Child Support Court! HELP!!!

Jayme - posted on 02/03/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I was laid off recently after having my son. My husband supports us but I get hardly get any child support for m daughter from another marriage, so little that I can't put her in extra carricular activities that she would like to do. I use the little support I get to take her to and from his visits that happen twice a week. We are due back in court on the 28th and i haven't done this before and I was hoping for some input from someone who has. What should I bring? What are good points to make? Is my new husbands income taken into consideration? Just any help or input would be helpful!

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Tracy - posted on 02/08/2011

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I dont think a parent has to be oblivious to some of the actual costs of raising a child. That being said I have a pretty good understanding with my ex about costs and such for child support. We have a written aggreement between us.Maybe this will help and give you an idea of what you can ask for. Now im in Canada, so things im sure are a little bit different.I have 4 girls, ranging in age 14-6
when it came to support, I took all household bills and added them up, split 50%. Groceries, same thing. On average I spend $600 a month. I also have the kids in activities, and we alloted $150 for that, I pay the extra on top of it. When it comes to school, he pays for half the supplies and gives $300 towards new school clothes needed for the kids. My kids are pretty good about not wanting brand new everything so we can usually go to a consignment place or 2nd hand type placs and find some great deals.
Also for dental/medical according to laws here, because I was always a SAHM he was to pay 90% of the costs. Now we dont do it exactly that way. My ex doesnt pay the maximum amount of child support that he should be, but he also doesnt take advantage of the fact. If I need something extra hes pretty good at helping out.
They base child support here on what you make per year, if that was the case my ex would have to pay nearly $4000 a month, which I think is kinda extreme. He pays $2300, and comes to our house once a month to spend 4 days with the kids, where hes kinda the circus that rolls into town. However thats his deal, what he wants to do as long as kids are safe and happy, all good!
I think you should be alowed to get $ for extra activities, and just cost of living in general. Proove how much it costs to raise her, asides from the costs of running the whole family. $160 I assuming roughly is what you are getting is pennies. So keep in mind his cost of living as well. Have you asked for him to help with extra things besides classes? Sometimes just talking can solve the problem as well. You can kinda give him a heads up that your going to ask about getting a little bit extra and see what he says.
Sometimes thats all it takes.
Good luck!

Alysha - posted on 02/08/2011

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I would believe that your new husbands' income wouldn't count. I know when I talked to my attorney about that issue because I live with my dad. They wouldn't look at his income because he isn't "involved in the situation"
Me myself am just waiting to go into court for child support for the 1st time and also DNA testing, if my ex wants it.
So, the best of luck with everything. I'm sure that the court will go in your favor because it is for your child and her extra curricular activities. Which are GREAT!

Jessica - posted on 02/06/2011

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i would not take him for all he is worth but i would try to get more money out of him! if the money he pays doesn't cover barely any costs, you have a right to ask for more! you need to stop being so considerate of him and think about what you need. you need more money to support your child that he helped create and that he has every right to help pay for! if you can't afford gas to meet him halfway (which i think is perfectly reasonable because he is doing half, you are doing half) then you aren't getting enough child support. i would not worry about your ex having to pay more...your ex will be fine! tell the judge you got laid off. tell the judge you just had a baby. tell the judge that you can't afford a winter coat for your daughter and other things like that because of his lack of child support. your daughter deserves more child support. she deserves extra circular activities, she deserves a nice coat, she deserves dance, and all of that... he deserves to pay. you created a child together, which means he is responsible to help pay for her and that means paying enough to actually help support her!! he should be helping out more if he wants to see her so much, but even if he didn't, he still should have to pay for things.

Deia - posted on 02/05/2011

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I know all to well about how the child support system works. Unfortunately I've had to spend a lot of time there due to my kids fathers not wanting to do right. I just got married to, but I did my research in advance. No they will not consider your spouses income when doing child support. Your income and the biological fathers income will be the only factors. Also make sure that you let them know that you have another child. If he has another child they usually won't factor it in unless he's also being forced to pay child support for that child. I also understand that you want to be nice to your ex by meeting him at a halfway point, but you need to think about the fact that that gas money can go towards your babies. I learned by experience that if you let them, they will take advantage of your kindness. For the sake of your kids make your ex have to drive the extra distance. If he cares enough for your daughter he'll do it with no complaints. I wish you and yours the best of luck.

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23 Comments

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Aurora - posted on 02/13/2012

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I recently went thru it. I got laid off and they used my ex-husband's wife income to reduce the debt-ratio. So he couldn't try to say that he pays for everything (which he did try). The court calculated my child support based on my unemployment rate then at what i was making at my former job. He used my old w-2's which he said he didn't have as a tool that I was making more money...it failed, I took current paystubs, uemployment as well as a spreadsheet that shows all the expenses I incur for our children that he has refuse to pay for half as in our MSA. Judge was not happy with him..

Chesnie - posted on 10/02/2011

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@Kelly, unfortunately in Oklahoma they didn't take into consideration our new daughter when my hubby's ex took him for more cs. They didn't seem to care one bit!

Jessi - posted on 05/26/2011

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it actually depends of the laws of wherever the order was set. in the state of wisconsin for the 1st child, child support is set to 17% of the father's income. in the state of new york, child support is based off of BOTH parents income.

i live in wisconsin and also filed in wisconsin but the father lives in washington and was stationed in new york at the time it was filed so the courts opted to set the order in new york. he was discharged and moved back to washington so we are back in limbo. i have no clue what state they are going to set the order in and i do not know washington laws.

Bri - posted on 05/18/2011

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You new husbands income doesnt affect your child support, your ex bf pays? its all based off your income and his income :not your husbands: so dont worry about that. if your a SAHM of your kids or child. you are based off minimum wage and 40 hours a week

Bri - posted on 05/18/2011

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You new husbands income doesnt affect your child support, your ex bf pays? its all based off your income and his income :not your husbands: so dont worry about that. if your a SAHM of your kids or child. you are based off minimum wage and 40 hours a week

Bri - posted on 05/18/2011

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bring all the documents , receipts, that you have for expenses. i have to take in daycare costs < receipts> if he doesnt exercise his parenting time note that down too means more dough for you!

Jessica - posted on 05/18/2011

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the father of my children has no income. he collects welfare and claims he can't work even though he can. that is why he only pays 75 bucks. the other father works under the table for cash and then works crappy jobs where he doesn't make that much so he only has to pay 200 bucks. if he had a good paying, stable job, he would have to pay more. they just aren't that interested in providing for their kids :(

Jennifer - posted on 05/18/2011

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Oh yeah yeah sorry I thought you meant financial (; Here it is the same, then....

Jennifer - posted on 05/18/2011

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I don't know how they figured yours out, although maybe it had something to do with how much he made, too? Because they figured it costs me over $1000 to raise her and based off of our income and how much they allowed a reasonable amount for his living expenses, they found him to be that much responsible for it. Isn't it stupid that all the states are different lol.

Jessica - posted on 05/18/2011

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she had food and medical and no cash and SSI and rent support. but since she did not receive any cash, they said she could get as much child support as she could and it would not count against her assistance.

Jennifer - posted on 05/18/2011

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Yes, I know. It is often unfair at how much some of the fathers are ordered to pay. Even though the first father offered me $350 AFTER I told them he can pay more than $50 (they weren't basing it on his income) I haven't seen a dime except for initial first two payments after the judgement. Then he went under the radar and hasn't blipped (or whatever sound it makes lol) since. Unfortuanately they do take other children into account, even here. BUT I lucked out on that with both of them. The first one had a son but wasn't ordered to pay child support for him yet. The second one has 3 other children, but two of them are grown and the baby that is a little over a year older than mine didn't have a child support order so they didn't take that child into account.
That's weird, though, because here you cannot get assitance AND get the child support. You have to tell CS that you filed for financial and your CS will stop and go to DHS instead :S

Jessica - posted on 05/18/2011

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jennifer: i went to court, that is all they said he was eligable to pay... 75 bucks. we had four kids together but one died when she was two. he has a daughter he has full custody of and they said that he has to be able to provide for her (even though her mom pays child support of 130 bucks a month). they said that he can't financially afford to pay for more even though he does not have daycare (she goes to school) or transportation costs (no car) or a mortgage (lives in an apartment) or any outside major expenses besides rent (heat and electric are included in his rent, no cable, just a phone), and he has no outstanding bills (he is practically debt free). so the judge said, nope, only 75 bucks a month regardless of all that. the other father hasn't worked for seven months and hasn't paid in that long. they both really have nothing to do with their kids and don't feel obligated to pay child support. it really depends on the situation for child support, your friend probably was in a different situation then me. i have a friend down the street that got 600 bucks a month for one child and she was on mega assistance and had everything paid for by the state... basically she had fun play money. you are very right to file child support. i just wish i got more then what i get... and he hasn't paid the 75 bucks in years!!

Jennifer - posted on 05/18/2011

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Yeah, well, he was trying to get me never to file child support, which is why he would never dare to break up with me after I had our child, but he didn't realize that if things didn't change I wouldn't want to be with him. I am not stupid, I knew he was trying to use me so that he wouldn't have to pay more, it was evident because I gave him by the time she turned one for certain things to happen and it was always the same excuses why they didn't. So during that time he was paying $200 a month which really wasn't doing a hell of a lot. My job had cut my hours and I was struggling while he was paying me what he felt he could afford and wasn't struggling at all.

I knew he wasn't paying me as much as he should, but I didn't know how much they would find him responsible to pay. The main thing I knew is he made a lot more than most of the people on my island make. Here it is based on how much each parent makes. He made about six times more than I did AT MY HIGHEST PAYING JOB. So that is probably why he was found to be 70% responsible. The other father a while back was proposed to order $50 by the state which I called them up and told them that I'm fine with everything but the amount because I know he makes much more than to just be paying $50 a month. So they called him up because by this time he was back in the mainland. He offered $350 and I told them that was fine. He now works under the table jobs after two support payments of a little over half of the ordered amount. As for the amount that the father I first mentioned was ordered to pay? I was referring to what they found to be the case in my situation. It's not the same in every situation. In my case the father was supposed to be paying over three times what he had been giving me all so that he could live comfortably while I was raising his child alone and struggling to tread water....it was the kind of struggle where you have to choose what bills to pay (knowing no matter what you have to pay your rent) and what bills not to pay and having to borrow money every paycheck to pay my electric bill just to have to pay it back the very next paycheck and the following one after that having to borrow again (never being able to catch up). I lost my job back in December after working for nearly ten years at the same place. Because he makes 6 times more than me in one month (and they count what your highest paying job was even if you don't have a job atm, so it's as if you're still getting a payceck) is probably why they found him to be 70% responsible instead of 50/50 or what not. It is based on how much both parents make. I didn't request that amount, that is what they found to be reasonable based on how much we both made. He makes over $6000 a month before taxes, over $3000 after. Oh, and they also calculated how much it costs to support her per month, and they came up with that she costs me over 1000 dollars a month. Based off of that and how much we both (potentially for me since I was unemployed) made.

As for the amount that your childrens fathers were ordered to pay, did you ever go to court about it? Or did they send a proposed administrative order for you to review? When they send that (especially if you know that the father can pay more as it was in the case of my first daughter) you can call them and say so or fill in that paper and send it back to them to request a hearing instead. I don't know your situation, but one of my friends in the mainland, who LIVES IN Minnesota, actually got the father of her two youngest children to be ordered to pay a higher child support than his first two children from another mother. And the reason why is because she had it go to court and had them look at how much he earned and in the past year because he had made more than what he had made when the first two children's judgements were put into effect. So they took that amount as his pay and her highest pay (I think at think at that time she was pregnant and had lost her job when she was pregnant with his first child because the dr. had taken her out early and they decided to let her go) because they view that as how much you are potentially able to make whether or not either made that much now. But he hardly pays it (if I'm not mistaken he doesn't get his income in the form of an actual paycheck so they cannot garnish it from those), even though he's ordered to pay a couple hundred for the two children. He pays a little every six months to keep himself out of jail and restart the clock. And the only reason why I am probably going to be able to see the payment from this one is because he has a mortgage to pay. If it weren't for that I'm not sure I would continue to see that payment, either.

I also should mention that he didn't pay for crap to anticipate her arrival. I took out a $2000 loan for that, which I paid off. Her plapen, daiper bag, clothes, burp rags, any gyms, boxes of daipers prior to her arrival, etc. were all paid for by me. He didn't bother to give me any money for those things at all.

Jessica - posted on 05/18/2011

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so crazy, the father of three of my children was ordered to pay $75 dollars a month! that is it. the other father $200 a month for one. how does that work that most of the women on here can get half of the everything paid for or 600 + dollars? i would love more child support but he refuses to get a job and work. also i am 100% responsible for supporting them, transporting them, taking care of them, and paying for all their activities, all the bills, food, clothing, and other expenses. some of you girls are very lucky that you get more then that. in MN no guy pays for half of anything or even 1/4. they don't have to pay for daycare or anything like that either. they also are not given any rights either unless they go to court and ask for them. i think you should file an order to have his child support case reviewed. if he can pay more, then they will order him to pay more, if he can't, then he can't. they can't make him pay what he doesn't have. why do you take her back and forth? can't he come and get her? why can't you switch off? why is it your responsibility alone? maybe you could get that changed in court. i would also tell the judge that you would like him to pay for two activities every year or every three months or what ever... that isn't asking for too much.

Jennifer - posted on 05/17/2011

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Yes, and yet there is another side to the story, a single parents side. Personally, for someone who has been having to raise her 5 year old by herself since the day she was born without the father so much as meeting her (and yes, he knew I was pregnant, he dug out on us when I was 6 months along) and then having to do it again with my 20 month old whose father hasn't even bothered seeing her since I decided not to see him anymore in February (haven't chaged my number, still live the same place) and he had been giving me $200/mo while we were "together" TOTALLY his decision on how much he FELT he could pay. All while I was struggling to stay afloat just so he could still live comfortably! He had another baby with another girl before me (and two grown children) and paid her money, too, which he claimed was court ordered and said it was like $650. That turned out to be a lie. It wasn't court ordered. Just another technique to try to make me feel sympathetic towards not going after him for child support (this was while I was pregnant!), even saying that if I did keep the baby that he would call CPS on me (he wasn't even around enough to know what kind of mother I was to my older daughter, so he was just doing this out of his selfishness), and then when that didn't work (it's my child, wth), he tried to threaten me with something else, saying that if I went after him for child he would want nothing to do with me or the baby. How sweet. What a loving dad, right? Me, I couldn't care less, but to not want to see your baby if he's held financially responsible? And when I decided to stop seeing him, well, the mere $200 he had been giving me stopped, too!
OK, first off, if the guy has legit reasons as to why he cannot pay more, he can deliver his case in court and they will find whether or not he has the means to pay more. They usually base it on how much he gets paid and how much they allow for living expenses. In my case they found that financially I was 30% responsible and the non custodial parent was 70% responsible. This was all without having to go to court because he never contested this proposed order. My first monthly child support was received this month. He's ordered to pay $742 a month. And if the transportation was supposed to be taken care of by him and you want to be nice so you meet him at the original pick up spot, but don't have the means to meet him in the middle, then he should be picking her up from you. If you can't afford to, then you can't afford it. A necessary winter coat for your daughter could be bought with that money.

Adrienne - posted on 05/16/2011

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Okay, so I am all for your child's dad paying what is appropriate..but I have to say that as the wife of a man who pays over $900 a month in child support (and 3 of the kids are over 18 and two of those live with us and none are in school)..the attitude of some of the ladies here is appalling. There is another side to this. Can he afford to pay more? Is he trying to support another child? We pay the court ordered support plus we have to keep a full wardrobe for my 8 y/o stepson for his visits since his BM can't be depended upon to send any clothing much less what is weather appropriate, we buy his school supplies and part of his school clothes, his winter coat, his shoes, pay for his school field trips, as well as do all of the picking up/dropping off even after she moved 45 minutes away. All of this leaves us struggling to take care of our almost 4 y/o son. Again, I'm all for a non-custodial parent paying their fair share. Just realize that there's another side to the story. I hope that everything went well with your support hearing and that you were able to come to an agreement that works to the best for everyone involved.

Jessica - posted on 02/08/2011

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i would make a report of all the expenses of your daughter and give it to your ex. tell him you want him to pay for half of them to help out. maybe he doesn't realize how expensive raising a child is.

Jayme - posted on 02/04/2011

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hey kelly thanks for the input. i think i have most of what i need to take with me (or at least i hope!)
the agreement now is in our divorce and it says that he is supposed to provide all transportation but then i moved about 17 minutes away from where we oringinally did the drop off. so that would make it about a 45 minute drive for him if he did it all. i take her to the original drop off spot just to be nice. and as far as the extra cirriculars he has gotten her hopes up before telling her hed put her in dance classes without any follow through. so i got her in a city dance class that was free just because i cant afford it alone. my new husband and i have a new son plus we have my daughter the majority of the time. i dont want to take him for all he's worth but some extra help is needed now that she is getting older. they dont even help with school supplies, school clothes or a winter coat so even though we can make things work here in our house hold now, i feel like if they want her as often as they get her they should be willing to help with the costs that come with having a kid. (sorry for that little rant!) thank you so much for your input and id love more if you have anything else to share!!

Kelly - posted on 02/03/2011

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in my state, the new spouse's income is not considered when setting the child support amount. if you are looking for an adjustment of support, they'll ask for pay check stubs, w-2's etc.., they take into account any other children you have when making the support amounts.
what does your custody/support agreement say now? does it say anything like, he'll meet you half way, or you pick up/he drops off...also did you ever discuss extra cirr. act.? is he willing to pay half - i'm not sure how good /bad a relationship you have with him, i know with my kids, i have one dad who would be willing to help with that kind of stuff and the other one, yeah, not so much.
oh, also keep in mind, that when doing a support amount, any other children he has will also be taken into consideration...hope this helps a little - good luck!

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