Ask a Divorce Lawyer: If I give up joint custody so my kids can have a more stable life, will my support increase?

Question: My brother is divorced with four kids, including two with special needs, and the custody is split 50-50 in terms of visitation time. He is currently paying $400 each month in child support. 

The two weeks with him, then two weeks with their mother is affecting the children both mentally and physically, especially the two with special needs. He is willing to give full custody to his ex, who does not work, and she is trying to get disability on the two special needs kids. 

How can he find stabilization for the kids in order to have them keep a normal stable home without having to pay too much in child support? We all feel this would help the kids with their needs if the same parent is with them at all times.


Answer: This is a question which ties in legal questions and child psychology questions.  I cannot tell you what placement schedule would provide more stability.  Has your brother considered consulting a therapist who will be able to evaluate the situation and determine the needs of the children? 

From a legal standpoint, if your brother is paying support now and he loses placement time, his support will likely increase.  I do not practice in Colorado so I cannot tell you how much his support will increase.  If the children start receiving disability payments, this may reduce the amount of support he has to pay.

 You should contact an attorney licensed in Colorado to discuss the formula for determining support and how disability payments are factored in. Cordell & Cordell has many attorneys licensed and located in Colorado who would be happy to help.


Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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