DSD coming to stay with us this summer. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Very surprising... DSD's Mom and H talked about it as DSD asked to spend more time with her sister. And we found out this weekend DSD will be staying with us this summer, minus three weeks of vacation/camps that her Mom has planned for her.

I hope it goes okay. I'm not even thinking about it much right now. Too stressed with other things.


One thing I am interested in is if anyone else does this and if it changes CS at all. H plans on telling his ex that he won't be paying her CS for the time DSD is with us. He doesn't plan on asking ex for any money.

DSD will have to go to daycare at least 2-3 hours a day with her sister. H is required to pay half of daycare costs throughout the year... so why would ex not have the same responsibility? Just curious.

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#2 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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Is there a support order in place? If so, that order governs unless/until it's changed in court.

Otherwise, different states have different rules, and even different cases in the same state can work differently.

My husband pays CS year round but it's based on total overnights per year, so the summer is already factored in. Further, all work- or school-related child care--whether it's while SD is at mom's or at dad's--gets split (though in reality, we pay for all of camp because Mom's usually pretty paycheck-to-paycheck and Mom thinks we should just send SD to the cheapest camp, which let's just say we'd get what we paid for if we did that.).

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#3 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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Based on the laws here (but of course you should check your own), C/S is calculated as an annual amount owed and divided into equal monthly (or weekly or bi-weekly) payments throughout the year, regardless which parts of the year the child spends with the parent paying the support.

That may sound counterintuitive, but of course C/S is meant to cover a portion of regular monthly expenses like health insurance and mortgage payments/rent on the child's primary residence - expenses which do not cease to exist just because the child spends an extended time at the non-residential parent's house. Therefore, it's considered better for the CP to receive reliable, predictable payments every month than to receive larger payments some months and no payments at all, other months, because the child is with the NCP.

Certainly, the percentage of the year that your stepdaughter spends with you and your husband (and you guys thus provide for many of her expenses directly) is an important factor in determining the amount of annual support owed. And having her live primarily with you in the summer is probably a "signficant change in circumstances" that would warrant an adjustment in the C/S amount.

BUT:
* You should petition the court for a modification - and wait for a ruling - before changing what you pay, and
* As long as Mom is the residential parent, you should probably expect to keep making payments even while your SD's with you - even if they wind up being smaller payments.

Just because Mom agrees to do something that contradicts the court orders - especially if she only agrees verbally - that doesn't legally excuse your husband from following the court orders.

Based on your previous posts, I think the new arrangement may be good for your SD - and it's encouraging that she wants to spend more time with your daughter! Best of luck.

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#4 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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Yep. It's divided up to be payed year round. I'm sure her mother will be responsible for half of daycare...like normal and your dh may be able to negotiate a reduction for the increased time but he can't just not pay his child support.
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#5 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, they don't go through child services for the child support amount. It's always been decided between the two of them by word.

I do understand that rent etc doesn't just dissappear because she is with us... but um, either does ours. lol Not meant to be snarky.

I don't really see why H should have to pay 1/3 of his pay while DSD is staying with us.

I'm not honestly trying to screw anyone over here... but we pay a pretty hefty amount of CS year round, and quite honestly... if we continue to pay the CS amount plus DSD's childcare amount over the summer... we can't afford it. The money is not there. I don't think that should mean she doesn't get to stay with us because we can't afford to send money to her Mom while she isn't there and pay for all expenses of having her too.

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#6 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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I think that your dsd's mom would still be responsible for half of daycare (not sure why she wouldn't be?) Since you have never gone through the "system" I assume that your dh and dsd's mom could definitely agree that he wouldn't pay over the summer-and I agree that he shouldn't have to since summers with you have never been factored into the child support amount (or so I am assuming, since this is something new). Is the visitation schedule court-ordered or is that just an agreement as well? Either way, I would make sure to get any and all changes re: visitation/child support in writing just in case. Will dsd's mom be getting visitaiton during the summer besides those three weeks (i.e. EOW)? This sounds like a big change and I hope everything goes smoothly-especially since I see you are expecting again-congratulations! Sounds like a big step from dsd since she was previously having a tough time with it all.

I hope they can come to an agreement!

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#7 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, they basically decide visitation verbally as well. There was standard guidelines in the divorce decree, but they both agreed that it was a bit ridiculous and have both been very flexible with each other on changing the visit schedule as needed, or dependant on how DSD was handling it.

H has never had DSD for more than a long weekend before, so yes this is something very knew.

DSD has been telling her Mom and us for the past couple months how much she misses her sister over the week. And her Mom has told me that when they have their girls only outings that she always asks or says that she wishes DD and I were there too. Her Mom and I have been talking about making that happen.

DSD is extremely excited about coming for the summer and has been telling everyone according to her Mom.

And yes her Mom will see her EOW as well over the summer.

We have actually been getting DSD a little more than usual since DSD's Mom and her BF broke up. This will be our third weekend in a row having her, even though DSD's Mom had us switch this past weekend because she had wanted DSD all of Easter weekend, but then at pick up yesterday she asked if she could drop her off Thursday night and pick her up Saturday morning.

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#8 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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Have you considered getting a court-mandated child support order? My ex pays 20% of his net income a month in child support... 1/3 of your husband's earnings sounds like a lot, period.

My ex is supposed to pay year-round, but we agreed that he wouldn't pay during the summer, when our daughter is with him for two months, and that he'd pay for her extended-day camp instead (which is much more per month than her child support).
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#9 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We don't have the money to take her to court. Plus we are too afraid too because H actually has a better paying job now than he did when the amount was determined. Though the amount takes into consideration his responsibility for full time daycare, though she is not in full time care anymore, as she goes to school... but her Mother decided to send her to a private school, and regardless that he wasn't part of that decision, he could still be made to pay half her private school expenses.

We are afraid we'd be ordered to pay more than what we do now because of all of that... and we honestly cannot afford to do that. So we keep paying what we are...

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#10 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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Well our situation is a little different, but I'll tell you for perspective. Last summer we wanted to send DSD to a 3 week special interest camp in our city. DP and her mom agreed it was a great opportunity and that they would split the cost of the camp, we would pay the cost of the after care program (we work full time) and DSD would stay with us the entire time. We normally have her every weekend. Her mom works part time while she is in school. When the topic of CS came up she went ballistic so we just sucked it up. This year we (and mom too) saved up in advance so this summer won't be as difficult financially, but yeah, we've dropped the CS argument and just pay as usual. However, we do go through the system and adjusting CS without a court order is a really bad idea anyway. Because we are planning in advance this year it will be easier. If we weren't going through the system I'd be sure to get any changes in writing and signed. We all get along right now, but I don't trust DSD's mom 100% and doing something verbally means a couple years from now she can 'forget' about agreeing to it.

All that said, it sounds like your family gets along really well. If it wouldn't be too much of a strain and it might cause friction, it might be better to leave it alone. However, it sounds like it would be a big financial strain. In which case, can H sit down with her mom and have a rational conversation about this? Maybe they can come to some other agreement of some kind of reduction in CS?

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#11 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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"Well, they don't go through child services for the child support amount. It's always been decided between the two of them by word. "

Seriously?

In that case, yes, you should drop it over the summer.

I feel like this whole situation is so volatile that I don't even know what's the right advice to give, but in an EOW blended family situation that was normal and friendly with no possible abuse issues in the dad's home, I'd say that people with a verbal agreement have the privilege of dropping CS payments when the kid moves in with the NCP for the summer, and resuming them in the fall. I'd also say that such people should figure out what a court WOULD order in their situation, and pay exactly that much and no more, and not pay any school fees etc. that were not court-ordered. If the CP wanted more money, then she could negotiate more money in return for more physical custody. I'd FURTHER say that the dad and stepmom should offer to KEEP paying support EVEN IF the dsd were to continue living with them after the summer, because having the dsd in a stable situation would be their #1 priority, and if the mom were willing to basically sell her then the dad should be willing to pay.

That's what I'd tell a healthy, happy blended family. Honest to God, I don't know what to tell you
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#12 of 19 Old 03-29-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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I thought you were leaving?
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#13 of 19 Old 03-30-2010, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't leave at this moment in time... I can't for many personal reasons, but I do have my plans secured away in notes at work for future reference. This isn't about my emotionally abusive H or wether I should leave now, yesterday or tomorrow. Thanks.


And for the record, DSD's Mom does know everything that is going on because her and I had a heart to heart on the phone twice in the past month and she still made the decision to send her DD here for the summer.

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#14 of 19 Old 04-01-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
And for the record, DSD's Mom does know everything that is going on because her and I had a heart to heart on the phone twice in the past month and she still made the decision to send her DD here for the summer.
JSMa, can you find some other friends that you can confide in, instead of people who are in the middle of the situation? I can only imagine that this will eventually blow up in your face. Perhaps join a moms club?

There are child support calculators online, just do a search. In Florida, it's completely based on salary, and has nothing to do with other expenses (private school etc.). The last time I looked, for a many who made $75,000 a year, it was $800 per child.

I have no idea what sort of income your husband makes but 1/3 of his salary sounds way off.
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#15 of 19 Old 04-01-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverSky View Post

I have no idea what sort of income your husband makes but 1/3 of his salary sounds way off.
But does that include childcare? And is it 1/3 of gross, or net pay? In NY, for one child, I believe it's 18% of gross pay and that does NOT include childcare expenses or medical, IIRC. Also, per my lawyer, here, the NCP would not automatically be required to pay for private school. My X specifically put into our agreement that he would NOT pay for private school, and my lawyer pretty much said that it would be very unlikely that a judge would order him to pay without some very specific compelling reason. Same goes for private college.
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#16 of 19 Old 04-02-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Well, they don't go through child services for the child support amount. It's always been decided between the two of them by word.

I do understand that rent etc doesn't just dissappear because she is with us... but um, neither does ours...
Sorry - I jumped to the conclusion there was a court order. If not, you're in the clear - especially since the ex agreed to it.

There's no perception that you're trying to "screw over" the ex. You've mentioned before that your husband pays a high percentage of his income in C/S. It's quite likely that what he pays during the non-summer months adds up to what he would owe for the whole year (or more), based on conventional court calculations. You don't depict him as someone who's trying to weasel out of supporting his kid, nor do you come across as a wife who's pushing her husband to do so. My initial concern was simply that Mom might agree verbally now because it's convenient for her to let you guys pay for summer childcare, but if there were conflict later, she might cry "deadbeat" to win points against your husband in court. But with no C/S order in place, she can't exactly do that.

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#17 of 19 Old 04-06-2010, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I confided in DSD's Mom because I felt she had a right to know what was going on around her DD and that she should have full information before making a decision to ship her DD to live here this summer. If I have to deal with a Stepmom in the future, I would hope she could be brave enough to call and tell me the same thing so I can make my own educated decision.

While telling her though, she told me how he acted the same way towards her and how he forbid her from even going to the grocery store without him. Things he did to me, that I have since ignored and told him he was crazy for trying to put those restrictions on me.

But her and I actually had some nice chats and we'd like to try to hang out with the girls together, as we think they'd both really like that a lot.

H hasn't hashed out the details of the summer with her yet. He is waiting to do it in person, setting up a meeting with her.

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#18 of 19 Old 04-06-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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"Well, I confided in DSD's Mom because I felt she had a right to know what was going on around her DD and that she should have full information before making a decision to ship her DD to live here this summer. If I have to deal with a Stepmom in the future, I would hope she could be brave enough to call and tell me the same thing so I can make my own educated decision."

I think you did the right thing here. I doubt you "confided" anything she hadn't already made a pretty good guess at. And based on whatever DSD's mom has got going on in her own life, letting DSD come stay with you guys this summer may STILL be the right decision. Sometimes there is no really good choice.


Maybe once you've gotten free and taken H to court to get a formal support and custody order in place, DSD's mom will follow suit. I'm pretty sure all kids and moms involved would be better off with crystal-clear legal guidelines for H to follow.
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#19 of 19 Old 04-07-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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JSMa- I think it took guts to let her know even though you were still sticking around and I know that it would mean a lot to me as a mother that the step-mother was that respectful of my child and myself.
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