Divorce Solutions

Question #46

I have been divorced for almost a year now. My ex-husband is an airline pilot whose schedule varies each month. Our initial agreement that he signed was for $2300 in child support for our three children, with the understanding that he can see the children any day that he is home, but not less than the 90 days per year, as long as I work with his flexible schedule each month. This amount was not to change for any additional days. I purchased a home based on a budget with this child support payment each month. He then altered the agreement before the final divorce to allow 103 days per year shared custody (lowering the support by $550 per month), with no mention of the schedule that I had to work with. He now wants to have additional days/nights with the children, over the 103 days per year, based on the days that he is not flying. I have asked (and feel the children and I NEED) a set weekly/bi-weekly schedule for custody. I cannot continue to wait two weeks before each month to get the next month’s custody schedule. He can bid his schedule around specific days, but cannot guarantee that he will get those days each month. Is there any way I can ask the court to set a schedule that we all must follow so that I can make plans and have a normal life?

How did your lawyer allow you to get into this untenable schedule in the first place? Once again, I cannot overemphasize the importance of using an experienced attorney-mediator to work out separation and divorce. These matters are too important to use self-help and will come back to haunt you in the future, just as this situation confirms. This matter was not adequately thought nor was the matter of adjusting the child support according to the number of days each month that one spouse or the other has the children.

There is no reason why you both cannot set a fixed schedule for a minimum number of days, and a fixed amount of child support regardless of how many days your spouse takes the children in any one month.

I strongly suggest that you mediate this matter rather than litigated in court and suggest that if you are living in the New York City metropolitan area that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter together.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions