Part 4 – Legal Tips: Child Support
I knew little to nothing about the court system before my husband left. However, as you might relate, I got a quick education.
Current law and the state in which you live have a huge say in each person’s experience when a husband leaves. Although, different factors may be at play in your situation, I wanted to share with you some of the zingers that really caught my attention as I found myself walking on this unexpected road.
My prayer is that some of the information here may be of help to you as you face some of the challenges that lay ahead.
4. An Objective Calculator is Used in Dividing Assets and Determining Child Support.
In California, it was called “the Dissomaster,” and it was a software program that one could use to calculate child support.
In our town’s courthouse, there was a room that plaintiffs and defendants could use—”the computer room”—in which the Dissomaster software program was loaded on computers. Attached to each computer was a printer so that the users could take the results home for study or to use in actual decision-making with the other party.
Who has the time to do the research it takes when your husband has left you and you are suddenly the single parent of three small children? Make the time. Get a babysitter. It could make a difference for years down the road.
The child support calculator will ask you a series of questions, such as how much each parent earns and how much time each parent spends with the children (Note here: Overnights count with great importance when considering the time spent with a parent).
Although this may seem to be a clear-cut method, there are often gray areas that can increase or decrease the final child support level. Therefore, it is important to adjust the factors, and then see the different outcomes that emerge from the calculator dependent on different choices that you make on jobs and time spent with the kids.
A more appealing option might be to come to an agreement outside of the court system. If you are on talking terms with your soon-to-be ex-spouse in which you can communicate together, then you may want to come up with an agreement and then have a lawyer finalize the paperwork.
Or, parties can hire one specific mediator together who can help both sides reach a legal agreement based on his experience and the state’s laws. In this way, extended expensive time arguing it out in court is avoided, and with it, the lawyer fees that accompany it.
Often though, in all of these instances, a default method in beginning to make decisions is to consider the state’s own calculator which is usually built into a computer software program and easy to use.
How do you jump successfully through all the hoops in the legal system when you do not know the first thing about the law when it comes to divorce? Maybe you have heard stories, or maybe someone close to you has gone through a divorce already. When it comes down to it, each one of us must prayerfully walk the road alone; make important, level-headed decisions about many matters as they come up; and understand what the wide array of consequences mean for ourselves in our particular situation.
Remember this: God will help you. I recommend that you make it your top priority to ask Jesus to be involved with you each step of the way. Ask for wisdom because God promises that He will give it to you (James 1:5). C