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A Change in Child Support

Week 2 of a whole new schedule -- and it’s been crazy! I’ve been so focused on just trying to stay on top of my school assignments, work, and kids that managing my finances feels as if it’s taken a back seat. And yet, as I stop and breathe for a moment, I realize I’ve done quite a bit around managing my money this week.

First, I’m looking into modifying the child support agreement I have with my ex-husband. With this job, the entire situation has changed -- income, childcare, health coverage – it’s all different now from when we agreed on the details last spring. I honestly thought doing the modification would decrease his responsibility since I’m now making more. Turns out, I was wrong. Because I’ve also taken on more in expenses, it’s actually going to increase his responsibility -- it’s just a matter of how much. I’ve seen figures anywhere from an additional $50 a month from what he’s currently paying to an additional $300 per month. So far, we’ve been handling payments privately between us. But on this I’m going to work through the state. I have a feeling that if the change is closer to the $300 additional, he’s going to fight it because his budget is as tight as mine. And honestly, I’d rather have the state mediating and deciding on what’s fair than trying to take that on myself.

Second, I’m finding out what my monthly income is going to look like. Because the state wants information regarding the child support modification I’ve been able to get a letter from the HR department that outlines the deductions from my paycheck. This really helps, especially when it comes to the future budgeting that Derek and I are working on. I thought I’d have to wait a couple of paychecks to get the information, which would make it at least mid-February. Having it now feels like a huge relief. Now we can start making some of the guesses into a real concrete plan, which makes the idea of moving into my own place that much more realistic.

Third, despite all the good news that’s making the future look bright, I’m still figuring out how to get through the month until I receive my first paycheck on the 25th. As much as I hated to do it, I asked my ex-husband about paying child support early. He was gracious enough to do so, which gives me money for gas and basics. So far, I haven’t had to borrow any money, and it’s starting to look like I’ll be able to stretch what I have after all.

All in all, I feel pretty good about where things are right now. And each day takes me another step closer to where I want to be.

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