Divorce: Quality Experiences with Children as a Low Income Spouse

Financial Security Without Collateral Damage to Children
Unfortunately, kids are often collateral damage in a divorce. Divorcing parents are concerned with how often they will see their children. However, they are also concerned with the financial result of divorce. Under the child support guidelines, the number of days spent with the kids directly impacts the child support award to be paid, which leads to an uncomfortable situation where both parents are fighting for more time with the kids and neither parent’s motive is clear.

When you throw in the emotional impact of divorce, and the fact that each parent may be fueled to gain an upper hand on the other in the divorce, the fight over the kids can become poisonous.

Providing Quality Experiences as a Low Income Parent
The most important step towards making sure that both parents can afford to have quality experiences with the kids after divorce is to fight for every cent of financial support. This includes both spousal support, which is sometimes called alimony, and child support.

In a situation where the Father is the high income earner, but the Mother has more time with the kids, the Father may want to be the “fun parent,” who takes his children on weekend trips and theme park vacations. The Mother may feel forced into being the “serious parent,” who handles the weekday responsibilities of housework, homework, and school events. Naturally, the lower income parent in this situation is going to feel limited in the ability to have quality experiences with the kids.

The primary check against a high income parent using a lot of money to have more quality experiences with the children than the low income parent is the court, who will award the low income parent a certain portion of the high income parent’s income to provide for the children.

The lower income parent needs to make sure that the court knows the income and earning potential of the higher income parent. If the higher income parent’s income is accurate, then the lower income parent should receive some kind of financial assistance, which will allow both parents to have quality experiences with the kids.