Could be an interesting discussion/debate? (child support) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 43 Old 05-26-2011, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I've been lurking on this section of MDC since I was hoping to discover some good information regarding how to gain custody (if you've read my most previous post on here, you'll know why). Anyhow, I have read a TON of interesting stories, and I feel like I'm stalking all you regular posters since I'm now getting a feel for who's who and the family situations you all have.

 

Throughout my reading of these posts, I have been intrigued so many times by the variety of opinions that this forum holds as far as C/S and the roles of mothers, fathers, and step-parents. However, I've never chimed in since I don't think I would add much substance to any questions. But now I'm posting this thread that's not trying to ask a question (or try to pick a fight) but just to get a better understanding of C/S and why people have certain feelings about it, so I hope anybody will feel free to comment. :)

 

Basically, explain what your situation is, whether your the CP or the NCP and do you pay C/S? What do you feel about having to pay or having your child's other parent pay?

 

The reason this interests me is because I have noticed that the popular opinion is that the NCP must pay C/S to support their child. But it seems there a very few on this forum that would disagree. And in my own personal situation, I would also typically disagree to the "good" C/S is. But I know there's all sorts of crazy situations that REQUIRE C/S which is why I want to know why.

 

My own personal experience is this (which is basically why I'm anti-governemt enforced C/S):

 

I got pg at 15 with my bf at the time who was 17. I had a UC so when the papers got done, he was never "declared" the father or whatever. (ie he's not on the BC, which he is PISSED about and wants me to fix, but now that she's 3.5 yrs, I told him to do it, which he hasn't, so his choice.) I didn't do that on purpose, it was a total accident. I had meant for her to have his last name, and for us to get married eventually, but all that paperwork is harder to do when you have a UC. Anyways, he was always there for me, supported me (not really financially but in raising my daughter), and so three years later when I broke up with him, I felt no need to punish him by demanding C/S from him for a few reasons.

#1 being that I never MADE him pay me for anything before, so why after we split?

#2, I know he was devastated when I ended it because even though he knows it was coming because he refused to ever compromise with me and I got sick of his controlling, condescending attitude, I still felt "sorry" for him since he's basically a good person, just really really dumb. And

#3 I'm perfectly happy with how we work it out now. I consider it a blessing to be raising my daughter, not a "burden" financial or otherwise. I always let him have her when he wanted without paying anything, but after we separated within 3 months he had a few gf's and I started dating 1 guy (I know that was early, but now we're married so it worked out unlike the girls my ex would date) and the moment he found out about my relationship he FLIPPED and started treating me like CRAP. So since then, I have not allowed him to take her whenever he pleases, and if he wants her, he pays me money as well. This is to assure that if he wants to spend time with her, he wont talk $&!^ about her mom. So, in the beginning I never wanted to punish him, but after his deplorable actions I had no other choice. Only, I refuse to get DCS involved because if one day he decides he needs to focus his attention on a new family, why shouldn't he be able to? I will never talk negatively about him to our daughter, but if she asks why he's not around I'll just explain to her that sometimes these things happen. My step-dad raised me and I sure am happy that my bio-dad chose to never interfere. That was the best thing he could've done for me.My step-dad (feels weird referring to him as "step") IS my only father, the other guy just helped by donating sperm haha!

 

The other part of my experience is this: my husband's ex-wife gets C/S from my husband. But NOBODY can convince me that she uses that money for their son. Sorry but she doesn't. She is a person that literally has custody for the sole purpose to get money. Her mother loves my hubby and can't trust her own daughter, but she also loves her grandson so she takes care of him and pays for EVERYTHING! I'm serious, clothes, food, toys, his grandmother buys, not his mother. The boy pretty much lives with his grandma during the week and stays with us Fri-Sun. The mother has custody because she knows that's the only way ANYONE would ever talk to her, it's all about control for her. If we piss her off, she threatens not to let us have him, if her mom pisses her off, she threatens HER that she wont let her have him. This women goes on vacation by herself, never taking her kids. This to me is wrong, because if my husband had custody he would never want money from her. I just hate how (SOME) women use their kids to take advantage, and the court mostly backs them up because they're the mothers and yet the fathers are footed with most of the bill. I can't get over the fact that she spent 5K on busting her most recent bf out of jail and does not spend a penny on her own kids. Her own family cant stand her but support her because they love her kids. Sometimes, women get away with too much.

 

I'm pretty sure somewhere on this forum somebody said that these days women demand 100% control of their bodies, so they should also take 100% responsibility of their decisions. that sort of makes sense to me since it does seem that men get the short-end of the deal most times. However, I'm pro-life so right there, if a guy got me pregnant he better know damn well that NOT having a baby is simply NOT an option. Maybe men should be more picky about what women they're sleeping with, and visa versa. Somebody on this forum also mentioned that guy in Tennessee who has 20+ kids and is accruing some insane debt with the state because of all the back C/S he owes. On one hand, that guy really needs to be taken and sterilized, on the other side... what the hell is wrong with all these women?? They don't really deserve gov assistance when all they do is breed with dead-beat losers.

 

 

 

I hope I didn't offend anybody, cause I'm not criticizing people who get C/S but sort of the system itself, or people who take it to advantage. So if I'm way off base and you think C/S is totally necessary please share why, because I can only judge from my own experience which is why I would never ask for C/S. OMG this was a long post, but I didn't want people to get mad at me for my stance without understanding my reasoning completely! Looking forward to your own views!

 

 


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#2 of 43 Old 05-26-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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I guess for me the question is:

 

Is the child's lifestyle better from receiving CS?

 

There are many people who, depending on where they live/what their education is, can not maintain the same quality of life for their child once the divorce happens.  CS is designed to make sure the child does not suffer monetarily because of divorce.  Should a child have to "pay" for the fact that their parents can not live under the same roof?

 

Yes, your experience is the ex-wife is not taking care of the child to your standards.  The reality is there are many people out there that don't make good parents.  That issue is pretty seperate from what a child deserves.  The ex-wife would probably be making these poor choices whether or not she had a child and whether or not her parents were there to pick her up when she falls.

 

I'm guessing you were lucky, you had a situation - or people - supporting you/your child so you didn't need the extra money to have a roof over your head or food on your table.  If you stop for a moment and picture yourself without that roof/food.  Would your opinion of your exbf paying CS change if your circumstances were that different/dire?

 

I think it's interesting that your so opposed to CS, but you have tied your exbf's visitation to him paying you money.  This is probably off topic, but how is him paying you money ensuring that he won't talk bad about you?  I honestly think it's more unfair to tie those things together, rather than have CS be about monetarily supporting a child and visitation being about emotional connection with the NCP.

 

 

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#3 of 43 Old 05-26-2011, 11:26 PM
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Child support is not about "punishing" the non-custodial parent. It's about making sure children are provided for by the people who created them. As a 16yo girl with a baby, I seriously doubt you were supporting your child on your own. Who has been supporting you and your child for the past 3 years? Rent, groceries, electricity, heat, transportation, clothing, insurance....the list goes on. Someone's been paying for it all, if not the parents of the child.

 

When my ex and I split up, the kids and I would have been on welfare if their dad hadn't contributed financially. Why should taxpayers support my children when their father is perfectly capable? Yes, I get C/S from my ex....for one child now as the other child has aged out....and I am nothing like your husband's ex-wife.

 

Child support and visitation are separate issues. That's one reason courts should be involved....so custodial parents don't play that game.

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#4 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 02:42 AM
 
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My ex and i split with faults on both sides.  However there was NO fault on DD1's part, so she doesn't deserve to be punished.  For her to not receive the support (emotional, mental, and yes, financial) she deserves from one of her parents would, to us (XP and I) be a punishment.  He has hardly any money but he pays some CS to help take care of her needs.

 

His access to her (5x/week with 2overnights/full next days and one afternoon all together as a family) is totally unrelated to the money he can or does pay.  She is not for loan or sale to him.  SHe has a RIGHT to her father, and shouldn't have to miss out because he cannot afford to give me money.  Do i wish he had a job?  Yes.  Do i wish he would provide more fully for her?  Yes.  Could i actually have more (much wanted) kids if he did provide half of her financial needs?  Yes.  But is any of that her fault/responsibility?  No.  She is a child and a child who wants and needs her father's love and care and time.  That is separate from and more important (for us) than money.  I'm sure when she is 17 the choices she makes WRT boys will be based more on how loved and respected her father made her feel, not whether he contributed to buying half of her school uniform every year or not.

 

We don't have the sort of relationship where we fight or even disagree that much.  He gives as much as he can to help support her.  He spends a lot of time with her and thinking of her.  To me whether or not he pays is far less important than how she feels about him and how we all feel about one another.

 

Why must he pay so his daughter can have access to him?  Why do you think he will only have good things to say about you if you make him pay a toll to spend time with his child?

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#5 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 03:18 AM
 
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The concept of child support is based on a couple of assumptions: that the parents were pooling their resources prior to their split, and that minus one parent's resources the child's quality of life will diminish. Child support is aimed to even out that deficit. You said that your ex wasn't paying you before you split up, so why should he start paying you now? If you weren't living together and weren't both paying for things like rent, utilities, and clothes for your child together, then no, he wasn't contributing already. But this is typically a rare situation. Even when two parents weren't living together before their child was born, it's still obvious that children require money to raise, and why shouldn't both parents contribute to the cost? I think there's a moral obligation for the non-custodial parent to contribute their share, even if the custodial parent is rolling in dough. Why? Because there's a duty to take care of your child, and fulfilling that duty will positively affect all areas of interaction with your child. Sometimes we have to do the right thing simply because it's right, even if it isn't necessary.

 

It's an interesting twist that you think child support shouldn't be mandatory, yet you now demand payment if your ex wants to see his child. Perhaps you worded that incorrectly? 

 

I agree that all women should be picky about who they choose to breed with, but if we were all so cognizant, the world would be a vastly different place. People make mistakes. People forget to use protection (as I'm sure you know). People are seduced by wine and a few sweet words. Children shouldn't be punished here, nor should a stupid but virile man lose his testicles because he maxed out the number of kids he can pay for. Life isn't always fair. But when we can -- when we're thoughtful and able and ethically sound -- we can do our duty by our own children, and care for them as best we're able. 

 

I think part of the problem is that money has a bad rap. We all want it, but we also think it's dirty, something that we should rise above. Instead, think of money as just another resource a parent can provide, as valuable as time, attention, and patience. More valuable, even, when you realize that money can put a roof over a child's head and food in their belly. Money can keep a child alive. Why shouldn't a parent contribute to keeping their child alive? Is that too much to ask?

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#6 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 05:17 AM
 
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Child support isn't a punishement... it's for the children, to take care of them, in case you haven't noticed by now, they do cost money to take care of.

 

C/S also has nothing to do with visitation/custody.  Two totally separate issues and should be treated as such.  I don't understand why you are making your ex pay to see your child... that's kind of messed up in my opinion.  Be happy he wants to see your kid!

 

Now as far as governement enforced C/S... sometimes it's necessary so children don't go hungry because someone doesn't feel like paying, or feels they don't have to pay what they should.

 

The system that figures out how much people should pay is very messed up and could use work though.  I can tell you that I get less a week for two kids with medical needs than what my ex used to pay for his eldest child a week that wasn't in full time child care and has no extra medical financial needs.  When it's broken down now, my children are only getting an extra $7/week more than what he is paying to his oldest child.  And my children have full time childcare costs, which are not cheap, and medical needs that I have to pay for every month.  Their eldest sister has no childcare expenses, and no medical needs. 

 

It all boils down to life isn't fair.  So you make the best out of what you have and let go of what you can't control.

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#7 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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1) My ex (we split up ~14 years ago) pays child support for our twin sons (almost 16).  We never went to court over it.  He initially offered an amount that was reasonable and I accepted it.  Recently, he brought up the fact that, in all these years, we had never discussed increasing support, even though his financial situation has improved exponentially during that time.  So he volunteered to pay more and I accepted.  

 

When we split up, he worked a lot.  Plus, he was a young Dad (~24), who had not grown up around toddlers and wasn't that comfortable caring for ours, on his own, for long periods of time - especially since they have special needs (Autism, developmental delays) that he did not understand well.  So, he had them most of the day each Sat., but otherwise they were with me all the time.  The C/S allowed me to choose between putting them in a good daycare program, working, and living very comfortably OR staying home with them full-time and living frugally (but not miserably).  I chose the latter.  

 

So, his C/S supported me, not just the kids.  But I believed (and still do) that they needed an at-home parent focused completely on them...and I couldn't provide that without a way to feed and clothe myself, too...and, let's be honest, occasionally buy myself an interesting book, or go out to lunch or a movie with a friend, to stay sane and balanced while raising special-needs twins on my own!!  So I think our set-up was perfectly fine and appropriate.  Now, the kids spend a lot more time with him, so he could make an argument for paying less support, I guess.  But since he has the money, I still think (and so does he) that it's reasonable for him to pay an amount that allows the kids to do some of the things, with me, that they get to do, with him; rather than him being the "fun" parent and me being the parent who can never afford anything fun.  After all, there's a certain long-term effect on my earning potential, from having devoted so much time to them.  Not that I resent it.  It was the right thing to do.  But it's just a fact.

 

But again, my ex can afford our arrangment.  If he had little education and/or limited job prospects and/or he struggled to make a living during the time I CHOSE to date and risk making babies with him, how could I expect him to provide for us as he did - after our break-up - if he were struggling to keep a decent roof over his own head?  I wonder about this, when I hear some women trash their exes over the amount of support they pay, or the fact that sometimes they're late paying it.  Sure, some dads are irresponsible jerks (but was he also an irresponsible jerk, when you were conceiving children with him?...).  BUT if your ex had a modest income - or a project-based career, like construction, where scattered periods of unemployment are par for the course - did you really expect his whole financial situation to change, once you guys split up and took on the expenses of TWO households, rather than one?

 

Given my ex's resources, it's possible that, early on, I could have fought for more C/S.  But I looked at it this way:  what he offered was reasonable; I wasn't his wife; and if I wanted to live better, later on, then I could start working and make my own money, once the kids were in school.  I didn't feel entitled to "get rich" just because he was, when - for one reason and another - we never actually took vows and married each other.  (FTR, although we've increased C/S recently, it's still not in the "getting rich" category...which is still fine.)

 

2)  When my (now) husband and I started dating, he paid C/S for his son from a previous marriage.  His ex-wife had stayed home with their son and I think the C/S amount may have been based on their finances at that time.  By the time we started seeing each other, their son was in school and she was working and I think their incomes were pretty similar.  Later, when the court revisited the C/S amount, the judge determined my husband had been required to pay too much, for quite some time.  Certainly, there was no retroactive correction, but the court did lower the amount he was ordered to pay, going forward.

 

My husband is in construction (not so much the actual work, but the administrative side), so he may receive what seems (to us) like a huge, lump-sum payment; but who knows how many weeks (or months) it may be, before he has income again?  I felt like his ex-wife's expectations regarding support were very unfair.  He was in the same line of work during their marriage and they did not live any more lavishly than we do, now.  Yet:

 

a)  The monthly C/S she originally requested was outlandish - something pro athletes or A-list actors might be ordered to pay.  Basically, she wanted half the GROSS monthly income of his company (let me stress:  BEFORE buying materials, paying employees, etc.!) and she insisted to the court that was his PERSONAL monthly income.

 

b)  There were periods when he would get behind in C/S, because he was between projects and every cent he normally reserved, to get him through such periods, seemed to get consumed by legal fees.  They were in court almost monthly, for years, either because she abjectly refused to follow their court orders (and he refused to accept going months without seeing his child); or because she made false criminal accusations and he was forced to defend himself.  When he was late in C/S, he did not live comfortably, while shirking payment.  His rent was also late - or, at one point, he lived with his mother - he ate cheaply, etc.; and gave his ex what money he could.  Meanwhile, she was working.  And the minute he got paid again, he caught up C/S before he did anything else.  Yet, she talked about him - to their son, his friends' parents, the judge, shrinks... - as though he was an unrepentant deadbeat who had "abandoned" his child.

 

IMO, that attitude/behavior is clearly wrong, bad for kids and can only make people feel resentful about paying support. 

 

3)  The last 3 years, DH has had sole custody of his son and his ex-wife now lives out of state.  DH requested that she not be ordered to pay C/S at all, so she could spend that money coming here to visit DSS.  However, she was supposed to continue providing DSS's health insurance, which is offered through her employer (DH does not have that benefit) and she was to pay all DSS's transportation costs, to visit her.  

 

But we've done the math.  We know where she stays, when she's here; which airline she flies; what car rental costs.  She has a professional connection with the hotel chain where she stays, so she gets reduced rates there and may also get discounts on airfare and car rental.  But, even if you add up normal rates for those things, the cost of her infrequent visits here does not come close to what she would owe in C/S.  

 

Besides, I don't think anyone envisioned that the ONLY money she'd allocate for visits would be what she'd otherwise pay in support.  That way, in essence, DH pays for all of her visits, by voluntarily forgoing that amount, in support.  If she spent all of that PLUS invested some of her own money, in visiting, she and DSS could spend frequent time together, even if only on weekends.  But, she only spends about half what she'd pay in C/S.  If that.  Plus, she long ago dumped DSS from her health insurance and sometimes she makes DH pay for DSS's plane tix, to visit her (manipulative crap, long story).

 

ANYWAY, DH wants to take her back to court and ask for C/S.  And, considering everything, I think that's perfectly reasonable.

 

4)  You mentioned the assumption that the NCP will always pay support to the CP.  I think generally the idea behind C/S is to approximate the standard of living the child might have enjoyed, if the parents had stayed together, with their incomes and expenses combined; and to buffer situations where, post-divorce, the child lives lavishly when he's with one parent, while the other struggles to provide enough food, or keep the lights on, at their house.  So theoretically, if the CP is a neurosurgeon and the NCP is a janitor, the CP might wind up paying support to the NCP, to ensure that the child has what he/she needs, during visits.  

 

But, the bottom line is some sort of calculation of how much time the child spends with each parent and approximately how much it costs, per day, to have a child with you...which is a hideously complicated thing to calculate!  Not only the cost of hosting a child for a day, but what constitutes a day?  If a kid's in school 8 hrs., asleep 8 hrs. and has a 6-hour visit with her NCP, he certainly didn't have her all day, but he probably paid for more of her needs that day, than the CP did.  Here, the court likes to count "overnights".  But, then if a NCP picks up the kid just before bedtime Fri. and drops her off Sun. morning, that counts as 2 overnights, when the CP really took care of the kids' needs most of Fri. and Sun. and the NCP mostly only did so on Sat.

 

Then you have all the simpler calculations, like who pays how much for insurance, daycare, tuition, etc.

 

5)  I know some members (Smithie) have very interesting, well-reasoned ideas why things would be better if NCPs had the option to exit the picture and leave the CP with all the responsibilities, financial and otherwise, but ALSO leave the CP with the kid, 100%, no drama about sharing time.  Personally, I'm unconvinced.  I think it would work for some couples...but mostly couples who wanted that anyway and can arrange it on their own.  

 

But think of a woman who believes she's in a stable, committed relationship and gets pregnant believing that raising the child will be a joint venture.  Then she finds out the guy's sleeping with someone else, they break up and he decides he'd rather just walk away.  I think she has a right to at LEAST have his financial help in raising the child they conceived TOGETHER.  And if he doesn't like it, someone should remind him that he's an adult; he knew how babies are made and that sometimes they're made by accident.  The time to prevent paying C/S for your own offspring is BEFORE you accidentally conceive, not afterward.  

 

OR a woman who conceives a child with a man who is just as excited about being a parent as she is...but the relationship doesn't work out and she's willing to shoulder the finances alone, if he'll just get out of her life and leave her with HER baby.  I don't think she has a right to deny him fatherhood, if he wants to be involved.  The time to get out of having to share your child with his other parent is BEFORE conception.  Use a sperm bank!  

 

Now, you could argue that if you made everything marriage-contingent, then both genders would go into potentially-reproductive relationships knowing that they can't expect anything of each other, if they break up.  She will keep the baby.  He will keep his money.  Then, you could look at the joint decision to marry as HIS commitment to share his money with her, if they have a child and divorce and HER commitment to share the child with him, if they divorce.  But I think the REAL bottom line is what's best for the child?  If a father WANTS to be involved, shouldn't the child's right to that relationship trump the mother's desire to have the child all to herself?  And isn't it better for the child to have financial support from both parents?  And are the needs of a child born "out of wedlock" (I can never use that word without picturing Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls saying, "W-e-d-l-o-c-k?  What IS wedlock?  Who even uses that word anymore!?) different than the needs of a child born to married parents?

 

Very interesting topic, but if I write anymore, my house will never get clean...

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#8 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, all great responses and I LOL'd because I tried so hard not to sound stupid in my OP (because lets face it, you ladies can be harsh lol) but I managed to do it anyways!

 

OK, this is exactly how it happened. My ex is ecstatic that I've never gone through courts asking for C/S, but the moment he came over to my house and LIED telling my fiance that I effing slept with him after I got together with the fiance... I lost it. I told him that I was sick of being nice (seriously, I let him do ANYTHING he wanted and he treated me horribly, nobody can comprehend what he would do!) I told him that if he wanted to spend time with my daughter than I expect him to act like an adult and not play childish games, and before I slammed the door in his face I told him he could also help pay for supporting her now since he makes it such a PAIN IN THE ASS to deal with him. Whenever my daughter, who's 3 and a very-well behaved little girl, comes back from spending time with him, she's whiny, she mouths off, fights with me, it is really a headache because she never acts like that typically. And so I guess everybody thinks I am just horrible for doing that, but he has taken her since then without giving me money, but he doesn't fight with me about it he just automatically hands me money whenever he asks to see her (rarely). So in my case, I told him to pay as a punishment because I was living with my parents and they supported me, and now with my husband and he supports me, but since he's given me money he hasn't treated me as bad so I think it works.

 

Good points I liked though is that if the father is paying C/S, then the tax-payers wont be held responsible. Among others but I really have to get to class now so you all have a wonderful day! Thanks for helping me get a different perspective.

 

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#9 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 08:54 AM
 
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My mom was the CP and received C/S for me.  She was also CP, received C/S (well, she was supposed to... ) for my younger brother.

 

She never talked badly about my father, although she would tell me the truth about him when asked certain questions.  He was never in my life.  He chose to have nothing to do with me beyond the C/S he was forced to pay.  He asked to meet me one summer when I was 11 but disappeared again.  My brother's father basically never paid child support but he was really abusive so we were just happy he wasn't in our life anymore.  That didn't happen til he was sent to prison and he finally decided to leave us alone once he got out.

 

I know how hard it was for my mom taking care of the two of us alone even with the C/S she received from one parent.  She did need the C/S to care for us and while she is okay not getting money from my brother's dad because at least he wasn't harassing us any longer, she could have used that money.  I KNOW she used the C/S money to care for us.  Even when it went to something just for her (the couple times she took a short vacation alone, fancy new sunglasses, etc) those times were specifically to mentally recharge and boost herself to continue caring for a couple of young, rambunctious kids without a second partner.  She needed something for herself because caring for two kids by yourself can really burn you out, especially when you are only just making ends meet some months.  She didn't abuse getting and doing things for herself, most everything went to us.  It definitely left her exhausted though.  She had to work a lot of overtime sometimes when something like needing the car fixed popped up and sometimes she had to bring us to work at night and sometimes we were there til bedtime.  Had she had the C/S from my brother's father, perhaps she could have worked just a bit less during the harder months and spent just a bit more time with us.  She cared for us really well with what she had and we had all the food and clothes we needed but sometimes we couldn't get enough time... it was either time with her or money to pay rent some months.  Hardly a fair decision for her to make.

 

I can only imagine how much harder for her it would have been without the financial help from my father.  For our personal situation, C/S was a good thing because my mom was barely making it in the early years as it was (through promotions and raises for being basically the BEST in her department - she routinely turns down taking the job boss at this point - she was doing MUCH better when we were older and didn't need the C/S so much) and she most definitely wasn't abusing the financial help.  Almost every penny she had went to me and my brother, whether it was from C/S or her actual job.  I suspect she often spent birthday and xmas money on us too once in awhile.  She was tired and sometimes couldn't give us enough time, but she made sure we didn't go without anything we truly needed and did her best to fit in cheap vacations with us so we could get quality time with her and make sure we got plenty of time with other family members when she just wasn't giving us enough so we still got plenty of time with people who loved us (especially grandma who babysat us a lot.)

 

I don't think C/S is bad.  I think bad people can do bad things with it and assume they are entitled to everything they want, but I don't think the actual idea itself is bad.  There is only so much time and so much money one parent can use on a child.  It isn't about how you feel about the child's parent but about the rights the child has to having enough of what they need, including time with the custodial parent.  We barely got enough time with my mom as it was, it wouldn't be fair if my father didn't help out financially a bit.  My mom never pushed for as much as she could... just a fair amount to help fill in the gaps she couldn't unless she worked two jobs and never saw us at all.  As a child, I don't think I would have deserved to never see my mom at all just to have enough food and a roof over my head.  That was our reality and I'm grateful my father at least paid C/S even if he wouldn't have anything to do with me otherwise.

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#10 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 09:53 AM
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I know how hard it was for my mom taking care of the two of us alone even with the C/S she received from one parent.  She did need the C/S to care for us and while she is okay not getting money from my brother's dad because at least he wasn't harassing us any longer, she could have used that money.  I KNOW she used the C/S money to care for us.  Even when it went to something just for her (the couple times she took a short vacation alone, fancy new sunglasses, etc) those times were specifically to mentally recharge and boost herself to continue caring for a couple of young, rambunctious kids without a second partner. 

 

When I shop for groceries, I shop for the whole family. I don't separate the piles into what the kids eat and what DH and I eat, and have two separate bills. Rent is the same way....I don't pay the landlord out of a separate pile of money for my kids. My C/S payments go directly into my checking account, and it's just "household income."

 

Receiving child support doesn't mean the custodial parent never gets to have fun or buy something for him/herself. My kids have always been clothed and well-fed, with furnishings/toys for their rooms, and money for occasional movies/amusement parks/mini-golf, etc. And yeah, I go out to dinner sometimes with DH, or go out for drinks with friends, or buy myself new clothes once in awhile. I earn money, too. Child support is based on the incomes of both parents. Using estimated figures....if a NCP pays $600/month in C/S, that $600 is to pay for what the kid needs. Kids do not need just food and clothing. Kids need a roof over their heads, heat, hot water, transportation, school supplies, etc. That money goes for all those things. If the custodial parent's personal income is $2000/month, part of that will go for what the kid needs and part of it will go for what the adult needs. The adult uses some of the money for him/herself, the same way the NCP uses the remainder of his/her own income. You simply can't itemize expenses the way some people want to do. It's ridiculous. A custodial parent does not need to justify spending money on him/herself unless the kids are not being provided for....in which case it becomes a neglect issue and not a C/S issue.
 

 

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#11 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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Wow, all great responses and I LOL'd because I tried so hard not to sound stupid in my OP


I just wanted to say, I don't think you sound stupid in your OP.  But you do sound like you have very limited life experiences.  But you're 18/19!  Of course you have limited life experiences.  That's how it is. 

 

 

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 (because lets face it, you ladies can be harsh lol)

 

 

At least you fit in .......  ;-)

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#12 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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I believe it's a rarity for child support to not go to the kids. After re-partnering, I could pay regular bills without it, but things like swimming lessons would be out. Any extra expense... new clothes or school supplies, glasses for my daughter/braces for my son... things that are necessary but not part of the regular monthly budget... would be tough to impossible to provide. My son's dental issue might have been resolved with repeated tooth extractions (which are covered by government health care for kids) and I could probably have gotten help for the cheapest/ugliest glasses available for my daughter, but why shouldn't they have better, when they have another parent who can contribute financially? They'd have gotten this level of care when he and I were married, because his families' business had them on the company medical benefits, and he had them removed out of spite for me. The kids shouldn't have to do without because he's a self-centered, bitter, petty person. They deserve every bit of help I can get for them, and more. One of the ways I provide for my kids is by using a support enforcement program to take what rightfully belongs to them. I feel that if I neglected to use all of the resources available to me, I'd be failing my kids, and I won't do that.


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#13 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 11:25 AM
 
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When I shop for groceries, I shop for the whole family. I don't separate the piles into what the kids eat and what DH and I eat, and have two separate bills. Rent is the same way....I don't pay the landlord out of a separate pile of money for my kids. My C/S payments go directly into my checking account, and it's just "household income."

 

Receiving child support doesn't mean the custodial parent never gets to have fun or buy something for him/herself. My kids have always been clothed and well-fed, with furnishings/toys for their rooms, and money for occasional movies/amusement parks/mini-golf, etc. And yeah, I go out to dinner sometimes with DH, or go out for drinks with friends, or buy myself new clothes once in awhile. I earn money, too. Child support is based on the incomes of both parents. Using estimated figures....if a NCP pays $600/month in C/S, that $600 is to pay for what the kid needs. Kids do not need just food and clothing. Kids need a roof over their heads, heat, hot water, transportation, school supplies, etc. That money goes for all those things. If the custodial parent's personal income is $2000/month, part of that will go for what the kid needs and part of it will go for what the adult needs. The adult uses some of the money for him/herself, the same way the NCP uses the remainder of his/her own income. You simply can't itemize expenses the way some people want to do. It's ridiculous. A custodial parent does not need to justify spending money on him/herself unless the kids are not being provided for....in which case it becomes a neglect issue and not a C/S issue.
 

 

 

Exactly.  It always confuses me when people get bothered by child support being used for things besides food and clothes JUST for the child.  I needed to live in a home with heat, I needed a mom who was dressed appropriately for work to keep her job, I needed a mom who could destress once in awhile so she could be a better mom and more emotionally available, I needed a mom who also ate rather than starved, I needed a mom who had a reliable car and not just when I was in it.

 

Of course, if none or very little of the custodial parent's income including child support goes to the child leaving them in need and neglected that is a problem.. but it is hardly the problem of child support itself or even of the system.  It is purely the fault of a parent who can't or won't take care of their child.

 

Child support isn't about buying a kid a bunch of shoes and broccoli, nor should it be used as a weapon against the NCP... it is about providing a safe and healthy home for a child and that is best done if everyone in the home is healthy and stable.  Certainly I would put my daughter's needs before my own if it came down to only one of us being able to eat.  She will be affected though by living with a mom suffering from the health effects of essentially starving.  She can have all the winter coats in the world, but if I can't afford one for me, it will be considerably harder to go out and do things with her when considering the possibility of freezing.

 

I really agree with the bolded.

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When I shop for groceries, I shop for the whole family. I don't separate the piles into what the kids eat and what DH and I eat, and have two separate bills. Rent is the same way....I don't pay the landlord out of a separate pile of money for my kids. My C/S payments go directly into my checking account, and it's just "household income."

 

Receiving child support doesn't mean the custodial parent never gets to have fun or buy something for him/herself. My kids have always been clothed and well-fed, with furnishings/toys for their rooms, and money for occasional movies/amusement parks/mini-golf, etc. And yeah, I go out to dinner sometimes with DH, or go out for drinks with friends, or buy myself new clothes once in awhile. I earn money, too. Child support is based on the incomes of both parents. Using estimated figures....if a NCP pays $600/month in C/S, that $600 is to pay for what the kid needs. Kids do not need just food and clothing. Kids need a roof over their heads, heat, hot water, transportation, school supplies, etc. That money goes for all those things. If the custodial parent's personal income is $2000/month, part of that will go for what the kid needs and part of it will go for what the adult needs. The adult uses some of the money for him/herself, the same way the NCP uses the remainder of his/her own income. You simply can't itemize expenses the way some people want to do. It's ridiculous. A custodial parent does not need to justify spending money on him/herself unless the kids are not being provided for....in which case it becomes a neglect issue and not a C/S issue.
 

 

I completely agree that it is ridiculous to itemize C/S like how you describe. But it sickens me that my step-son is barely at his mother's house, hence her paying for rent, utilities, food, almost never benefits him. I am thrilled that he is never neglected because his grandmother and everyone else (not including his mom) buys him everything he would ever need or want. This is my problem... if my husband pays C/S, he should be paying it to his ex-MIL not his ex-wife since the ex-MIL has him every weekday and we have him on weekends. But no, he pays C/S to the ex-wife and when the ex-MIL asks for money to pay for swim classes or whatever and my husband DOES give her money because he knows that benefits his son. So there ya go, I'm not saying he shouldn't have to pay C/S... he's happy to provide for his son. However, all anybody sees is that the ex has custody, so she deserves C/S. I think its wrong that she takes vacations to Mexico to visit one boyfriend's family (by herself while her mother and my husband care for my step-son) and then spends 5K to bust a different bf out of jail. I wish people saw that and that kind of behavior was prohibited. Oh, and the best part is that she's now asking for money on top of the C/S saying that she wants to pay for soccer, well we talk to her mom and she says that she already paid it... so what the hell is the ex-wife wanting more money for? Oh, and the other funny thing is a couple months ago, the ex-wife offered to have the C/S lowered but her mom told us we better not do it because she knows her daughter is tricky and would somehow make it to her benefit and to screw us over. This is what type of woman she is, and she gets away with it. So I have limited experience whatever, but so far from the experience I have all I see is it being used as a method to control the other person. And that's including my situation but I don't think its unreasonable for me to expect my ex to not make up lies and yell at me all the time, and if I have to "control" him this way to prevent it from happening, that's his choice no? I gave him sooo many chances to act mature, and I repeated myself constantly, at some point I had to act like his mother and give him consequences for being a jerk is all. I think what Im doing is appropriate but only I know my situation well enough to make that call.
 

 


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#15 of 43 Old 05-27-2011, 04:29 PM
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 I think what Im doing is appropriate but only I know my situation well enough to make that call.

 

 


My understanding is that you are not having child support issues. You are having issues with jerky people. The ex-wife sounds like a user of people, and your ex sounds like a manipulator. This has nothing to do with child support. If it wasn't money, it would be something else.

 

Your issues with the jerky people in your life does not = "child support should not be mandatory."

 

 

 

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#16 of 43 Old 05-28-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Hey, my favorite controversial topic! jumpers.gif

 

But 2xy is right. OP, it's not the existence of child support that's causing your problems. If your husband's ex was a great mom doing a great job, he wouldn't begrudge her that money and neither would you. Since she's not doing a great job and your husband would like to get primary physical custody, then of course you're supporting him in that, because you are a devoted wife and stepmom. If your husband gets custody, then child support won't be a problem anymore. If he DOESN'T get custody, then child support will remain the least of your problems - the biggest problem being the subpar parenting that your stepson is getting. greensad.gif

 

Similarly, in your own situation, you have an ex who isn't doing a good job as a parent - he's not supporting his child, and he's talking badly about you. Both big big issues, although I agree with you that the character assassination is a bigger issue, as you are not starving. If asking for money moderates his behaviors, well, why argue with what works? His anger could be coming from an awareness that he's NOT your daughter's father-figure IRL - he's not lived with her, he's not provided for her, he's not on her birth certificate etc. Maybe providing this unofficial financial support makes him feel more important? If you intend to continue with visitation, then continuing to expect support is probably a good dynamic. Parents provide for their children - by asking for support, you are treating him like a dad. But if you can manage to handle it without government involvement, then hooray. If your relationship continues to moderate over the years and you feel better and better about your daughter spending time with him, again, hooray. While you didn't get married, you DID originally intend to coparent with this guy. 

 

Coparenting is a big, big deal. It's such a big deal that I believe a coparenting relationship needs to be created in an official, well-considered, light-of-day, universally understood legal process. For most people, that's marriage, but lots of people who are not married and do not wish to marry come up with legally binding parenting plans. Sometimes those plans include child support and sometimes they don't. What they always include is MUTUAL CONSENT. Without mutual consent, I think it's a mistake to garnish a man's wages to send a check to a woman he used to sleep with, or to order a woman to hand over her child for visitation with a man she used to sleep with. We, as a society, are fairly casual about sex. Sex is a recreational activity for lots of people in their most fertile years. I have no problem with that - except when the courts try to turn a sexual relationship into a coparenting relationship against the will of one or both of the adults involved, because that's dooming a child to incredible dysfunction right from the start. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#17 of 43 Old 05-28-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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From my understanding.. from the mandetory parenting classes.. child support is the child's right. It's not there to "punish" the other parent.

 

That said, my ex is trying to get sole custody so that I will have to pay him child support and so that he can get more state assistance... seriously. Right now we have joint custody and so there is no child support going either direction.


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#18 of 43 Old 05-28-2011, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From my understanding.. from the mandetory parenting classes.. child support is the child's right. It's not there to "punish" the other parent.

 

That said, my ex is trying to get sole custody so that I will have to pay him child support and so that he can get more state assistance... seriously. Right now we have joint custody and so there is no child support going either direction.

 

So if your ex is trying to get custody so you pay him child support, that's not sort of proving my point? He's not looking out for the well-being of the child but for himself it sounds like.

 

Also, what another poster said (quoted below) about her father paying child support and her brother's father NOT paying child support still makes me believe that this system is pretty unfair. Treeoflife, I hope that although your dad abandoned you, you can at least appreciate that he's not a monster like your brother's dad who unfairly skipped out on C/S just because he was a worse person. But see how that works? the "nicer" guy gets to take care of the responsibility. So I agree that C/S is designed to "support" the children, but I think, it gets abused more than it should. That's all...
 

 



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My mom was the CP and received C/S for me.  She was also CP, received C/S (well, she was supposed to... ) for my younger brother.

 

She never talked badly about my father, although she would tell me the truth about him when asked certain questions.  He was never in my life.  He chose to have nothing to do with me beyond the C/S he was forced to pay.  He asked to meet me one summer when I was 11 but disappeared again.  My brother's father basically never paid child support but he was really abusive so we were just happy he wasn't in our life anymore.  That didn't happen til he was sent to prison and he finally decided to leave us alone once he got out.

 



 


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#19 of 43 Old 05-28-2011, 11:59 AM
 
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So if your ex is trying to get custody so you pay him child support, that's not sort of proving my point? He's not looking out for the well-being of the child but for himself it sounds like.

 


 


I am not disagreeing with you. I think it does get abused. In my personal situation, my ex is a deadbeat.. he lives in his mother's house, she watches the kids and pays for everything- buys their clothes and food, etc.. he collects unemployment because he'll only work temp jobs. So, he told me that he was going to get sole custody so that he would qualify for more food stamps, medical care, and child care money, plus so that I could pay him child support. He's good with the kids, but he lives off the system.

 

Anyway.. it's unfortunate. I wish it could be set up so that money could go directly to the kids; school, clothes, food, etc... and not have to pay the money to the deadbeat parent. Luckily, so far he doesn't have custody, but we're in the middle of court battles, so who knows.

 


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#20 of 43 Old 05-28-2011, 01:54 PM
 
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So if your ex is trying to get custody so you pay him child support, that's not sort of proving my point? He's not looking out for the well-being of the child but for himself it sounds like.

 

Also, what another poster said (quoted below) about her father paying child support and her brother's father NOT paying child support still makes me believe that this system is pretty unfair. Treeoflife, I hope that although your dad abandoned you, you can at least appreciate that he's not a monster like your brother's dad who unfairly skipped out on C/S just because he was a worse person. But see how that works? the "nicer" guy gets to take care of the responsibility. So I agree that C/S is designed to "support" the children, but I think, it gets abused more than it should. That's all...

 

My father wasn't a nice guy by any stretch... he just wasn't a horrendous piece of crap.  The only reason he paid child support was because my mom fought for it.  He couldn't just up and quit his job to get out of it like some people do because he had my half sister to raise.  His choice was to pay the child support and not get in trouble, have his wages garnished, or not be able to take care of his other kid.

He wasn't taking responsibility for my brother though.  The child support he was required to pay was based on the income my parents made and the needs I had.  Did my brother benefit?  Sure... but it isn't like my father was ALSO paying what my brother's father was supposed to be paying.

 

It wasn't child support itself that made my father a crappy guy and my brother's father absolutely awful.  It was purely them.  THEY were crappy guys.  Had child support not been required of my father, I can guarantee he wouldn't have paid.  He was always looking for ways out of it.  Had he not been required to pay, we would have been in a much much worse position because my mom was making too much to qualify for most government benefits.

 

It doesn't really prove your point that a guy is trying to get child support for himself so he can also get other benefits and be lazier... it just proves that he is quite possibly a lazy dillhole who doesn't care about his kids.  Would he even be willing to have any custody at all if he didn't have to be financially responsible in any way?  Child support doesn't allow people to become crappy selfish people... it just makes it more obvious who cares more about themselves than the children the C/S is supposed to support.  Without C/S, many kids would be in a very very bad place.

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#21 of 43 Old 05-28-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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He wasn't taking responsibility for my brother though.  The child support he was required to pay was based on the income my parents made and the needs I had.  Did my brother benefit?  Sure... but it isn't like my father was ALSO paying what my brother's father was supposed to be paying.


Yeah, when a mom has 2 kids by different fathers (thats not a very tactful way of describing that situation, please forgive my less that stellar tactfulness for the moment), and only one father is paying child support - its based on how much he makes, and how many children HE had with the mother.  If its one, then he's paying child support for one kid.  What the state will NOT do is tell the mother that she can only spend that money on the child that the support is for.  If the mother is getting child support for one child, but has two kids, then she can spend that money on shoes for each child, or for clothing for both children.  It might not be "fair" but its better than mothers being forced to only provide properly for one child.

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Treeoflife3:  What a daughter your father missed out on knowing!  There are kids out there who would complain about their awful childhood:  Mom was never around enough, we were always going without, but she would take vacations by herself and buy designer shades...  But you see things clearly enough to appreciate her and understand that you were her focus and she strove to do the best with what she had.  She's lucky to have you!

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#23 of 43 Old 05-29-2011, 05:51 AM
 
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So since then, I have not allowed him to take her whenever he pleases, and if he wants her, he pays me money as well. This is to assure that if he wants to spend time with her, he wont talk $&!^ about her mom 

 

Your not punishing him by making him pay to see your child. Your punishing your child. Giving you money in no way requires him not to talk ill about you.

 

 

I hope I didn't offend anybody, cause I'm not criticizing people who get C/S but sort of the system itself, or people who take it to advantage 

 

 

YOU are taking advantage of the system by requiring him to pay to see his child b/c he pissed you off.

 

Honestly, people who have kids need to financially care for them. If he didnt want to have a child he should have used protection. HE choose not to (or it failed) so he lives with the fact that he has a kid he needs to support.

 

I think you need to take a stepback and get a real court order that outlines his rights and your rights.

 

Youre young. I was the same age when I had my oldest son. But in no way did I play the "Pay me or dont see you rkid" game. That hurts the kid b/c one day he may say "Screw this. I am getting a CO that give me the right to see my kid w/o interference by her mother."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#24 of 43 Old 05-29-2011, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by beenmum View Post

 

I think you need to take a step back and get a real court order that outlines his rights and your rights.


 

 

 

I agree. Since he is not on the birth certificate, if someone were to happen to you, your child could end up in foster care until the courts decide what to do with her. Also, there is no legal record of the support he HAS given you. Meaning, he could end up screwed for back child support if you ever end up in court for something.
 

 

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#25 of 43 Old 05-29-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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Those sound like good reason for the OP's ex to get himself put on the birth certificate - but the OP would probably prefer that her current husband raise all her children if she were to pass away, rather than having the siblings separated. In her shoes, I'd find it very very difficult to actively pursue a course of action that would give my ex parental rights, if he were so incredibly unmotivated that he wasn't pursuing them on his own. 

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#26 of 43 Old 05-29-2011, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh this is getting frustrating now to explain my situation 100% so that readers wont judge my actions without completely knowing whats going on. So first let me say to everybody who thinks what I'm doing is wrong, you don't know the whole story so I would greatly appreciate if you didn't act like it.

 

In either my OP or one of my response posts I said something along the lines that if my ex chose to give my daughter up and focus his attention on a new family, then he could do so with no flack from me. And guess what? That is nearly a 100% guarantee that he will do so because he has told me on several occasions that he plans on moving back to his home country and finding a wife and starting a family. So please tell me, if that's what he wants to do, what would be the point of getting involved with the courts (which he ALSO DOES NOT WANT TO DO, if you missed that as well) just to have him move away and make it more frustrating for everyone involved? The one time I mentioned starting a court-ordered visitation/payment schedule he threated that he would start selling drugs to make sure he paid the C/S on time. He is very happy with the fact that I'm not requiring a set amount every month, get it? If I were to do that I know the second we were supposed to go to court he would be back in his own country so fast and nobody would benefit so pleeeeeease help me understand how that's better? I don't want to waste my time with getting all that done for him to bail, so absolutely I will not do it.

 

And even if I could get C/S paid to me by the state or whatever, why would I do that? My daughter is not hurting for the extra-support and I'm not about to make tax-payers responsible for her so if everybody is happy with the terms we have now, whats the problem? And since I've been limiting contact between my ex and my daughter, she has enjoyed her visits with him much more. He used to be the "mean" parent, spanking her over every little thing, and his family too, I would see how they were with her before we split and they really are harsh, constantly yelling at her for everything. But since he hardly sees her, he is now the "nice" one, I know she gets away with anything since when I go to pick her up she'll throw a tantrum in front of him and he'll do anything she wants. Before she used to cry her eyes out when he came to get her, now she's happy to see him cause she'll get to be a little "queen" for a day. It is frustrating when she comes home because she'll continue to act like that, but she's a very smart girl and all I have to do is explain to her that at my house, she needs to talk nicely instead of throwing fits, and be obedient, and almost always that's all it takes for her to switch gears back into being kind and respectful. If she spends the night though, it can take her another 24 hours to return to herself. Whenever she comes back from being with him over that long of a period she is quite rebellious when I get her back. I think she doesn't appreciate being left with him for too long. So I am trying my hardest to pick up signs from my daughter and not "punish" her as you claim that I am.

 

If I die, my ex wont be in the country to claim her will he? Plus, I'm not sure I would want her to live with somebody who claims that he's part of a gang and going to sell drugs. Even if he's lying and saying that just to get me upset, well he's simply an idiot. My husband will be here and he will always provide for her and I am certain that should I die, there is no doubt custody would go to him. My entire family is very close and they all love my daughter so I'm not worried about where she'll end up.  Thanks for your concern though.


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#27 of 43 Old 05-29-2011, 01:02 PM
 
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Its HIS child. There is no reason for a stepparent to raise a child when there is a bioparent who is able and willing to do it. Keeping sibs together is not really a legal justification for not allowing a bioparent to claim his child upon the death of the other bioparent.

 

 

 

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#28 of 43 Old 05-29-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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 You posted info on a public board. I took QUOTES from your posts...things you SAID and responded to them.,

 

Of course I dont know your entire story. Why would I? But I dont need to know your entire life to respond to a post that YOU made. I get that you dont like the responses you got. However, it is a public board.

 

You were the one who had the kid with him. If he is that bad a person, why have kids with him? You need to own that choice you made. And not get pissy b/c people made perfectly legitimate comments to you based on what you wrote.

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#29 of 43 Old 05-29-2011, 01:19 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by blondygirl View Post

 

If I die, my ex wont be in the country to claim her will he? Plus, I'm not sure I would want her to live with somebody who claims that he's part of a gang and going to sell drugs. Even if he's lying and saying that just to get me upset, well he's simply an idiot. My husband will be here and he will always provide for her and I am certain that should I die, there is no doubt custody would go to him. My entire family is very close and they all love my daughter so I'm not worried about where she'll end up.  Thanks for your concern though.



Your DH being willing to keep her is great.  Why not do a step-parent adoption though, to seal that deal?  There isn't anyone on the BC, it should be pretty easy (as long as you are actually married - you refer to him as your husband though, so I'm guessing you are).  Then, your ex won't have any rights to her at all.  No child support, no visitation.  Now, I'm not sure I would agree with you doing that, b/c it would be pretty sneaky since he has a relationship with her.

 

BUT - without your DH being her legal father, if her biofather petitioned for custody in the event you were not around, he would almost certainly get it.  In country or not, if he showed up, did a DNA test, and proved that biologically he is the father, he would get custody.  Why?  He has a fundamental right (if you live in the US) to the care and control of his children, given to him by the Supreme Court.

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#30 of 43 Old 05-29-2011, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenmum View Post

Its HIS child. There is no reason for a stepparent to raise a child when there is a bioparent who is able and willing to do it. Keeping sibs together is not really a legal justification for not allowing a bioparent to claim his child upon the death of the other bioparent.

 

 

 

 

And the courts won't necessarily allow a stepparent to keep custody of a stepchild without a whole bunch of legal rigamarole. The state can and does put children in foster care until legalities are sorted out.
 

 

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