This is good feedback.
In our state, C/S is a complicated calculation based on the # of kids, combined income of the parents, who pays for health insurance and childcare, etc. There's a plateau, so a NCP who earns $1 million/year isn't necessarily going to pay more than someone who earns $300,000/year. It's definitely not a percentage of income. That would make it a lot simpler to just say, "OK. That sounds right. Why didn't we do this a long time ago?"
Based on my guess about what he might make, what he's paying is just slightly over the guidelines. But he may be earning twice that. And I really have no idea how his trust funds and investments factor into that - or whether they do at all. Bottom line: what he's paying is quite reasonable, legally, but he could certainly afford to pay more, if he wants to.
I don't think C/S is charity! Please don't let me offend anyone, about that. I simply think what he has paid is fair and I feel uncomfortable taking more. Why?
* This definitely reflects on the growing disparity between our lifestyles and him "worrying whether we're OK". He's moving from a huge house into a mansion, right now. He vacations with the kids all over the world. He can buy them anything they want. We're just average. And I don't want him - or our kids - to think there's something fundamentally wrong with that, which needs to be fixed. When he and I had our first apartment together after college and he was supporting himself for the 1st time in his life, he was literally depressed and skulking for a couple of weeks because we couldn't afford to buy one of the 1st digital cameras - which were $800 for 1 megapixel, back then. It wasn't that he would've bought one, if we'd had the money. It was silly to spend top dollar on new technology before they worked out the kinks - and he thought so, too. It was that IF he had walked into a store and decided he wanted one, he couldn't have it, because he didn't have enough money. He had never dealt with that before. Can you imagine? I don't want my kids to be like that. I think it's healthy for them to be exposed to normal life, with me. Sure, it'd be nice if our normal life were a little easier, sometimes. But what I perceive as my ex's attitude that it must be desperate and worrisome that we can't afford all he can afford makes me feel icky.
* He tends to feel like when he applies money to something, he should be in control of it. I don't want to overstate that. So far, this hasn't been an issue - or what issue there was, I nipped in the bud years ago. Again, I feel like what he has paid so far is reasonable. It's his obligation. I haven't felt guilty or indebted, for accepting it. I think I might, if he paid more. I also wonder if there's something he's looking to take control of. But I guess I'll only know that after I talk to him.
* For better or worse, my husband and I don't separate out our money: this is for MY kids, YOUR income can go toward your kid. That might be proper, legally. But how could we really be a family, that way? Some months, child support has been more than what my husband and I bring in, together. And there's no child support for my step-son. I can't spend more on the twins in a month than I do on the rest of the family, combined! So, although the twins comprise only 1/3 of the family, sometimes child support has covered more than 1/3 of the bills. That's not where we want to remain, but right now it's reality. But obviously, it was my choice to double the size of my family, not my ex's. So I feel funny about him being an even larger source of our family's income, regardless of the circumstances.
As far as my husband...??? Sometimes he gets touchy and assumes that if I mention something my ex and his wife have or did, that I'm wishing we could have or do that, and finding him wanting for not being able to provide it. Which really isn't true. Sure, everyone wishes they could live free from worries about money and I'm no saintlier than anyone else. But there are things my ex's wife tolerates, being married to him, which I would not want to live with. I don't ever wish I could trade places with her. And I knew my husband was in a financially difficult place, when I married him. It was from fighting for his son, which I believe he was right to do. And I believe we'll be more financially comfortable, eventually. Anyway, I expect he will be touchy about the thought of taking more money from my ex and I just don't want to have that conversation again, where I feel like I'm having to prove I don't wish I were married to someone else. It's been a long time since that's come up and I'd prefer to keep it that way!
The idea of putting the extra money in savings for them is good.
One woman in a house full of men: my soul mate: or... twin sons:(HS juniors) ... step-son: (a freshman) ... our little man: (a kindergartener) ... and there is another female in the house, after all: our.