Harvard Law School
M.A. Columbia University
B.A. Yale University
Mediator, Judge Pro-Tem
Certified Family Law Specialist
licensed by the State Bar of California
Stan is a member of the
San Diego North County Bar Association .
Licensed to practice in California, Maryland, Washington D.C., & Georgia
Q. My husband and I have decided to get a divorce, but we’re arguing about child support and how much he should pay me per month. I’ve been a stay-at-home Mom for 10 years raising our three kids, and have no business skills. He earns $10,000 per month, and we have about $300,000 in assets plus our house that’s worth $600,000 with a mortgage balance of $515,000. What can I expect if we go to court?
A. You can expect to get temporary spousal support of approximately $1,182 per month and post-judgment spousal support of approximately $886.50 per month. Because your marriage lasted longer than 10 years and you’re unemployed, the judge will not put a termination date on your spousal support or make it go down every few years.
However, the judge will say that you have a legal obligation to support your children and become self-supporting. During the divorce and afterwards, your husband will go back to court periodically, complain you’re not trying hard enough, and ask the judge to lower his payments by imputing income to you. Eventually you will be compelled to work full time.
Assuming you have the kids about 75 percent of the time and you’re unemployed, you will get child support of approximately $3,126 per month. Your husband will also go back to court periodically to try to lower his child support by increasing his time share.
Your assets and debts will be split 50/50. With your $150,000 share of the $300,000, you could buy your husband’s interest in the house for $42,500. However, you probably wouldn’t, because your support payments would probably not be enough to handle the mortgage as well as all your other expenses.
Deducting 7 percent for costs of selling the house, it looks as if you should walk away with $174,000, but bear in mind that a big chunk of that money will go to your lawyer, particularly if you and your husband fight about the kids.
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