Originally Posted by Flor
Yup. dh is court ordered to pay for 100% of dss expenses even though we have him in this house over 75% of the time (the mom is bipolar and her doc says she can't work).
Yeah. What I'd said was:
|If the parents want to work out some alternate deal, fine, but if not, then half and half it should be, barring medically recognized income-limiting disability.
If xh loses his disability and can't pull it together, then obviously I'm going to be on the hook for more than half. I am now, for that matter. There's nothing you can do about involuntary problems that can't be insured against.
JSMa, if it's appropriate to share the tax credit/exemption, then this is something that the NCP's lawyer needs to negotiate in the decree. But keep in mind that in general, CPs have far higher child-related expenses than NCPs do, esp. if you look at it as percentage of income. I'm aware that there may be exceptions, esp. as you move more toward shared custody (and that's reflected in c/s in my state). If a CP has the child most of the time, though, the major cost isn't in food, or utilities, or what have you. It's in the impact on the freedom to work and go to school.
Starting in August, for instance, I'll need to make sure that dd gets dropped off at school and picked up on time, every day. The before/after-school care program has a 3-year waiting list, and there is no overflow program available. I know from unhappy experience that I can't rely on babysitters to show up when they say they will, so I can't hire someone to do drop-off/pick-up and bring dd to her after-school daycare. Dd's too young for me to hand her cab fare. So I'll have to go get her at 3 pm 4 days a week; 2 pm one day a week. How many professional-wage employers will let you leave for an hour mid-afternoon, every single day, to go ferry your kid from school to daycare? Not too many. (Can you imagine that in your buyer's job? The person would either have to be very low or very high on the totem pole.) The odds drop lower when you explain that no, you can't do flextime, because you have to bring the kid to school at 8:25 am, and you really can't get to work much before 9. There are also required classes I can't take, because they conflict either with drop-off or pickup times. I'll just have to wait on those till a spot opens in the before/after-care program or another alternative comes up. And obviously there are jobs that aren't even in the realm of possibility. I can't take a job that requires travel, or my presence in the evenings, or overtime, because I have no reliable childcare outside daycare hours.
Luckily, I can make a living working freelance, so I can work around the obstacles by finishing my work at night, after dd is in bed, unless she's sick. Not every CP can do that, though, and for those who can't, they may have to take lower-paid jobs or part-time work in order to manage the parenting job. So there is often a real financial cost to being the CP, one that the NCP doesn't feel to nearly the same extent. Obviously there are other painful costs. But if you're talking strictly about money -- and we are, when we talk about c/s and taxes -- the CP takes the harder hit. Also speaking strictly about the money, the NCP benefits from it; the NCP gets built-in, round-the-clock, reliable, high-quality childcare. That leaves a lot of freedom for work.