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do I have to provide diapers? A child-support question

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My ex picked up our toddler from preschool today.

Typically his dad gets him one day a week, a transition at my house where I always ask if he needs anything... and I provide whatever response... diapers, clothes, whatever. It annoys me, but I never think much about it because it's just what we've always done. I know his dad is very broke, and I'm supporting my son. Fine.

 

Today immediately after pickup, his dad texted me that he didn't have $$ for diapers or wipes.

I asked him drive to my location, where I gave him $$ for gas, diapers, and wipes.

I didn't give an attitude to him.

But I FELT an attitude and expressed to my friend, just an offsides remark of... he never has diapers for his son.

 

My friend who told me that... If he is paying child support, or better worded, if he is Ordered to pay child-support, whether or not he's actually paying it, I HAVE to provide him with all the necessary items: diapers, potentially food, potentially gas for transport, clothes, etc.

 

Is that true?

 

I've tried to "google" in a variety of ways and haven't found that as a "law". And have never seen it as a stipulation on our child-support agreement with the state.

post #2 of 15

Your friend is wrong in two ways. 

 

First, even if you were supposed to provide his parenting supplies (and that really is what diapers, etc are) with child support, if he isn't paying it, you obviously don't have the money to pay for his parenting time. 

 

Second, it is his parenting time.  The courts expect him to provide the basic necessities such as diapers, wipes and food.  As for clothes, as long as he returns them, I see no problem in sending enough clothes to cover his parenting time. 

 

I would make it clear to your ex that you will no longer give him money or supplies for his parenting time, he will need to provide it himself.  And if you do decide to provide supplies for the kid, don't give your ex cash.  Go out and buy the items yourself. 

 

Did your ex provide you with a receipt for the baby items? 

post #3 of 15

Agreeing with Goodmom2008...if you knew your X didn't have money for diapers and wipes, I would send those along with clothing (especially since your LO is only with him once a week).  I would prefer my DS to have the brands he was used to and I preferred, etc.

 

However, I would NOT pay for gas.  In my divorce decree, it is very clear that XH is responsible for transportation for visitation. 

 

I would never give cash...ESPECIALLY if he isn't paying child support.

post #4 of 15

You are definately NOT required to provide diapers, etc.  

I was doing the same thing (not diapers, my kids are older, but other health/beauty aids - it was quite costly, actually) and a friend told me that I needn't do that.  I just hadn't thought about it before - it was just what I did to make sure my children were as comfortable and cared for as possible, you know?

 

So I gave Ex some lead time, but let him know that he should stock these items for the children.  In fact I provided him with a detailed list and offered to shop for him and provide receipts if he wanted to reimburse me for the items.

 

Hasn't been an issue since. :)

post #5 of 15

I used to pack weekend bags for my kids when visiting their dad, until my attorney laughed at me and pointed out that the kids were not "visiting" their dad, it was his parenting time and he was supposed to be parenting them.  I actually had a friend who was going through her divorce at the same time and thought I was being a real bitch when I stopped supplying everything the kids needed.

post #6 of 15

I used to provide diapers only because our daughters were in cloth and so it didn't cost me anything and I kept them in cloth like I wanted.  But legally you are not responsible for providing those items.  My ex provides toothbrushes/toothpaste, food, toiletries for showers, and pull-ups for our bedwetting youngest daughter now.  I send them with clothes and their meds/medical equipment, nothing else.  

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanKX View Post

My friend who told me that... If he is paying child support, or better worded, if he is Ordered to pay child-support, whether or not he's actually paying it, I HAVE to provide him with all the necessary items: diapers, potentially food, potentially gas for transport, clothes, etc.

 

Is that true?

Almost certainly not.  You should, of course, check your local child support guidelines.  However, generally the court will determine child support based on a calculation that factors how much time the child spends in the care of each parent.  Think about it:  surely you've heard mothers complain that their ex only wants more time with the kids to reduce his support payments.  Sometimes that's true and sometimes it's not.  But what IS almost universally true is that the NCP is expected to provide for the child's needs while the child is with him/her.  Thus the NCP keeps more of that support money, the more time the child is with him/her.  Support is how he/she helps cover the needs the child has during the CP's time.

 

Your original question was what others do.  When my twins were in diapers and I became a single parent, my mother tried to make me feel positively neglectful, for not sending diapers or even a change of clothes with the kids, when they spent Saturdays with their dad.  In our case, he had plenty of money.  Plus, many of the arguments that preceded our break-up involved him feeling incredulous that I could stand to stay home with them, which he equated to "doing nothing all day".  By God, I wanted him to understand that caring for our children was not the same as eating Cheetos on the couch and watching Oprah while he worked.  I also wanted him to feel like a father, not a babysitter for whom I had prepared everything.  (He actually referred to his parenting time as "babysitting", at first.  And not to be provocative, just casually.  That's really how he looked at it.  The kids were my job.  He had a real one.)  

 

I'm pleased to say he has grown up into a good father.  After a few years' adjustment, he has even said countless admiring and appreciative things about me, as a mother, and all the efforts I've made for our kids.  He went on to marry a woman who stays home with their two babies.  They seem to have a strong marriage, so I can't imagine he complains that she has no ambition or does nothing all day.  I think being expected to provide diapers, wipes, toys and changes of clothes for his own kids, during his parenting time was important for him.

 

If your child will go without, unless you provide diapers, then of course you should provide them, as you are.  But I don't think there's anything wrong with you operating on the assumption that your ex will provide them, then letting him ask you, if he needs them.  Let him take the initiative.  Let him feel motivated to find a way to provide them, rather than asking you, if he can.  It would be nice if he were able to grow past being dependent upon you.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

It's an interesting thing, I know.

As noted in other posts I've listed here, I'm not 100% keen on his dad in general, but whatever.. it's his father. And right now, when I pick up my son from school, he wants to see his dad. He wants to know his dad. I will not stand in the way of that.

 

So when he picks him up here at home, if he needs stuff... I want to make sure he has FOOD (omg!) and diapers/wipes. I've just always done that.

I'm NOT happy about the gas to pick him up... this is a new thing.

 

Now it's become... if you want him to see me... either you have to bring him here, or you have to give me gas money.

Which in my busy life (I am self-employed and rather successful), I'm happy to give him gas money... so I don't have to drive 20miles out in to the boonies. In THAT light, yeah, I'll foot the bill. Because it's MY decision. But when it's you not having gas to get him home to your house... shouldn't he have that?

 

But this girlfriend of mine who lived in Nevada, and maybe Nevada is different, who called me on my attitude.... she said I HAVE to provide everything. Full on diaper bag (maybe not gas/food, sure), but at least changes of clothes, diapers/wipes, even if he isn't paying, but just because I'm the primary care-giver, and this time with dad is... well, Rare. And she totally chastized me for having an attitude about it.

 

We are talking two different things...

 

Diaper Bag - she feels I have to provide clothes/diapers/wipes

Transportation - I haven't asked, but I'm assuming even she'd say that's not a stipulation

 

Either way, I hear you that I have to record everything I give him, period.

Today I gave him $8 for gas, because he literally "coasted in" to my driveway.

 

To me, $8 is nothing. I'm not a bank and I don't make THAT much money, and I remember when I didn't have that to spend. I've been there. I don't fault him for being broke. But that's what he asked for in gas and I gave him just that... so he could get our son back to his house, and to bring him back tomorrow. $8 that he didn't have. 

 

I need to record this. All of it. Every pack of wipes. Every... everything.

That's what I'm hearing right? Don't stop doing it -- cause I've done that, and I'm not joking, our son has come back with a t-shirt around his butt.

 

I will never STOP doing it, but it's that I don't HAVE to; and that I should record it.


Edited by JordanKX - 6/30/12 at 7:59pm
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VocalMinority View Post
I don't think there's anything wrong with you operating on the assumption that your ex will provide them, then letting him ask you, if he needs them.  Let him take the initiative.  Let him feel motivated to find a way to provide them, rather than asking you, if he can.  It would be nice if he were able to grow past being dependent upon you.

 

Maybe I shouldn't make things so easy?

I mean... he doesn't step-up to any element of being a parent. Why make it easy on him?  But maybe I should assume a bit more, and just not make it so easy. Like... when he comes to pick him up, don't have it on the ready. Do a bit more talking about what he has at home before I just throw it out there.

 

Who knows... maybe he assumes I'm micro-managing and would step-up if I back off a bit?

I like this a lot. I'll take this into consideration.

 

(doesn't help that he doesn't have gas... but is great for the other parenting parts of.. parenting)

post #10 of 15

Ugh, mama, I feel your pain.  I just paid for almost a grand in repairs on exdh's car so he could pick up and drop off his child...and he owes me serious arrears!

 

Anyway, the PPs are not exactly correct.  Do you have a court order for visitation/custody?  My divorce decree specifically states that exdh pays (or is supposed to pay...he doesn't actually...) me child support and I provide whatever is needed for ds for the weekend, with the exception of food.  So, I pack clothes, all the special brushes and crap needed to clean his braces, Rx and OTC meds, and yes, when he was little, diapers and wipes. 

 

Really, it depends on your specific situation.  If you don't have an order, then it is sort of a gray area.

post #11 of 15

How about you supply a pack of diapers and tell him when it runs out you need to buy more and one or two changes of clothes and tell him he can keep them and wash them as needed? As to the gas money, I am sorry but I think you need to tell him to man up. Does he work at all? If you feel resentmant now, imagine how ypu are going to feel in 6 months, when you really have set a presidance for this, helping him.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanKX View Post

It's an interesting thing, I know.

As noted in other posts I've listed here, I'm not 100% keen on his dad in general, but whatever.. it's his father. And right now, when I pick up my son from school, he wants to see his dad. He wants to know his dad. I will not stand in the way of that.

 

You are not responsible for making sure that your ex utilizes his parenting time.  He is.  What you are doing is taking responsibility for that. 

 

Not sending diapers, food, and giving your ex (who isn't paying the court ordered child support) money is not standing in the way of him utilizing his parenting time.  It's putting the responsibility where it belongs, on your ex.  It's his responsibility to provide for his child when it is his parenting time. 

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

 

Do you have a court order for visitation/custody? 

 

Haven't found a need for it yet. Our son lives with me, period. Dad gets him when he wants, typically Friday nights and never really more than 24hrs. He's asked for more time, but most of the time he can't handle it and brings him home early.

 

Honestly I think if we went to the courts, the courts would give Dad more time than he has now... which honestly Dad has never fought for. So why make it legal?

Right now, it works out great for me. ME. Dunno about our son, but great for me.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
My divorce decree specifically states that exdh pays (or is supposed to pay...he doesn't actually...) me child support and I provide whatever is needed for ds for the weekend, with the exception of food.  So, I pack clothes, all the special brushes and crap needed to clean his braces, Rx and OTC meds, and yes, when he was little, diapers and wipes.

 

I think this must've been what my friend was mentioning, something in their divorce... it was in writing for them. And if that were the case for us, Of Course I'd do it.

No... I do it anyway! and will continue to, of course! Because I'm providing for my son. I will always give him gas money to make sure they don't break down. I will always give a diaper bag. But it's good to know that I'm not REQUIRED to do so.

 

I'm thinking a Gas card. Something other than cash. $40 on the card FOR THE MONTH. Use it now or keep it for the month, whatever he wants to do. But at least I've extended what I consider to be my personal obligation. And always... keeping record.

 

Today he dropped off our son and said "Thanks for the gas money so I could do this", which is the first time I've ever heard a Thanks. So... that's something big. And again, it worked out for me that I didn't have to drive 20minutes out to the boonies to go get him. I'm willing to do that still, to make my life easier.

post #15 of 15

I do not provide toiletries (which is what I would consider diapers) or food (and it ticks me off that he send them home at bedtime on Sunday having not fed them.  feeding your dang kids is part of parenting.)  We split transportation which I think is a crock.    he buys them clothes which I would be happy to do but I refuse to send clothes because they never came back.  I want them back in the clothes they arrived in.  I would be happy to send a few outfits over though.

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