This post is a short, but valuable tip on divorce settlement – in divorce, child support does not play well with others (matters). In a divorce, many matters are resolved from custody, child and spousal support, and property division. Some matters in divorce are modifiable and other matters are not modifiable.
In divorces, parties sometimes negotiate a heavier/uneven property settlement to “waive” child support. In Ohio, the only way to “waive” child support is to calculate standard child support and deviate that number to $0.00.
The problem lies in mixing property settlement with child support. Property settlement (dividing retirement, house equity, cars, personal property) are non-modifiable at the final hearing divorce. But for a rare occurrence of 60(B) appeals motions (for discussion on another day!)
However, in Ohio, child support must be continually modifiable with a significant change. Significant change means the child support calculation moves up or down 10%. That means if a spouse waives his or her interest in a $100,000 retirement account to have no child support on a 6-year-old child. Unless worded precisely in the divorce decree and having luck that the Court will continue the previously agreed deviation on child support, child support will modify regardless of the money negotiated during the divorce.
So…what is the solution. It is best to keep property settlement and any non-modifiable matters in divorce negotiations separate from child support. Child support will always be a factor in post-divorce cases and the parties cannot negotiate this away.
Confused yet?? Call Smith & Smith Law office for clarification on divorce and child support matters!