Often times in divorce, men walk through the door and immediately state that their Wife is asking for support; alimony for herself, as well as support for the children. If you’re involved in a new case, the law may allow the support to be calculated retroactively to the date you both separated. If you’re involved in a post judgment case (i.e., you’ve already been to court before and received a final judgment and these problems are now happening after the conclusion of all of that.), the law may allow the potentially modified support obligations to be calculated retroactively to the date of the filing of a supplemental petition. If the second scenario applies to you, you must continue paying your support obligation as previously ordered until agreement or further order of the court. Just because you file a supplemental petition doesn’t mean you can just stop paying what you were ordered to pay before.
Now, although the retroactive date in new cases may be capped at twenty-four months prior to the date of filing, it may be in your best interest to begin paying some voluntary child support so you don’t wind up with a large retroactive amount owed. But, before you do, you need to talk to an attorney for a number of reasons. First, child support is statutory, so someone needs to run guidelines to see who actually has the child support obligation. Even if you’re making more money than her, if you have the children the majority of the time, she may owe you child support. Depending on your situation, if the guidelines are indicating that you may owe child support, paying some voluntary money to the other party might be a good idea. On the other hand, alimony is far more abstract and really depends on the other side as much as the analysis depends on you. With a need versus ability to pay approach, you may want to hold off on this one until either agreement or further order of the court. Paying money to the other side for her support may be evidence of your ability to pay, and could potentially be used against you as evidence that you can continue facilitating that need. Your soon to be ex-wife may need support, however, it’s probably best to wait to take a much closer look at the financial disclosure before doing anything voluntarily. On the other hand, if you do decide to pay at least some child support voluntarily, you should do so by writing her a check with the memo line at the bottom stating what it’s for and the date. (e.g., For Child Support – 7/1/2017.) Keep copies of these checks and provide same to your attorney, as he or she will need that evidence to argue for credit against any retroactive child support due and owing at a later date. NEVER pay support in cash.
If you, or someone you know, is about to embark on a divorce or has been served with papers, don’t hesitate, call Men’s Rights Law Firm today at 239-829-0166.