Mad About Child Support


#1

When my ex and I divorced I wanted my kids to be provided for. At the time the guidelines for child support indicated that I would pay $700. I offered to pay $900 plus the expenses associated with my youngest child’s after school care which was $176 for a total of $1076. I also paid off a vehicle and signed it over to her, relinquished my security deposit on our rental home so that she could take over the lease without paying a deposit and various other generosities. This took a lot of sacrifice and I always paid her even if I didn’t pay the bill collectors. I offered to continue paying the $176 after my youngest no longer required the after school care. I told her that she should take the money and apply it toward some continuing education for herself so that she could upgrade her job skills. Over the years she has lost 100 pounds, and gained back what looks to be 120. She has bought several new wardrobes, sold the car that I gave her, bought another one, bought exercise equipment (elliptical machine, treadmill, weights) a pool table, new kitchen electrics, pots pans etc. The expensive stuff. The kids got nothing. Their clothes didn’t fit, were full of holes, they needed haircuts, they couldn’t go on school trips because she told them she didn’t have the $20 fee, etc. When I confronted her about all this, she stated that they were my kids too and I needed to provide them with those things. (When I bought them clothes they would disappear and I would never see them again. When I asked about them the kids stated that they didn’t know where they were) My oldest (soon to be 17) had decided to come to live with me and all of a sudden he started getting new laptop computers, she took him to get his lip pierced (I had expressly forbidden this. She stated that she thought I would be ok with it, but she never told me that she was taking him to get it done.) He has stopped attending traditional school and is enrolled in some online high school completion course. Obviously he is getting whatever he wants so there is no need to come live with me and have actual rules. My youngest however gets all the castoffs and hand me downs, but nothing else. He showed up at my house last December, the coldest week in recent history, with t shirts, jeans that were too small and full of holes and no winter jacket. I had to prod him to get him to talk but he told me that he felt bad about the way he had to dress. I went out and blew the Christmas budget that I had been saving for months to buy him $150 worth of new clothes and a jacket. I subsequently stopped paying her the $176 discussed previously in this rant and she blew her top. She “doesn’t remember” the agreement. I know that the way child support is spent cannot be dictated, but by God it should be. Our legal system is so convoluted that it is almost impossible to bring suit for custody without a lawyer. Lawyers are so expensive that you can’t afford them without drowning in debt. If they agree to a payment plan with you, you get half assed legal representation. If you don’t have one, you are discriminated against in court depending on who the judge is.
It’s disgusting. If you read this thank you for your time.


#2

If there was never a written agreement then you did the right thing. In fact, my suggestion would be, if you don’t have a written agreement for child support, run the calculator and give her notice, in writing that the amount is going to change to that amount since you are covering all these extra needs. If she wants to pitch a fit, let her. It’s your children that are important. Regardless of how long you have been paying the extra money, no written agreement means that she can only get what the guidelines allow or what you agree to.
Start putting that extra money into a savings account for the youngest. Ask him to please keep talking to you. Don’t go off the deep end when he does but get him taken care of. If he needs something, he should know he can call you regardless. My husband’s children do this. His oldest calls him before anyone else if he’s out of meds or needs something for school. They know that they can count on him for anything and he is involved in their lives so they talk to him about other stuff.
I continuously buy new clothes for my stepsons and I make sure to hang on to at least a weeks worth of decent clothing that fit, for the same reason. They share joint legal and physical custody with equal time. They spend a week with us and a week with their mother and he still pays $500 per month in child support, all school activities, lunches, medical co-pays, insurance, prescriptions and anything extra that comes up. Need new shoes? You need to ask your dad, he’s the one with the money…
His ex has always been under the impression that the child support money is supposed to cover everything they need and that he should pay what that doesn’t cover. She uses it to pay the majority of her mortgage has moved 8 times in 3 years, bought & sold cars, clothes, furniture…and somehow she always has enough money to go out partying…but the youngest needs to see a therapist for his anger issues, “your dad will have to pay because I don’t have the money”.

I understand the system is flawed but for some of the issues those flaws can work to your advantage. Read more posts and find out what you can do to lessen your frustration about this. Hang in there!


#3

been there with my step son… my husband paid his child support religously – we never seen any new clothes, we bought clothes and sent them home – still never seen even them back — new cars seemed to be purchased, trucks, everything except seen any thing for the child…just recently — child is 12 years old – showed up one weekend and had his ear pierced…he had never mentioned that he even wanted one to his father…so it was a total shock…especially since he had never mentioned it to us…we never get school pictures… not even a offer to purchase any with her…to share…nothing…no communcation at all and don’t get any better being going on for well over 2 years.