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How do I sign off on child support

Discussion in 'Alimony & Spousal Support' started by katlowe, Aug 31, 2009.

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  1. katlowe

    katlowe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am at a complete loss. What seems like a simple act of good faith has become not only confusing but too complicated for words.

    I want to know how to sign off on a child support order. I am the custodial parent and I moved two states away and therefore there is very limited time for my daughter and her father to visit physically.

    We accomodate that with unlimited phone and virtual visitation through web cams but as we all know that is just not enough. I obviously can't afford to travel back and forth every other weekend and he works every weekend anyway.

    We both are in complete agreement she is doing far to well here to move back to Wisconsin and has grown as a person with the smaller classes and closer knit community she is now in and has made some really close friends.

    My point (sorry) is I want to sign off on the child support order mainly because I see him struggling to survive because he had another child after our daughter and pays child support faithfully on both children but I can see it is wearing on him financially.

    My daughter is almost 17 and I am quite capable of managing our finances without the child support as I have not rent or utility expenses where I live with my fiance and I think it only right that he be given the chance to have some money to live on and not have to wait another year and a half to do so.

    I know I am one of the very rare custodial parents that doesn't go for the jugular or take every cent the poor guy ever makes out of spite and vengence.

    Our order is in Wisconsin and we moved 2 years ago. Not sure if you need to know that but just in case it is useful.

    How do I do this legally and not make it more complicated than it apparently already is. I just want to send a notarized letter to the child support agency itself saying I don't want the money anymore and cancel the order for my daughter without involving the court system. He agrees it would be nice to have money but is in no way eager to have me cancel the order saying he feels responsible for her and I simply said so put it in savings for her and give it to her as a graduation gift. He just laughed and said not a bad idea.

    Please any help on this matter would be better than feeling like I am treading into quick sand.
     
  2. dee_dub

    dee_dub Moderator

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    I sympathize with your problem and applaud your attitude. I suspect that if you want to do this legally, you would have to have the terms of your divorce order granting you that child support varied. This might be easier said than done. A court may be reluctant to grant no child support, because they don't want the custodial parent coming to the state for relief if times get tougher. And there is a fairly basic principle that support is not a trade-off for reduced access, so the fact he doesn't see her as much doesn't negate whatever support obligation he has.

    You could probably do this unofficially by de-registering your support order with the child support agency. I'm not sure how things work where you are, but unless it was mandatory that you register your support order with them, it is not required that they be involved in this and collect the money on your behalf. A letter might suffice, not to tell them that you want your husband to stop paying you, but simply to advise them that you no longer require them to collect from your husband. If you decide you don't want him to pay, that's up to you.
     
  3. katlowe

    katlowe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    unsure

    I didn't ever want child support ordered as he and I had an arrangment that was working well for us without outside interference. 17% of his income back in 2005 worked out to be roughly $300 per month so that is what we presented to the court when we divorced but suddenly child support was involved against my will.

    I had no intention nor would I now review his order for child support simply because I feel if there are things needed that child support is not going to cover well I can work a few extra shifts or get another job whether it be temporary or not to offset the expenses.

    I honestly never asked for child support enforcement to intervene and I have not been on public assistance except when I was pregnant with my daughter and for 4 months after her birth just long enough to get back on my feet and as soon as I was able to work outside the home and obtain insurance I dumped the assistance. I know it's a shock to hear of someone that uses the system as it was designed to work.

    I am really not sure if the child support would be considered "ordered" or "mandated". It was just something that popped up in the divorce hearing which we took all of 10 minutes of the courts time establishing the usual with the visitation being set from limited to unlimited at the childs discretion, what he had was his what I had was mine and we chose not to argue and fuss over small stuff that meant nothing in the end, and when presented with a higher dollar amount I refused. The exact reason I didn't want child support enforcement getting involved. They try to mess with what had already been working fine and yes a little extra back then would have been great but he always did his part as a parent and helped out when he could how he could.

    I guess I am still at a loss and I know neither of us can afford to take time off work to go to court for this silliness. He suggested today perhaps I should just put all the child support into a joint account with my daughter that would require 2 signatures to make any withdrawals and just put it in there every month and give it to her on her graduation day and say this is from your Dad instead of bothering with the courts who are probably going to deny my wishes anyway.

    I guess I will have to do that. Seems like an easier fix on the whole mess.
     
  4. dee_dub

    dee_dub Moderator

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    Its not that hard to let people keep money. If you really don't want it, you could accept it and then explicitly gift it back to him. Send him a cheque and a letter accompanying it expressly stating it is a gift, no strings attached, and you disclaim any interest in the funds.
     
  5. katlowe

    katlowe Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Gifting back apparently isn't going to work

    I sent the ex the exact amount of the child support checks cashed and a photo copy of the checks marked as copies and a letter stating my intentions very clearly that I was gifting it back to him.

    He sent it all back with a note saying he appreciated the thought but no thanks. Put it in savings and give it to her later.

    Apparently gifting back is harder than it seems :nuts so I am going to do as he requested and just set it aside and give it to her on graduation day.

    Thanks for your advice on this subject. Very much appreciated.
     

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