T Nation

Child Support


Hey y'all

I happen to be in a down time and could use the support of a brotherhood that has been with me for 6 years...

I happen to be in a situation in which I just had my girlfriend breakup with me. We have a child together who is almost 2 years old. I am now concerned about child custody and child support. I am pretty sure since we are on good terms that we will be able to agree to joint custodity. I know that these things vary from state to state, but I my major concern is her taking all of my paycheck. Right now she is shared between our households 3-4 days per week per person and this will probably continue until my little girl goes to school. My major concerns are:

1) Who will get right to full custody once school begins and she has to go home 5 days a week after school.

2) I will be graduating into a field where I could be potentially making 80K in a year and a half, whereas now I am making 3400/year. I don't want her to be able to take away years of hard work and school loans with a single call to her lawyer.

3) Where do I go from here? Are there any other people who have gone through this shit that wish they did something differently or wish they had someone guide them through all of this?

Thanks to all of you guys out there. This is a tough time for me right now, and I appreciate the help that you guys can give.


Good for you for desiring to be an involved dad.

Keep it civil. After seeing a close friend go through some crap, that's the best thing I can say. Keep it civil. Her soon-to-be-ex calls an harasses her. Don't be that guy! I'd rather see you curl in a squat rack. :stuck_out_tongue:


There are so many case specific issues that it is hard to give good advice.

I am sure that this is not the attitude you want to go into court with. You have to make sure you make it clear that your focus is getting your daughter everything she deserves, rather than "poor me, having to pay for my kid."

You should get a custody agreement as soon as possible. Get joint custody if you can. There are plenty of kids who do fine living two weeks with mom, two weeks with dad.

Beyond child support, you are going to have to figure out how health care costs, insurance, tax-deductions, and the costs of activities (camp, cheerleading, band,...) are going to be split. The more you agree upon in advance and get into the custody/child support agreement, the better off you'll be. You don't want mommy constantly telling your daughter, "Sorry, you can't do...because daddy doesn't pay his share."


G'day, and yes, good on you for wanting to be involved with your kids.
I don't have kids of my own but I was a boss for years in Australia and I've seen a lot of blokes leave their jobs because the harder they worked, the less they got. It all went on child support. I've no idea whether the wives deserve it or not, that's not my point. My point is that from their point of view, they had to work overtime shifts so they could make enough money to pay their own bills and have a life, but that overtime money mostly went to their spouses as well. The end result for these guys was to leave work and go onto unemployment benefits where the money is so low, virtually nothing is left to give to the ex and the kids.

Not sure how it works over there but if I was in a position where income and assets could be assessed and given to someone else, I'd see a really good accountant and set myself up a company and business structure that would help me deal with the issues, before they arise.
Sorry, I prob didn't cheer you up, but maybe under the right company structure you could look after yourself, your ex and your kids in a fair and just manner. Food for thought maybe?


My butt still hurts from when I was divorced some eight years ago.

Thanks to my "child support", my ex-wife has never had to get a real job. Good thing you don't live in Florida, my friend. You take it in the fucking pants over here.

PS At any time, for any reaason, my ex-wife can go back and sue me for even more money if she desires. Doesn't mean she's gonna get it, but I'm just saying: as long as your kid is a kid, then you will never be "free" of her power to sue you.


Same here in Texas. I was told by the judge if I couldn't afford to pay child support I would have to get a second job. I got nailed for 795.00 a month and then the Judge added 100.00 dollars for attorney fees, and another 100.00 per month for back child support leading up to the hearing. I gave my ex money while we were seperated but the judge told me it doesn't count towards child support because I wasn't ordered to pay it, and it is considered a gift. In Texas they automatically get you for 22%, plus 100 % medical, if you dont have insurance. If you have insurances you are only responsible for maintaining the health coverage and 1/2 of any co-pays and or deductibles.

It has since been lowered, I got the back child support paid, and the attorney fees. Needless to say I'm still paying a large amount. The shitty part is, my ex will not take my little girl to the doctor becasue she doesn't want to pay the co-pay,( cheap Bitch),. So unfortunately, my little girl is sick most of the time and the weekends I have with her we wind up spending the majority of it at the 24 hour emergency doctors office becasue I can't get her to take her in the week. I don;t mind taking her, but 125.00 a pop is a little steep when I could take her to her peditrician for 25.00. My ex is a dumbass money grubbing whore, I hope someone knocks her up and takes her for everything she has. Stupid bitches, If it wasn't for the pussy between thier legs most women would have a bounty on thier heads.



Get a lawyer who specializes in family issues. This is key.

You need to get joint custody and either 50/50 physical custody or primary physical custody. If your ex has primary physical custody she essentially gets to make all of the decisions regarding the childs future.

Do it now why you are poor. If you have a larges difference in income the state can take up to 22-25% of your pre-tax income and none of it has to be used for the benefit of the child. It is completely at the discretion of the custodial parent how the money is spent.

Stay invovlved no matter what. That is key. The money is soon forgotten but the child will remember your involvement all their life. Why don't you offer to be the custodial parent and assume all financial responsibility for the child. Sounds like you will have the money to do so. Offer to never seek child support from her and give liberal visitation. The more mature of the parents, whoever that is, should have primary custody in my opinion.

Good luck.


Get a lawyer and get your questions answered.


I have also been there. In the state I was in they took more than 50% of my net income, it was based on a sliding scale based on both my income and my ex's income. They took over $700 a month and I was only making around $30,000 at the time. Word of warning, if you don't get joint custody now, it will be very difficult to go back and get it later.
My best advice is to keep it civil and try to remain friends with your ex. This is easier said than done I know, but in the long run it makes a huge difference. Raising a kid is expensive and its going to take a bite out of your income, its almost like you have a family, but double the bills.
To tell you the truth, if your ex knows and understands that you are a good dad, you already have lost 75% of the headache in this situation, this will become very clear several years down the road believe me. Over the years I have walked a very fine line between not being a doormat, but making sure my daughter has everything she needs. I don't want her not being able to do the activities that she wants to do (dance, cheerleading, soccer, etc) because mom can't afford it. You should also make sure you have a good attorney to make sure your bases are covered, you need to know how some of your decisions now may be relevant years down the road.
Lastly, and I know you don't want to hear this, but she will indeed be able to have child support modified later on if there is a significant change in your income, I would try to come to an agreement, then have your lawyers put it in writing.
I wish you and your kid the best of luck.


Custody laws are very different when there is no marriage contract. Your writes and privileges according to the law are now open to interpretation. You could luck out or get fucked over. Don't guess at what could possibly happen or leave it to chance. Get a good lawyer....... either pay his big bill once or pay your ex for the next 18 years with your money and blood. Sounds like a no brainer to me!


I have contacted the appropriate people and am awaiting the phone calls. Now I just need to save up for those big lawyer bills (awesome!). Someone told me a paralegal can write up joint custody statements for a lesser fee. Does anyone know of this or have experience in this area?

I am keeping the situation extremely civil right now, as her entire family is not only very close, but loves me like a son. This should prove to my advantage (to not get completely fucked over) since they have a strong influence over her.

I have a long and unknown road ahead of me, and I appreciate the experience and wisdom of my testosterone brothers and sisters in my time of need. Anything I write on this screen can not begin to convey the level of appreciation I have for this advice, yet I will still say it: Thank you all so very much.



On the bright side...

At least you'll never be boogafish.

\|/ 3Toes


While many people are offering advice here and some of it is very good, you need to get a lawyer now.

Yes - be civil and try to work things out.

Yes, suck it up if she gets mad and calls you names - never - NEVER - yell at her, call her a name, raise your voice, or do ANYTHING at all but be pleasant. If you feel at any time heat starting to build up and tempers start to rise - get out of the situation immediately - do not let it spin out of control at all.

Leave - let it calm down and call her the next day and then YOU apologize - it doesn't matter if you were wrong or not YOU apologize.

You will have think long term - not in the here and now - you need to lay the groundwork for the upcoming issues.

You do not want to be in a position where she will call the cops - or get a restraining order - if you do you are in huge trouble. It does not matter who started it - or what was said - or even if she hits you - YOU will be in big trouble - period, end of story.

A site you might want to check out is:

Interview at least three lawyers who specialize in custody issues - yes at least three lawyers. You will have to spend some money but spend it - it can save you thousands+ in the end.

You have to interview lawyers and determine what type of lawyer you want - a negotiator or a fighter - some can do both but not all of them. If you really think you can work things out try a negotiator - but if things get ugly - you might want to go for a fighter since it can get ugly very very fast and you need someone who is adept at the mind games, and can fight like hell for you since the early decisions will determine, in large manner, the next decades.

Oh - and yes - you will have to pay child support - the more you make the more you pay. Joint custody will help reduce the amount, however a lawyer will show your ex the amount of money she'll get if she has sole custody vs. joint custody - when she sees that difference don't be surprised if any joint issues you are working out are gone with the wind. Just be prepared for anything and stay loose.

Good Luck - I feel for you and remember to keep you child first.

Now get out their, get informed and start interviewing some lawyers.

Sorry - I posted before I saw that you might get an agreement worked out and filed with the court - if you can do this go for it - but still don't hesitate to talk with a lawyer if you have any legal questions - they cost but can be well worth it over time.


LOL!!! Right!


One other note I want to add is that when I was looking for an attorney, I found several that were very aggressive and just wanted to go for the throat rather than considering what I wanted and what was best for my daughter. I did find one that understood and just worked things out the way I wanted them while still making sure that I did not get screwed over. Her attorney had put language in the agreement that could have really hurt me in the future should things become uncivil, without a lawyer I would never have had a clue. Don't let a lawyer talk you into something you don't really want to do. Good luck!


Just the opposite!


Try to be as civil as possible but in most states like some of the above have posted she can take you back to court at any time. So each time you make more money because of your hard work she can take you back to court and get more money. Usually it happens something like this, you break up and promise to be civil and initially work something out. Then some time passes, she runs up some debt, meets some new guy, they have trouble paying their bills and amazingly all of the sudden "the child" needs more money. So the happy new couple decide to that she should take you back to court. And most of the time you can hire a high priced attorney and she can hire crap and she will still win, you might even get to pay her lawyer fees as well (you know out of fairness to her). The system is fucked up my friend.


It sure makes that $5 box of condoms look like a hell of a deal.

Sorry I had to be an ass.


If you are smart don't let it go to the judge. In Texas you can go to the DA and they can draw up the papers. That is what my wife did with our step daughter. In Texas it is only 25% of your income.


LOL only 25%.