What do you wish you had in your parenting agreement... - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 34 Old 12-27-2007, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
... or what do you wish your SO had put in theirs?

There is a lengthy thread in Single Parenting about this, but I'd like the POV of people who have blended families.

DF is looking at creating a parenting agreement with DSD's mom (we have DSD 50% of the time at this point, but it is informally arranged), and it would be nice to know what other people wish they had in their parenting agreement, or wish they had left out.

So? Discuss!

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#2 of 34 Old 12-27-2007, 07:44 PM
 
SimpleJoys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Somewhere out there
Posts: 399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No talking bad about anyone or being mean about their choice of career, car, spouse, house or step siblings.

Picking up and dropping off child half way between residences, not just dad or step mom doing all the work.

Pick up place changes to a police station if bio mom starts telling child it is up to child to go on visitation. (that way she gets to explain this to police, who won't buy it, and there will be witnesses for a possible contempt of court charge)

Child support gets itemized, in other words it is spelt out what it goes for, such as choir pants, football gloves, food, clothing, allowance, recreation etc. That way cp can't say that they used it all for housing for the child and have nothing left for normal expenses for the child.

Telephone calls from cp to child while at ncp are limited to two a weekend and three a week during longer visits (this is for a teenager, it could be more for younger child). We currently get about eight during the weekend time plus texting.
SimpleJoys is offline  
#3 of 34 Old 12-27-2007, 08:10 PM
 
Oriole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: by the ocean, lakes and mountains
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by angilyn View Post

Telephone calls from cp to child while at ncp are limited to two a weekend and three a week during longer visits (this is for a teenager, it could be more for younger child). We currently get about eight during the weekend time plus texting.
I understand everything you suggest except for the restricted calling part. If a child wants to talk to their parent they should have a right to do so. DP exchanges about 3-4 calls a day with his daughter and she talks to me on-line on occasion. I see no reason to minimize it, and she is a teenager. It's hard enough for a parent not to see their child for days at a time, and if the relationship is good enough to want to talk - who's to tell keep the child away from his/her mom or dad?.. I call DP as many times a day as I want to, why should his child be restricted in the matter?...

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
Oriole is offline  
#4 of 34 Old 12-27-2007, 08:55 PM
 
BellaLuna Rayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In My Dreams
Posts: 1,810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Time during the summer, a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks to increase to 6 weeks as child ages.

No disparaging remarks about the other household, including step-parents and extended family.

Children should be allowed to call and email the other parent whenever they ask. DSS just told us yesterday "mommy said I couldn't e-mail you anymore." This is probably because DH said he saves all emails.

Phone calls every other day to DSS at a prearranged time and that they have to pick up or call back.

Itemization of Child Support. DSS' Mom has told me she uses the child support for her new child and the household bills. DH and I feel that it should go exclusively to DSS and his needs such as extracurriculars. I could be wrong in my feelings on this but when she is asking DH for more money for school supplies, clothes and other stuff we are a bit confused and more strapped. DSS gets $400/mo.

If police are called at either house they other house should be notified, especially if its a domestic violence situation. Same goes for CPS calls.

I could probably come up with more but, I don't want this to turn into a humongous vent.

:~*Barbara*~ 25, DGF to an awesome man (25) and always a step-mom to A (8)
BellaLuna Rayne is offline  
#5 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 01:10 AM
 
ktmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Beautiful Boulder
Posts: 2,304
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would have (and am considering adding to mine) a Right of First Refusal. If dad needs child care, he calls me first rather than friends. He has never actually "hired" a sitter, but arranges playdates (sometimes all day) instead.

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
ktmama is offline  
#6 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 01:12 AM
 
aricha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My biggest suggestion is to spell things out as exactly as possible so there is no room for different interpretations. For example, if the child is to spend Spring Break with dad one year and mom the next, don't simply say "entire spring break"... say "From the end of the last school day before the break until 6pm the day before school resumes" or something like that. WE foolishly assumed that "entire" meant "from beginning to end and including every day in between," but apparently it doesn't to everyone. Don't say "a week and a half," say "10 calendar days."

If you have a good relationship, you can make accommodations for each other and adjust parenting time and schedules as needed... being really specific just gives you a really clear fallback if, for some reason, things fall apart and they can't reach an agreement.

As for the phone call issue discussed above, we would place absolutely no restrictions on the number of calls or length of calls that were initiated by the child. I think the pp who is looking to restrict calls wants to restrict the ones initiated by the other parent.

I think the disparaging remark one is important, even if there's really very little you could do to find out about it or enforce it... but it's the principle.

Oh, and I also add the reminder to look at everything you put in from both points of view, knowing that any restrictions you give the other parent may restrict you as well, and any flexibility you put in will give the other parent flexibility as well. For example, if the other parent has to get your consent before enrolling the child in an extracurricular activity, that means you are going to have to get their consent as well.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
aricha is offline  
#7 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 01:46 AM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wish we had spelled out Christmas better. The decree states that we switch at 6pm Christmas, which might have made sense when we lived in the same town, but with both parents taking the kids out of town for the holidays, it means no one really gets Christmas if we have to meet in town to switch at 6. As it is, we are trying to arrange it and be flexible, but managed to mess it up anyway this year, despite best intentions, just due to confusion over the verbal agreement.

I also wish we had each holiday every second year. Currently it's just Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I'd like Halloween and kid birthdays every second year too. And she might like every second Easter, but we get every one (due to timing of school breaks).

We don't have a phone call problem regarding frequency of incoming calls, but certainly I wouldn't want the phone ringing every two hours during our family time, so I'd limit that if it's a concern.

violet_ is offline  
#8 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 02:10 AM
 
LoveOhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In Writing Mode!
Posts: 1,953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My ex and I are proudly co-parenting and are in the process of drafting an agreement. My attorney suggested I aim to keep the agreement open and only focus on the BIG TICKET items (i.e. legal decisions) since both my ex and I get along great and are reasonable. Right now we are both supposed to be thinking about what our most important items are... mine thus far are:

1) Custody - My dd will live with me, we will share joint legal custody and my ex to have liberal rights of visitation.... (this is what I mean by open ended).

2) Religion - We agree to raising our dd Catholic.

3) Education - I want us to agree to private education with my ex paying 100% of those cost

4) Child Support - Well right now I am a SAHM and student and my ex supports us 100%, he does not get itemized list of cost and I would not agree to that.... honestly I don't have the time. After I am done with school and can contribute financially I am not quite sure how things will be.... I think I would want him to contine with 100% of the educational cost + a credit card to be used only for our dd with a min. balance we both agree on and that he maintains that balance.

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." - Buddha.
LoveOhm is offline  
#9 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 02:54 AM
 
BellaLuna Rayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In My Dreams
Posts: 1,810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveOhm View Post
snip a credit card to be used only for our dd with a min. balance we both agree on and that he maintains that balance.
You mean like a Visa gift card? That's actually a pretty cool suggestion. I'm glad you and your ex are on good terms right now and are agreeing so much, gives me hope for DH and his ex.

:~*Barbara*~ 25, DGF to an awesome man (25) and always a step-mom to A (8)
BellaLuna Rayne is offline  
#10 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 09:18 AM
 
Rev1053's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 707
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMiller View Post
Itemization of Child Support. DSS' Mom has told me she uses the child support for her new child and the household bills. DH and I feel that it should go exclusively to DSS and his needs such as extracurriculars. I could be wrong in my feelings on this but when she is asking DH for more money for school supplies, clothes and other stuff we are a bit confused and more strapped. DSS gets $400/mo.
Why an itemization of child support? That just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe because I am a custodial parent? But my thoughts are that child support should be used for everything the child needs. The mortgage payment alone is more than the money I receive a month. Not to mention that he is a growing boy and eats food. I couldnt imagine trying to itemize everything that boy eats and the ammount of $ it costs me.
I would think also that certain times of the year would be more expensive than others. Would child support fluctuate as well? For example buying school clothes are more expensive right before school not to mention the supplies.. Maybe I should just ask for more $ then? And spring it always seems I am buying more clothes for him as nothing fits again! :
I don’t understand the resentment towards child support. Under no circumstances do I think the amount of money I receive a month pays for everything DS needs. Not even close.
It also doesn't make sense to me to be asking for more money for certain things unless they are extremely expensive. I paid for all of DS private school without asking for more $ but maybe that's just me.

Mom to '97, '07, '09 and birth mom '00 and wife to my BFF
Rev1053 is offline  
#11 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 01:09 PM
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
These are all good suggestions--my SO and his ex have a decent agreement that they don't really adhere to (because real life makes such precision impractical--they get along well enough to make decisions as they come up), but it's there as a default.

One thing I would recommend: If your agreement includes any sort of sharing of medical, educational, child care, clothing expenses, put in specifics and dollar limits. That way you're not stuck paying for cashmere sweaters for toddlers, or $30,000-a-year private school tuition. I think my SO's agreement says something like: "Child is to attend public school in mother's school district of residence. Mother and father are to evenly split all required school fees, co-curricular activity fees, uniforms, field trips, books, and fees associated with one school sport per season. Costs of other activities shall be borne by the parent choosing the activity, unless the parents agree to split the cost. Enrollment in private school shall be only by mutual agreement of the parents and cost will be borne by them (in some proportion I do not remember)."

Also, any expenses over $50 other than mandatory school fees and emergency medical care must be agreed to in advance, or else the parent incurring the expense cannot expect reimbursement. I like this clause. However, if you know your ex will veto EVERYTHING, you may want to phrase the clause differently (otherwise you'll find yourself paying for every school field trip, football uniform, and pair of glasses by yourself).

The agreement also specifies child-care costs *associated with parents' work* will be split. Make sure your agreement specifies that as well (tailored to your situation--if you use paid child care while receiving medical treatment, add that), if you are using or think you may ever use child care...this way, your ex can't try to bill you for paying a babysitter so he can go on a date. (You can also specify right of first refusal--if your ex can't watch the kids he has to ask you before leaving them with someone else--but that may or may not work in every situation. Keep in mind if you get right of first refusal, your ex might request that same right.)

They do not split clothing (although in practice we end up providing quite a bit to her mom--I'm a champion thrifter/rummager and we always end up with more stuff than we need.

A no-sleepover clause (no overnight guests of the opposite sex, other than close relatives, while the child is present) may or may not be appropriate to your situation (if you know your ex will have a girlfriend-of-the-week, and you don't want your cosleeping preschooler exposed to that, then by all means include one--remember it will likely apply to you too). I would recommend *against* putting in a cohabitation prohibition (i.e. living with a non-relative of the opposite sex unless married) unless you have religious reasons for doing so.

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#12 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 01:37 PM
 
sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our agreement is very vague but it works for us. Ex and I can get along pretty well in coming to agreements in regards to dd.

I would suggest that before darfting a very specific and detailed parenting plan you should become familiar with the default parenting plans enforced by your state. Some of the things mentioned by pp's are standard and regular in my state. There is no reason to itemize them in all cases.

For example, in my state the first $250 spent on medical (including copays, glasses, OTC meds, ect) are covered under the Child Support Guidelines. The residential parent pays that first $250. Anything after is to be split by the parents in some ratio- usually according to income. The cohabitation clause is also regularly enforced if requested- even when not spelled out in a parenting plan.

I asked that ex and I split any activity fee/uniform cost. I also asked that we spit day care expenses. I did not put any restrictions on the day care use, though. My dd has some special needs and will soon enter a private preschool. It is not associated with my work hours but it is necessary in order for her to be able to best served by our public school system.

I think the tax deduction should be spelled out as well, if you feel the other parent won't be reasonable.

I wish I had included a clause about sharing costs for unusual medical expenses- specifically medical foods and supplies. Since some of these things are not covered by insurance, ex has decided that he should not have to contribute towards these things either. It isn't costly enough to go to the expense of hiring a lawyer and taking it to court but it can get really expensive!
sunflowers is offline  
#13 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 01:49 PM
 
SimpleJoys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Somewhere out there
Posts: 399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would like to clarify my post about frequency of phone calls. In our case bm has called as many as 15 times during a 5 hour period. This does not include her multiple textings. In her calls she is abusive and alienating to my DH and begs DSS to come home as she is "lonely and can't be alone." She also calls us names. It puts DSS in a very bad position. I believe the op was asking what each one of us would include if we could and since this abusive calling is a problem in our case, we would limit phone calls. Some of you may not have this problem and wouldn't need this caveat. I have no problem with phone calls if they are respectful to all parties involved and don't put pressure on the child to misbehave (another one of our issues) or to come home to keep her from being lonely.
SimpleJoys is offline  
#14 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 02:21 PM
 
guestmama9904's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmama View Post
I would have (and am considering adding to mine) a Right of First Refusal. If dad needs child care, he calls me first rather than friends. He has never actually "hired" a sitter, but arranges playdates (sometimes all day) instead.
i think right of first refusal is usually standard in divorce agreements but it gets sticky and annoying at times. i am a step parent and technically might as well be a babysitter when it comes to first right of refusal, therfore DSS has to be in full time daycare because DSS's mom doesnt want me being his primary care giver when she is at work. so unless we go to mediation this is where it stands.

on another note: in DH's divorce agreement it states that each parent shall uphold the positive and loving relationship that the other parent has with the children; ie. no bad talking about the other parent in front of kids, no relaying horror stories about bad dad or bad mommy to the kids. sadly there is no real way, aside from more court or legal mediation, to enforce this agreement. its not illegal to say "your dad stole all my furniture" to the kids. it is unethical and harmful to the kids self esteem but not really enforcable. it seems like much of these legal agreements are simply assuming that the parents will abide, whether or not they do is another issue and not easily solved.
guestmama9904 is offline  
#15 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 02:26 PM
 
guestmama9904's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by angilyn View Post
I would like to clarify my post about frequency of phone calls. In our case bm has called as many as 15 times during a 5 hour period. This does not include her multiple textings. In her calls she is abusive and alienating to my DH and begs DSS to come home as she is "lonely and can't be alone." She also calls us names. It puts DSS in a very bad position. I believe the op was asking what each one of us would include if we could and since this abusive calling is a problem in our case, we would limit phone calls. Some of you may not have this problem and wouldn't need this caveat. I have no problem with phone calls if they are respectful to all parties involved and don't put pressure on the child to misbehave (another one of our issues) or to come home to keep her from being lonely.
this does sound like very abusive behavior on the moms part. so sad for the child. unfortunately aside from not answering or going back to court what can you do?
guestmama9904 is offline  
#16 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 02:53 PM
 
BellaLuna Rayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In My Dreams
Posts: 1,810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev1053 View Post
Why an itemization of child support? That just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe because I am a custodial parent? But my thoughts are that child support should be used for everything the child needs. The mortgage payment alone is more than the money I receive a month. Not to mention that he is a growing boy and eats food. I couldnt imagine trying to itemize everything that boy eats and the ammount of $ it costs me.
I would think also that certain times of the year would be more expensive than others. Would child support fluctuate as well? For example buying school clothes are more expensive right before school not to mention the supplies.. Maybe I should just ask for more $ then? And spring it always seems I am buying more clothes for him as nothing fits again! :
I don’t understand the resentment towards child support. Under no circumstances do I think the amount of money I receive a month pays for everything DS needs. Not even close.
It also doesn't make sense to me to be asking for more money for certain things unless they are extremely expensive. I paid for all of DS private school without asking for more $ but maybe that's just me.
The only resentment I have towards child support is that in our case DSS' mother isn't using it for him, that's where I have a problem. Also, I wasn't the first to suggest itemization of child support. I personally feel child support is not to go to a mortgage, or w/s/g bill, etc, it is exclusively for the child 's needs. I understand a child needs a home and w/s/g as well but the way child support is supposed to work and what its meant for is the child's needs, not the households needs. If someone is using it for other things than how can one be sure the child's needs are getting met?

I understand that things fluctuate because of growth spurts, school and other things but, if the other household is using the child support money for other things well no wonder they are having issues with buying the child's needed items.

I am not trying to start a fight, I guess its something kinda unique to the NCP household. It also probably depends on how much one gets a month in child support and how many children its being used to support.

:~*Barbara*~ 25, DGF to an awesome man (25) and always a step-mom to A (8)
BellaLuna Rayne is offline  
#17 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 04:59 PM
 
Rev1053's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 707
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMiller View Post
The only resentment I have towards child support is that in our case DSS' mother isn't using it for him, that's where I have a problem. Also, I wasn't the first to suggest itemization of child support. I personally feel child support is not to go to a mortgage, or w/s/g bill, etc, it is exclusively for the child 's needs. I understand a child needs a home and w/s/g as well but the way child support is supposed to work and what its meant for is the child's needs, not the households needs. If someone is using it for other things than how can one be sure the child's needs are getting met?

I understand that things fluctuate because of growth spurts, school and other things but, if the other household is using the child support money for other things well no wonder they are having issues with buying the child's needed items.

I am not trying to start a fight, I guess its something kinda unique to the NCP household. It also probably depends on how much one gets a month in child support and how many children its being used to support.
I didn't mean to pick out your comment to quote I just don’t know how to do multiple quotes yet. I am honestly trying to understand. I didn’t mean to attack. I hope I did not come off that way.

I see housing and such as a necessity for a child. I am not saying that all of the child support should be used for a mortgage payment but just for the sake of an argument a portion of child support should be allocated for the housing. If it wasn't for DS I would not be living where I live. I choose where I live because I wanted a nice neighborhood for him to grow up in. If it was just DP and I we would be living in an apartment in the city, not a house in town. W/S/G all comes with a house so there should be a portion for that as well.

I guess IMO not all of the NEEDS of a child can be itemized. How do you itemize the difference between a 1 or 2 bedroom house? Or the cost of a safer car?

I guess I don't ask for extra funds when there is a larger expense for DS. Maybe I should? I am not sure. This is all new to me. I just think its sad when the NCP resent child support. I feel like the needs of the child should be met within reason. Child support helps do that.

Mom to '97, '07, '09 and birth mom '00 and wife to my BFF
Rev1053 is offline  
#18 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 05:27 PM
 
sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,140
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I thought of one more thing (as I sit here and wait to see if ex will call yet again to cancel or reschedule his visit -

I would ask for a timeline- such as 24 or 48 hours in advance- if either parent needs to modify the week's visit schedule. I absolutely dislike being called 30 minutes before a visit is supposed to happen only to find out ex can't make it. Or even being called 10 minutes before he decides he wants to take her out on a non-scheduled visit. It really messes with my scheduling. Of course emergencies would be exempt from that consideration.
sunflowers is offline  
#19 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 05:57 PM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ok, I know I shouldn't wade into the child support discussion, but since you asked...

I think the reason we usually hear such different reports on child support is because, first, state laws vary wildly, so what is reasonable in your case could be a much higher or lower number in another state. Also, in some states (like Texas), it is a flat fraction of income of the NCP. In most familes, I would guess that the less money you make, the higher fraction of it you are likely to spend on the kids. I mean, yes, you can spend way too much on kids' clothes, but there is a realistic limit. So, in Texas at least, you pay a fixed percentage of income. The moms with low-income exes then get very little money, and struggle financially, while those with higher-income exes get more than they could realistically use on the kids.

And, no, the mortgage is not just for the kids. The difference between a two and three bedroom might be, but single women need houses too, and those of us without biological kids don't just live on the street, nor do we get to downscale to one-third of a car. Plus, the NCP has to have a place for the kids to visit, and a car to transport them, and they don't get support.

Child support should support additional expenses due to having kids, not the stuff adults already need. I know how much my expenses go up when we have the kids for the summer -- we buy more food, whole wardrobes, and some fun activities. It doesn't even begin to approach what we send in support. Further, we still have to send those checks even when we have the kids for months at a time.

I think if I were writing one I'd have day care separate from child support. DH's ex has subsidized child care at work, yet we pay child support that is supposed to cover everything, to it basically assumes a day care amount. Also, when we have the kids for the summer, we have to pay day care, and we don't get child support. Sometimes their mom will drop them from day care if we have them even for a week, so that was always a financial disincentive to see them for that long of a stretch. So separating those would probably make it more fair and lead to less resentment.

Oh, and pick up/drop off -- in Texas, it's all the NCP -- door-to-door service from him. I think it should be more evenly divided. For example, if she'd take the kids to the airport instead of making my husband have to have several hours between flights, rent a car and child seat, and go pick them up, that would help. Though, things are changing, and she is having them picked up this time, sometimes it's easier to have the expectations in writing from the get-go.

violet_ is offline  
#20 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 05:58 PM
 
BellaLuna Rayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In My Dreams
Posts: 1,810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev1053 View Post
I didn't mean to pick out your comment to quote I just don’t know how to do multiple quotes yet. I am honestly trying to understand. I didn’t mean to attack. I hope I did not come off that way.

I see housing and such as a necessity for a child. I am not saying that all of the child support should be used for a mortgage payment but just for the sake of an argument a portion of child support should be allocated for the housing. If it wasn't for DS I would not be living where I live. I choose where I live because I wanted a nice neighborhood for him to grow up in. If it was just DP and I we would be living in an apartment in the city, not a house in town. W/S/G all comes with a house so there should be a portion for that as well.

I guess IMO not all of the NEEDS of a child can be itemized. How do you itemize the difference between a 1 or 2 bedroom house? Or the cost of a safer car?

I guess I don't ask for extra funds when there is a larger expense for DS. Maybe I should? I am not sure. This is all new to me. I just think its sad when the NCP resent child support. I feel like the needs of the child should be met within reason. Child support helps do that.
Oh, no it didn't come off as an attack

I don't think an exact itemization would work, cause who keeps track that well? Not us, but a general itemization, maybe. A budget of sorts I guess. The problem we have is that we have to provide for all of DSS needs here as well, because nothing is shared between the households. Providing more on top of the $400/ mo is just not possible. My DH has 2 older sons he pays child support for. The two older ones get less a month than his youngest. On top of all the child support that gets taken directly from his pay, we send in extra to support enforcement. My DH wasn't the greatest with money before we met, that's a different story.

Like I said it all depends on the circumstances. If it was $400/mo for 3 kids than yes, I could understand asking for extra but just one? I don't understand that as much.

:~*Barbara*~ 25, DGF to an awesome man (25) and always a step-mom to A (8)
BellaLuna Rayne is offline  
#21 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 07:49 PM
 
nikag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
nikag is offline  
#22 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 08:21 PM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
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.
Good points! You know, ours is high enough that I forget that in theory their mom is supposed to support them, too! lol

Oh, and for the agreement, be clear about the tax deduction! Even though we pay all the support, she gets both deductions...

Also, some states require an insurance policy (paid for by NCP again!) with kids' mom as beneficiary, on the support payments. I think that is absurd. If I were receiving support, it would be my responsibility to pay for a policy to cover the payments if something happened to the NCP, not his. Further, if you want insurance policies, they should go both ways. I mean, if DH couldn't pay support she'd need money -- that is definitely true. But if something happened to her then he'd be raising the kids alone, and without her paying support, so wouldn't he need money in that case too? But, of course, the state must assume on some level that NCP makes much more or somehow wouldn't need child support, I guess, as they don't require the insurance to go both ways.

violet_ is offline  
#23 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 09:34 PM
 
Laggie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 3,124
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would want an agreement that both parents will stay in the same geographical area. We had no agreement and now DSD lives 5 hours away. We went from having her 10 nights a month to every second long weekend and half of school holidays.

Finally pregnant with #1 and #2! Due September 9th, 2014 
   
Laggie is offline  
#24 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 09:46 PM
 
BellaLuna Rayne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: In My Dreams
Posts: 1,810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
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.
You have said it much better than I obviously did and came up with a few points I left out.

Tax Deduction- Yes, I forgot about that one. DH doesn't get to claim any of his children which isn't exactly fair.

:~*Barbara*~ 25, DGF to an awesome man (25) and always a step-mom to A (8)
BellaLuna Rayne is offline  
#25 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 10:06 PM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I would want an agreement that both parents will stay in the same geographical area. We had no agreement and now DSD lives 5 hours away. We went from having her 10 nights a month to every second long weekend and half of school holidays.
I can see why you would write that, but I'd feel like I was in jail if I couldn't leave the area. Maybe the one who leaves, though, could pay some reasonable amount of travel costs? In our case, the parent they live with more had to stay put unless we agreed to let her move (or unless a judge did), but I thought that was unfair to her. I mean, what if someone has to move for their job (like my husband is)?

violet_ is offline  
#26 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 10:46 PM
 
greenemami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,750
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Hi ladies..I'm new (intro post to follow!) but I had to weigh in on this one...as to the right of first refusal, I totally wish dh had that in his agreement with ex...she dropped dsd with her grandparents for 10 days while she went on vacation...without every mentioning the vacation to us at all! : luckily we found out early on when dsd mentioned something about it while at our house, but still!

the phone call situation sounds very familiar as well...while we would never tell dsd that she couldn't call her mom, her mom will often (thought not always) call our house every day of visitation just to tell her how much she misses her, how she can't wait to see her, the fun things she's going to do when she gets back/the fun things she has bought her while she's been going, etc....total guilt trip/interruption of our time! It never fails to make dsd upset, at least for a few minutes.

Sorry for the rant...we do get along, at least on the surface, but this thread really hit home!

Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
greenemami is online now  
#27 of 34 Old 12-28-2007, 10:58 PM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
Hi ladies..I'm new (intro post to follow!) but I had to weigh in on this one...as to the right of first refusal, I totally wish dh had that in his agreement with ex...she dropped dsd with her grandparents for 10 days while she went on vacation...without every mentioning the vacation to us at all! : luckily we found out early on when dsd mentioned something about it while at our house, but still!
On the right of first refusal, it makes sense in some cases, but we were told by our lawyer it was good we didn't have it, as it could have caused trouble when I watched the kids. He advised us that once married I would "count" but before we got married I wouldn't. But then he checked and we don't have it anyway. Just be careful on the language of it, and make sure to clarify if partners count and whether they have to be married.

But when we lived in the same town as their mom, the right of first refusal was basically followed, as each parent was happy to hand them over when they needed a sitter.

violet_ is offline  
#28 of 34 Old 12-29-2007, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I would want an agreement that both parents will stay in the same geographical area. We had no agreement and now DSD lives 5 hours away. We went from having her 10 nights a month to every second long weekend and half of school holidays.
Luckily, our state has pretty strict language on this one due to a recent change of the law. The person wanting to move the child has to prove that it would benefit the child more to move than staying put would.

If we put a right of first refusal clause in, I have a feeling that DSD would be here 75% of the time. Which would be a good thing.:

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#29 of 34 Old 12-29-2007, 01:16 AM
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMiller View Post

If police are called at either house they other house should be notified, especially if its a domestic violence situation. Same goes for CPS calls.

I could probably come up with more but, I don't want this to turn into a humongous vent.
The police/cps thing would be great, if possible. When CPS has been called on the ex, we get no info about it because it isn't our household. This just seems wrong to me!

We have a line about mom shall not consume illegal drugs or alcohol 8 hours prior to or during visitation which has been very important for us.

I think we should have had some restrictions on dss being driven by the ex's friends. Is it unreasonable that those providing transportation should have a license and insurance?
Flor is offline  
#30 of 34 Old 12-29-2007, 01:31 AM
 
manitobamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 640
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we are now going through our second round with the mediator on the agreement.
what I didn't like about the first agreement....
Dh to do 95% of the driving ( we live 2.5 hours one way)
bio mom to make 100% of the decison making
bio mom to decide on the 'extra' 6 weekends a year
bio mom to have be able to plan an extended holiday while the kids are off school
bio mom to have EVERY christmas eve/day

so we are off to mediation again at $100 an hour to try to get bm off her high horse, the problem being the mediator is on bm's side.
manitobamama is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off