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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37837
Experience:  Attorney with 16 years experience
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My wife and I are separated, but she has yet to file .

Customer Question

My wife and I are separated, but she has yet to file for divorce. I am currently paying her a support using the Pendete Lite guidelines. I am paying both spousal support and child support. We were married for 4 years and she was a stay at home mom. My question is this: I have a vehicle solely LEASED in my name. The car payment is $450/mo and the overall expense is about $500/mo with insurance. She will not return the car to me or re-finance it in her name, there is currently no court order, but we do have 3 kids together, so I'm not going to just repo and sell it. I offered to get her a less expensive van, but she declined. In this situation since the "need" for a $500/mo van is due to the kids, can I deduct this from her child support? If so, do I deduct the whole amount, or do I just deduct the shared income portion let's say her portion is 30% do I just deduct $150/mo or the full $500. I was originally going to calculate this as a deduction from spousal support, but I am also paying $1700/mo in marital debt she is not contributing to. One being our marital property that is vacant that she is seeking half equity from, so I'd prefer to deduct that from spousal support.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..In a situation like this, since the vehicle is not used only for the children or only for your wife, then it woudl be appropriate to reduce both child support and spousal support by some amount. So if her income portion was 30% as you mention, I would normally take $100 away from spousal and $50 away from child support. You always want to reduce child support last because judges don't like it if it appears that a parent is penalizing the children....But considering that you are bearing the entire cost of the marital debt, I think that would justify making any deduction strictly from spousal support and I might even bump it up a bit, maybe to $250 to compensate a bit for the marital debt..However, until there is a formal temporary and then permanent order put in place by a judge after one of you files for divorce, you wouldn't be under any legal obligation to pay her support although I think it is a good idea for you to do so as a showing of good faith since that will play well with the judge in any divorce settlement..'Just make sure you are documenting your payments each month (i.e. no cash) so you have records of what you have been paying and can readily prove that to the judge when the time comes for settling up...thanksBarrister