Originally Posted by JSMa
I know I'm going to get jumped on here.. but I'm sorry... my personal opinoin houseing costs shoudn't count into figuring out C/S. The NCP has to provide the extra bedroom same as the CP and we certainly don't get help for it.
Well, let's see. My ex pays $600 for a 2br duplex, which around here is an incredible deal -- most 1brs go for about that. But let's say that if he weren't a dad, he'd be able to find a similar steal in a 1 br. His housing cost still wouldn't be more than about an extra $150/mo for her. She sleeps over there once a week, and he feeds her two meals a week. That's his child-related non-med/daycare expenses as an NCP. Mine, about $1335.
In my state, if the NCP is actually providing a home for the child, and the child's spending a significant amount of time there, child support is adjusted accordingly, because it's assumed the costs are higher. If it's shared custody, they calculate c/s for each as if each was the NCP, and the wealthier parent pays the difference between the two.
One thing you might consider is that many, many NCPs do not go to the trouble of keeping an extra bedroom for kids who sleep over twice a month. The kids sleep in the living room, or the dad gives up his bed. When my mom was an NCP, she didn't keep a 2br apt, though after my brother moved back in with her, she did. Nor did my dad, when they were first separated and she was custodial, even though he had enough money for a 2 or 3 br. My brother and I just didn't stay over there often enough to warrant it; we slept in the living room. When the states set up the rules, they deal with average circumstances, not "go the extra mile" circumstances (which is why I had to fight my lawyer to get "yes we will send her to college" provisions in our draft of the decree, which I'd likely have lost if we'd gone to trial).
|What makes me sad... I see DSD in ratty second hand clothes at times, but yet her Mother buys a new Coach bag just about every month, plus travels every other weekend 3 hours away with the lovely gas costs to visit her boyfriend, then whines to us we aren't giving her enough money. Stop buying the outrageously priced purses every month?
JSMa...you're making a packet of unwarranted assumptions, I think, and it's going to end up setting up unnecessary opposition.
Of course your DSD is in ratty second hand clothes. I dress mine that way, too, for everyday. So do my married SAHM friends with six-figure household incomes. There's no point in dressing up kids who're running around playing. Mine's currently outside playing in the dirt. I guarantee you she's not out there in Laura Ashley.
Unless you've seen the receipts, you don't know where those Coach bags are coming from, whether they're real, or who paid for them. Nor do you know who's paying for the gas.
Do I think my ex is paying enough? No, because he's not paying half the cost of raising dd, and frankly I think he ought to be paying for the childrearing inequity, too, but that's not in the realm of political reality. So if I thought it'd do any good, I'd be complaining to him, too. Do I also spend some of the money I earn on nice things for myself? Sure. Am I spending the c/s money on me? No. All of it goes to dd's expenses, and, as mentioned, it does not cover half.
Now, if an outside observer were intent on framing that picture as "evil mom spends lavish c/s on herself and whines for more", all the pieces would look to be there. Evil mom thinks dad doesn't pay enough, dad pays a big lump of money each month, evil mom has nice stuff, kid is dressed in ratty clothes. But does that picture fit reality? No. And if you assume it does, with prejudice and without facts, that's liable to lead to significant and unnecessary friction between two women involved in the life of one child.
The bottom line: It is likely best not to take your frustration about lack of money out on the custodial mother. (The only person on this board I've heard who's clearly justified in that is angilyn, and frankly, even though the ex's behavior is despicable to the point of crime, at bottom it was her husband's responsibility to make sure his credit was disentangled after divorce, and her responsibility to check that he had no major financial bogeymen before getting her own finances involved with his.) Why? First because it's a means of deflecting frustration with your man; second because it's bound to create tension for the child; third because it reflects frustration with the inability to control someone else's behavior instead of deciding what you'll do about your own; and fourth because in the end, you have the power to control your own money. If you don't want to help support another child, nobody but you is making you do it. So to jump in voluntarily, and then complain that it doesn't go the way you like, but refuse either to get out or make peace with it -- to me this is a way of wilfully making unhappiness. I don't see the payoff for anyone. If you just personally don't like
her, that's another story, but don't tangle it up with the money.
Maybe there should be a book for prospective stepmoms that lays out in very blunt terms what they may be buying themselves. Sort of a consumer warning label. I mean I can see from here what you guys go through, and I'd never do it. In-laws are bad enough.