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Child support and the heat of the moment

Child support issues can include some heated tone: “He is a pig. He can’t even keep a job.”

Be very careful when saying things like this. Please understand this is a gray area, and this is a very general statement, this is just intended to be informative. If the man really is a pig, and there are serious reasons for him not being able to keep a job, such as alcoholism, drug use or anger management problems, then there may be some very good reasons to say things like this in a declaration, or on the record to a Judge, but you must always watch out for the “double-edged sword,” as is here…

When you say the statement above to a Judge, the Judge may hear, “Your Honor, you should give custody of our child to his father since he doesn’t have a job, and since he doesn’t work, he has all the time in the world to prepare the kids for school, take them to school, pick them up after school, help them complete their homework, feed them dinner and prepare them for bed before I even get home from my full-time job that keeps me away from my kids. And furthermore your Honor, I realize that our children are better off with him than in a day-care where a non-parent is effectively raising our child.”

Now, not every judge feels this way, But you should be aware that some absolutely do! Again, where there is a serious reason to say he is a pig, then you must, but you really must be careful of what you say, and how you say it.

Take notice of the last sentence again, “He is a pig, he can’t even keep a job.” The following is a different issue, but you need to think about what have you just told the Judge about your husband’s “ability” to pay any future “Spousal Support” orders the Judge might make. Yes, you just admitted he can’t make a steady income. Therefore, you may have just admitted that you make MORE money than your husband, and you just effectively guaranteed that you will be PAYING HIM spousal support. Yes, spousal support goes both ways, it only depends on who makes MORE money, which is you, if your spouse is unemployed. Oops!

This is just a couple examples out of dozens of famous “spoken blunders” blurted out on a regular basis by parties in family court who are not represented by good counsel. You must know that YOU DO NOT KNOW what words can hurt you if you are not careful.

Child Support Information

You should know it is almost impossible to talk about “child custody” without mentioning child support, and it is impossible to discuss child support, without mentioning “child custody”. This is also true in court. This is because the amount of time your child spends with you is a huge factor in determining how much child support you will pay, or receive. BUT, everyone who reads this should be aware that even though the amount of child support a parent pays or receives from the other is based largely on the amount of time the child or children spend with you. Judges HATE any argument that smacks of “trading children for money, or child support”. Be very careful of this fact. Remember my earlier warnings (on other pages) about saying things that are a double-edge sword, such as a father requesting more time than he has ever spent with his kids before, just so his child support burden is reduced. Or, a mother (typically) who knows the Father is a good father, and knows the children want to spend more time with their father, but she fights for more time just to get a larger child support award.

Unfortunately, this is all too common and can cost thousands in a contested divorce case. Talk to us about child support if you need any clarification.

Dec 08, 2014

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