1. Although I don't have a job right now, I do recognize the reality of my family's financial
situation. I don't think that not giving any support post-divorce is either ethical or
legal. My wife wants me to pay child support in Year 1 at a rate based on my 2008
salary ($190k), even though I have noincome right now and my unemployment
benefits have also been exhausted. While I recognize that such matters may vary
greatly from case-to-case and even from judge-to-judge, I wanted to ask what you
thought a mostly likely verdick would be in Massachusetts.
I do not understand your question--if you are asking as to the level of your support, it will be based on state guidelines with which the judges have minimal ability to modify.
2. The question was not on payment of health insurance for our children, but rather
what the financial obligation is for the non-custodial spouse for uninsured health
expenses like co-pays, elective services, etc.
That is based on the divorce and the custodial decrees, and varies from one decree to an another. Typically the expenses are split 50/50 between the parents, and is also based on whether or not the parties share legal custody and the ability to say "no" to elective and optional services, for which the non-custodial parent can deny payment.
3. Concerning my potential inability to get health insurance coverage, could I not
instead set up my will in a family trust to name my two (2) children the sole
beneficiaries of my estate and obviate the need for health insurance?
No, health insurance the future payments are different. Children and minors require support right now and not in the future. You can, however, negotiate with your spouse about having her pay for the insurance herself in exchange for such a will condition. If she agrees, the courts will uphold it.
4. As a follow-up to this question, I had read that Social Security covers child support
payments in the event of a death of the parent. Is this true? If so, since everyone
in the US has Social Security, why soes this continue to be a point in divorce
No, that is not true. When a person passes away, so does his obligation (or his estate's obligation), to make child support payments.
5. Is it acceptable to insist that a portion of my child support payments be set aside
in a college fund? If so, is there sa rule-of-thumb as to what is reasonable?
No, support is supposed to go for current use. If you wish to set up a college fund, you can do so privately, with other funds, but you cannot control how the custodial parent will utilize the child support payments.
Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 7/1/2010 at 7:01 PM EST