Author Topic: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?  (Read 2852 times)

Sarotis

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Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« on: June 27, 2019, 10:56:17 AM »
Hi All Ė Iím looking for advice on my sad situation. There is a good chance my husband is going to leave our marriage and I want to take the proper steps now to protect myself and my daughter. However, Iím not sure which steps I should take.

Some background:
ē   Early thirties, married 5 years, together since we were 18. Have a one year old child.
ē   Have approximately 750K in assets and 135K in mortgage debt. I have always had the higher earning job.
ē   He currently stays at home to watch our child but will be starting a job in August. We have a good childcare situation lined up for when he returns to work.
ē   We intend for our separation to be amicable and to do so without involving the courts.
ē   Neither of us want to pay the other alimony or child support (we would each contribute an equal amount to an account for our child and use that to pay expenses).

He told me he was unhappy in our marriage about a year ago, which was a massive surprise to me. I do not want to divorce. He is an excellent father and decent partner. However, he wants 50% custody and 50% of the money. I want him to continue to be a big part of my daughterís life, so I can accept 50% custody. However, it is a very hard pill for me to swallow to think that our savings (of which 90% was earned by me) would be split evenly. I donít want to take him to the cleaners by any means, but I partially supported him through college/underemployment, paid off his student loans, covered things financially while he took a year off to watch our baby, etc.

Am I being unrealistic to think that I should have more than 50% of the assets? I think it would more than fair to give him the house (which has a small mortgage that would be affordable with his lower paying job and about 150K in equity) and like 50K in investments so he has a nice nest egg [for reference, 100K is what he has made cumulatively in our relationship]. That would ensure he has a safe home for our daughter and enough money to cover any emergencies. That would leave him with about 200k NW [250k house less 135 mortgage + 50K investments) and 450k (all investments, no debt) for me. I should also note that I came into the marriage with a house and 100K in investments.

My main priority is to minimize the damage to my daughter, which means I need to continue to be on good terms with her father. Maybe that means I should give him half and let him walk away.

Any other advice to prepare for a separation? I have a realtor sending me house listings and got prequalified for a mortgage but havenít made any other steps to prepare.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 11:01:48 AM by Sarotis »

MayDay

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 11:33:45 AM »
Yes it is unreasonable.  You need to split the net worth 50/50.  End of story.

You are going to owe child support too, most likely, so you could be strategic about offering more up front in return for less/no child support, but I don't know if states even allow that anymore.

But you most definitely need to plan to pay him half the total net worth, regardless of who earned it (unless some is from an inheritance that you kept separate, or was yours before the marriage).

Sarotis

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2019, 11:44:40 AM »
Yes it is unreasonable.  You need to split the net worth 50/50.  End of story.

You are going to owe child support too, most likely, so you could be strategic about offering more up front in return for less/no child support, but I don't know if states even allow that anymore.

But you most definitely need to plan to pay him half the total net worth, regardless of who earned it (unless some is from an inheritance that you kept separate, or was yours before the marriage).

Uggg, I expected as much. Thanks for the feedback. He said he doesn't want child support, and I believe that. I guess I thought that if we came to an agreement amongst ourselves, the state would just signed off on it. But perhaps there is some sort of "fairness" meter that the state will try to apply? I intentionally haven't spoken to a lawyer yet because we both agreed that we wouldn't use a lawyer. But that also means I'm pretty clueless as to how this process works.

Saving in Austin

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2019, 12:02:05 PM »
I would consult a divorce attorney in private just so you know what the courts would say and what your rights are. You don't have to take it to court but you should have complete information anyway.

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2019, 12:05:53 PM »
You absolutely should be splitting things evenly (excepting any inheritance like MayDay mentioned). Just because you worked and earned the money, doesn't mean he wasn't a full partner in your marriage and to imply that you should get more for being the working/higher earner is just... not right. You were equal partners in the marriage and your earning abilities aside, being a SAH parent is not a lesser position or deserves to be treated as if they weren't also working hard for the betterment of your family. You both agreed that things like paying debt and him going to school were a shared expense at the time, don't let the idea of a divorce now cloud you to the idea that you are owed more if he's not staying i the relationship. Not saying it doesn't suck, but try to step back and get some perspective - it likely wasn't intentional.

Do your research for "no fault divorce" in your state and do your best to work with your soon-to-be-ex to come to terms over everything if possible without involving lawyers. The difference in an amicable divorce and bringing an lawyer into it is massive. If you want to keep as much of your money as possible... stay calm, be reasonable and work it out together. It's better for you both and your future co-parenting too. I think in my state, you can do a no fault for under $500 start to finish.

And you could go to a lawyer if there is one that offers free consults. There is nothing wrong with getting facts from a professional. If you are definitely getting divorced, you should get the basics of what you could do/expect at the very least. You don't even have to tell him if you're satisfied with a consult and both of you move forward with a DIY no fault.

And it hasn't been mentioned... but have you both tried counseling? If he's unhappy and has been for over a year, it may be too late, but the best thing for everyone (purely in terms of money, mind you, I have no idea what is causing his unhappiness) is to stay together and try to work things out.

I'm very sorry things are heading in this direction. You likely should go to counseling for yourself if he won't go for couples counseling to help you work through all the feelings that are going to be bubbling up.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 12:10:06 PM »
This is not an easy question bc it also depends on where your assets are.  Like if you have the cash in a 401K under your name, half of that may legally be his.  and anything in his name you may have put money into like a Roth IRA will be his too.  If you kept the 100K you brought into the marraige separate then you may get to keep it.  Does he even want the house?  It's hard to consider the equity in the house since you don't really know what it would bring, and how much of that would go to realters' fees and legal fees of selling.

The short answer is that making more doesn't mean you get more at divorce.  Not only do you split what was earned during your marriage, but you may owe him alimony and child support to keep him and your child living in the manor to which he has become accustomed.  This is specifially to protect the lower earning spouse (usually the wife) who was encouraged to stay home during the marriage and then kicked out when they get old and fat and can't secure another husband.

BTW, there are threads about how to set up finances when you get married but none that I found as to how to best set up finances if you are splitting up.  Someone, not me, should start one.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 12:16:39 PM by DeniseNJ »

Cassie

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 12:15:15 PM »
He canít waive child support. You have to follow the laws of your state.

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 12:15:30 PM »
The short answer is that making more doesn't mean you get more at divorce.  Not only do you split what was earned during your marriage, but you may owe him alimony and child support to keep him and your child living in the manor to which he has become accustomed.  This is specifially to protect the lower earning spouse (usually the wife) who was encouraged to stay home during the marriage and then kicked out when they get old and fat and can''tsecure another husband.

My (admittedly basic) understanding is that the spouse who makes more can also be on the hook for both parties' legal fees (depending on the magnitude of the income difference). This may be another incentive to keep things amicable, as these fees can be enormous.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 12:18:21 PM »
The short answer is that making more doesn't mean you get more at divorce.  Not only do you split what was earned during your marriage, but you may owe him alimony and child support to keep him and your child living in the manor to which he has become accustomed.  This is specifially to protect the lower earning spouse (usually the wife) who was encouraged to stay home during the marriage and then kicked out when they get old and fat and can''tsecure another husband.

My (admittedly basic) understanding is that the spouse who makes more can also be on the hook for both parties' legal fees (depending on the magnitude of the income difference). This may be another incentive to keep things amicable, as these fees can be enormous.

Yep, the one who makes more gets to PAY more, not KEEP more.

Sarotis

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2019, 12:18:42 PM »
You absolutely should be splitting things evenly (excepting any inheritance like MayDay mentioned). Just because you worked and earned the money, doesn't mean he wasn't a full partner in your marriage and to imply that you should get more for being the working/higher earner is just... not right. You were equal partners in the marriage and your earning abilities aside, being a SAH parent is not a lesser position or deserves to be treated as if they weren't also working hard for the betterment of your family. You both agreed that things like paying debt and him going to school were a shared expense at the time, don't let the idea of a divorce now cloud you to the idea that you are owed more if he's not staying i the relationship. Not saying it doesn't suck, but try to step back and get some perspective - it likely wasn't intentional.

Do your research for "no fault divorce" in your state and do your best to work with your soon-to-be-ex to come to terms over everything if possible without involving lawyers. The difference in an amicable divorce and bringing an lawyer into it is massive. If you want to keep as much of your money as possible... stay calm, be reasonable and work it out together. It's better for you both and your future co-parenting too. I think in my state, you can do a no fault for under $500 start to finish.

And you could go to a lawyer if there is one that offers free consults. There is nothing wrong with getting facts from a professional. If you are definitely getting divorced, you should get the basics of what you could do/expect at the very least. You don't even have to tell him if you're satisfied with a consult and both of you move forward with a DIY no fault.

And it hasn't been mentioned... but have you both tried counseling? If he's unhappy and has been for over a year, it may be too late, but the best thing for everyone (purely in terms of money, mind you, I have no idea what is causing his unhappiness) is to stay together and try to work things out.

I'm very sorry things are heading in this direction. You likely should go to counseling for yourself if he won't go for couples counseling to help you work through all the feelings that are going to be bubbling up.

Thanks for the comments - although I would like to say that I don't think being a stay at home parent is in any way a lesser position - him staying at home was an incredible gift that we gave our daughter. My frustration with his earning has more to do with other things. :)

We have tried counselling for about six months. It helped initially but he didn't like it. I've suggested that we go on our own, but he isn't interested in that. I plan to do counselling on my own eventually. Right now I'm pretty numb from the antidepressants that I am on for PPD but I plan on doing some talk therapy once I am weaned off the meds. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

Sarotis

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2019, 12:20:45 PM »
This is not an easy question bc it also depends on where your assets are.  Like if you have the cash in a 401K under your name, half of that may legally be his.  and anything in his name you may have put money into like a Roth IRA will be his too.  If you kept the 100K you brought into the marraige separate then you may get to keep it.  Does he even want the house?  It's hard to consider the equity in the house since you don't really know what it would bring, and how much of that would go to realters' fees and legal fees of selling.

The short answer is that making more doesn't mean you get more at divorce.  Not only do you split what was earned during your marriage, but you may owe him alimony and child support to keep him and your child living in the manor to which he has become accustomed.  This is specifially to protect the lower earning spouse (usually the wife) who was encouraged to stay home during the marriage and then kicked out when they get old and fat and can't secure another husband.

BTW, there are threads about how to set up finances when you get married but none that I found as to how to best set up finances if you are splitting up.  Someone, not me, should start one.
I agree - it is super hard to find actual examples. Thanks for your feedback. It's good to get a reality check, even if I don't like the reality. :)

doggyfizzle

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2019, 12:21:09 PM »
Yes it is unreasonable.  You need to split the net worth 50/50.  End of story.

You are going to owe child support too, most likely, so you could be strategic about offering more up front in return for less/no child support, but I don't know if states even allow that anymore.

But you most definitely need to plan to pay him half the total net worth, regardless of who earned it (unless some is from an inheritance that you kept separate, or was yours before the marriage).

Uggg, I expected as much. Thanks for the feedback. He said he doesn't want child support, and I believe that. I guess I thought that if we came to an agreement amongst ourselves, the state would just signed off on it. But perhaps there is some sort of "fairness" meter that the state will try to apply? I intentionally haven't spoken to a lawyer yet because we both agreed that we wouldn't use a lawyer. But that also means I'm pretty clueless as to how this process works.

If you aren't going to use an attorney, consider using a mediator at least so you can end up with an official separation agreement (finances, custody) that is legal and can be revisited.  I've watched several couples (late 20s - early 30s) split up now, and each instance has required either full-on attorneys or mediation.  Mediation will be way, way cheaper rather than each of you lawyering-up.  Unfortunately, the 50-50 asset split is pretty standard, and will likely be especially hard to avoid given how long you've been together since most of the asset build-up occurred while you were together.  However, if you are able to agree over mediation that the $100k you had prior to marriage be excluded, you could end up splitting the rest (and home sale proceeds), and still not spend a ton in legal fees.

Also, depending what state you live in (only your business),your state may require a "cooling off period," or trial separation (like my state does), so you'll have about six months living apart before you can come back to court and officially divorce.  Sorry you're going through this, and hopefully you've got a good social support group or some family you can talk to about this as well.  One thing I would also add from watching my SiL and BiL split up and the impact it had on their young kids, is make sure to keep any discussions (or arguments) that get heated out of earshot of the kids.  My niece/nephew were a wreck for almost two years because of how immature my SiL/BiL chose to be during their divorce (and both were at fault for their failed relationship).

Catbert

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2019, 12:23:41 PM »
Talk to an attorney about the rules in your state.  Really.  I live in a community property state for 50/50 is the rule (with some exceptions for inheritances and assets acquired before marriage.)  In my state the assets you acquired before marriage are yours (assuming they have been kept separate).

 It's also likely that you two can't reach a "permanent" agreement to waive child support so be careful about offsetting no child support with more assets to one side or another.   As I understand it child support is what you owe your child not your ex.  If later either of your circumstances change he could go back ask/get child support.

One of you could get the house and offset the equity with fewer other assets. 

Finally, see an attorney to see how it works in your state.

Edited to add:I'm not necessarily suggesting you need an attorney to represent you but rather to understand your rights and responsibilities.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 12:26:33 PM by Catbert »

DeniseNJ

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2019, 12:24:21 PM »
BTW, If you're in your early thirties and have been together 18 (!) years, then there is no way you didn't know what his earnings were or were not going to be like.  No judge would say you didn't know you'd be paying off student loans or whatever when you married.  You've basically grown up together.  So it'd be hard to claim your earnings and successes were individually won.  If he took you to court he could take you to the cleaners and you'd owe him a fortune until you got him married off to someone else.

Best to offer him half of everything and be super nice about it before he gets on the boards and starts getting his own advice.  Make it quick before he realizes you're his golden goose.

Sarotis

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2019, 12:27:50 PM »
He canít waive child support. You have to follow the laws of your state.
Huh. I'm in Idaho. I'll investigate this. When he starts again in August, he will make about 60% of what I make, so we aren't wildly disparate. And he will be making more than we spend annually as a couple with a child, so there isn't a concern about maintaining the same level of spending . Hmmmmmmmm I need to think on this. I don't want to in any way shirk my responsibilities to my daughter. We thought we'd just both pitch in like $800 a month to an account for her and call it a day. I planned on filling her 529 myself. 

Sarotis

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2019, 12:35:19 PM »
BTW, If you're in your early thirties and have been together 18 (!) years, then there is no way you didn't know what his earnings were or were not going to be like.  No judge would say you didn't know you'd be paying off student loans or whatever when you married.  You've basically grown up together.  So it'd be hard to claim your earnings and successes were individually won.  If he took you to court he could take you to the cleaners and you'd owe him a fortune until you got him married off to someone else.

Best to offer him half of everything and be super nice about it before he gets on the boards and starts getting his own advice.  Make it quick before he realizes you're his golden goose.
I should clarify - we've been together since I was 18 years old (so 12 years in a relationship). But, yes, my entire adult life. He isn't the greedy type at all, so I don't think he would ever see me as a golden goose. And he also wants to keep a good relationship with me for the sake of our daughter. We are in 100% agreement that making this transition easier on her is the ultimate goal. Fighting over money, or fighting in general, doesn't serve that goal. It sounds like a 50/50 split is the legal thing to do.

Sarotis

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2019, 12:36:28 PM »
Talk to an attorney about the rules in your state.  Really.  I live in a community property state for 50/50 is the rule (with some exceptions for inheritances and assets acquired before marriage.)  In my state the assets you acquired before marriage are yours (assuming they have been kept separate).

 It's also likely that you two can't reach a "permanent" agreement to waive child support so be careful about offsetting no child support with more assets to one side or another.   As I understand it child support is what you owe your child not your ex.  If later either of your circumstances change he could go back ask/get child support.

One of you could get the house and offset the equity with fewer other assets. 

Finally, see an attorney to see how it works in your state.

Edited to add:I'm not necessarily suggesting you need an attorney to represent you but rather to understand your rights and responsibilities.
I am in a community property state as well.

Omy

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2019, 12:36:47 PM »
I was able to negotiate with my ex a bit...and he agreed to slightly less than 50%. I reminded him that I came into the marriage with $30k and immediately paid off his credit card debt. We also gave ourselves "fun" money each month. He always spent his and I always saved mine, so I had built up $5k in my "fun money" account. I asked for $35k...plus 50% of the remainder...and he agreed. We avoided a long expensive court battle because we were able to negotiate respectfully.

If he's reasonable, you might be able to remind him of the value you came into the marriage with and ask for that back...then split everything else 50/50. If he doesn't agree (and if you don't have a prenup), the default for most states is 50/50 for everything (unless you have personal accounts that were opened before you married and where you never added marital funds). If you have to split everything in half, be happy that he isn't asking for alimony.

SaucyAussie

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2019, 12:52:00 PM »
I would be cautious about buying a house right now - if you buy a house prior to the divorce you risk losing some of that too - keep your finances as simple as possible until after the divorce.

Typically, anything you brought into the marriage, you get to keep.  Any net worth you accumulated as a married couple gets split.

One thing to keep in mind - he may not ask for child support now, but that does not prevent him from going back later and making a claim.  (As opposed to alimony which must be settled prior to divorce).

« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 12:58:37 PM by SaucyAussie »

merince

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2019, 02:04:50 PM »
http://www.idahochildsupportcalculation.com/

Do not base the property split on him waiving future child support. Also, like others have said, consult a lawyer. If he gets a lawyer to draw up the divorce papers for both of you, pay for your own lawyer to review them.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2019, 02:06:51 PM »
http://www.idahochildsupportcalculation.com/
Yikes, in idaho it seems they add the incomes, calculate the child supoort amount and assign a portion to each parent based on the amount of time spent overnight in each hosehold.  So 50/50 split would have the higher earner paying child support to the lesser earning spouse.  You may end up paying everything equally, like each tossing 800 bucks into an account to pay for her stuff, but his 800 will be coming after you pay him a few hundred a month.  Or like you each pay for stuff when she is with you but you are still paying him a few hundred to him to supplement his time with her.  the more time she's with you, the less you have to pay.

If your child support to him comes in the form of payments into a 529, you'd better get that in writing.  And don't tell him about this board.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2019, 02:07:36 PM »
http://www.idahochildsupportcalculation.com/

Do not base the property split on him waiving future child support. Also, like others have said, consult a lawyer. If he gets a lawyer to draw up the divorce papers for both of you, pay for your own lawyer to review them.

Ha, posted at the same time.

secondcor521

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2019, 02:26:48 PM »
I am in Idaho as well and was divorced in 2006.

Amicable resolutions are best for everyone in both the short and long term.  I would highly recommend that you seek out a local mediator who is also an attorney.  They will be able to give you an independent assessment of what is reasonable and unreasonable in the eyes of the court.  They will be able to come up with creative solutions to sticky issues.  They will be cheaper, faster, and more deterministic than a contested divorce.  They will work to create a documented agreement between the two of you.  If you are in the Boise area I can give you two recommendations; feel free to PM me.

After you have that mediation agreement, one of you (probably him) will need to actually file for divorce.  If there are no disagreements at that point though, it is pretty straightforward and quick.

In Idaho, the default assumption is a 50/50 split of assets regardless of pretty much anything.  It doesn't matter who earned the money, who stayed home with the kid, who is at fault for the divorce, or who is initiating the divorce.  But you can split the various assets and liabilities any which way you want as long as the total is 50/50.  With liabilities, even if you have a divorce decree, you are still liable, so you want to ensure that either you take the debt or that you are comfortable with the mechanism for getting your name off those debts.  It would be typical for the house to be sold and the mortgage paid off before the divorce is final.

We got fairly close to 50/50 just by divvying up the various things, then I made a special transfer from my IRA to her IRA to make things exactly 50/50.  This transfer is allowed in divorces and there is no tax consequences to anyone at the time.  Google QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order).

In Idaho, there are also child support guidelines.  Google Idaho Child Support Guidelines and you'll find the document.  It's pretty straightforward to read and understand.  These guidelines are expected to be followed in the vast, vast majority of cases.  The inputs are the percentage of time the child spends in custody of each parent and each parent's income, plus who will be taking the tax benefits (dependent deduction, child tax credit, etc.) and the health insurance costs.  It all goes into a formula and a number pops out.  The court is required to document this amount and I think they may even have to justify any other amount.  In other words, the amount the ICSG calculations produce is the strongly presumed default correct amount.

Added comment:  The website that others have linked to is not an official court website.  It may be right, it may not be.  I'd go to the authoritative source, which looks to me to be:  https://isc.idaho.gov/files/ICSG-July_1_2012.pdf.  Your local district court will have official calculation resources as well that they can run for you.

You will not be allowed to set up an account and put money into it as you are hoping; what will happen is the net child support payer will send a check to the Department of Health and Welfare, who will then turn around and send the money on to the other parent.  This enables the court to monitor, if needed, that child support is being paid correctly.

It doesn't sound like it will happen in your case, but parents are strictly forbidden from using child support and child custody as weapons.  In other words, you can't keep the child longer if he doesn't pay child support (or vice versa).

As alluded to above, child support also includes payments for medical insurance for the child and any adjustments for tax benefits - usually the higher earner takes the tax benefits and compensates the other parent for a portion of those tax benefits.

Beyond that, out of pocket medical expenses and child care expenses can be paid directly between the parties according to the ratios of their incomes.

Either party can go back to the court at any time and ask for a modification to any and all parts of the agreement.  To do so, though, the child support payment must be recalculated on the then current incomes.  In Idaho, child support is typically paid until the kid graduates from high school.

College is not accounted for in the guidelines.  What we did was I took the kids' college funds, but they didn't count against me as assets with regards to the 50/50 property division, with the understanding that the money was for their college and not for my personal use.  It was not enough for their college at the time of our divorce, so I just decided to pay for their college myself and have saved enough to cover it.  If my ex chips in, that will just be a bonus.  You could have some term in your divorce agreement about college; personally I chose not to.

As alluded to by others, in Idaho, any separate property can be set aside for purposes of the 50/50 property division.  This would include inheritances and gifts.  However, the property must have been kept separate; if it is commingled in any way with marital assets then it loses that character.

Consulting with an attorney is wise.  Most divorce attorneys will give you a half hour or so to ask any questions for free as a way to see if you want to work with them.  Keep in mind, though, that attorneys have a strict code of ethics so if you discuss your divorce with Attorney A, then Attorney A will not be able to represent your husband (the reverse would also of course be true).  I would add, though, that the mediator, if they are an attorney, can also answer basic questions about the process.  The Ada County court system also has people who can answer general questions (it's called the court advisory service or something like that) about how child support calculations work, about the timelines and requirements, etc.  They just can't give you legal advice.

@Frankies Girl mentioned no fault divorce.  In Idaho, it is required to give a reason for the divorce.  There are six or so "real" reasons, such as incarceration, lack of support, etc.  And then there is "irreconcilable differences", which is I think what is used most of the time.  Idaho is a no fault divorce state in general, though, which means that it doesn't matter who did what to whom when - all the courts care about is that someone is requesting a divorce.

Someone mentioned the house value.  I think selling it is smarter (that's what we did), but if you don't sell it, you can get it appraised and include that value on the property division ledger.  The court doesn't consider the subtleties of embedded costs like selling costs or tax liabilities on traditional IRAs; they assume that the parties have considered these things themselves.  Anything you two come up with that you agree to here will probably work.

If one of you keeps the house through the divorce you should require the other party to sign a quit claim deed.  This gets their name off the house on the ownership side of things.  The mortgage, as noted above, should be paid off or refinanced.

If he's starting a job in August, you likely will not owe alimony.  Discuss this with your attorney.

Legal fees before the divorce are paid out of joint assets.  Legal fees after the divorce are the responsibility of the separate parties.  Mediation after divorce is traditionally paid 50/50, but I don't know if there is a hard and fast rule on that.

Idaho does not have a trial separation, and in fact does not have any official recognition of a "separated" state.  There is a 20 day "cooling off" period between when a divorce is filed and when it can be finalized.

There is a boilerplate language that the judge will attach to whatever specific divorce agreement you develop that says that you are not supposed to disparage the other parent in front of the child, and that you're not supposed to communicate with each other through the child, and other similar language.  This has legal force and anyone violating it could be held in contempt (although it is uncommon, it's a good way to keep people in line).  What I think you will find is that the courts put the child's welfare miles ahead of the parents and does what it can to protect them.

Hope that helps.  Sorry you're going through this.  It does get easier over time.

Zamboni

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2019, 03:28:37 PM »
I'm sorry that this is happening to you. It sucks. There's nothing about it that is fun, that is for sure. Please be sure to take it day by day and take care of yourself along the way.

I am not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice, it is advice from one Mom to another: You need a mediator and BOTH custody and property settlement agreements in writing that are signed by both parties.

What happens if one of you wants to move to another state in five years, for example? What if he wants to move to another country and take his daughter with him, sending her to see you only part of the year? What if his Mom wants to have baby on Christmas morning every single year (as happens to one of my friends who doesn't have it outlined in an agreement), and grandma thinks shared custody on Christmas means inviting you over to her house for that morning? Things like that and precise guidelines for who legally has the child on which days, alternating holiday years (Whatever holidays that you both care about . . . we do Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter), and other details. What happens if there is an enormous medical bill that you pay at the hospital?

I think you have this idea that things will always go down shiny happy, and that he won't end up with a new wife who decides "we should try to get full custody because she works too much," and that he will always pay his share and there will never be any disagreement and money or activities for her or about who should have little angel on which precise day, but that is just not very realistic. In fact, it's much more likely to go down that happy way if there is a written, signed agreement that both parties can reference. Without that, there is likely to be strife.

You would absolutely irresponsible to divorce without a written and signed custody agreement, at a minimum, which should then be filed as a court order in my opinion. That way, if he decided to move to another state and just take your daughter with him, he'd be in contempt of court. In most states, a custody agreement will include a basic form for calculation of child support that isn't really negotiable.  His new salary value should be used in the child support calculation. Without any agreement about that child support amount, he can come after you for child support later anyway. In my state he could go to the county department of family services years from now to ask for back child support of up to three years, and the court will automatically garnish your wages at whatever rate they calculate. Yikes! Do yourself a favor and do it by the book the first time.

Your property settlement idea is probably not realistic, either. My ex ran up a joint credit card after we separated by pulling large cash advances; I never ever in a million years would have predicted he would do something like that. You need to have it in writing that all joint accounts will be closed. Fair does not always equal 50/50 split of everything, but you need to consult a lawyer. Many will do a free initial consultation . . . if you show up with the information about assets, income, debts, and expenses in a clear, easy-to-read format, then you might be able to find out what you need during a free 30 minute consultation without having to shell out a big retainer to hire a lawyer.

Good luck with everything.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 03:39:02 PM by Zamboni »

Sarotis

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2019, 03:53:41 PM »
I'll try to address everyone's comments. First - this has been massively helpful and eye opening.

- It sounds like a 50/50 asset split is the way to go. I can hope to keep my pre-marriage money (100Kish) but split the rest down the middle.

- It sounds like it is likely that I will need to pay child support. I used the calculator links that you guys listed. Based on some rough numbering, my child support liability is very doable. I'll include that in my "single lady" budget.

- A few people have asked where the assets are. Most of it is in 401Ks and IRAs. We have maybe 150K in a joint taxable account and 80K in cash. We are keeping this quantity of cash so that whoever doesn't get the house can use it for a down payment on a new home. Home prices have really increased in our area so it is likely that I will buy another house. Someone mentioned that I shouldn't buy a house while still married. I don't understand how to logistics of that would work - do couples stay living together until the divorce is final, then find a house, wait 30 days to close, and then move in? That seems like a giant hassle. Although, I suppose everything about liquidating a marriage is a hassle. :( It seems much easier to calmly find something while still together, get settled in, and then do the paperwork. But I don't want to screw myself over by doing that.

- Interesting recs to sell the house. I hadn't really considered that. But perhaps there would be benefits for both of us to start off fresh.

- I probably do have too rosy of an outlook on this. Hubby says he will help me pick out a house (he used to do construction, so he knows about quality craftsmanship) but it probably won't always be like this, especially since he wants more kids and I expect that he will partner up quite quickly after me. But we do have a strong basis of friendship and respect for one another, so I hope that will go a long way. And we have an incredible child that we must protect as best as we can from our own relational failings. I also have the added benefit of a great relationship with his family. In fact, his mom offered to move in with me to watch the baby while I get things figured out. I have it much better than most on-the-road-to-becoming a single mom. But I do need a reality check that this is going to cost me alot, in more ways than one.

mm1970

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2019, 03:58:17 PM »
Yes it is unreasonable.  You need to split the net worth 50/50.  End of story.

You are going to owe child support too, most likely, so you could be strategic about offering more up front in return for less/no child support, but I don't know if states even allow that anymore.

But you most definitely need to plan to pay him half the total net worth, regardless of who earned it (unless some is from an inheritance that you kept separate, or was yours before the marriage).
Yup.

Doesn't matter who earned it, you were a unit.


secondcor521

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2019, 04:32:28 PM »
I'm sorry that this is happening to you. It sucks. There's nothing about it that is fun, that is for sure. Please be sure to take it day by day and take care of yourself along the way.

I am not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice, it is advice from one Mom to another: You need a mediator and BOTH custody and property settlement agreements in writing that are signed by both parties.

What happens if one of you wants to move to another state in five years, for example? What if he wants to move to another country and take his daughter with him, sending her to see you only part of the year? What if his Mom wants to have baby on Christmas morning every single year (as happens to one of my friends who doesn't have it outlined in an agreement), and grandma thinks shared custody on Christmas means inviting you over to her house for that morning? Things like that and precise guidelines for who legally has the child on which days, alternating holiday years (Whatever holidays that you both care about . . . we do Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter), and other details. What happens if there is an enormous medical bill that you pay at the hospital?

I think you have this idea that things will always go down shiny happy, and that he won't end up with a new wife who decides "we should try to get full custody because she works too much," and that he will always pay his share and there will never be any disagreement and money or activities for her or about who should have little angel on which precise day, but that is just not very realistic. In fact, it's much more likely to go down that happy way if there is a written, signed agreement that both parties can reference. Without that, there is likely to be strife.

You would absolutely irresponsible to divorce without a written and signed custody agreement, at a minimum, which should then be filed as a court order in my opinion. That way, if he decided to move to another state and just take your daughter with him, he'd be in contempt of court. In most states, a custody agreement will include a basic form for calculation of child support that isn't really negotiable.  His new salary value should be used in the child support calculation. Without any agreement about that child support amount, he can come after you for child support later anyway. In my state he could go to the county department of family services years from now to ask for back child support of up to three years, and the court will automatically garnish your wages at whatever rate they calculate. Yikes! Do yourself a favor and do it by the book the first time.

Your property settlement idea is probably not realistic, either. My ex ran up a joint credit card after we separated by pulling large cash advances; I never ever in a million years would have predicted he would do something like that. You need to have it in writing that all joint accounts will be closed. Fair does not always equal 50/50 split of everything, but you need to consult a lawyer. Many will do a free initial consultation . . . if you show up with the information about assets, income, debts, and expenses in a clear, easy-to-read format, then you might be able to find out what you need during a free 30 minute consultation without having to shell out a big retainer to hire a lawyer.

Good luck with everything.

You literally can't get divorced in Idaho without a property settlement agreement and, if there are children involved, a custody agreement.  Both will, if OP has decent mediators and lawyers, spell things out precisely.  Both will be included in the official divorce paperwork.

As an aside, there is overall usually shared custody, but at any specific point in time there is always one parent who has custody.  It is common to have a holiday schedule that overrides the normal custody schedule, and those usually alternate odd and even years.

After a divorce, especially if there are young children, the court recognizes that things can change.  Parents will change jobs, maybe get remarried, and maybe move.  In Idaho (and I think most places), the court will prioritize the child's interests above the parents' interests.  They also prefer stability for the kid, so if Dad wants to change by moving away, he is at a tremendous disadvantage.  He would also be obligated to follow the custody arrangement until the court agreed to a change, including providing transportation expenses incurred by his decision to move.

There are protections in Idaho law against taking children out of state without permission while a divorce is in progress.  After a divorce, both parents are required to sign off if the child gets a US passport; this is to protect parents from having to try to extradite a wayward parent from some foreign country out of Idaho's jurisdiction.

OOP medical bills are typically shared in proportion to income.  Most hospitals and doctors are willing to accept split payments.  In our case we just run a tab that we clear every so often because we're both responsible people.  There are enforcement mechanisms both through the court and the Department of Health and Welfare if one party shirks a financial responsibility.

In Idaho, as previously noted, child support calculations are always done by the book.  And in Idaho, child support changes are never retroactive; they are always from the point of the court order forward in time.

Beyond getting it in writing about closing joint accounts, OP should protect herself by proactively closing and getting rid of any joint liability.  This should include credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, HELOCs, etc.  The reason for this is that under the law, the creditor is not a party to the divorce so they frankly don't have to care and will go after whomever signed the loan agreement regardless of what the divorce papers say.  It can be a real mess and hassle if one party decides to be a deadbeat about it.

Any loans taken out without OP's knowledge or consent would fall under criminal fraud statutes.  Also a mess if it happens, but not legally her problem.

secondcor521

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2019, 04:45:22 PM »
- A few people have asked where the assets are. Most of it is in 401Ks and IRAs. We have maybe 150K in a joint taxable account and 80K in cash. We are keeping this quantity of cash so that whoever doesn't get the house can use it for a down payment on a new home. Home prices have really increased in our area so it is likely that I will buy another house. Someone mentioned that I shouldn't buy a house while still married. I don't understand how to logistics of that would work - do couples stay living together until the divorce is final, then find a house, wait 30 days to close, and then move in? That seems like a giant hassle. Although, I suppose everything about liquidating a marriage is a hassle. :( It seems much easier to calmly find something while still together, get settled in, and then do the paperwork. But I don't want to screw myself over by doing that.

- Interesting recs to sell the house. I hadn't really considered that. But perhaps there would be benefits for both of us to start off fresh.

- I probably do have too rosy of an outlook on this. Hubby says he will help me pick out a house (he used to do construction, so he knows about quality craftsmanship) but it probably won't always be like this, especially since he wants more kids and I expect that he will partner up quite quickly after me. But we do have a strong basis of friendship and respect for one another, so I hope that will go a long way. And we have an incredible child that we must protect as best as we can from our own relational failings. I also have the added benefit of a great relationship with his family. In fact, his mom offered to move in with me to watch the baby while I get things figured out. I have it much better than most on-the-road-to-becoming a single mom. But I do need a reality check that this is going to cost me alot, in more ways than one.

When my wife asked for a divorce, I moved out of the family house into an apartment, so we lived apart while we went through the divorce.  There are risks in doing this having to do with custody - as noted the courts like to see stability in the kids' lives, so whomever moves out might be risking some loss of custody.  It worked out in our case.

We then sold the house.  She pretty immediately bought another house with about half of the net proceeds; I signed a quit claim deed at her request saying I didn't have any ownership interest in her new house.  We did list her half of the house proceeds on the property division spreadsheet.  I waited until after the divorce was final to buy myself a house.  Our divorce was final around Thanksgiving and I closed on my new house in December, so it was pretty fast.

The reason to be careful about buying a new house while still married is that there are laws in Idaho about real estate and marriage which can entangle ownership of the new house even if everyone understands what's actually intended to be happening.

Usually couples who are divorcing can't afford to keep the house on their post-divorce budget, or they can't agree on who should keep it, or they can't get the mortgage refinanced.  If you can resolve those issues, it could work in your case.

It would be very wise of you to maintain as much of a positive relationship with him through the process.  Sounds like you have a good chance of things turning out as well as these things can.  As an aside, you may find to your surprise that you two get along better once the marriage itself is over.  I don't know how to explain why or how this happens, but it did in our case.

Zamboni

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2019, 09:51:36 PM »
Yes, definitely try to keep a cordial relationship. It makes things much easier.

Right now it sounds like he's feeling guilty, so he's trying to be helpful. That might continue or it might change in a snap. Or, he might be cooperative about most things, but then weirdly obstinate on something when you least expect it. I've witnessed and heard about too many crazy stories to believe that people are always reasonable and rational. For example, I have a friend who can't go on vacation in many locations because of an ex- who refuses to allow their child to get a passport even though there is no flight risk. Sometimes people are just petty.

You really don't want to have to deal with the court system . . . ever . . .  so work out as many details as you can in writing with the hope that he will adhere to what is spelled out in a document that he signs.

His Mom is likely very worried that this split means she will see her grandbaby less. That is the root of her offer to help you out.

six-car-habit

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2019, 01:54:06 AM »
 Quote -  [100K is what he has made cumulatively in our relationship] 
 -- So , in 12 years he's averaged about $8000 per year ?  But yet you all have 750K in assets + the house.
  And Sarotis has been married for 5 years out of 12 together.  I don't see why her assets tied up in a 401K / IRA etc - that she put in for the first 7 years of their relationship , should be shared with him.  The money put in during the last 5 years, during the marriage, yes - but the money before ????   There was no legal commitment the first 7 years.

  Lets say a guy has been at a job + single and contributing for 7 years @ 18K a yr into a 401K - So 126K in contributions and lets say another 14K in earnings/growth for a total of 140K. Then he gets married, for 5 years, and still contributes 18K a yr - So another 90K + lets say 10K in earnings/growth on those 5 yrs contributions.  Now he has $240K in the retirement plan.  Then Divorced at exactly the 5 year mark.
 *** The majority of the responses make it seem like his marriage partner should get $120k. My thought is the partner should/ could get $50K ----{ 1/2 the amount contributed + growth on those contributions over the 5 years they were Married }.  Not 1/2 the total of the time they were "together". Is my logic wrong ?  if so , why ?

 Either way, I'd wait until hubby has several months of earnings at the $60K you expect him to make, to show a track record of earning capacity, before starting the divorce proceedings....

Omy

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #30 on: June 28, 2019, 05:55:40 AM »
If there was a pre-marriage retirement account and a separate post-marriage retirement account that would be a valid point. But the challenge arises the moment you deposit marital funds into the account that was set up before the marriage. For some crazy reason it all becomes "our" money. If you have documentation about your assets pre-marriage, you may be able to negotiate to keep more than half if you have a reasonable ex and/or a sympathetic judge.

My sister made 75% of the money in her relationship and is able to document $150k in assets that she had before she got married (he had $0) - but is probably only going to get half of the assets and may be required to give up half of her pension (even though she had been building that pension for 15 years before meeting her husband). It's a horrible situation, but it's the price she is paying for not having a pre-nup.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2019, 07:17:25 AM »
Quote -  [100K is what he has made cumulatively in our relationship] 
 -- So , in 12 years he's averaged about $8000 per year ?  But yet you all have 750K in assets + the house.
  And Sarotis has been married for 5 years out of 12 together.  I don't see why her assets tied up in a 401K / IRA etc - that she put in for the first 7 years of their relationship , should be shared with him.  The money put in during the last 5 years, during the marriage, yes - but the money before ????   There was no legal commitment the first 7 years.

  Lets say a guy has been at a job + single and contributing for 7 years @ 18K a yr into a 401K - So 126K in contributions and lets say another 14K in earnings/growth for a total of 140K. Then he gets married, for 5 years, and still contributes 18K a yr - So another 90K + lets say 10K in earnings/growth on those 5 yrs contributions.  Now he has $240K in the retirement plan.  Then Divorced at exactly the 5 year mark.
 *** The majority of the responses make it seem like his marriage partner should get $120k. My thought is the partner should/ could get $50K ----{ 1/2 the amount contributed + growth on those contributions over the 5 years they were Married }.  Not 1/2 the total of the time they were "together". Is my logic wrong ?  if so , why ?

 Either way, I'd wait until hubby has several months of earnings at the $60K you expect him to make, to show a track record of earning capacity, before starting the divorce proceedings....

Exactly re the prenup.  You can't go into a marriage and share everything and agree to spouse not working or working crap job and agree to pay for everything and use your own maoney and then when somone wants out suddenly it's YOUR money bc you earned it.  If you wanted your 100K or whatever then you get a prenup.  If you want your money then you keep it separate.  A marriage is a legal agreement like a business partnership and has rules for disssolving that you should know going into it.  You agree to it.

My DH has made half what I've made while working and was a stay at home dad whn our kids were little and I agreed to this.  If I had a problem with that I should have left him years ago.  And if you've know someone since you were 18 it would be hard to claim fraud, that someone you thought he was a high earner and he gambled away half your money or whatever.  You agree to be all in then you are or you agree to a prenup then you are protected.

Sibley

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2019, 07:35:32 AM »
.... It's a horrible situation, but it's the price she is paying for not having a pre-nup.

But it's such a HORRIBLE thing to have a prenup /s

Sometimes I really hate our society.

Omy

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2019, 07:45:32 AM »
I'm happily married now, but if I suddenly found myself single I would never remarry as I would want to protect my assets. Even a good pre-nup can be contested.

Sarotis

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2019, 08:18:54 AM »
Quote -  [100K is what he has made cumulatively in our relationship] 
 -- So , in 12 years he's averaged about $8000 per year ?  But yet you all have 750K in assets + the house.
  And Sarotis has been married for 5 years out of 12 together.  I don't see why her assets tied up in a 401K / IRA etc - that she put in for the first 7 years of their relationship , should be shared with him.  The money put in during the last 5 years, during the marriage, yes - but the money before ????   There was no legal commitment the first 7 years.

  Lets say a guy has been at a job + single and contributing for 7 years @ 18K a yr into a 401K - So 126K in contributions and lets say another 14K in earnings/growth for a total of 140K. Then he gets married, for 5 years, and still contributes 18K a yr - So another 90K + lets say 10K in earnings/growth on those 5 yrs contributions.  Now he has $240K in the retirement plan.  Then Divorced at exactly the 5 year mark.
 *** The majority of the responses make it seem like his marriage partner should get $120k. My thought is the partner should/ could get $50K ----{ 1/2 the amount contributed + growth on those contributions over the 5 years they were Married }.  Not 1/2 the total of the time they were "together". Is my logic wrong ?  if so , why ?

 Either way, I'd wait until hubby has several months of earnings at the $60K you expect him to make, to show a track record of earning capacity, before starting the divorce proceedings....
He was in college for the first 6 years of our relationship. It wasn't until four years ago that he had a professional job. He worked three years (making 100k total, which is entirely in 401ks and 457s in his name - we lived off my paycheck) and then the last year he took off to stay at home with our child. I've worked for the last 10 years and had no college debt. However, it wasn't until after we were married that we learned about MMM and started aggressively saving, so most of the money has been accrued during our marriage.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2019, 09:01:35 AM »
.... It's a horrible situation, but it's the price she is paying for not having a pre-nup.

But it's such a HORRIBLE thing to have a prenup /s

Sometimes I really hate our society.

A prenup means I love you and you love me and we want to protect ourselves and each other in case the unthinkable happens.  If I really care about you then I want to be sure I keep providing you with health insurance or whatever and make sure you keep future earnings or whatever and want to make sure that you are staying with me out of your choice and not bc I have more money than you.  It's an act of love--at least that's how I'd sell it.

secondcor521

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2019, 12:48:52 PM »
Is my logic wrong ?  if so , why ?

 Either way, I'd wait until hubby has several months of earnings at the $60K you expect him to make, to show a track record of earning capacity, before starting the divorce proceedings....

As already stated, for the property division, Idaho state law and the judges don't try to sift through any of the myriad facts and situations of who brought what, who earned what, who stayed home, whatever.  Logic, math, budgets, the cost of an apartment are all irrelevant and the court will ignore them.  Unless there was an inheritance or a gift that was kept entirely separate the entire time, or if there were a prenup (which OP apparently did not have).  Child support is similar - stick the incomes and custody percentages into a formula (plus tax benefits and health insurance premiums), out pops the number that will very likely be used.

The only case where circumstances come up is in the case of alimony, where a stay-at-home spouse might get some transitional help.  But in Idaho that is typically pretty limited, and in OP's case they both have decent paying jobs, so alimony should be a non-issue.

As for the last comment about waiting:

A.  The husband in this case is the one initiating the divorce, so she doesn't really have the choice to wait.  She could ask him, but in Idaho he can file pretty much whenever he wants to.

B.  Since the husband has already been offered a job at $60K and that can presumably be easily proven, the husband will have what is called an "imputed income" even if he subsequently quits this current job or gets a lower paying job.  Idaho Child Support Guidelines include this notion of imputed income to prevent high earners from sandbagging their wages to avoid paying the appropriate amount of child support.  Child support is based on what you're reasonably able to make (i.e. imputed income), and if you choose to impoverish yourself to try to spite your ex-family, the Idaho courts don't go along with that (well, they'll let you impoverish yourself but it won't get you out of child support).  This also means OP doesn't need to wait for any sort of track record to be established.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2019, 02:50:38 PM »
If you buy a house for yourself before your divorce is final, it will be considered joint property.  You will need to make sure in the final decree that you are given the new house, and you will then need to file paperwork to get his name off the deed.

I live in a community property state.  My xH got an apartment for a year after our separation.  I lived in the marital home.  Our divorce decree stated that the house would be put up for sale by the time the divorce was finalized and we would split any money it brought evenly.  At closing, we each got a check for 50% of the proceeds.

I had a contract on a new house and had a mortgage lined up under my name only.  We had mediation and went straight to the courthouse for the judge to sign off that we were divorced.  However, it took 3 weeks before the lawyers wrote up the paperwork and filed it.  In that time period, I was under a strange limbo.  I was legally divorced, but I didn't have proof that would satisfy the mortgage company, so I could not buy the house.  The mortgage company insisted xH's name would have to be on the title, but since the divorce was final and it didn't list the house as an asset, that didn't make any sense.  It was a nightmare to deal with.


FireHiker

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2019, 05:17:59 PM »
He canít waive child support. You have to follow the laws of your state.

Actually, you can waive child support...maybe it varies by state. My XH and I divorced quite awhile ago now; filed in 2006, final in 2007. We settled out of court via mediator. We basically dictated exactly how to split things and it was signed off without any issue. Our situation is not terribly different from OP except I was the one who wanted out. Fortunately I proposed a settlement that was more than fair and all he had to do was agree. Since he put as much effort into the divorce as he did into the marriage (ie, none), the fact that I made it fair and easy for him was adequate in our situation. I made a lot more money than he did during our marriage because he stayed home with our son (not that he did anything around the house, or cook, or...yeah) but he had a good degree with earning potential that was at the time comparable to mine. Neither of us asked for or received child support or alimony. Our son just turned 18 in January and at no point in the past 12+ years was the child support question brought up by any state entity.

There are a whole lot more details of course, but I wanted primary custody and was willing to waive him providing any child support in exchange for it. No one contested it, and that's how it worked for us.

And, I'm so sorry you're going through this. Wishing you the best of luck. Above all else, if you can keep it amicable with your STBXH, it is absolutely what's best for your child. Our son just graduated high school and we were able to all go out to celebrate. Actually, we have both remarried; I've gone on to have two more children, he hasn't. We were able to hang out actually having a good time, finishing our pitcher of margaritas after our son and the little kids left. I never, ever would have believed that was possible in the first couple years after we split, but we are both so much happier in our current marriages and we can get together amicably at holidays and sport events, etc. I hope things go smoothly for you. It is the hardest thing ever, even when it's as smooth and easy as can be.

SaucyAussie

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2019, 05:15:12 AM »
He canít waive child support. You have to follow the laws of your state.

Actually, you can waive child support...maybe it varies by state. My XH and I divorced quite awhile ago now; filed in 2006, final in 2007. We settled out of court via mediator. We basically dictated exactly how to split things and it was signed off without any issue. Our situation is not terribly different from OP except I was the one who wanted out. Fortunately I proposed a settlement that was more than fair and all he had to do was agree. Since he put as much effort into the divorce as he did into the marriage (ie, none), the fact that I made it fair and easy for him was adequate in our situation. I made a lot more money than he did during our marriage because he stayed home with our son (not that he did anything around the house, or cook, or...yeah) but he had a good degree with earning potential that was at the time comparable to mine. Neither of us asked for or received child support or alimony. Our son just turned 18 in January and at no point in the past 12+ years was the child support question brought up by any state entity.

Not a lawyer, but I think "waive" means to give up your legal right.  You did not give up your legal right to child support, you just agreed not to ask for child support at this time.  At any time in the future one party may change their mind and claim child support.  Certainly, that's how it works in my state.

Catbert

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Re: Advice for pending separation - how to split assets?
« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2019, 04:36:32 PM »
I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the future tax ramifications of various assets you're dividing up. 

Cash costs no additional taxes.
Principle residence gets first 250K in gain free of capital gains taxes.
Traditional 401k/IRA/TSP pays regular income tax when withdrawn.
Roth 401k/IRA/TSP pays no tax ever.
Brokerage account pays capital gains tax on gains when you sell.

The above is over-simplified and no complete but gives you an idea of why you need to understand taxes if you plan to mix-and-match assets when you divide them.  100K in traditional IRA is different than 100K in home equity.

It's probably simpler to sell the house during the divorce than for one of you to take it.  Settles the problem of whether the remaining person can refi and may have tax savings if there is a large gain (i.e., over 250K)