Getting Credit Where Credit is Due

There is frequently a gap between the date a husband and wife physically separate, the date one of them files a complaint for divorce, and the date the superior court judge assigned to the case enters a temporary child support order.

Protect Yourself from Being Assessed Child Support

If you have continued to support your children after you and your spouse have separated, it’s important that you protect yourself from being assessed child support as if you hadn’t paid it at all.

You can:

  • Try to reach a temporary agreement about how the children will divide their time between both parties. Be sure to put it down in writing; you and your ex should both sign it. If one or both of you have attorneys, they can help you with this process.
  • If it is clear that you are going to be the non-custodial parent for child support purposes because you have fewer than 110 overnights a year, calculate the amount of your child support and begin making payments to your spouse on the first day of each month after you have separated. Make sure that you write “child support” in the memo box.
  • Save all credit card statements, receipts, bills and other written proof of payments you make for groceries, utilities, medical expenses for the children, clothing for the children and activities for the children. Make sure your attorney knows about these payments so you get a credit for them against any back child support, which you might otherwise owe from the date of separation forward.

If you and the other parent have not been married, but you have lived together, be prepared to provide your attorney proof that you lived together and that you provided financial support for the children.

Finally, if you and the other parent have not lived together, but you have provided financial support for your children, you should be prepared to provide proof of that as well.

Posted in: Divorce