CS What's it for?


#1

In my case, CS is based on 65% with mother and 35% with father (3 children). My question is, What is the CS money to be used for? For example, Is it to purchase 100% of their clothes/shoes, school supplies, school lunches, activities, etc. or 65%? Thanks for your help.


#2

Child Support is used for a portion of all of the children’s needs. That includes clothes, lunch, etc but does go further than that to include a portion of shelter, electric, gas, etc. It’s for ALL their needs. The percentages are just a breakdown of what each person is responsible for based on income. Ex: If the calculator determined that the children’s needs were $1000 a month then 65% of that would fall to mom in your case and 35% of that would fall on dad.


#3

Attorney please respond.


#4

It covers your portion of financial responsibility for all the needs of the child based on the parents income. If you were still married, though only one would buy the child clothes/shoes, school supplies/lunches and activites, both salaries are considered marital assets. So it would be marital money used for these items, so essentially you would be sharing the expense. If your ex believes that the child support should be enough to cover 100% of anything for the child, then he/she is forgetting that they must also contribute.

Child support would cover every need of the child with the exception of medical/dental insurance or bills, and other extraordinary expenses. Like big school trips or big purchases (car). Those are normally split between the parents or one parent pays more…
So for the examples you listed, yes child support will cover that parent’s portion of those amounts. The parent paying child support is essentially done for the month, unless there is something extra he/she would like to buy for the child.

My husband pays $500/mo in child support for 2 boys that we have 50/50 equal time. We each buy all essentials for our respective homes but he still ends up paying a extra here and there…he pays 1/2 their lunch money for school, though that should be included, as well as the clothes. But our issue came in that his ex refused to buy enough clothes for them to have at our house, and they didn’t have lunch money enough times that my husband and I decided that it just was not worth fighting over. We make sure they have what they need, and it will come back around…


#5

Child support covers the reasonable needs of the minor children based on the total incomes of the parents and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

Factored into the amount of child support is the costs of health insurance, work-related child care, and sometimes extraordinary expenses. The guidelines presume that the amount awarded takes care of expenses for the children while they are with each parent. If there is an unequal balance of funds going towards the children’s reasonable needs, either party may move to deviate from the Guideline amount.


#6

Just so I understand you correctly… All the expenses for the children (clothes, school lunches, supplies, etc) should be paid from the child support amount that is awarded to the custodial parent?


#7

No. The custodial parent is not responsible for all the needs of the children 100% of the time. The attorney stated that child support is based on the reasonable expenses of the children while in the care of the parent assigned custodial time. However, in most child support calculations, the child is assigned 1/2 the cost of such things as electricity and groceries. In other words, half of routine household expenses are alloted to the child who has no income. When my child support ends, I will still have pretty much the same household bills as I had when my child was living with me, but no matter. So many child support payors believe that once they pay child support, their obligation ends and don’t want/have to pay anything for the child when the child is in his/her care. Usually, without child support and sometimes with it, the one in receipt could/cannot pay his/her bills. For instance, I was ordered to pay 50% of all extraordnary expenses. Ex signed child up for an ultra expensive camp. The cost of this camp alone took over half of my monthly income including all and then some of the child support I was alloted. I have to pay 50% of medical/dental. 1/2 cost of braces will wipe out my monthly income. So, no. I cannot pay 100% of all the cost of child rearing. And when the child support is gone, I have no idea what I am going to do. I cannot pay my bills and the ex’s bills too.


#8

falcon1 -
Yes, school lunches, supplies, and clothing should come from the amount paid to the custodial parent. That is the non-custodial parent’s portion of the “daily care and maintenance” of the child. If you have shared custody with equal time, the amount paid to one parent decreases but the responsibility of each parent increases. It goes towards the “daily care and maintenance” of the child and is paid to the parent who has primary custody. That parent should be responsible for providing clothing and all other necessities for the child, even while they are visiting the other parent. That is why these things are not listed individually on the calculation forms. Yes, your bills will likely be similar when the child is not in your care, but the guidelines assume that if the child is not in your care the majority of the time, that your utility and grocery would be that much less. The attorney stated, “The guidelines presume that the amount awarded takes care of expenses for the children while they are with each parent”.
All extraordinary expenses are normally divided as are medical and dental not covered.
Not that this is the case with momsdaughter, and no disrepect intended, but in most cases I’ve seen, the custodial parent assumes that the child support should cover all the needs of the child and does not factor in that he/she should be contributing to that total amount. If you run the calculator, you can see the amount divided up. If the guidelines say that it takes $400 per month for one child based on incomes, and the division of this amount is 60% non-custodial/40% custodial, then the custodial parent would receive $240 per month because the remaining amount ($160) would be the responsibility of the custodial parent.

You provide for the child while they are in your care, but if you are the non custodial parent, the clothing, school lunches, etc. should not be your responsibility. In providing things for your child/children while they are in your care, you make the child more comfortable and feel more welcome…just MHO though…


#9

Stepmother:

You have stated that child support is based on the income shares model which it is. If the total cost of raising a child per month is 400 and the custodial parent receives 240.00 of this, then why is it that school lunches, clothing, etc. should be fully provided by the custodial parent? Where’s the other 160.00 going? To the non-custodial parent to help the non-custodial parent pay routine bills? Why then wouldn’t the primary caregiver get 100% of the amount if the custodial parent is responsible for paying for everything? Both parents are responsible for the cost of raising a child. Child support should be in place to help the child maintain the same standard of living enjoyed while the parents were married. There are two households now. The amount of child support is based on a percentage of what it takes to raise that child. Where’s the other part of the percentage going if the custodial parent has to pay 100%?


#10

Child support covers the reasonable needs of the minor children based on the total incomes of the parents and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

Factored into the amount of child support is the costs of health insurance, work-related child care, and sometimes extraordinary expenses. The guidelines presume that the amount awarded takes care of expenses for the children while they are with each parent. If there is an unequal balance of funds going towards the children’s reasonable needs, either party may move to deviate from the Guideline amount.



#11

[quote=“momsdaughter”]Stepmother:

You have stated that child support is based on the income shares model which it is. If the total cost of raising a child per month is 400 and the custodial parent receives 240.00 of this, then why is it that school lunches, clothing, etc. should be fully provided by the custodial parent? Where’s the other 160.00 going? To the non-custodial parent to help the non-custodial parent pay routine bills? Why then wouldn’t the primary caregiver get 100% of the amount if the custodial parent is responsible for paying for everything? Both parents are responsible for the cost of raising a child. Child support should be in place to help the child maintain the same standard of living enjoyed while the parents were married. There are two households now. The amount of child support is based on a percentage of what it takes to raise that child. Where’s the other part of the percentage going if the custodial parent has to pay 100%?[/quote]

I think you are misunderstanding my explaination. In that scenario the $160 is coming FROM the custodial parent towards the total amount ($400) that it takes to raise the child per month.
The guidelines say that it takes ($400) per month to raise a child. Based on income and # of overnights with each parent, you have your child 75% if the time. Your share of the financial responsibility is less because your income is lower and you have more nights with the child. The non-custodial parent pays you the difference. Take the $160 you (the custodial parent) pays towards the balance and the $240 the non-custodial parent pays in child support and it equals out to the total amount that the guidelines say it takes to raise a child for a month with specific incomes…
Both parents ARE responsible for the cost of raising a child and that is why one parent pays child support to the other. It’s not the custodial parent paying 100%. They are being awarded child support which is the difference in their financial responsbility to the child and the guidelines.
Child support should not cover everything for the care and maintenance of the child, just as it is not the responsibility of the custodial parent to cover all the costs.

Granted, normally it takes more than the guidelines state to raise a child, regardless of how much is figured into the worksheets. There’s always something that comes up that is not under one of the categories normally associated with being covered. Realistically, there is always something else that comes up and could be requested to split the cost of…but legally, after child support, the only things the non-custodial parent is partially responsible for is medical and dental not covered, such as co-pays.
The courts do not care if you can’t pay your routine bills…the court do not care if you have to work 3 jobs to make ends meet. As long as the child is taken care of. There is no way to maintain the standard of living any family had prior to separation and divorce. The standard of living changes drastically, sometimes it’s better, but there are almost always sacrifices.
The parents being married would not (normally) argue over who gave the child $20 for lunch money or who bought the last pair of shoes. That is how the court sees it. If one parent is being paid child support, that parent is financially responsible for all of those incidentals that are part of daily care.
The other option is to agree to only pay for the child while in your care, in which case, there would be a great deal of parents wishing to renegotiate their custody so that it’s more equal and they would pay less. IMHO, that is how it should be…both parents put an equal amount into a bank account and that money is to be used only for the child…it doesn’t work that way, but it would be ideal if it could.

As I said, my husband pays child support, willinging pays 1/2 of everything aside from that, and covers health insurance. Legally, he should only have to pay child support and health insurance. He pays the other stuff to keep the peace. We do what’s necessary so the children have what they need. In the meantime, their mother uses the child support to pay her mortgage instead of giving them lunch money or buying them clothes. She does very little to contribute to their care…but we’re doing what we believe is right and our conscience is clear.
I’m sorry if you misunderstood and my reply was not directed at you personally.


#12

Ok. I guess I did misunderstand somewhat, but I think the whole idea of child support is misunderstood. You said it pretty well when you stated that the mother of your husband’s children uses the child support to pay her mortgage. Is that not for the childrens’ benefit so that they will have a roof over their heads? Child support also pays for the basics! Food, clothes, and shelter! The amount would include such things as electricity, water, and food. Most mothers do not have the income that the fathers have. That is just a fact…even with alimony, child support, and the income she may earn. In my case, my child was assigned half of all my expenses…doiwn to gas, taxes, and car insurance! The child support that I receive simply helps me pay routine bills, so receiving child support really does not help me pay all expenses or extra expenses for the child. I can’t.


#13

“Meanwhile, the mother uses the child support to pay her mortgage instead of giving them lunch money or buying them clothes”…man, that REALLY ticks me off! Sorry, but that just got the best of me! What do you WANT HER to do??? Live in a cardboard box with her kids dressed to the nines?


#14

Momsdaughter: I completely understand your side. The way I see child support is to ‘pretend’ you and the dad are still married. What part of your combined money is used to ‘raise that child’?? Part of that money does go to clothing/housing/food. Those are necessities for raising a child. Also, there is school supplies, daycare, afterschool care, activity fees, sports fees, medical deductables, entertainment, gifts for friends birthday parties, gas for driving kids to all their activities and events, toiletries for when they get older, cell phones, car insurance…it goes on and on. ALL of this is part of raising a child.

Also think. Once that child is 18, the child support obligation ends for the non-custodial parent. BUT does the financial needs of the child end? NO. Who pays for college, room/board, clothes, spending money, summer break housing/food, etc. You would hope that he/she would help out, but legally…there is no law. SO that also falls on the other parent.

Child support is not just daycare and health insurance and clothes.


#15

Comingclean:

THANK YOU! Yes, child support seems to be pretense of the parents 'remainng married". The non-custodial spouse will just “fill in” the amount needed to raise the child and then all is well. Job over.

You also hit on something else. After l8. I’m in both situations. I have a 24 year old son. He is in law school. I received no “support” for him from the time he was l6. Yep. NO child support for him for two years! During the summers, he stays with me. He helps out when he can, but he doesn’t have a steady job. So, in addition to my 15 year old, I have another person in the house. I would not have it any other way, but there are additional costs. Meanwhile, my total income is about 20% of the father’s. My children had to move from the only home they ever knew, but you know what? They like my little house and like being with me. We do the best that we can. Fair? Nope, but we manage. Take care!


#16

I will be there soon too. And just remember, it doesn’t matter how little you have or how hard you have to struggle just to make it, your children are going to REMEMBER what you gave to and for them. You just keep doing your very best and it will come back around to you in a good way.


#17

comingclean2 makes an excellent point! Things have a way of coming full circle…good and bad.
My father had full custody of my sister and I from the time we were 2 & 5, with no support from my mother. There were times when we did not have contact with her. I know that it was a struggle for my stepmother and father to make ends meet sometimes, but they did what they had to. And now that I’m older, I can appreciate all that they did for me. I can honestly tell you that the children most of the time will not even notice where the shoes, clothes, or other necessities come from. Your children will remember that you were the one there for them and you have the knowledge that you can sleep at night knowing you are doing the right thing for your children. Hang in there…