1 - If one parent was SAHP (stay at home parent) before divorce should that remain the same and cs compensate for it?
- Do you mean should CS should support both the SAHP and the child? If so, absolutely not.
2 - If answer to 1 is YES, should cs compensate for a certain amount of time only?
3 - Should custodial parents income be a factor in cs calculation?
- Without question. There is no logical rason the custodial parent’s income should not be taken into account.
4 - Should non-custodial parents income be a factor in cs calculation?
That is, unless and until an equitable system of actual cost allocation can be determined.
5 - Should step parent (custodial or non-custodial) income be a factor in cs calculation?
- Ditto. You simply should not ignore the fact that the step-parent contributes to the equation. To do so is morally dishonest.
6 - Should cs calculation be reviewed periodically? If so, how often?
- Yearly. Based on tax returns.
7 - Should other children that non-custodial parent supports be a factor?
8 - Should children born to non-custodial parent after divorce be a factor in calculating cs?
9 - Should children born to custodial parent after divorce be a factor in calculating cs?
10 - If a custoidal parent is financially comfortable, should non-custodial parent pay less child support, or no child support at all?
- Yes, the non-custodial parent shouldn’t be obligated to pay an amount that amounts to a significant portion of his/her income when the custodial parent doesn’t need it. To force a NC parent to pay when it’s not needed isn’t enforcing child support, it’s punitive.
11 - Should non-custodial parent pay child support and provide medical insurance as well as 1/2 of out of pocket medical costs?
- That depends on who carries the medical coverage, but roughly 50/50, yes, but also depending on income.
12 - Should custodial parent be required to justify how child support money is spent?
If it becomes obvious that the money is being wasted or the child is being financially neglected, then yes. Otherwise, no.
13 - Should child support be based on 1/2 of the actual annual cost of raising child(ren), with the totals being calculated and payments adjusted at the end of each year?
- I doubt that this could ever happen because it would require judges/case workers/social workers to actually think rather than apply a simple formula and be done with it. And, I don’t think that most parents would want to go through the rigamarole of keeping every receipt from McDonald’s, the movies, or the children’s petting zoo.
Actually, I believe that the concept of custodial/noncustodial parent should be done away with. Instead, I’d specify times/days/weeks when the children must be made available by one ex- to the other, and then leave some times open.
The closer the amount of time that the children spends with each parent gets to 50%, the lesser the degree of CS. This might encourage a greater degree of participation in the child’s life by both parents.
Notes and thoughts on child support:
CS should also be adjusted for the age of the child. A 9-month old has different needs than a 15-year old.
If a non-custodial parent incurs reasonable expenses for the child for items/necessities that should’ve been provided by the custodial parent, those costs should be deductible from future support.
If, after a certain time, the non-custodial parent has established a pattern of always being available, on-time for pick up/drop off, responsible, reliable, and participative–and it’s shown that she/he is indeed a large part of the child’s life–and the child is actually spending a significant portion of the time with the NC parant, then sole custody should be moved toward a “semi-joint” and then joint custody upon a petition from the NC parent. (As you might guess, this would pertain to me. )
A child’s extra-curricular activities should be the sole responsibility of the parent that signs the child up for them, as in karate classes, tuba lessons, peewee hockey, etc. (Believe me, this isn’t already the case.)
On a related note…if one parent signs the child up for any activity that interferes with the other parent’s time (without the 2nd parent’s consent), the first parent must relinquish an equivalent amount of time.