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Dr. Phil 2/27

post #1 of 167
Thread Starter 
I don't normally watch Dr. Phill because I get so annoyed at how shallow everything on there seems to be.

Today's topic sounded interesting though... dead beat dads who say they shouldn't have to pay.

The guy on there is earning a six figure income, claiming his wife who only ever held one job in her life since college (35,000 per year) should be getting a six figure income right now and that he shouldn't have to pay. I don't know who the guy with this "dad" is but he's claiming, "his wife left him, took his kids, took his house, took everything of importance to him, has left him depressed, this is exactly the time that he should take a less stressful job and not have to pay his wife anything to take his kids from him."

He's claiming it's an inequality to expect the dad to have to pay anything to the wife who took everything from him.

:

May I say that I am so annoyed at that? There are so many women here who left a horrible situation, whose ex's are now claiming to be the "Injured party"... what a slap in the face to us!!!
post #2 of 167
Thread Starter 
I should stop watching now...

There's a basketball player on who is claiming he can no longer pay and his lawyer is now claiming it's the mothers' fault for not setting aside money for the lean times. Not that this guy should have set money aside so that he could meet his commitment, but it's the mothers' fault for expecting him to pay what he was supposed to pay.

Oh this just turns my goat when I think of all the mothers here who are dealing with dads who do not pay what they are court ordered to pay.

Grr...
post #3 of 167
Shoot, is it on now? I missed it? I would have liked to have seen that. I'm not a big Dr. Phil fan, but sometimes he confronts issues that I find interesting.
I certainly would find THAT topic interesting!
I'm not a TV person...does it come on later in the day? (I was thinking Phil came on at 7pm).
post #4 of 167
I am NOT a Dr. Phil fan, but two tidbits:

(1) Instead of watching the show, you can read the show summaries. Generally: http://drphil.com/shows/archive/ I signed up to get a weekly email from the site, so I can click on just which car crashes, I mean shows, I want to read about to get my quota of Schedenfreude. Today's show summary is at: http://drphil.com/shows/show/1234

(2) Dr. Phil yesterday poo-poo'd Octomom's claim that she's getting flak for being a single mom:

You say it is because it is single, but I don't think it really matters because there are a lot of single moms in America and I think they are some of the most courageous, heroic women in the country.

Darn tootin' we are.

Summary: http://drphil.com/shows/show/1231/
Full transcript: http://drphil.com/assets/e/e305963e6...2e784d973c.pdf (above quote is on page 4)
post #5 of 167
Cool, thanks. I'd much rather read the summary than sit and be subject to the commercials, etc of a TV show. Not to mention trying to find the time/arange my schedule just to sit and watch one show! lol.
post #6 of 167
I watched most of the show today. Without knowing more of the mom's side in the situation, I agreed with the first dad who was on the show.

If he wants to change professions, I don't see why he shouldn't be given the right to do so. If mom wants to keep her children in a certain lifestyle they have become accustomed to, then she should make up the difference and get a job to help provide that lifestyle.

He doesn't want to pay nothing, or abandon his children, he wants to work in a different profession. I don't see why that should be a problem.
post #7 of 167
I'd be just fine with NCPs dropping their incomes so long as they paid half the actual cost of raising the kid, and compensated the CPs for any blow to earning capacity. I can't say I see, either, why the kids' standard of living should suffer because one of the parents was abusive, or ran around, or the parents just didn't like each other anymore.

The kid is one of those wuddayacalls, responsibilities. Doesn't last forever, you suck it up for 18 years or so, do right by the kid, and then it's your turn again.
post #8 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger_rodgers View Post
I'd be just fine with NCPs dropping their incomes so long as they paid half the actual cost of raising the kid, and compensated the CPs for any blow to earning capacity. I can't say I see, either, why the kids' standard of living should suffer because one of the parents was abusive, or ran around, or the parents just didn't like each other anymore.

The kid is one of those wuddayacalls, responsibilities. Doesn't last forever, you suck it up for 18 years or so, do right by the kid, and then it's your turn again.

post #9 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger_rodgers View Post
I'd be just fine with NCPs dropping their incomes so long as they paid half the actual cost of raising the kid, and compensated the CPs for any blow to earning capacity. I can't say I see, either, why the kids' standard of living should suffer because one of the parents was abusive, or ran around, or the parents just didn't like each other anymore.

The kid is one of those wuddayacalls, responsibilities. Doesn't last forever, you suck it up for 18 years or so, do right by the kid, and then it's your turn again.
See but what is the "actual" cost of raising a kid? Many Dad's are held to a standard when there is a divorce. Not taking into account what they earn, but what their potential earning is.

The Dad spoke of in this thread makes an above $100,000 income, and wants to instead be a math teacher making $30,000. He states that if his job changes he can still pay half of what he is paying now in child support. I think that sounds fair, with is pay becoming 1/3 of what he used to make.

He's not trying to lighten his responsibilities, he wants to change careers.
post #10 of 167
I think I would have to know both sides. I have seen both sides. I have seen women who cheat and run off when nothing was wrong. It is best to not jump on to one side just because of gender. I try to avoid making judgements on peoples singlehoods unless I really know the situation myself. It is too easy to reflect on one's own life and assume it is the same for everyone else.

I hope that helps.
post #11 of 167
My very general perspective is things should be as close to what they would be if the family was intact.

If one parent gets a significant raise and can live a better lifestyle, so does the child. If one parent loses a job, changes careers, etc. then the family dynamic would change also.

Yes, there are always exceptions. Yes there are people who would take advantage of this and yes there are people who would use this as a way to screw it to their ex and/or child...but I'm talking generally about people who care about their children and themselves and what seems, in my perspective, to be most fair to everyone involved.
post #12 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
I watched most of the show today. Without knowing more of the mom's side in the situation, I agreed with the first dad who was on the show.

If he wants to change professions, I don't see why he shouldn't be given the right to do so. If mom wants to keep her children in a certain lifestyle they have become accustomed to, then she should make up the difference and get a job to help provide that lifestyle.

He doesn't want to pay nothing, or abandon his children, he wants to work in a different profession. I don't see why that should be a problem.
So you think that a lawyer should be able to stop doing that and become a server making minimum wage? People have done that after a divorce.

I completely disagree with the first dad. I don't see why his ex should be forced to pick up his slack because he changes his choice of career to one that is making considerably less. Especially since she had no say in his choice at all.
post #13 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
See but what is the "actual" cost of raising a kid? Many Dad's are held to a standard when there is a divorce. Not taking into account what they earn, but what their potential earning is.

The Dad spoke of in this thread makes an above $100,000 income, and wants to instead be a math teacher making $30,000. He states that if his job changes he can still pay half of what he is paying now in child support. I think that sounds fair, with is pay becoming 1/3 of what he used to make.

He's not trying to lighten his responsibilities, he wants to change careers.
And he can do that, just don't expect his child support to change. A voluntary $70K drop in income is drastic. And shouldn't be accepted by the courts. That places an unfair burden on the CP.
post #14 of 167
My closest friend is going through the same thing with her husband (who's emotionally/verbally abusive and controlling.) When she told him she wanted a divorce (a month ago), he said, "Then you need to move out because I'm not abandoning the house so you can get it." She and the kids moved in with her parents. He cleared out their joint bank account and changed his direct deposit and cashed out all their stocks with his Fortune 500 company to use for his therapy and "life coach." Now he's talking about leaving his $100,000+/yr job and doing something that makes considerably less money.

What makes me suspicious is--why would these guys make a huge change like this when they divorce? Could it be a passive aggressive way to punish their exes?
post #15 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodmom2008 View Post
So you think that a lawyer should be able to stop doing that and become a server making minimum wage? People have done that after a divorce.

I completely disagree with the first dad. I don't see why his ex should be forced to pick up his slack because he changes his choice of career to one that is making considerably less. Especially since she had no say in his choice at all.
We don't have any say in anybodies choices but our own. If our ex wants to change careers and still will be paying child support then yeah if we want to keep up our current lifestyles I think then we need to make it happen ourselves.
post #16 of 167
Janna, we sure do have a say in others' behaviors. That's what laws are all about.

When most people get married there's some implicit -- sometimes explicit -- agreement about how they'll live. If a financier and a chef get married, and give each other the impression that they're happy in their work, there's some reasonable expectation on both parts that they'll have lots of money and good food. If a history student and a painter marry, there's some reasonable expectation that they'll eat a lot of brown food that takes a long time to cook and have a lot of books, and eventually some falling-down house with a weedy yard. If an ed major marries a med student and drops out to take care of family and work, there's some reasonable expectation that eventually the med student will graduate and make good money for the family.

You may not feel that's important, but I think most people do. The legislatures think so too. Which is why the courts will not only impute income, but, in the case of the ed major, give her an extra slice of the med student's income. She worked and put off bettering herself in order to invest in his career, which was supposed to have benefited the whole family.

Me, I wouldn't have had a child with a starving artist. I'm not a big fan of raising kids in poverty, and I didn't intend to give up my arts work in order to support a kid and another artist in non-poverty. With a professional like my ex, though, yes, I'd have a kid. And we had many conversations before marriage about careers, money, etc. establishing that yes, he really was happy doing this sort of work, and wanted this sort of life. Fine.

Well, five years later, he dumps me, walks off with his money, and proceeds to put himself in debt for a new career, which will cut his income by about 2/3 assuming it ever really comes to pass. Very nice for him, but he's made promises and taken on obligations -- to me, the one who mothered the child, and to the kid, who ought to have has a chance to go to college before he spends all his money taking a third turn for himself. So I'll hold him to those promises. Someday he'll graduate, and try to get his c/s reduced, and it ain't gonna happen so long as the law takes my view. (Can I get him to pay if he's unwilling, you bet, but that's another story.)

I think we can get the "but you never know what's going to happen" arguments out of the way pretty quick, btw. If someone's been making good money for years at some honest work, it's very unusual for them to have permanent setbacks unless they're disabled and were careless about insurance, or couldn't buy it. Responsible, skilled people lose jobs, yes; and then, some months later, they get new ones at similar levels of responsibility and income. People do this even when wars intervene -- a chemist in Italy becomes a chemist in Argentina or America, a businessman in Nigeria becomes a businessman in Britain. "Months later" may become "years later", but it's remarkable how many of these people get their legs back under them and go on essentially as before.

So. Can you force a man to work at his previous wage? No. You can, however, create some very strong incentives for him to go on doing it while his child's a minor. You can also take what he's got in lieu of c/s drawn from income. Of course, if you married a guy with nothing, or didn't protect what was there when you were married, you may be out of luck.
post #17 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
I watched most of the show today. Without knowing more of the mom's side in the situation, I agreed with the first dad who was on the show.

If he wants to change professions, I don't see why he shouldn't be given the right to do so. If mom wants to keep her children in a certain lifestyle they have become accustomed to, then she should make up the difference and get a job to help provide that lifestyle.

He doesn't want to pay nothing, or abandon his children, he wants to work in a different profession. I don't see why that should be a problem.
:

I also felt bad for that father. It seems he is trying his very best
to be a great father to his childern and better all their lives but is not being given the chance.
post #18 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinity6232000 View Post
We don't have any say in anybodies choices but our own. If our ex wants to change careers and still will be paying child support then yeah if we want to keep up our current lifestyles I think then we need to make it happen ourselves.
The courts, luckily, don't agree with you.

BTW, my ex willingly lowered his income by $30K a year. I went out and increased my income (I went to work full-time) by more than he lowered his income. He has imputed income, not as much as what he was making, but the child support is considerably higher because of imputation. Which is a good thing. Because between the child support and what I make, I am in the red each month. If the child support was based on what he actually made (again, this was his choice to reduce his income), I would be in bankruptcy court. BTW, the job he quit had really good insurance. The job he took does not. My insurance, which isn't anywhere near as good as the insurance of his former job, is better than what his job provides. His choice to lower his income also increased the kids' out of pocket medical costs. And my expenses aren't extravagant. The kids and I haven't gone on vacation in years. We don't even go away for the week-end. I buy clothes for them at Target (Salvation Army and other places like that simply don't have wearable clothes once a child is past infancy). Fortunately, my son loves to wear sweat pants, which helps keep the cost of clothing down. I expect that to change when he becomes a teen-ager.

Anybodies ex can change careers and lower their income, that is their choice. Doesn't mean that the party who didn't lower their income should have to pick up the slack from the ex's choice. It simply isn't fair. And, fortunately, the courts agree that while anybody can choose to take any job they want, it's not going to have an impact on child support if the willing change in careers involves a reduction in income, especially a drastic one.
post #19 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodmom2008 View Post
And, fortunately, the courts agree that while anybody can choose to take any job they want, it's not going to have an impact on child support if the willing change in careers involves a reduction in income, especially a drastic one.
Where did you get this info? My friend's husband is threatening to change careers to make less money so she'll get less and I'd like to forward her any information that would help.
post #20 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadingMama View Post
Where did you get this info? My friend's husband is threatening to change careers to make less money so she'll get less and I'd like to forward her any information that would help.

Read the state's child support guidelines. They do usually talk about imputing income when someone is willingly underemployed.

Your friend's stbx is going to find out that he can change careers and make less money all he wants, he's the one who is going to suffer the financial hardship, not your friend (unless he can prove that it was unwilling) when the child support is calculated using the income that he used to make before he willingly reduced his income.

Any good attorney in your friend's area will tell her the same. My ex found that out the hard way when he disregarded his attorney's info regarding willingly lowering his income (she told him this in front of my attorney and me in a 4 way that we had a few months before the divorce was final).

And if your friend's stbx was stupid enough to put his intention in writing, she needs to save that and present it to the court.
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