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Just wanted to weigh in on the child support discussion. I understand that my views might not be popular, but I do think they are valid...
So to preface, in my opinion:
Child support is just that - support.
It is not intended to cover all expenses of the child.
It is unreasonable to expect a non-custodial parent to live up to fully support two households.
Child support is not a reward to CP for being a single parent or for having had to suffer injustices during the now failed relationship, etc.
Custodial parents (bolded)are still responsible for a significant portion of the costs associated with raising a child once the CP and NCP separate. It is not the NCP’s responsibility to pay ALL costs and it should not be ever. It was a joint effort in making the child, so it follows that it is a joint effort in taking financial responsibility for the child – male or female – CP or NCP.
In terms of what child support should cover, a mortgage/rent payment is somewhat negligible, since the CP would still have to provide housing for him/herself if he/she did not have children. I do understand that having a child may necessitate having a *larger* dwelling (i.e., an additional bedroom) and it is my opinion that HALF of the difference(underlined) should be considered the NCP’s responsibility. For example, (assuming both parents make about the same income) if CP lives in an apartment complex where a one bedroom apartment costs $500 per month to rent while a two bedroom apartment costs $650 per month to rent, then NCP should be responsible for half of the difference - $75. For a CP who receives $750 per month in child support for example, that leaves PLENTY of money left over per month for clothing, food, AND extras. If NCP makes less than CP, his/her contribution should be lower (maybe 40/60) and the same should apply in the opposite direction.
I think itemizing child support is a very good idea. NCP’s are not and should never be held responsible for the mismanagement of funds on the part of the CP. Living expenses of the custodial parent need to be paid by the custodial parent – NOT by the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent needs to pay his/her car note, his/her rent, his/her utilities. These are expenses he/she would otherwise be responsible for. The expense of the addition of a child’s use of electricity, water, garbage, etc. in a household is most often trivial in comparison to support received. If someone were to actually calculate it penny for penny, I think custodial parents would be highly disappointed with the result. Outside of what actual additional expenses come along with having a child live at home full or part time, the child’s (not the parent’s) needs should always be met first.
|Dh has dss 75% of the time. Dh makes 100% of dss's income. Therefore, dh should be responsible for 100% of dss's expenses so we owe $ to the NCP.|
Maybe I should PM this, but Flor, in CA they should be calculating mom's earning potential as her income, using minimum wage at 40 hrs/wk. That's what they did for my husband when he was a stay-at-home parent. So even though he didn't have an income, they calculated a minimum income for him. It is at their descretion, but it's my understanding that it's pretty standard.
I see what you are saying, but it is not the philosophy of my state. They break it down by parenting time and income. For example, dh has custody, so everyone assumes we receive CS, but to the courts:
Dh has dss 75% of the time. Dh makes 100% of dss's income. Therefore, dh should be responsible for 100% of dss's expenses so we owe $ to the NCP.
I know that some states make it a flat percentage of payer's income, but I think most (?) subtract for time with child. The amount we pay is based on income and time. I think it sucks that we pay at all, but I understand the philosophy.
I do think mortages, rent, utilities, etc should be included (and are) because I know that dss's mother would be sharing a studio apartment with her sister instead of renting a 1 bedroom house if she didn't have dss. She woldn't worry about keeping food inthe kitchen or if she had a phone. Her expenses would be much different, I grudgingnly admit .
I think we should have also added something about splitting non-covered medical expenses.
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