a living with a meager earning and barely enough child support to put clothes on her children's back. And that is if she is lucky to get child support.

But what about the exceptions to this scenario? What about the father that has been ordered to pay child support and never misses his payment? What about the fathers that never questioned the payment as being unfair or too much, but resigned themselves that the ordered payment is just part of the consequences of getting divorced?

That is my husband. He has paid his child support, in cash, every month since his divorce was final. He did not question the amount, nor did he complain about paying his child support. He even paid ten dollars more to round it up to a hundred dollar increment. My husband has paid his ordered amount even though HE is not the one that wanted the divorce, and tried to stay together, but was unable to compete with the new relationship she had started while Tony was at work so she could stay home with their kids.

But the judge didn't and won't care about that. It is just math, at least in the state of Oklahoma, and for that I should be glad. Yes, I could bitch and moan about how she spends the money and how she wants ME to have to pay her now that Tony has been laid off. Yet, she does not want the kids to know that I am the one that is having to support her. She and I have not spoken since we all got together to talk about the future after Tony was laid off. She was very angry, though she never let on while I was there, that their daughter was led to believe that I, her step mom, would be supporting them. Even though that is specifically what the ex said should happen that now I needed to pay her since Tony wasn't working.

I am getting off on a tangent. Back to today's court case.

Tony will only have five minutes or less to state his case. He is representing himself, pro se. Oklahoma has a child support computation worksheet available online. You fill it out and then you use the commutated worksheet to present to the judge and have him sign off and file. Since their kids do not have extenuating circumstance, yet, like braces, medical issues, tutors, competitive sports, and the like that require extra out of pocket money, it should be cut and dry. They both have joint custody with him having 182 nights and her 183. However, since he has not been working he is the day care provider. He will continue to watch the kids all summer and the next two school years. If he has to get a part time job she will have to pay half of the day care expenses, thus taking away from the child support she could possibly get.

The what if today is- what income the judge will use for Tony? Her income has changed from $890 per month when she was a part-time waitress, while they were separated, to $13 an hour since July of 2006. A 35% increase! The child support was calculated and ordered at her part-time salary, below minimum wage. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE IN A RUSH TO JUST "GET IT OVER WITH".

Here is what can be ordered depending on what wage earning the judge uses for Tony:
Unemployment - ($24.64)
Minimum Wage, because unemployment runs out in May - ($29.04)
Based on his previous earnings at a three year average - $282.56
Median Income of what he could make in two years as a Radiology Tech - $134.95
Mean Income of a Radiology Tech - $171.02

All of this worrying could be for nothing. We do not know if she will show up today, if she has a lawyer, or if she will bring all the paperwork that is required to make a judgment. I should know by ten or eleven this morning. Once I am no longer on pins and needles I am going to outline how to create and get a Motion to Modify Child Support Order because not all divorced dads are deadbeats.

3 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    gl, based on my experience it should be based on the minimum wage amount as he is not working and they have to assume some income. They are also going to adjust for her income increase so in all likelyhood she will come out way far worse because his income is well below hers now. There are so many things that Dad's dont get credit for or told about. Good on him for doing the right thing , it isnt recognized enough and most of the time the assumption is that ALL men are deadbeats and no good. I was in a similar situation and laid off for about 1 1/2 years , I didnt know that I needed to file a motion to modify support, I figured that everyone would just go off the obviously right thing (tax returns) and adjust the arrearage I was incurring while unemployed. Not the case, not only did they keep me on the clip for making over 100k a year while i was laid off , they would not adjust the amount of the arrears even after the fact that i was laid off and not making that amount and I could prove it. It was my fault for not knowing i needed to modify the order. I am sure that it will go well. One thing is for sure they cannot take your income into account on this , so it will have to be based on his, which will most likely be assumed as minimum wage. Take care :)

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