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#2868973 10/21/19 03:15 PM
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unchien Offline OP
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Hi All,

I've been on the Newcomers forum for about 5 months, looks like things are transitioning towards filing for D, so I wanted to start a thread over here. My latest thread on Newcomers is below:

Things are trending up...

I'm looking for a little advice in general here, so will give a short background.

We moved 2 years ago to a new area. I work FT, and my W has not worked since moving. She has a PhD, and prior to moving worked 2 days a week in a private practice. Her ambition was to do the same thing again.

Lately as we have discussed beginning this filing process, she has said she wants to work the absolute minimum she can and spend the absolute maximum time with the kids. She is okay with me asking for 50/50, but not okay with the kids being in day care or after school care on my days.

I should say we are going to try mediation first, and then run our agreement by our own individual lawyers. I imagine at some point things may break down, however, so I am proceeding cautiously.

Any advice on how to approach the custody situation? I think her issue with 50/50 is that, in her mind, if I am working and the kids are out of school, she would like to have them. It's not a financial/support issue. I have thought about saying "Let's put 50/50 in writing, and then we can talk about what the kids do after school and work it out on our own."

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"It's not a financial or support issue" - meaning that she has enough money to support herself without working without child support or alimony from you? What, is she independently wealthy? Or have you just agreed to completely support her so long as you get 50:50 custody? Is that going to go on until the kids are 18?

Now, all other things being equal, if she is available to care for them after school and wants to, why would you object? So long as you get your full 50:50 I don't see a problem.

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A lot of custody agreements have something in them called right of first refusal. Maybe you can just include that?


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unchien Offline OP
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Originally Posted by kml
"It's not a financial or support issue" - meaning that she has enough money to support herself without working without child support or alimony from you? What, is she independently wealthy? Or have you just agreed to completely support her so long as you get 50:50 custody? Is that going to go on until the kids are 18?

I mean that my W's objection to 50/50 is not due to financial concerns. She objects because she doesn't want me putting the kids in day care or after school care during my 50% of the time.

To your point, however, her goal of "working the minimum and spending maximum time with the kids" would affect my support payments. I am willing to negotiate with her, but I am not willing to support her lifestyle choices at my expense.

I am anticipating agreeing that alimony will run for 3-4 years, and child support continues until they are 18. I've heard of the concept of "imputed income" where the support payments are calculated based on the income she could make. Then it is up to her how much to work.

Anyways I think this is going to get thorny.

Originally Posted by kml
Now, all other things being equal, if she is available to care for them after school and wants to, why would you object? So long as you get your full 50:50 I don't see a problem.

Right I don't really object here. Some people I've talked to think I should object, that she is "infringing" on my time, but I don't see much reason to object.

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I donít know much about the whole area of Maintenance or spouse support - other than it often appears to be very unfair but from what I can tell, I agree with your thinking. She clearly has the ability to support herself with a PhD and work history. If she chooses to do otherwise thatís HER choice and you should not have to fund her choices. Clearly this is an area for your attorney to advise you in. If itís important to you that your children not be in daycare and you want your ex w to watch them during the day then certainly you need to help fund that. However if you are fine with day care and she is not then itís up to her to decide if she wants to work or be a stay at home mom. But she lost the choice to have you fund that when she chose to D you. Iíd fight this strongly. She needs to work like many moms do - again unless YOU chose to support her being a stay at home mom. She should not get to call that shot. Of course what I think and what the courts do are often vastly different. I just think spouse support is for those who do not have the capacity to earn what is needed due to PRIOR family decisions. A mom that never worked and did not get an education in favor of taking care of the home and kids is one thing. A mom who has the education and has worked but now would rather not is another. Thatís what marriage is for (in part) and she gave that up.


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Met 11/95 / Married 5/00
Bomb 6/20/05 / She Filed on 6/2/06 / Divorced on 10/9/06
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Quote
I've heard of the concept of "imputed income" where the support payments are calculated based on the income she could make.


Yes - imputed income is often used but can be a bit challenging. Especially since it doesn't sound like your ex has worked full time for a long time? (If ever?)

In my case, I had been the part-time worker in my marriage and full-time mom. When we finally divorced I was working full time in my own practice but not making as much as my exH wanted to impute to me. (I had health issues and had an integrative medicine practice which was not as profitable as working for say Kaiser - which would not have allowed me to practice integrative medicine. We finally settled on an imputed income amount halfway between what I actually made and what I would have made at Kaiser, although I probably would have won that one if we'd gone to court, since I'd already been in my practice for a couple of years.)

You should speak with your own individual attorney about this before discussing it further with her.

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Originally Posted by DonH
A mom that never worked and did not get an education in favor of taking care of the home and kids is one thing. A mom who has the education and has worked but now would rather not is another. Thatís what marriage is for (in part) and she gave that up.

She did work full-time for a few years, including after our first child was born.

Before we relocated 2 years ago she was working 2 days a week in private practice. Her intent after moving was to ramp up part-time in private practice by now. She hasn't gone back yet but does rent office space.

Originally Posted by kml

In my case, I had been the part-time worker in my marriage and full-time mom. When we finally divorced I was working full time in my own practice but not making as much as my exH wanted to impute to me. (I had health issues and had an integrative medicine practice which was not as profitable as working for say Kaiser - which would not have allowed me to practice integrative medicine. We finally settled on an imputed income amount halfway between what I actually made and what I would have made at Kaiser, although I probably would have won that one if we'd gone to court, since I'd already been in my practice for a couple of years.)

You should speak with your own individual attorney about this before discussing it further with her.

Interesting... I also know my W could go work for Kaiser or a hospital, but would like to support her desire to have a private practice. I understand this would also imply it may take her time to ramp up. HOWEVER, I think we should have a reasonable income estimate, or at least a plan for how we will handle the support payment calculations. I don't know where to start on that one. As you suggested a lawyer is probably the way to go here.

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Definitely seem a lawyer, but would you rather pay aftercare to watch the kids, or their mother?

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How old are your children? Personally, I would stop looking at it as whatís fair and focus on whatís gonna be best for small kids. Would your children feel better to be with their mom then with child care?

When someone gives up their career to take care of the kids, they donít just give up salary - they give up experience and a 401k etc.

A way out of this for you, would be to offer her right of refusal. On your days, when you have to hire a babysitter - she can choose whether she wants to take them instead of having you hire a babysitter.


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I am okay with their mother watching them. The only hesitation I have is emotional - is it really best for the kids, or is it best for her? It seems like a lot of swaps which may be more harmful than helpful.

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