I am currently separated from my wife and we have split custody of the kids. I have custody of them for about 98 hours per week, and she has them for around 71 hours per week. Now, I would like to file for divorce so we can both move on with our lives. We make about the same amount of money, but I make a little extra because I get shift differentials at my job. Eventually, she will make more money than me since she is studying to be a registered nurse.
How should I proceed with filing a divorce? Even though I want to get the divorce, I still want to have her and the kids on my health insurance until she becomes a registered nurse.
You need to consult with a licensed in attorney in Florida about what you would like to achieve. Generally speaking, you can lay the groundwork by recording (in a diary, calendar, etc.) the amount of time you have with the children. You can also establish this by emailing or texting her with something showing that “this is my schedule with the kids this week and your schedule with them this week. Please respond.” These types of messages help to establish the current schedule. If your state uses both parents’ incomes in considering child support, then child support generally looks at what parents are currently earning (so her future income won’t have an effect until she earns it) and whether they are voluntarily underemployed. So her future income will not have an effect until she earns it, and if she gets her RN and takes a job stuffing envelopes, you can argue her income should be imputed at RN wages. If your state looks only at non-custodial parent wages, the same considerations apply about being underemployed, but you want to set yourself as the custodial parent.
Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.