or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Kids coming to visit and child support
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Kids coming to visit and child support

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I have a question and I know it's a sensitive topic. Please know that I am not "complaining" or devaluing (for lack of better terms right now) child support at all. I just have a Q and wonder if anyone has had any experience with this.
My DP's kids are coming to visit us for 2 weeks. When he goes to visit them (in the UK) he'll stay for a week plus and have them everyday, daytripping, etc. When he does that he and his X agree on a lesser CS amount that month since he's feeding them every day while he has them and is buying them new clothes, etc. (And because she knows he paid to fly over, get a rental car, hotel, etc).
Since they usually agree to this I don't *think* they'll have a problem compromising this time, but I wonder how y'all feel about this. When he (we) have them for 2 weeks do you think it's fair to cut back on the CS? It's not my business and I would never ask what the $ goes to *besides food, rent etc), but a little cut considering we'd be feeding them etc for 2 weeks? (And, vacationing really - they haven't been to the US in years. And we had to buy all the plane tix - *I'm NOT complaining!!*).
Longwinded, sorry. Anyone else ever strike a deal like this with their X?
TIA!
post #2 of 31
Thread Starter 
I hope no one is reading and going away offended. I am new at this Step family way of life and don't know anyone IRL to ask.
post #3 of 31
in the us, parenting time is factored into cs.
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply boobybunny, I'm not sure I fully understand though. Like I said, I've never experienced this myself and know no one IRL to ask. Would you mind explaining a little for me?
post #5 of 31
Yes, it's totally fair to cut back on CS in my opinion. My DD goes to her dad for 2 months every summer and I don't get any CS during those two months. Why would I?
post #6 of 31
In the US all that is figured into the CS amount, so normally one would not reduce the amount because of visitation. If custody is shared the CS amount will be based on what percentage of time each parent has the children, but doesn't normally change from month to month based on the location of the children. That's just the norm, and the law acts as a default. Agreements can be made according to differeing situations.

Your rent or mortgage doesn't decrease because the children are gone, so many of the biggest expenses go on whether the children are present or not. I suppose with just one child this may not be as significant. I've got three, and it adds up.

Since you are crossing international lines, and there are extra expenses, it does sound like you've worked out something that is fair for your situation. If you are talking US law, it's not required to be that way, but couples can make agreements to do that kind of thing. You'd have to have both parties agreeing to make it work, since that's not what the law dictates. When couples don't agree judges will decide for them according to the law. For instance the law gives me tax rights for all the children. However, my ex asked to be able to use one of the children as a tax deduction each year. We gave him the eldest, but only if all his payments are on time (which they will never be). I could have fought for it, but it wasn't worth it. We gave him that to get things that were far more important.

I hope that helps.

Kiley
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
Kiley & Alohamelly, thank you. I am esp grateful for different opinions/experiences. It is an esp unique situation for me because it is international - man does THAT make life interesting! : (And, just to stress, it's unique to ME because I was never in a divorce/Skids situation at all before but knew of friends, etc growing up. International = : : to me).
Again, thank you. They'll be here in 2 1/2 weeks ( ) so I may have some more Q's to come.
post #8 of 31
Our situation is something that was verbally agreed on and not in writing. I have sole legal and physical custody so everyting has really been up to me at this point. I just felt it wouldn't be fair for me to accept CS during the times my ex has our daughter because he's providing her with food/shelter/clothing and all of that while he has her. I could demand he pay it anyway and he probably would, but I wouldn't feel right about it.
post #9 of 31
In Canada, the CS is set, based on the kids living more than 60% with one parent. Consequently, we see a bunch of custodial parents fighting tooth and nail to get the kids 61% of the time, so the CS stays fixed. None of the situations I am familiar with have any kind of variation in them to offset a month where there is increased visitation.

If your dh and his ex can agree on a variation, that's amazing.
post #10 of 31
Child support should be set and remain the same. Legally that is how it is, so why she is agreeing to less is beyond me.

Rent does not go down because the children are spending time with Dad for two weeks. You asked for opinions, and personally I think it's kind of cheap, and not fair to get a c/s reduction.
post #11 of 31
I get (and DH pays) the same amount, regardless of extra visitation. The way it works here, if the child is with one parent the majority ofthe year, the amount of visitation doesn't affect the amount of support.

If the visitation is more along the lines of a joint custody situation, they calculate support based on percentage of time with each parent, but it's averaged out for the year, so each month stays the same amount, not some months pay more, some months less (or none).

As the PPs noted, the big expenses don't change when the kids are gone. And I often take advantage of time to myself to buy things for ds, so I'm still spending nearly the same on him.

If CS varied depending on visitation time, it could get very difficult, for both parties. What if Dad is sick and misses a vist? Should he then pay extra b/c mom had to feed them that extra weekend? Or three-day weekend is worth more or less than a regular one? Leap Year? :

So I think it's best to keep the amount consistent. If it's something like the kids come all summer, then I could see adjusting the amount, but again, it would make more sense to average that out.
post #12 of 31
Since they already have an agreement when he visits there, it only stands to reason they could come up with an agreement when they come here. How does you "other" feel about asking his x. Does he agree? Does he think she would be reasonable?
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your replies. I guess one of the big factors in this decision is that nothing went through the courts (except the actual divorce papers). They agreed on everything kid wise with some basic parameters set out in their decree (he can visit whenever he wants, they are to be here twice a year <ha>, every other xmas). But, $ wise they worked out themselves and the kids have never wanted for anything.
I do agree that rent, etc does not go down when they are away, and again I have never and would never ask if the CS goes towards that. But, since she does agree when he/we go there for a bit less I think it will work out this way this time as well. Also, both DS & DD are already compiling "shopping" lists for when they are here. One thing in particular Mummy can't afford so she wants Daddy to buy it. So, I think they have a nice give and take.
When I asked here I guess I was curious if this happened at times/at all with other X's. (For some reason) I didn't consider the legalities of it. But, thank you all again for your perspectives.
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Rmcarons, yes I believe he intends to discuss this with her. This is going to be a VERY expensive trip for us and she understands. In fact, she knows that because of some hiccups she wouldn't help us iron out, the plane tix alone are costing over $2000 more than we hoped. We had to buy 4 roundtrip tix from Heathrow for this - in the summer. Not cheap. At all.
Anyway, yes he is going to talk to her. And, yes we hope to catch her on one of her reasonable days. It's worked out ok in the past. Here's hoping!
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
this mama, you're right, I did ask for opinions. Thank you for yours. I'm not offended by your view of it as cheap, but I'd like to clarify some in his defense. They live 5 time zones and 8 hours away by plane. What difference is that to say, the next town, state, time zone away? Extended heartache. Very high phone bills to call them 3-4 times a week. Higher postage bills to send packages monthly (as opposed to inter-USA mailings). Heartache to try to time his 2 (just recently 3) weeks vacay a year to match when he can take off in sync with their school breaks (a lot different than our breaks, including summer). Then also matching when he can take off, their break and when mummy wants to take them on holiday. Plane tix, rental cars, hotels...
I'm not complaining, I'm not AT ALL trying to say his situation is really any different than any other person making sacrifices to see their children. We just have some extra hurdles to jump through. Rather expensive ones.
Long defense short, when he sees them (up until now, 2 weeks a year - trying to split that over 3-4 visits a year) he tries to work with his X on $ (for that week only - other weeks are always $ as agreed upon). I don't think he's being cheap. Cheap would be conceding that a normal blue collar salary man can not afford 4 trips to London every year. Can you imagine taking 4 "vacations" to London 4 times a year, every year? He's not being cheap, he's trying to make it work.
Thank you for your perspective though. It made me think - in the end I'll only defend his choices and decisions more, but it did make me think.
Happy Monday!
post #16 of 31
I love when parents can figure things out and are willing to compromise to what makes sense vs. what the paper says. I am not talking about changing CS depending on each weekend because the kids slept over one extra night, or because they stayed at their mom's house. At the same time, as some call it cheap to rearrange CS for the month that someone is taking in their kid, I could also call it greedy not to revisit CS payments when things come up. :

In general, it all depends on YOUR situation.

Sometimes it is more fair to leave CS payments as they are, in other cases it might be fair to reduce it for the month you are spending with the kids.

I'd say go with what you feel is fair, if both parents have learned to work things out without calling each other names, and not involving laywers - the better it is.

P.S. Kudos to moms like Allohamelly!
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by JnB View Post
this mama, you're right, I did ask for opinions. Thank you for yours. I'm not offended by your view of it as cheap, but I'd like to clarify some in his defense. They live 5 time zones and 8 hours away by plane. What difference is that to say, the next town, state, time zone away? Extended heartache. Very high phone bills to call them 3-4 times a week. Higher postage bills to send packages monthly (as opposed to inter-USA mailings). Heartache to try to time his 2 (just recently 3) weeks vacay a year to match when he can take off in sync with their school breaks (a lot different than our breaks, including summer). Then also matching when he can take off, their break and when mummy wants to take them on holiday. Plane tix, rental cars, hotels...
Yes, but heartache and difficulty scheduling is part of having children and not being partnered. Kwim?

It doesn't change the bills for mama to support those children. If my daughter's father started seeing her in lumps at a specific time of year, and asked to not pay child support that month, it would affect whether I could pay the rent. I can't very well move to a one bedroom apartment for a month and then head back to the expensive place when the children return, kwim?

That is my concern with it.

Quote:
Cheap would be conceding that a normal blue collar salary man can not afford 4 trips to London every year. Can you imagine taking 4 "vacations" to London 4 times a year, every year? He's not being cheap, he's trying to make it work.
Yes I can also really see that.

Who moved away? Did she? Or did he?

I really get that 4 trips to London/year is a hardship. I also get that c/s is a hardship. Not getting it is a hardship too, so that is why I advocate that it needs to be paid consistently.

What I think reading this thread is that it is too bad it is so hard to get by these days, for all of us.
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
Oriole, I appreciate your post. I guess that's what I came here looking for - that even though both DP and his X have agreed (in the past and hopefully now) that I still wondered if it was... right ? Fair? I mean, if they agree and the kids do not go without then that's what really matters. But, I was still curious of all of your advice since I'm new to wrapping my head around so much of this. And, boy, there is a lot.
Thismama, you're right, heartache is part of it for everyone. Esp the kids. And, in case I mistyped, DP does not NOT pay CS at all when he has them, he just factors some things in (food, etc) and they've come to an agreed $ amount for those individual weeks. Not no $, just some reduction.
Who moved away? Well... they lived, married and bore their kids here (US - she's British). After a few years (for more reasons than I'm sure I know without talking directly to her about it) she said she had to be around her family. She took both kids and moved home to the UK. They weren't divorcing or even necessarily seperating - she knew DP would follow. It took him 2 months to close up his life here and pack and he moved. They lived there for 3+ years. Then, as happens (after a mutually personal loss) they were no longer compatible. He decided to move home for many reasons - family (after a tough loss and now a seperation), cheaper to live etc. Still trying to make it work she came back a few months later, with kids, and moved into his house trying to make it work. That lasted 2 weeks, she left for home again.
So, it's sort of tough to say who left whom and on what soil the kids "belong". Though, she eventually made it clear that she wanted them on UK soil only - she threw out their US passports. Honestly she thought that by doing so they were no longer "Americans". (In a post 9/11 world he really doesn't want to travel with them w/o US passports). He would never take them away from their mother (though she took them away from him). So, this is now our reality and we're just trying to make it work. He wants to see his kids, at least 3 - 4 times a year, unfortunately to do that means lots and lots of logistical and financial hopscotch.
Wow, sorry so long. This is getting tougher and more stressful everyday. $ and CS is never an issue and he provides for his children. It's just in times of travel to actually see them that it becomes something that hopefully both of them can discuss as adults. Luckily so far they've both been able to.
Thanks for letting me vent.
post #19 of 31
Actuslly, it is a standard part of my state's CS policy, and written into the visitation/support court documents from the divorce that during the summer when we have the kids for entire weeks , that during those weeks, the child support is one-half the usual amount. this is because the mom still needs to upkeep certain expenses for the children (like she still has to pay rent, utilities that month, etc, even though the kids are not there) but certain other expenses (like food) will be significantly less for her during those time periods. I guess I assumed that was standard everywhere, but I guess not.
post #20 of 31
We will have DSD for the entire month of August and there is no stipulation for a lower amount of child support for that month. OTOH, we didn't ask the judge for it.

I think that paying half would be fair, but paying the whole amount is not - we will have to pay travel expenses and pay for day care while DSD is here, plus the child support. And we will need to essentially buy her a complete wardrobe which she will use for a month and outgrow by next year. Travel expenses + daycare + extra food + clothing = Goodbye, vacation money. Well, we can afford a camping trip.

anyway. We know that DSD's biomom would have a hard time without that money, as she has no income, so we will pay it. It's over half of her rent.
I guess what I'm saying is, I don't feel it's "fair" but that's just the way it is, so we suck it up.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Kids coming to visit and child support