Child Support, Why does she need it?

Christine - posted on 03/05/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I can't understand why the birth mother of my step son needs the child support that we pay every month. They share complete 50/50 custody, my husband provides the insurance, pays for all the medical bills, and all medications. I think we do more than our share at cover the costs. She has a job and sees him just as much as we do. Why is the support necessary? My husband and I have a daughter of our own to support and we struggle to get by! It is frustrating...

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Beth - posted on 03/07/2009

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I am sorry but the truth is....this little boy was here before you were....it is yours husbands son...he is responsible for him........your husband is building a lifelong relationship with his son so thankfully him and his father get to spend so much time together...the child support will end some day...but that relationship will still be there....good or bad..hopefully it is good and in the long term it will be the relationship not the child support that is the focus...I lived thru ths with my husband and I was young and didnt understand fully the big picture and I resented the money we had to take from our family every month for this other family...when his sons mom....did just fine financially...but now I see ....I was the one with the bad attitude about it....This was my husbands responsibility and I knew that going into the relationship Divorce does not end the relationship with his son....nor does remarriage make it okay for your husband to not pay his fair share...to me the 50/50 custody is awesome for this little boy and his dad....the child support is a seperate issue....I hope you will be able to enjoy this little boy and step out of the child support issue.....I am sorry but it isnt really any of your business....it is between your husband and his ex....and this little boy didnt ask that his parents divorce and that he lives in one home 50% of the time and then another one....The time will go fast....ENJOY every day and embrace this little boy and do not complain about the child support....it will make your husband love you even more!!! That little boy is part of his flesh....dont put your husband in the middle of that blood bond....and you.....



 



 

Elizabeth - posted on 11/22/2010

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maybe you could get a job to help support your child. just as your ss parents are doing for their child.

Natalie - posted on 04/02/2009

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if the child lives 1/2 and 1/2, then legally, you do not need to pay support. most likely your husband is trying to "keep the peace". Men would rather pay than deal w/conflict, also his ex might use the child against him as leverage. This can be so frustrating for you, i'm sure, but unless you're both up for a court battle (and perhaps paying more than you already do) its probably best to let this lie. good luck, been there, done that.

Kristi - posted on 04/01/2009

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I have mixed emotions about this issue. 



First of all, I will refer to the CS payer as the Father/Dad and the recipient of the CS as the Mother/Mom.  I know this is not always the case and that who pays/receives is based on income, but for this example it is easier to say that. :)



On one hand, I am a firm believer in child support.  My father always paid child support for my 2 sisters and myself - and a pretty hefty amount in my opinion.  He also made better money than my mother and only had us every other weekend, as most fathers did back then.  I think the courts system has a very good system in the sense that all fathers must provide b/c that is their duty.



On the other hand, the court system lacks b/c there is no monitoring of how the mother spends the money.  (But this is the same for parents who get disibility checks for their children.  The form they fill out to tell where they spent their money is a joke and there is no proof needed to verify this info.)  The fact is, that there are always people who are going to try to beat the system.  Another thing that the court lacks in is that if a father doesn't pay, they will eventually be prosecuted by the state (at no cost to the mother) and probably do some jail time.  But if the mother refuses to comply with custody arrangements, the father has to pay a lawyer to take her to court....they've already been to court! Why can't the state prosecute the mother too???  Back to the accountability of how the child support is spent, I also disagree in another area.  I understand that it would be difficult to track this, but it would be nice if the courts could figure out how much of the child support and the recipients work-related income combined goes towards paying "bills" or food/shelter/clothing for the child.  In some cases the mother does, on paper, appear to need child support b/c she doesn't make enough money to support the way the father can.  However, what happens when the father pays child support, yet the mother continues to live with a relative and NOT paying them anything for rent/electricity/phone etc. ?  So basicly she is getting child support now but it's not going towards "bills", and you know that she isn't spending ALL that money on food and clothing.  And I am not clear on the law on most of this, so it would be good if someone knows more to post on here. I saw someone post about a spouse that enters into a 2nd relationship, then that person becomes financially responsible also (being the step-mom in most cases). Is this correct???  If so, then do step-parents have custody rights as well?  What are the laws on the parent that is not getting the CS not having a job?  Or the parent who pays?  If a Dad gets laid off, how does that affect his CS? And if it does affect it, how long until he has to find another job and start paying?  If a Dad has to pay more b/c the Mom doesn't have a job, how long until she has to find one?  I know that if my husband and I were divorced and had joint 50/50 custody, I would be furious if I had to pay him b/c he didn't have a job and wasn't trying to get one.  I know the money is for the child, but responsibility should fall equally on both parents.  Again, I don't know all the laws...just some things I've always wondered for myself. I don't think it is fair for a father  to pay child support when the mother is not working or not trying to find a job.  Especially if there is a live-in boyfriend or other children in the mother's house.  I'M NOT SAYING THE FATHER SHOULDN'T PAY, HE SHOULD! I'm just saying I can see how a dad would get frustrated if he was paying CS to a woman who had a live-in BF &  another child, and the BF didn't have a job.  The dad would feel like he is supporting all of them.  And the reality is that this does happen.  I know women who go to get assistance, and are requested to press for CS.  They are willing to do it to Dad #1, but not for Dad#2 b/c he lives with them, even when he's not working either!!! Now that is how the system is a little messed up. 



AGAIN, I definitely think Dad's should pay.  I just feel like it is unfortunate that CS is an easy way for MANY women to 'beat' the system, when the Dads are doing what they should.  I think child support can be used as manipulation tools by Moms (unfortunately alot of them use their own CHILDREN not just the money) and I also think that women can get greedy and ask for what they KNOW their child does not need. 

Pamela - posted on 03/07/2009

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I have a friend who dealt with this for years until the step child was 18. What I told her is: you chose your husband knowing what his responsibilities were. It's a difficult balance, but it is what it is.

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User - posted on 03/08/2009

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I'm sorry that you are going through this. To me the system is unfair on all sides. Instead of having some FORMULA for figuring these things out the courts should tailor each order to fit the circumstances that present with each individual family. I agree with you that your situation is one that doesn't fit the "mold" that they have established for Child Support. Neither does my situation. Until the court system does some sort of individualized system and quits trying to fit people into this mold they have determined is good for everyone and every situation, we are just stuck.



Every month that I do not receive child support from my sperm donor I deal with emotions that I must keep under control for my children. Every month I have to pay a woman child support who has effectively  "AND LEGALLY" kidnapped my husbands children from us I deal with emotions. But every month I write a check. Unfortunately in my case we can't take the mother back to court to have the order modified or to get custody of the children. She took the children to another country and we are being denied visitation and most recently denied any contact at all with the children. So, we just pay her what we are ordered and hope that Karma catches up with her one day. It's what keeps me sane!



 

Stacey - posted on 03/08/2009

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Good luck with that one! He needs to have him 51% of the time I think to even try to fight it. We have been in the same situation for 17 years, but in the courts eyes the first child is the only one that counts and they don't seem to care how hard you have to stuggle with the "family" you are trying to support. My husband has 1 1/2 years left then maybe we can afford to get things for ourselves and our children! We've gone without for a LONG time! I guess you just have to bite your tongue - most people never seem to get anywhere!

Melissa - posted on 03/08/2009

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I agree if they share 50/50 custody neither parent should pay support. In some States that is the law. Other states still treat fathers like their only parental value is a financial one which I believe is sad. Child support should be based on assisting the parent who cares for the child the majority of the time to pay for that child's expenses. If that is shared 50/50 then there is no need for anyone to pay anyone else.

April - posted on 03/07/2009

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Where im from child support is paid to the parent who has the child living with them. NOT having anything to do with 50/50. IT is for the primary caregiver.

If it is a substantial amount of money and you know she is spending it friviously then keep reciepts, bank statements, and see if (whoever) can go back to court to get the support payments lessened.

I wonder instead of money can your stepson send his child a care package? instead of money? I guess can YOU send a care package seeing as how you are paying the bill...

Sgt - posted on 03/07/2009

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Girl, I understand you compeletly.... What you honestly have to do is PAY HER NO ATTENTION and not give in to what she wants and if she says anything about the court system BLOW HER OFF. The key to this situation is to start keeping receipts for EVERYTHING that you all do for the child. The judge will rule in his favor, trust I def know. We started doing that and she cut off him seeing the child and demanded $450 a month, yea right and we were still buying Jordan's all kinds of name brand clothing, and she stopped him from coming because I said no about the situation. My thoughts were we are together so my money is his money and his money is my money so if you take it from him you take it from me and she didn't want me to have anything to do with it. Well that's not how it works.. I'm not a door mat, heck no!! So the next time she mentions it let her know exactly where you guys stand and stand there FIRM!!! Keep reciepts and records of everything, again. You have to live for yourself too, and i refuse to suffer because you are greedy!!! Another prime example is that I still have the Christmas gift here for him because my fiance is a truck driver and wasn't home but i was here with our child but she wouldn't meet me to get the gifts that we had for him because I bought them.. Stupid just plain stupid.... they are for the child and not you. Just ignore her and live like you were doing before..... Good Luck....

Maureen - posted on 03/07/2009

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It does not matter whether or not either parent is 'involved' in the their childs life as to whether they provide financially.. Again, it is a moral and legal responsibility !

Perhaps if you look at at 2 separate issues :

(1) Custody - arrangements vary and some of them are just plain goofy. If the children are fortunate enough to have parents who can work out an agreeable split of time that's great. I know of a couple of families who make arrangements to live in the same school area for the least disruption of the childrens' lives. How grown up ! I think its' wonderful if a joint custody arrangement can be worked out.

(2) Support - This is NOT tied to custody. There is no timer on tied to $$ per minute spent with a kid... It is based on the financial ability to provide for your child. It is based on Gross annual income. And the issue can be brought back to court at any time if there is a change in circumstances. With the economy taking a dive, I would suspect many support orders will have to be taken back and reconsidered. If the woman was being kept at home during their marriage and is now reentering work force, her income will be less. As for clothes, recreation, sports and gifts.. Well don't we always consider those on top anyways? And as for health care coverage, I would thing the parent with the better plan should be providing for the child.



Oh yes. And let's not be sexist here. If the woman is the one with the greater earnings power and benefits - she is the one responsible for providing more support.

Another point to think about, if either parent becomes involved in a second relationship for a period of time, that person is also responsible to provide for the child as a 'locus parentis' ( sp? ). So there could in fact be 2 or more support orders to help raise the child



In case your wondering, I have 17 yrs experience as a welfare caseworker. I have seen too many cases where the father ( hate to say but it is the majority ) just don't bother providing at all for their children. Courts do not stink, they are just overwhelmed . The collection agencies are also overwhelmed with the problem. Even if a person chooses not to be involved, it doesn't mean they can write off that child ! NO that doesn't screw with a kids' head at all !!



I'm running on here. So any questions I can answer ???? I'll try and find the website link that calculates the monthly support based on gross income. You might find it interesting and maybe you can use it.

Dyan - posted on 03/06/2009

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I completely understand how you feel. I too have step children, and have been in your shoes for a long time. We also have 2 children together. It is one thing if the father is not part of the childs life, but when they are doing just as much as the mother they should not have to pay so much on top of it. My view has always been... if they are little and you have to pay daycare expeses and things of that nature, they definately need to contribute, but after that, if the child is being fed and clothed and taken care of 50/50... then it took two to make the child it should still take two to pay for the child. It is true at least in NY that if it's a 50/50 time split they will take that in consideration and his payment should be less than if he was a weekend dad. Then our agreement is split medical bills. Chances are your husband would have a family plan anyway since he has a child with you too, so I don't think that is an extra expense to you anyway, so you can't really complain there. The court systems stink, and you are correct they usually side with the moms, even when they are dead beats!! It's not fair. We just finished paying his ex her support, you'd be surprised to hear that it doesn't seem like we have ooddlles of money now that we don't pay her anymore. Just hang in there it will end eventually!!!

Trudy - posted on 03/06/2009

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If you go through domestic relations for child support it is based strictly on income. The father is responsible for paying for insurance but the mother is usually responsible for paying 80% of the medical bills. THe court should take into consideration that you have another child to support. I will say that your husband should not have had a bank account for the woman to spend as she pleases and if you have joint custody of the child you usually have a lesser amount you pay in support. My advice, get a good lawyer and go back to domestic relations.

Amie - posted on 03/06/2009

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Christine, I already posted at the beginning and quite honestly am glad for where I live. I understand your frustration and do agree with you. Though others obviously don't. Maybe it's because of where I live and knowing this is how they work here is why my mindset is the way it is. Shared custody should not include child support on top of it. Child support here is to help pay the mom (or dad) the extra added expenses of having the child longer periods than the other household. Daycare, added food costs, diapers & formula when their small, etc... If she's using it for frivolous things she obviously doesn't need it. Also here I know child support isn't ordered based on need or ability, its ordered through going through whoever needs to pays financial records (tax returns, pay stubs, etc.) and a certain percentage of that is awarded to the other parent. My oldest two have court ordered child support but there bio father also chose to walk away and have no part in there lives. So the income I get from him goes to there college funds. My hubby and I are perfectly capable of paying it on our own but use that money for it since it is his responsibility to help in some way if he's not willing to take them and help raise them. =) I've had numerous friends go through this and my hubby has as well. Like I said in my first post, one of my friends got divorced her and her ex shared custody, so since they both had the kids equal amounts of time there was no child support ordered. Even though dad made more money, he was still fulfilling his obligations by having them half the time. Hope it helps though knowing someone understands and agrees with you. =)

Maureen - posted on 03/06/2009

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WHAT ! Your step son is legally and morally responsible for that child. I'm glad he is able to share custody and have an ongoing part in the childs life. The support would have been ordered based on the ability of each to financially provide for that child !

Obviously your step son is in a better position financially. If his or the mother's finances change, they can take the order back to court for a change. And I am glad you have the ability to provide a health care plan for the child too. Most children do need to see Dr's growing up. The child is and will remain the priority .. Would you rather your step son not pay support and the mother have to rely on welfare to make ends meet ?

Congratulation to your step son for taking responsibility. His child will realize and benefit from him having an active role in raising him.

Christine - posted on 03/06/2009

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Alisa,
I wouldn't have a problem paying the child support if we saw him less than we do, but it is completely 50/50, so in thoery, by seeing him 50% of the time, we take care of his needs (shelter, food, clothing) 50%. The mother isn't poor. She has a decent job. Also, before it was court order, my husband would deposit money in a seperate bank account w/ both of their names on it and it would show that she would be buying pizza and subway! I truely feel that she does not need the money, but because of the state we live in we pay it. The state we will in historically favors mothers.

User - posted on 03/05/2009

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I'm sure it must be frustrating to feel that you have to struggle to get by with your own family's needs. My only view of the situation - albeit from not having been there myself - is to remember that the money is for your husband's child not the ex. If he was still married to her, there would be no question about the amount of money spent on that child. Unfortunately, since that did not work out he has been ordered to support the child in a manner which provides that he or she will have adequate housing, food, clothing, etcetera in both homes. I am sure it is a difficult situation to deal with and if you feel there is truly an unjustified amount of money changing hands, see if that can be negotiated with the ex or in the courts. Good luck.

Amie - posted on 03/05/2009

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This is different. I can't answer your question really except to say if it's gone through court and the shared custody was ordered by the judge there should be no child support. I know that's how it worked for a friend of mine here when her and her ex-husband shared custody. I'm in Sask, Canada so may be it's different here?

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