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DoctorDolphinDodger

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My wife decided she wanted to separate and work towards a divorce. We have two young children. Since she works from home, she will have main custody of the children. I'm about to start my my second year of medical school. I live completely off of student loans in Arizona. We are going to try mediation. Can anyone put a number to fair child support or spousal maintenance I should offer as a student? I love my children and will support them best I can but I will end school with massive amounts of debt, what negotiations should I be aware of so I don't get screwed financially in the future? I'm also open to general (constructive) advice from those who went through similar situations. How did you work things out?
 
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raiderette

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Your state will have a formula for child and spousal support. Since you are not working and in school, I doubt you will have any obligations until residency. I knew of another couple that divorced while in law school. The wife had been supporting him, and she was required to pay spousal support for two years.
 
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Crayola227

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get a lawyer

also, I'm pretty sure if you're getting federal student aid, no private loans, and not working while in school, that can't be used as spousal maintenance or child support

also, if the goal is a divorce, I don't know why you'd want to pay spousal support

I'm all for paying for the kids, but...
 
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You shouldn't be liable for any spousal support so long as you make less money than your partner - so even through residency depending on what her job pays. But as far as the kids, I think once you hit residency you'll have to pay some type of child support, and that is usually income-based through a standardized formula particular to your state.

Edit: really all depends on the state, actually, and if it's a "fault" or "no fault" divorce state. But spousal support in most states is paid by the higher earning partner.
 
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cellsaver

get a lawyer

also, I'm pretty sure if you're getting federal student aid, no private loans, and not working while in school, that can't be used as spousal maintenance or child support..

Federally subsidized student loans are for academic expenses only. It is spelled out in our loan contracts. Not even hospitals can touch your loan monies for delinquent bills.

Thus it appears OP's wife will be supporting him and the kids in the short run.

Divorce laws differ from state to state. Getting an attorney is CYA. However mediation would be preferable to work things out. Yet OP didnt give any indication he wants the marriage to last. The kids always lose
 
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Goro

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My wife decided she wanted to separate and work towards a divorce. We have two young children. Since she works from home, she will have main custody of the children. I'm about to start my my second year of medical school. I live completely off of student loans in Arizona. We are going to try mediation. Can anyone put a number to fair child support or spousal maintenance I should offer as a student? I love my children and will support them best I can but I will end school with massive amounts of debt, what negotiations should I be aware of so I don't get screwed financially in the future? I'm also open to general (constructive) advice from those who went through similar situations. How did you work things out?
Very very sorry to hear this, OP. I hope that you can get things to worked out.

This is the type of thing than can crater your academics, so if you see your GPA going south fast, don't hesitate to pull an LOA.

Make sure you use your school's counseling center for your mental well being.
 
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bannie22

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I'd get @Light at end of tunnel in here to provide you the key piece of advice for you.

on another note, did you marry a nurse? sorry to say but well done to her!
 

vm26

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My wife decided she wanted to separate and work towards a divorce. We have two young children. Since she works from home, she will have main custody of the children. I'm about to start my my second year of medical school. I live completely off of student loans in Arizona. We are going to try mediation. Can anyone put a number to fair child support or spousal maintenance I should offer as a student? I love my children and will support them best I can but I will end school with massive amounts of debt, what negotiations should I be aware of so I don't get screwed financially in the future? I'm also open to general (constructive) advice from those who went through similar situations. How did you work things out?

Sorry to hear that but the timing is a blessing. If you were an attending you would be most likely scr*wed financially for many years. An attending friend of mine is on the hook for paying his wife of 3 years for some time (and its more than she could make herself given her career/education). To add insult to injury, she was already pregnant (from some other guy) even before the divorce was finalized...Given that your wife works and that you're a full-time student, I would imagine your child support payments should be reasonable (e.g.. help cover costs of childcare since your ex will likely be working FT now). But the laws are stacked against you in this country so a lawyer may not be a bad option though a potential negative would be the cost (both lawyers have little incentive to get things done quickly since they each bill by the hour). In some wacky situations you could also be on the hook for covering her lawyer expenses. Like many things in the US, our divorce laws are asinine and outdated.
 

DrfluffyMD

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This is why I would never want a stay at home wife. I am married to a surgeon with more future income than me. As much as I hope we stay strong, if for whatever reason it doesn't work out (and that won't be from my end) I can't image I'll have to pay for support.

EDIT: we are both physicians. She is surgery, I am IR.
 
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Crayola227

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yes, in the surgeon/stay at-home housewife divorce, studies support how much worse off the surgeon is while the housewife lives a life of idle luxury from spousal support, while he struggles to make ends meet
 
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