Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsMarriage & Divorce · 2 months ago

What is the difference in filing for child support through the state vs going to court and doing it through a lawyer ?

My husband kicked me and our two month old twins out at the beginning of the month. We haven’t been married long so we really don’t have any assets together besides my car, which I can’t afford. He said he doesn’t want to go to court. He wants to pay $1200 a month for child support & let me keep the car. I don’t want the car because $50,000 is owed on it and I want to finance something cheaper. He’s the one that insisted I have a nice car & he had me trade my car that was almost paid off in for this one. Both of our names are on the car, with his being primary because they wouldn’t approve us for it with my name as primary because I can’t afford it! He’s still paying the notes but I want child support established. What’s the difference between going to court and having a lawyer fight for child support or going through the state? Wouldn’t I end up with the same amount regardless? I know I’ll get alimony but that has nothing to do with child support. I figured I’d wait to hire a lawyer once he files for divorce and fight for alimony & getting the car out of my name then since he’s just going to keep paying the notes in the mean time 

6 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    What people SAY they'll do and what they will really do often differ a great deal. The fact that you say "My husband kicked me and our two month old twins out at the beginning of the month" certainly signifies that he's not to be trusted for a darn thing.. including any kind of "support", unless it's a legally binding arrangement. Do the twins not look like him or something? A DNA test might be necessary. 

    You do not seem to actually know what the courts will deem appropriate child support or alimony. My son pays $3,200 a month to his ex for the support of their two children. Some people pay far more, some far less. Wages are the strong consideration; not what someone "decides" or "is willing' to pay.  If you have a very short marriage, you can not count on alimony. Talk to a lawyer to figure out what is the best arrangement for you. The state I live in, alimony, even with small children, is, if awarded,  commonly designated for 1/2 the length of the marriage.

    A debt is not an asset. A vehicle that is owed $50,000 on is not an asset. That's called a liability. 

  • T J
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Best to consult a lawyer. He knows your state laws, we do not.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I wouldn't recommend getting "legal advice" from this website. Find a family law attorney, go for an initial consult, many free, and take it from there. Good luck.

  • n2mama
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You get a lawyer and the lawyer represents you in court. The lawyer cannot determine child support, the judge does that. I wouldn’t be so sure that you will be getting spousal support (it isn’t called alimony any more), because based on your other questions, you haven’t even been married for a year yet, and found out you were pregnant right before the wedding, so it isn’t as though you worked to put him through school or took significant time off work to raise the kids. If you were to get any spousal support it would be incredibly short term given the length of your marriage. As for the child support amount, it depends on a lot of factors, including where you are. Pretty much all states have child support calculators online that you can access that would give you some idea of what you might be entitled to for child support. In my state, for two children, the maximum is 28% of gross pay for two children. 

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I don’t know what you mean. When you FILE for child support you file WITH the State whether an attorney represents you or you represent yourself. Family Court is user friendly. You do not need an attorney. WHERE matters. In some States the support is based on household income. In other States it’s based on gross wages of the non-custodial parent. In at least one State it’s a flat percentage of gross income. WHERE matters.

    Assets are immaterial if you are asking only for child support. Assets/liabilities become important if you are asking for spousal support (part of a divorce/legal separation).

    LEGALLY child support is separate for any/all other arrangements. You CANNOT offset child support for a car payment - or anything else. Without knowing WHERE and the specific income it is impossible to know whether or not $1,200 would be awarded. However, you CAN’T say, “The Court ordered $2,000 a month, but I’m letting you keep the car, so I’m only paying $1,200 a month.” CHILD SUPPORT STANDS ALONE.

    He “insisted,” “he had me” are worthless words. You are presumably an adult. Both of you signed for the car, both of you owe the note.

    And, again, I don’t know what you mean by “going to court” OR “going through the State.” Either way a Judge makes a decision based on the law in your State. Yes, you’ll end up with the same amount, because that amount is set by law.

    Spousal support - not alimony - is entirely different and separate from child support. In MY State currently spousal support is being awarded for one-third the length of the marriage (not the relationship). Married 3 years? You will be awarded 1 year of child support.

    You can “fight” for anything you want. What you will be awarded depends 100% on the Judge. It is also ALWAYS better to be the Plaintiff than the Defendant. Why would you want your husband to file for divorce, and then you will defend against the divorce (or agree)? That makes no sense legally.

    ALSO - more and more men are asking for AND RECEIVING residential custody. That means that the man has the superior income, he has no mental health issues, he can care for the child (if the mother works and the child is in day care OR the father works and the child is in day care the Court looks at the situations as equal), he asks for custody. In the past few men asked for custody so few men received custody. That is no longer true.

    ALSO - any money, gifts, support your husband gives you now is a “gift” and is NOT support. Support is an amount ordered by the Court. If he is SMART he will file for divorce now, because support can be ordered back to the date of separation, back to the date of birth, from the date of the filing for support OR from the date of the Order. If he supports the children now without an Order AND the Judge orders support back to the date of birth, he will pay double for those months (voluntarily AND by Order).

    AND - I always warn people. At this moment in time you both have equal rights to the children. You could refuse to allow him to visit the children. He could take the children for a visit and not return them. Either parent controls the children 100%. That is WHY people are encouraged to file for divorce BEFORE custody/visitation become problematical.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You'll certainly get child support but don't bet on getting alimony if you haven't been married long. You need a consultation with a good divorce attorney.  There's usually a formula that the state has for setting the minimum child support. You need to find out whether you're entitled to more than he's offering or not.

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