Originally Posted by hollycat
seriously? if you marry someone with a certain income, they have no right to ever change because you agreed upon a certain lifestyle?
if that were true, no mom who thought she'd want to be a SAHM, then decided to go into teh workforce, or vice versa, should be allowed to do so. after all, both parents agreed on teh desired lifestyle, right? she should be stuck in whatever origninal position she chose for life. and divorce should be totally illegal if thats youre thinking. thats a radical change in lifestyle.
Hollycat, first consider that choosing a career and paying child support are two different things. As others have said here, go, live your life; so long as you don't forget your significant obligations and promises to others.
Second, your parallel doesn't hold up. SAHMhood doesn't normally last more than ten years or so; less if the family's smaller. The kids go off to school, the mom returns to work. A cardiologist, on the other hand, can be expected to make a healthy six figures for 40 years. More in some areas.
But -- especially if you're talking about younger children -- the SAHM supports the husband's ability to work, and you can attach a dollar value to that service if you want to; it isn't hard to do. If the mother abandons the family, wanders off, leaves the babies with the guy, and eventually makes some money, I sure do think she owes the guy not just child support but a significant chunk of childcare change and compensation for the career train wreck she put him through.
|people change, they grow, and you cant expect them to be exactly what you need them to be forever - emotionally, spiritually OR financially. a woman might want a divorice because its better for her emotionally and spiritually, a man might want to become a teacher for the same reasons.
Which is absolutely fine so long as either he's childless or has the funds to meet his prior obligations while making himself so happy.
|you are responsible for you and your choices. thats it.
I hear this sentiment among younger people frequently, and it troubles me, because it comes out of a complete vacuum. In the world of this sentiment, there are no laws, no contracts; there's only the whim of the moment, of which everyone else should be supportive. I think it contributes mightily to a terrible shock of discovery that the paper your signed has real meaning, or that the law regards you as having certain obligations just because of your position or your history. There's a feeling then that all this is horribly unfair, unexpected, and nobody told you.
Well, I'm telling you. Older people, who've had a chance to see the consequences of living by whim, tend to make agreements with an eye to something more than today or this year or even this decade. Older people are, in general, are the ones who make the rules and own the stuff. They also understand families as built on not just love but implied contracts built to run at least through the children's minority.
I think that the firm "everyone makes his or her own choices, and the only ones that are your business are your own" sentiment is sometimes misconstrued and misapplied. It comes out of spirituality, psychology, and classroom management, and in those arenas it works very well. But we also have arenas called law and politics and government, and those are about individual choices in the aggregate. And there you see some ugly consequences to this sentiment of "to each his own". If we had applied that in the South, we'd still have slavery today.
(/headshaking about the uselessness of "social studies")
Anyway. The reality is that when the men abandon the kids by dancing off to follow their dreams, someone else must pay for them to do that. Usually it's some combination of the children, the mother, and the taxpayer. Now I can tell you right up front that as a taxpayer, I'm not willing to pay for some guy's private happiness. He can go pay for that himself. As an ex-wife, I'm not willing to fund my ex's midlife crisis. And as a mother, I'm not willing to see my child pay for it, either.
The only situation I can see in which "lawyer daddy becomes a monk and stops paying child support" is OK is this: The mother happily makes up the difference to a point where a) she doesn't need public support; b) the kid neither lives in poverty nor has his future harmed significantly -- for instance, if it had been reasonable to expect he'd have had help going to college, she'd better be able to help him go to college. That's a responsible way of changing the contract.