My ex recently was able to stop paying child support to his first wife because his daughter graduated from college. As I understand it, this means he should be paying more for our sons.
Last time I went to court, the judge criticized me for spending $500 per week in child care for teenagers. She did not include my child care expense in the child support guidelines. I work from noon to 10 p.m. each night. Our kids participate in many activities to which they cannot drive themselves (they are 13 and 15) and my ex never helps. The judge also said I cannot put my health insurance in the child support guidelines calculator because I don’t insure our kids.
I spent thousands of dollars on legal fees last time and only got a $50 per week increase in child support. I still have not recovered the money I spent for the small increase. My lawyer believed the judge was wrong but I could not afford to appeal.
Now that my ex has $400 extra in his pocket from his prior support order, will the judge add that to my child support?
You cannot assume that the $400 he was paying for his other child will go directly into your pocket. You need to run the child support guidelines each time, and the guidelines changed again last fall. Your support will go up because of this change. When you file, ask that the increase be retroactive to the date your ex is served with the summons on your complaint.
The judges have moved around a lot over the last two years. Some have retired; many have changed counties. I do not know who your judge was, but I respectfully disagree with her interpretation of the child support guidelines. As I read them, family health insurance is part of the worksheet and you have just as much right to include your health insurance in the calculation as your ex does. It does not call for the cost of the children’s insurance only. If he gets to include his cost in the calculation, so, too, should you.
As for the childcare, I assume you have no choice but to work the hours you work so you should also not be criticized for the cost of childcare. According to my math, you are paying below market rate for childcare and even teenagers need supervision. If you are working and your ex is unwilling to step up to the plate, he should share in that burden by virtue of including the full cost in the guidelines.
File your complaint and run the guidelines. Send him your worksheet and ask him to agree to pay the increased amount. If yes, you can sign an agreement and have it allowed administratively under Supplemental Rule 412. If not, you can decide whether to spend more money on legal fees.