Monday, February 1, 2010

My story on Child Support and Accountability

***This is a Guest Contributor. In fact, I asked or BEGGED her to write this. So I appreciate her friendship and her ability to still stay friends with me even if I get all up in her bizness!!! :) Love ya girl!

Child support, how much is enough, how much accounting should you expect from the receiver of the support.

Shelle asked me to give my take on Child Support...

I don't or can't give my real name out if I want to fully disclose how I feel about this subject. For legal and personal reasons. I have always wanted to be a JEN, every JEN I know seems to be gorgeous and fun. So Hi, my name is JEN, and this is my story.

My take on this is purely what I have gone through. It is not this way for everyone. Each situation is unique.

When I decided it was time to get out in my marriage is when I realized that emotionally I couldn't take anymore from my spouse. It was killing me inside and who I was. He was not a nice person to me.

As a father though? He was incredible. I will give him that. When we were still together and since we have been divorced he has been a fully involved parent to his two girls. In fact, we get along a lot better now then we did when we were married. We parent together better, if that makes any sense?

They chose child support off of what he made and what I made. I was the provider for the family consistently and had the insurance because he was a construction worker and work always depended on the season and the demand for his specialty.

So basically he pays me squat. $319.20 each month total for both girls.

That's it.

Since day one of the divorce going through and the Child Support hearings finishing up he complained about the amount saying that it was to much and he wouldn't be able to support himself if he was giving up that much money a month.

Sometimes he goes months with paying it well or part of it and then he'll go months where I don't see a thing. In that case, I'll make a call and the state gets it from him, because you see, I use that money for my girls and only for them... for lessons and other needs or wants that they may have. I'm not one of those mothers that treats the child support like alimony. In fact, I make sure to write his initials in my accounting book or check register for us old school people for anything I spend on the girls that I use his child support for. I first pay using my debit card then I transfer the money over from the account I have them put the Child Support money in so that I don't confuse it with my day to day spending. I try not to rely on it, but with just that little amount helping my income it really does go a long way.

Then I start thinking. Why shouldn't I rely on it? These are HIS children too!

How can a person put a monetary value on their children? If my girls want to take dance lessons why can't he help out? He wants to see them happy. Or if they need new school clothes or shoes or anything. I always discuss extra curricular activities with him, I make the girls ask him if it is okay if they participate or join or whatever. So if he agrees then he should help pay the cost of it right?

I get that he has a hard time in between jobs. But that isn't my fault. And it isn't his children's fault. He needs to man up and take on his responsibility. We are not asking for his WHOLE income and quite frankly most of the time we aren't even asking for a quarter of it. I would be fine if he just helped pay for those monthly needs that come up here and there.

I think it's sad that I have to beg for it sometimes. I think it's unfair.

Of course my daughters know nothing about it and I would never play that card. He gets them on his weekends and they party for two days and come back to boring old mom again.

Which is a whole other post entirely.

So there is my story. I think Child Support is meant to be a good thing. But for me it gives me times of bitterness towards my Ex and towards the whole thing in general. Sometimes it's more of a hassle than anything.

I do think that whomever is paying the Child Support should be accountable and responsible for it. They agreed to it in court, sort of, so they should hold up to that agreement. Just because I don't hound him for it for a couple of months doesn't mean I don't want it or need it, yet that is what his brain seems to tell him.

I appreciate Shelle letting me get that out.



Shelle Edit: So guys, how do you feel about what Jen said? Do you agree with her? Why or Why not? And I'd like to thank her for writing this post. I know how much controversy this has in her life and I'm so glad she could share her personal feelings on it.


Adan said...

i know this post was very personal, and it resonates with me, as my Dad sounds a lot like this 'dad' in this post.

i do agree that you should not have to beg for it.

i do agree that you should only use it for the kids.

your situation is more of the traditional set up, just like it was when my parents divorced. Mom 24/7 with the exception of every other weekend.

you cannot blame the man for having fun with the kids for those 2 days because think about it, he sees them for 1/4 the time per month that you do. you honestly think he is going to spend that time taking naps? no he's gonna have a blast!

Vodka Logic said...

A story I have heard over and over from friends in the situation.

I don't understand why the kids have to suffer when the parents no longer have the love.

I would like to think I would think first of my children and not "stick it to the ex"

Thanks for sharing.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I have only heard ur perspective but I agree...there shouldn't be a monetary value on a child's head.

He should help pay for all of those things you suggested because whether he is living there or not they are still his children.

But I also see Adam's point about the having fun for the 2 days! :)

Love ya!

Unknown said...

My oldest son is 17 and his biodad , who is now deceased, was the epitome of a deadbeat dad. I never soughthim out for child support. The state did, whether I wanted them to or not. He bounced in and out of my son's life even attempting to claim him on taxes though he had been jailed numerous times for failure to pay. He passed away last OCtober which left my son with a feeling as if he wasn't worht living for. His father was strung out on drugs and alcohol and my son needed him to act like he cared. Leaving me to pick up the pieces.
I would have rather not had the support, simply because it made biodad feel ike he had a right to be inhis life. Otherwise I support child support

Anonymous said...

Hm. Let's see here.

I agree with the following; the person receiving the Child Support should not have to beg for it.

I feel that if the person truly cannot afford to pay what the court has told them to pay, he or she should STILL pay something. He or she shouldn't get away without paying anything at all. ESPECIALLY when you have proven that the money goes directly to the children for their needs and wants.

I also agree with one of the above commenters. If all he sees his children for is those weekends, than he has every right to "party" with them; providing it is a safe environment and he still follows any rules (ie bedtimes) that the two of you have agreed upon.


If he is able to shell out tons of money on those weekends, than he's obviously not broke and can pay the child support that the court has told him to pay.

You don't NEED to go out all the time with your children when you have them or spend a lot of money. Sometimes the best quality time spent together is playing board games, eating popcorn and listening to music.

~DokterKenny said...

You see I have two perspectives on this issue. Growing up my dad was a good dad, but he rarely if ever paid support. Of course that was in the days before the state would step in and throw you in jail and stuff. I admit as much as I love my dad that has never set well with me. I knew he always struggled financially, but there were times he did OK and we were his obligations. He put my mother in a pinch. Maybe if he had paid his support she would not have been in such a hurry to re-marry and that is whole other story.

As an adult who now has to pay support for my two youngest . I wish I could pay more to be honest. If and when I can I will. It should be no different as if I were living in the home. For me child support isn't about love, or needs it is about doing the right thing. I also know my ex would never abuse it, so that helps too.

Finally, I know it is not always an easy obligation, but it is a just one. I know some guys really get screwed in the deal, but I believe that is the exception not the rule and 320.00 a month for two children is more than fair IMHO.

Chief said...

I am so interested in hearing the "other" side. Because I can't imagine what defense anyone would have for not paying court appointed child support.

My parents were divorced when I was 1 yr old. My brother was 3. Our support was $50 a piece each month. He never paid. He would take us for the weekend occasionally but never consistently. My mother was a 20 year old, struggling with 3 jobs to put food on the table and he was remarried with dual income and no kids.

How could he NOT help his children?

He has since passed on and I love him for who he was for me but I still wish I could ask him what he was thinking, buying all his "toys" yet not helping my mother feed his kids.

Thank you for writing this post... it is very personal and I admire all that you do for your kids. I know how much it will mean to them when they are older and raising their own children.

Anjeny said...

This must be a very hard post for you. I have a BIL who's a deadbeat dad in everyway..left my SIL with three boys behind and so far my SIL hasn't gotten anything at all from him for the kids. Not only that but he's practically spread his seeds all over the southern US...he's THE kind of dad that law enforcement officers should hunt down and made him own up to his responsibility.

I do agree with you that you should never pay your hub to pay child support. I know there are actually dads out there who are trying to do the right thing when it comes to child support. And yes, a parent should pay child support, or at least try their very best to do so in whatever amount is given them. Just cuz two people divorced and the kids ended up with one parent doesn't mean it leaves the one without the kids free of any obligations for the kids...that's my thoughts on the matter.

Danielle said...

I don't know that I qualify to comment. I choose to have my daughter even though the dad opted out before she was born. I did not have insurance and had to pay for all of that out of my pocket. I have not gone after him for anything because I am afraid that will allow him time with her. I would not feel that way if he didn’t make it clear to me that he didn't want her. He has 4 DUI's and I would never trust him with her.
But, I do wonder what I am doing to her by not pushing for him to be in her life. Financially and physically. I do struggle and I am sure it will affect her in some ways.
But like you said, I don't think I should have to beg.

Anjeny said...

Typo error on my first comment...I meant to write "beg" not "pay"

Anonymous said...

I had a comment all typed up, and the internet vermin ate it. I made the mistake of writing on my wife's computer.


Let me just say, welcome. And thanks for sharing your side of the story . . .


you doing very well....i appreciate your work........!!! Lots of things i learn from you !

Anonymous said...

My husband and I pay child support for his son every month on time and have been doing so for ten years and it is very annoying when we know the money doesn't go for him but to buy the ex stuff she wants! The money should be spent on the kids! Its especially hard because we have kids of our own and money is tight and it sucks seeing it go to waste on her, ya know!?