What can I do if I am unable to pay custody money? 20 Answers as of July 12, 2013

I would like to file for divorce from my husband, but I am concerned for the five kids we've had. He will most likely get custody, but I can't afford to pay for them each month, what do I do?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
The Court will consider the incomes of the parties and set child support according to support guidelines.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/20/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Child Support is a mathematical equation now based almost entirely upon how much the non-custodial parent earns. If you earn an extremely minimal amount of money, then the very least you will be required to paying support is $25./month. However,if you're working and earning money, it usually is more than that, especially for five children. Speak with a matrimonial attorney near you. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/17/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
Try to request a deviation from the Child Support Guideline amount that is the presumptive amount of support.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/16/2011
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
Unfortunately, there is not much to be done in a situation like this. The court is going to tell you that both parents have an obligation to support their children. The amount of this obligation is supposed to be a percentage of income based upon a formula. (Like all rules, there are a number of exceptions to it.) If you deliberately don't pay your obligation in a way that the court would consider to be not in good faith, you can be found in contempt by the court and punished therefor. On the other hand, if you are paying as much of your obligation as is possible, and are acting in what the court considers to be good faith, then, you likely would not be found in contempt. However, even if you are not found in contempt, the unpaid child support would continue to accumulate as a judgment against you, and can be collected from you in the future.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/16/2011
Seattle Divorce Services
Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
Under Washington law the court will determine child support based on your income or potential income. That child support can be as low as $25 per child. You can also request a deviation from the calculated support amount.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/16/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You may be making a false assumption that your husband will get custody. The children's best interest is the deciding factor - not who has a job. Many factors are considered in deciding best interests, but the basic premise is that it is not a one parent or the other argument. Both parents need to be involved in parenting and question is how that responsibility and privilege is to be shared. Whether you have primary custody or not, the legal system will expect you to obtain gainful employment and your share of the financial obligation will be based upon that employment. If you plan to file for divorce, you need to start planning for how you will eventually become able to support yourself. Support for the children will sort itself out based on the actual facts and circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    This is a hard issue. I am not sure why you believe he would get custody. But if he does and you have income, you could be ordered to pay child support. Unfortunately, child support if child support is ordered you are required to pay it and there is not much that can be done to get out of it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Nothing. You must pay for the children
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    You need to discuss your concerns with a domestic relations attorney who is local to you. Sole custody is rare, and you may be surprised what you have to pay and what he has to cover.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    A lot depends on the law of the state that you live in. Do you live in New Jersey? Or does the other person live in New Jersey?
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    The amount of child support that you would be expected to pay would depend on your actual net income.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    First, you should calculate the presumed amount of child support by going to the OR DOJ website. If the presumed amount is not appropriate for you, then you may be able to rebut that amount.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law
    Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law | Devan J. Theiler, Esq.
    It is not clear in the question why you believe your husband will get custody, what either of you earns or your relevant work histories, which makes answering this question difficult. However, generally speaking, both you and your husband will be "imputed" with an income figure that the Court feels is appropriate, based on your current income, work history, marketable skills, etc. Both parents always have an obligation to contribute towards the financial support of their children. It is highly unusual for the income and custody arrangements to work out such that no child support is indicated under the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. Once a child support Order is entered, you must pay the same or face additional hearings, fines, revocation of some licenses and possible imprisonment. The Court will expect you to make your payments by whatever means necessary, even if this includes working additional jobs, living with friends or family, etc.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Child support is based on income or presumptive income levels. The amount you would have to pay is based on that. There are things you can do about it, depending on the circumstances, so I think you would benefit from consulting with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    The court will set the child support according to your income or the input the court assumes you can earn. There is a cap of 45% of your income that is rarely exceeded.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    You shouldn't automatically assume that he will get custody and that you would have to pay him child support. It sounds like he may have threatened you with this, but you should really speak to a family law attorney in more detail to help you determine who may be awarded custody in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    The court will determine the amount, if any, that you would pay in child support. If you can't pay it, you run the risk of penalties for contempt of court or possible criminal charges for violation of court order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You don't pay for custody, you pay child support (if you pay) based upon the relative earnings of the parties and the timeshare, as well as other factors. I am curious as to why you assume the children will be with him primarily. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    (1) Get a good lawyer. (2) Maximize your income.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
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