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What do you wish you had in your parenting agreement... - Page 2

post #21 of 34
Just wanted to weigh in on the child support discussion. I understand that my views might not be popular, but I do think they are valid...

So to preface, in my opinion:

Child support is just that - support.

It is not intended to cover all expenses of the child.

It is unreasonable to expect a non-custodial parent to live up to fully support two households.

Child support is not a reward to CP for being a single parent or for having had to suffer injustices during the now failed relationship, etc.

Custodial parents (bolded)are still responsible for a significant portion of the costs associated with raising a child once the CP and NCP separate. It is not the NCP’s responsibility to pay ALL costs and it should not be ever. It was a joint effort in making the child, so it follows that it is a joint effort in taking financial responsibility for the child – male or female – CP or NCP.

In terms of what child support should cover, a mortgage/rent payment is somewhat negligible, since the CP would still have to provide housing for him/herself if he/she did not have children. I do understand that having a child may necessitate having a *larger* dwelling (i.e., an additional bedroom) and it is my opinion that HALF of the difference(underlined) should be considered the NCP’s responsibility. For example, (assuming both parents make about the same income) if CP lives in an apartment complex where a one bedroom apartment costs $500 per month to rent while a two bedroom apartment costs $650 per month to rent, then NCP should be responsible for half of the difference - $75. For a CP who receives $750 per month in child support for example, that leaves PLENTY of money left over per month for clothing, food, AND extras. If NCP makes less than CP, his/her contribution should be lower (maybe 40/60) and the same should apply in the opposite direction.

I think itemizing child support is a very good idea. NCP’s are not and should never be held responsible for the mismanagement of funds on the part of the CP. Living expenses of the custodial parent need to be paid by the custodial parent – NOT by the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent needs to pay his/her car note, his/her rent, his/her utilities. These are expenses he/she would otherwise be responsible for. The expense of the addition of a child’s use of electricity, water, garbage, etc. in a household is most often trivial in comparison to support received. If someone were to actually calculate it penny for penny, I think custodial parents would be highly disappointed with the result. Outside of what actual additional expenses come along with having a child live at home full or part time, the child’s (not the parent’s) needs should always be met first.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
Just wanted to weigh in on the child support discussion. I understand that my views might not be popular, but I do think they are valid...

So to preface, in my opinion:

Child support is just that - support.

It is not intended to cover all expenses of the child.

It is unreasonable to expect a non-custodial parent to live up to fully support two households.

Child support is not a reward to CP for being a single parent or for having had to suffer injustices during the now failed relationship, etc.

Custodial parents (bolded)are still responsible for a significant portion of the costs associated with raising a child once the CP and NCP separate. It is not the NCP’s responsibility to pay ALL costs and it should not be ever. It was a joint effort in making the child, so it follows that it is a joint effort in taking financial responsibility for the child – male or female – CP or NCP.

In terms of what child support should cover, a mortgage/rent payment is somewhat negligible, since the CP would still have to provide housing for him/herself if he/she did not have children. I do understand that having a child may necessitate having a *larger* dwelling (i.e., an additional bedroom) and it is my opinion that HALF of the difference(underlined) should be considered the NCP’s responsibility. For example, (assuming both parents make about the same income) if CP lives in an apartment complex where a one bedroom apartment costs $500 per month to rent while a two bedroom apartment costs $650 per month to rent, then NCP should be responsible for half of the difference - $75. For a CP who receives $750 per month in child support for example, that leaves PLENTY of money left over per month for clothing, food, AND extras. If NCP makes less than CP, his/her contribution should be lower (maybe 40/60) and the same should apply in the opposite direction.

I think itemizing child support is a very good idea. NCP’s are not and should never be held responsible for the mismanagement of funds on the part of the CP. Living expenses of the custodial parent need to be paid by the custodial parent – NOT by the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent needs to pay his/her car note, his/her rent, his/her utilities. These are expenses he/she would otherwise be responsible for. The expense of the addition of a child’s use of electricity, water, garbage, etc. in a household is most often trivial in comparison to support received. If someone were to actually calculate it penny for penny, I think custodial parents would be highly disappointed with the result. Outside of what actual additional expenses come along with having a child live at home full or part time, the child’s (not the parent’s) needs should always be met first.
Good points! You know, ours is high enough that I forget that in theory their mom is supposed to support them, too! lol

Oh, and for the agreement, be clear about the tax deduction! Even though we pay all the support, she gets both deductions...

Also, some states require an insurance policy (paid for by NCP again!) with kids' mom as beneficiary, on the support payments. I think that is absurd. If I were receiving support, it would be my responsibility to pay for a policy to cover the payments if something happened to the NCP, not his. Further, if you want insurance policies, they should go both ways. I mean, if DH couldn't pay support she'd need money -- that is definitely true. But if something happened to her then he'd be raising the kids alone, and without her paying support, so wouldn't he need money in that case too? But, of course, the state must assume on some level that NCP makes much more or somehow wouldn't need child support, I guess, as they don't require the insurance to go both ways.
post #23 of 34
I would want an agreement that both parents will stay in the same geographical area. We had no agreement and now DSD lives 5 hours away. We went from having her 10 nights a month to every second long weekend and half of school holidays.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
Just wanted to weigh in on the child support discussion. I understand that my views might not be popular, but I do think they are valid...

So to preface, in my opinion:

Child support is just that - support.

It is not intended to cover all expenses of the child.

It is unreasonable to expect a non-custodial parent to live up to fully support two households.

Child support is not a reward to CP for being a single parent or for having had to suffer injustices during the now failed relationship, etc.

Custodial parents (bolded)are still responsible for a significant portion of the costs associated with raising a child once the CP and NCP separate. It is not the NCP’s responsibility to pay ALL costs and it should not be ever. It was a joint effort in making the child, so it follows that it is a joint effort in taking financial responsibility for the child – male or female – CP or NCP.

In terms of what child support should cover, a mortgage/rent payment is somewhat negligible, since the CP would still have to provide housing for him/herself if he/she did not have children. I do understand that having a child may necessitate having a *larger* dwelling (i.e., an additional bedroom) and it is my opinion that HALF of the difference(underlined) should be considered the NCP’s responsibility. For example, (assuming both parents make about the same income) if CP lives in an apartment complex where a one bedroom apartment costs $500 per month to rent while a two bedroom apartment costs $650 per month to rent, then NCP should be responsible for half of the difference - $75. For a CP who receives $750 per month in child support for example, that leaves PLENTY of money left over per month for clothing, food, AND extras. If NCP makes less than CP, his/her contribution should be lower (maybe 40/60) and the same should apply in the opposite direction.

I think itemizing child support is a very good idea. NCP’s are not and should never be held responsible for the mismanagement of funds on the part of the CP. Living expenses of the custodial parent need to be paid by the custodial parent – NOT by the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent needs to pay his/her car note, his/her rent, his/her utilities. These are expenses he/she would otherwise be responsible for. The expense of the addition of a child’s use of electricity, water, garbage, etc. in a household is most often trivial in comparison to support received. If someone were to actually calculate it penny for penny, I think custodial parents would be highly disappointed with the result. Outside of what actual additional expenses come along with having a child live at home full or part time, the child’s (not the parent’s) needs should always be met first.
You have said it much better than I obviously did and came up with a few points I left out.

Tax Deduction- Yes, I forgot about that one. DH doesn't get to claim any of his children which isn't exactly fair.
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I would want an agreement that both parents will stay in the same geographical area. We had no agreement and now DSD lives 5 hours away. We went from having her 10 nights a month to every second long weekend and half of school holidays.
I can see why you would write that, but I'd feel like I was in jail if I couldn't leave the area. Maybe the one who leaves, though, could pay some reasonable amount of travel costs? In our case, the parent they live with more had to stay put unless we agreed to let her move (or unless a judge did), but I thought that was unfair to her. I mean, what if someone has to move for their job (like my husband is)?
post #26 of 34
Hi ladies..I'm new (intro post to follow!) but I had to weigh in on this one...as to the right of first refusal, I totally wish dh had that in his agreement with ex...she dropped dsd with her grandparents for 10 days while she went on vacation...without every mentioning the vacation to us at all! : luckily we found out early on when dsd mentioned something about it while at our house, but still!

the phone call situation sounds very familiar as well...while we would never tell dsd that she couldn't call her mom, her mom will often (thought not always) call our house every day of visitation just to tell her how much she misses her, how she can't wait to see her, the fun things she's going to do when she gets back/the fun things she has bought her while she's been going, etc....total guilt trip/interruption of our time! It never fails to make dsd upset, at least for a few minutes.

Sorry for the rant...we do get along, at least on the surface, but this thread really hit home!
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
Hi ladies..I'm new (intro post to follow!) but I had to weigh in on this one...as to the right of first refusal, I totally wish dh had that in his agreement with ex...she dropped dsd with her grandparents for 10 days while she went on vacation...without every mentioning the vacation to us at all! : luckily we found out early on when dsd mentioned something about it while at our house, but still!
On the right of first refusal, it makes sense in some cases, but we were told by our lawyer it was good we didn't have it, as it could have caused trouble when I watched the kids. He advised us that once married I would "count" but before we got married I wouldn't. But then he checked and we don't have it anyway. Just be careful on the language of it, and make sure to clarify if partners count and whether they have to be married.

But when we lived in the same town as their mom, the right of first refusal was basically followed, as each parent was happy to hand them over when they needed a sitter.
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I would want an agreement that both parents will stay in the same geographical area. We had no agreement and now DSD lives 5 hours away. We went from having her 10 nights a month to every second long weekend and half of school holidays.
Luckily, our state has pretty strict language on this one due to a recent change of the law. The person wanting to move the child has to prove that it would benefit the child more to move than staying put would.

If we put a right of first refusal clause in, I have a feeling that DSD would be here 75% of the time. Which would be a good thing.:
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMiller View Post

If police are called at either house they other house should be notified, especially if its a domestic violence situation. Same goes for CPS calls.

I could probably come up with more but, I don't want this to turn into a humongous vent.
The police/cps thing would be great, if possible. When CPS has been called on the ex, we get no info about it because it isn't our household. This just seems wrong to me!

We have a line about mom shall not consume illegal drugs or alcohol 8 hours prior to or during visitation which has been very important for us.

I think we should have had some restrictions on dss being driven by the ex's friends. Is it unreasonable that those providing transportation should have a license and insurance?
post #30 of 34
we are now going through our second round with the mediator on the agreement.
what I didn't like about the first agreement....
Dh to do 95% of the driving ( we live 2.5 hours one way)
bio mom to make 100% of the decison making
bio mom to decide on the 'extra' 6 weekends a year
bio mom to have be able to plan an extended holiday while the kids are off school
bio mom to have EVERY christmas eve/day

so we are off to mediation again at $100 an hour to try to get bm off her high horse, the problem being the mediator is on bm's side.
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
Just wanted to weigh in on the child support discussion. I understand that my views might not be popular, but I do think they are valid...

So to preface, in my opinion:

Child support is just that - support.

It is not intended to cover all expenses of the child.

It is unreasonable to expect a non-custodial parent to live up to fully support two households.

Child support is not a reward to CP for being a single parent or for having had to suffer injustices during the now failed relationship, etc.

Custodial parents (bolded)are still responsible for a significant portion of the costs associated with raising a child once the CP and NCP separate. It is not the NCP’s responsibility to pay ALL costs and it should not be ever. It was a joint effort in making the child, so it follows that it is a joint effort in taking financial responsibility for the child – male or female – CP or NCP.

In terms of what child support should cover, a mortgage/rent payment is somewhat negligible, since the CP would still have to provide housing for him/herself if he/she did not have children. I do understand that having a child may necessitate having a *larger* dwelling (i.e., an additional bedroom) and it is my opinion that HALF of the difference(underlined) should be considered the NCP’s responsibility. For example, (assuming both parents make about the same income) if CP lives in an apartment complex where a one bedroom apartment costs $500 per month to rent while a two bedroom apartment costs $650 per month to rent, then NCP should be responsible for half of the difference - $75. For a CP who receives $750 per month in child support for example, that leaves PLENTY of money left over per month for clothing, food, AND extras. If NCP makes less than CP, his/her contribution should be lower (maybe 40/60) and the same should apply in the opposite direction.

I think itemizing child support is a very good idea. NCP’s are not and should never be held responsible for the mismanagement of funds on the part of the CP. Living expenses of the custodial parent need to be paid by the custodial parent – NOT by the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent needs to pay his/her car note, his/her rent, his/her utilities. These are expenses he/she would otherwise be responsible for. The expense of the addition of a child’s use of electricity, water, garbage, etc. in a household is most often trivial in comparison to support received. If someone were to actually calculate it penny for penny, I think custodial parents would be highly disappointed with the result. Outside of what actual additional expenses come along with having a child live at home full or part time, the child’s (not the parent’s) needs should always be met first.
I see what you are saying, but it is not the philosophy of my state. They break it down by parenting time and income. For example, dh has custody, so everyone assumes we receive CS, but to the courts:

Dh has dss 75% of the time. Dh makes 100% of dss's income. Therefore, dh should be responsible for 100% of dss's expenses so we owe $ to the NCP.

I know that some states make it a flat percentage of payer's income, but I think most (?) subtract for time with child. The amount we pay is based on income and time. I think it sucks that we pay at all, but I understand the philosophy.

I do think mortages, rent, utilities, etc should be included (and are) because I know that dss's mother would be sharing a studio apartment with her sister instead of renting a 1 bedroom house if she didn't have dss. She woldn't worry about keeping food inthe kitchen or if she had a phone. Her expenses would be much different, I grudgingnly admit .

Anyway.

I think we should have also added something about splitting non-covered medical expenses.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Dh has dss 75% of the time. Dh makes 100% of dss's income. Therefore, dh should be responsible for 100% of dss's expenses so we owe $ to the NCP.
Maybe I should PM this, but Flor, in CA they should be calculating mom's earning potential as her income, using minimum wage at 40 hrs/wk. That's what they did for my husband when he was a stay-at-home parent. So even though he didn't have an income, they calculated a minimum income for him. It is at their descretion, but it's my understanding that it's pretty standard.
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post
Maybe I should PM this, but Flor, in CA they should be calculating mom's earning potential as her income, using minimum wage at 40 hrs/wk. That's what they did for my husband when he was a stay-at-home parent. So even though he didn't have an income, they calculated a minimum income for him. It is at their descretion, but it's my understanding that it's pretty standard.

She's on SSI for a mental condition. It is just about the ONLY way you can use "0" as income. Stinks.
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I see what you are saying, but it is not the philosophy of my state. They break it down by parenting time and income. For example, dh has custody, so everyone assumes we receive CS, but to the courts:

Dh has dss 75% of the time. Dh makes 100% of dss's income. Therefore, dh should be responsible for 100% of dss's expenses so we owe $ to the NCP.

I know that some states make it a flat percentage of payer's income, but I think most (?) subtract for time with child. The amount we pay is based on income and time. I think it sucks that we pay at all, but I understand the philosophy.

I do think mortages, rent, utilities, etc should be included (and are) because I know that dss's mother would be sharing a studio apartment with her sister instead of renting a 1 bedroom house if she didn't have dss. She woldn't worry about keeping food inthe kitchen or if she had a phone. Her expenses would be much different, I grudgingnly admit .

Anyway.

I think we should have also added something about splitting non-covered medical expenses.
Yikes. That's a really, really raw deal.

There are extremes in both directions of course - and that's where gray area comes in. I'm sure you know my point of view was aimed specifically to address the more average block of the spectrum - those who *think* their situations are extreme, but aren't by any real stretch of the imagination.

There are circumstances in which everything that can be done within reason has been tried and shown to be unsuccessful for reasons beyond anyone's control. But most often what I see are people who have a difficult time seeing the situation beyond their own emotional hang ups and who for whatever reasons are unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their contribution to the lack of harmony in their blended family/co-parenting relationships.

Money has a way of skewing people's perceptions beyond reason and logic – and bringing out the worst in people – especially when there are feelings of entitlement involved. I think people in these situations realize on an intuitive level that one can’t place a dollar amount on feelings of resentment, abandonment, hurt, jealousy, and loneliness – but those feelings are so real that they need validation. When that validation doesn’t come in the form of action or words from the former spouse/partner (or does, but doesn’t meet the expectations of the recipient) money (in the mind of the forlorn) becomes the substitute.

But clearly your circumstance doesn't fall into that category.

That said, dss is awfully lucky to have you guys.

mamma
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