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    Understanding vague language

    Jurisdiction / State: Colorado

    I'm not 100% certain that "child support" is the correct topic, but it's the closest to my question.

    My daughter travels out of state several times a year to be with her mother, and her mother and I share the cost. However, the language in our separation agreement is vague enough that the mother and I have different interpretations on the matter. Furthermore, the travel costs are not a part of the child support order.

    From the agreement: "The parties shall each pay their proportionate amount for the travel cost for the child for the summer parenting time and scheduled holiday parenting time."



    Later, it somewhat specifies an amount under extra curricular activities: "...the parties shall pay the expense of that activity in proportion to their income percentages, currently approximately 70% for the husband and 30% for the wife."

    I am now making less and therefore would like my share to reflect my current earnings. My ex, on the other hand, feels that the amounts (70%/30%) are specified, and can only be modified by modifying the agreement.Ultimately, I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by insisting that I pay a lower amount without a revised order.

    Thoughts?

  2. Registered User Samaritan & Scholar
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    When the order does not address it and you can not come to agreement, your solution is at the court in another round of mediation to amend the order.

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    Moderator Samaritan & Scholar

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    Your ex is correct in a sense; the order was made according to what you both earned then and in order for it to change, you'll have to modify the order itself.

    But please, Dad - get this ordered clarified because it is so horribly vague!

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    Quote Originally Posted by heywood7 View Post
    I'm not 100% certain that "child support" is the correct topic, but it's the closest to my question.

    My daughter travels out of state several times a year to be with her mother, and her mother and I share the cost. However, the language in our separation agreement is vague enough that the mother and I have different interpretations on the matter. Furthermore, the travel costs are not a part of the child support order.

    From the agreement: "The parties shall each pay their proportionate amount for the travel cost for the child for the summer parenting time and scheduled holiday parenting time."

    Later, it somewhat specifies an amount under extra curricular activities: "...the parties shall pay the expense of that activity in proportion to their income percentages, currently approximately 70% for the husband and 30% for the wife."

    I am now making less and therefore would like my share to reflect my current earnings. My ex, on the other hand, feels that the amounts (70%/30%) are specified, and can only be modified by modifying the agreement.Ultimately, I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by insisting that I pay a lower amount without a revised order.

    Thoughts?

    I'm not sure what you are asking.

    If you are asking whether you should motion the court to adjust the 70/30 order, that is your decision to make.

    You can discuss it with an attorney.

    If the order remains unchanged, you are responsible for 70% as the order mandates.

    The 70% has nothing to do with what you are making.

    If your circumstances have changed significantly, you might be able to get the order adjusted.

    But, why bother?

    You can just skip a visit, then you are not on the hook for the transportation costs.

    Or, pony up the 70% and adjust your budget accordingly so that your child can spend quality time with you.

    Sorry, yours isn't a legal issue, as such.

    It appears to be more of a budgetary concern.

    Why not discuss this with your "ex" and reach a common understanding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by army judge View Post
    I'm not sure what you are asking.

    If you are asking whether you should motion the court to adjust the 70/30 order, that is your decision to make.

    You can discuss it with an attorney.

    If the order remains unchanged, you are responsible for 70% as the order mandates.

    The 70% has nothing to do with what you are making.

    If your circumstances have changed significantly, you might be able to get the order adjusted.

    But, why bother?

    You can just skip a visit, then you are not on the hook for the transportation costs.

    Or, pony up the 70% and adjust your budget accordingly so that your child can spend quality time with you.

    Sorry, yours isn't a legal issue, as such.

    It appears to be more of a budgetary concern.

    Why not discuss this with your "ex" and reach a common understanding?
    Army Judge, I'm asking for clarification on the terms of the agreement. In other words, am I locked to 70% until a new agreement is reached, or does the agreement account for fluctuations in income? I believe that Proserpina answered my question. And I think you misunderstood - my daughter lives with me full time, so skipping a visit is out of the question and I would never ask my ex to skip her visitation. I only wish for us both to pay our fair share.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proserpina View Post
    Your ex is correct in a sense; the order was made according to what you both earned then and in order for it to change, you'll have to modify the order itself.

    But please, Dad - get this ordered clarified because it is so horribly vague!
    Thanks for your time and feedback. And I agree - this order is in need of some serious clarification.

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