S.P.A.R.C.

Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center
crazy gamesriddles and jokesfunny picturesdeath psychic!mad triviafunny & odd!pregnancy testshape testwin custodyrecipes

Author Topic: I had no idea...  (Read 5254 times)

saille

  • Guest
I had no idea...
« on: Jun 07, 2004, 11:43:20 AM »
I have to say that I'm positively stunned at how the child support standards have been developed.  I know this is new to me, but still.

My x and I both have equal custody of our two children.  I have lived to regret this decision, but my goal in agreeing was to minimize any trauma the kids experienced.  I agree that they need their father in their lives.

However, I was stunned to realize that even with equal custody, in the state of PA I could be liable to him for significant child support.  I find this ridiculous for a variety of reasons.  A-He's 16 years older than me, and he has a master's degree.  His income before we separated was about 75% of what my income was, but I took all the marital debt and am still paying on all the debt/bills outside of the mortgage, coming to nearly $1100 a month, since he won't pay them and I don't want my credit destroyed.  Immediately after our separation, he quit his job as well.  Since then he's gone down-hill.  The children stay up too late, don't get healthy meals--just junk food in front of the television.  Homework gets done in front of the television.  I have to arrange for all lessons and sporting activities, even to the extent of selecting teams that have practice on days the children are with me because I can't rely on him to take them.

Still, I learn that all of this is irrelevant in the eyes of the court unless he can actually be proven unfit.  So I am carrying the responsibility for our kids, and I'm paying his bills, and I'm paying him support...and we have equal custody!

To me the sensible thing would be to figure out what each parent's contribution should be to their upbrining...if mine is figured at $800 and his is figured at $600... then I could give him half of the difference so we both have equal amounts to take care of our children.

However, the guidelines don't even allow this!  Since I make even a dollar more, I'm the obligator.  And I am expected to give him the majority of my expected financial contribution to the raising of our children, leaving me with only a portion left.

I can barely pay my bills.  I even let him have the home, anything to get out of the bad marriage.  It doesn't even matter that this man was my school teacher and became involved with me when I was only 15 years old.

I pay and pay and pay.  I'm trying to make a better life for my kids by getting out of an unhealthy relationship, and I'm trying still to be fair to him, because I know the children need their dad, but I just feel like I'm screwed from every angle and there's no justice in this system whatsoever.

And it frustrates me even more because I see all these women who have been ruthless and taken their Xs for everything, denied them rights, alienated their kids.  And I've absolutely refused to do this on any level and so I get screwed over by it.  

Well, it just isn't right.  And any second job I take to survive on, half of that pay has to be considered for support also.  :(  Its just not right.  

-Saille


jilly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #1 on: Jun 07, 2004, 12:03:08 PM »
Call me cold hearted but I'm just not feeling very sympathetic. Half of my DH's income goes to pay child support for 2 children. We have a child together and in order to have enough groceries in the house to feed OUR child I have to not pay a bill or two. We can't even afford to buy new clothes for ourselves. Clothes for our child are hand-me-downs from family members or bought from a consignment shop. From time to time, my best friend will send a care package with new clothes for my daughter as will my Mother. So...yeah...I'm not feeling any sympathy. Stop whining.

Kitty C.

  • Moderator
  • SuperHero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2612
  • Karma: 938
    • View Profile
Gee..........
« Reply #2 on: Jun 07, 2004, 12:31:18 PM »
Sounds like a LOT of fathers I know...........

Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

saille

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #3 on: Jun 07, 2004, 12:34:00 PM »
>Call me cold hearted but I'm just not feeling very
>sympathetic. Half of my DH's income goes to pay child support
>for 2 children. We have a child together and in order to have
>enough groceries in the house to feed OUR child I have to not
>pay a bill or two. We can't even afford to buy new clothes for
>ourselves. Clothes for our child are hand-me-downs from family
>members or bought from a consignment shop. From time to time,
>my best friend will send a care package with new clothes for
>my daughter as will my Mother. So...yeah...I'm not feeling any
>sympathy. Stop whining.

Wow, you know, I don't even know where you're coming from.  Why are you pissed at me?  I pay what I'm required to.  Plus I pay all of the previously acquired marital debt that my X is legally liable for 50% of the payment, but he doesn't give that to me, even though I give him support.  He chose to quit his job so I could support him.  He has a master's degree.  My boyfriend pays over 50% of his monthly income in child support to his kids and does it willingly, but he's a NCP with standard visitation right now and we don't complain about that.

I don't have money remaining to take care of purchasing items for my OWN kids that I pay support FOR and have 50% of their lives, while I work full time, whereas their dad skimps on paying his debt obligations, is voluntarily unemployed, and has money to take them out to eat 2-3 times a week, to movies, etc., etc., and I'm broke.  I don't get why you've got an attitude with me.  

I'm just saying there's something wrong with the system when it rewards one parent for being voluntarily unemployed.  There is something wrong with the system when it penalizes one parent who has equal custody, just because he/she makes more.  

See, I'm not saying with equal custody there should be no support.  I'm just saying that if the state says his expecting contribution to child rearing is 600 and mine is 800 a month, I shouldn't be legally responsible to give him 600 a month of that 800 because they use some crazy 30% ratio.  If we have equal custody and my expected contribution to raising our child is 200 a month more than his, then let me give him half that so we each have equal funds to raise our children with equal time.  Are you familiar with the PA statutes or what I'm talking about?

-Saille

Bolivar OH

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #4 on: Jun 07, 2004, 01:02:46 PM »
You are experiencing Government Regulation on the family.

I pay huge amounts in CS and Spousal Support and only get to see my son every other weekend (also every Tues at the present).

Be grateful you can spend as much time as you can with your children.

In my case Dad automatically became visitor in his Sons life.  Yet I am stuck writing an unaccountable check every month.

The ironic fact of this “In the Childs best interest” is if my X we’re to have a live in boyfriend, he would get more time with my son than me.  That to me is immoral.  But then again, who ever said politicians are moral.


saille

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #5 on: Jun 07, 2004, 01:07:48 PM »
I agree.

Moms and Dads should have their children equally.  And I am grateful that I have my children as much as I do.

I'm just pointing out one aspect of the system (I know there are many) that should be reworked.  Namely PA's formula for determining support in equal custody cases.  It makes no sense whatsoever.

If I didn't believe that we each have equal rights I'd never have agreed to 50% custody in the first place.

Sorry for your situation.  You should have your child more.

-Saille

lacunar

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #6 on: Jun 07, 2004, 02:56:35 PM »
I agree you are getting a raw deal, and I admire your sense of responsibility.

Some questions:

When was child support modified?

If he is a school teacher, then why isnt he working?

Did you know that child support guidelines are rebuttable?  If you havea strong case to show where the guidleines do not apply in your case, you have the right to present your rebuttle.


I feel for you.  I was forced to agree to alimony for my ex becasue the divorce masters move so slowly here that I could have ended up paying APL Alimony while divorce is pending, no cont4esting it) for so long that it was cheaper to buy her off with a set term of alimony higher than the state allowance.

joni

  • Sr. Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1011
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
same ole same ole
« Reply #7 on: Jun 07, 2004, 03:29:31 PM »

It was deja vu reading your story.  If you took your name out and inserted my husband's name, it would be exactly his story.

We're $500,000 in debt from the divorce, live paycheck to paycheck and have paid the BM over $100,000 in child support and alimony, BM lives with her own parents and you know what???  She's pissed it all away and doesn't have to provide any accounting of how she's spent over $60,000 in child support in three years.  There's no trust for the kid, she's spent this money on herself.

She system is screwed.  Couldn't agree with you more.  Trying everything to fix it.  That's why I'm here.  You have every right to be pissed and angry.

The only thing surprising about your story is that you're the mom.  Otherwise, it's what every other dad goes through on this board.

NeverGiveUp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 96
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #8 on: Jun 07, 2004, 03:42:48 PM »
You're right, it's not right.  Try not to let that cloud your vision with respect your children.  Because you're right there too, they need both their parents.  The sadest part is there needs to be more women in your shoes, then everyone would be on the same page and the system would change.  Unfortunately, ironicaly you are in the minority.  

Welcome to our world where no one has a voice . . .

wendl

  • Sr. Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1470
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #9 on: Jun 07, 2004, 09:10:40 PM »
actually if either parent is voluntarily un/underemployed most states will let you imput the income.

But most cs awards are unfair, they do not think about the parent paying cs's household.

TX

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #10 on: Jun 08, 2004, 01:34:16 AM »
I had to take my break from the boards and it's my first day back in weeks.

I get totally depressed and feel totally helpless. Then, I'll read the boards and see how many others are struggling with the same endless ridiculas justice system, ex, blended families and emotional trauma I struggle with. Somehow it does help to find others that share the same frustrations or hurts, other times I just want to put my head down and cry.

In your situation, you are walking in the shoes that most responsbile, loving fathers walk in all over this nation. Yes, there IS mothers that do what you do, but your outnumbered by good fathers. All in all, you hit it on the nose. Your not whining to me, your speaking the truth. It's unfair...the blasted system is unfair. Judges don't listen, attorneys want more money and the ex's use the kids...in MOST cases, not all.  

I tell you this and I mean it from my heart, you have a long road. Once you think you can sit down and rest, you can't. Once you think the road is finally going to be smooth, it has a sharp turn in it. Divorce is horrible, I don't care how well parents get along and if the money situation WAS fair, divorce is horrible on children. I don't care how acceptable it is in our society, it will never be acceptable to innocent children who love both their Mom and Dad with all their heart ...no matter how old they are.

KAT

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 276
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #11 on: Jun 08, 2004, 08:24:27 AM »
Plus, part of the child support is going to pay the mgt. on their homes. Do you see the tax deduction? NO. Do you ever see equity in the home that is partially paid for out of your own pocket? NO. This antiquated system needs a serious overhaul.
Last year our resident lawyer Socreateser explained his views on the new family court system which was awesome. This is my own elaboration which may or maynot be the same as his:
First of all, what in the heck is custody? How can the courts GIVE a person to another person? It's a child not a table. You can't will a child since a child is not chattel.
What is child support but slavery? Look up the definition. “A condition of subjection or submission characterized by lack of freedom of action or of will.” The courts force the non custodial parent to work & pay a nice size portion in child support. In most cases, the non custodial parent doesn’t have the *right* to obtain an education because if support doesn’t get paid, they go to jail. The non custodial parent can sit on their ever increasing fat behinds, not work and basically do what ever they want without having to provide documentation as to what the child support covers. This is sickening especially in the case of large support awards.
There needs to be a cut in stone rule that parenting is 50-50 in divorce unless one person is proven UNFIT beyond a shadow of a doubt (not just on hearsay from the other parent). False allegations will have mandatory jail time, heavy fines, loss of parenting time, no deviations are allowed.
There is no child support changing hands. Guess what ladies & gentlemen; it’s time to obtain an education before you start having children! You just might have to support them part of the time on your own! Gee, what a novel thought huh? Children will no longer be pawns in a game that carry rich cash rewards. I’m sure this will piss off uterus opportunists, but oh well!
A parent can lose their 50 percent of parenting time by (as examples) moving from the area (no custody battles, you lose, that’s it. It was your choice to move), or being proved unfit such as mental health, incarceration, drug use ect.
Support for parents who have lost partial parenting is calculated by what the states pay out in welfare benefits per child. Come one, the states know how much it costs to raise a child why do they put extra burdens on divorced families then? Let’s say for each child the state pays $600 a month in cash/medical/food stamps. Half of this amount is the responsibility of each parent. $300 a month or approximately $10.00 per day. If the parent with less time has the child 4 days per month that is subtracted from their obligation this would now equal $260.00. The tax burden falls on the payor.
I guess lawyers aren't going to like this either, probably have to find another field. We can probably get rid of many family courts too since custody battles will be pretty much moot. Family court judges will be elected by the people, heaven help your obviously bias ones.
During the past 2 years Mr. KAT has paid over $50,000 to the biotroll. She doesn't work, tell me how that kind of obligation isn't hidden alimony? The little pink trailer payment is only $350. per month. High support obligations do nothing to encourage the other party to seek an education or employment level in order to be able to support themselves. All it does is make them dependant. Let me tell you something. Mr. KAT's (former) daughter turned 18 last month. The amount of support didn't drop but she is no longer supported. But guess what boys & girls! You ALL get to pay for her now!! She's going to have a baby!! Biohag has been on welfare & knows all the rules! They also have a slip/fall lawsuit going on too. Funny how all this came about when support stopped for the oldest huh? And being that the younger one will be 18 in Sept 2005, well, they are going to need to make some money right? Yeah, just as long as they don't have to work for it. Which I guess would be pretty hard since both children only have 8th grade educations & criminal records. For biohag that nice rap sheet that includes numerous shoplifting charges kinda puts a damper on things. I mean, who wants to hire a theif?
Pissed, yes, I am. When Mr. KAT had custody she didn't pay a dime, not a loaf of bread, not a gallon of milk. She had 7 years to get an education or a job. But instead lived off men & the system. I gave up my needs for their wants for years. I treated them better then my own children. But the courts wouldn't have any of it. They needed to bond with biomommy, they wanted to live with her since our rules were strict. So there you go. The courts just gave you two more beings to support not including how many more illegitamite puppies SD will push out within in the next few years. SD will probably be on welfare until social security kicks in & well SS is heading to jail for selling drugs....which do you think costs more? Welfare or keeping them in prison? I gotta research it. This is the burden for all of us  to carry unless things change. It effects everyone, divorced or not, children or not.
Even though it's almost over, I am still fighting for changes...are you?
KAT

Peanutsdad

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #12 on: Jun 08, 2004, 03:44:32 PM »
Welcome to the wonderful world that men have been living. I cant say its nice or fun. You have no voice, no choice, and no recourse except to pay, and pay, and then pay some more. Equal opportunity,, aint it grand?


Someone else mentioned, and for all I know, it may be true,, this system wont change until just as many women are in the same situation as men. The women of this nation seem to have a nice heavy political club. Wouldnt it be ironic to see it wielded to change the system they pushed for in the first place?


You have my empathy for the financial struggles. I couldnt do as well as you did. Prior to my being granted custody, I paid my cs,, but I was also the only support for my 2 children by previous marriage. I ended up losing my vehicles, and buying a 20 yr old car that I nurse along as well as I can. BUT,, my cs was paid. My mortgage was paid. My kids were fed.

Your story, and my story,, they are common themes in cs struggles. We hear them every day. Justice doesnt factor into family court, just economics.

TX

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #13 on: Jun 09, 2004, 09:50:51 PM »
Thanks Kat...your letter went into my favorite places.

I too will fight for change and I will go down screaming.

Bolivar OH

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #14 on: Jun 10, 2004, 12:15:24 PM »
Thank you KAT for sharing you personal story.

p.s. I printed this off to share with my fellow DADS.  I hope you don’t mind.

stepmomtwo1

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #15 on: Jun 11, 2004, 08:22:49 PM »
I agree the system sucks and they don't care a darn about anything as long as they follow the paperwork.

Yeah if a person is under employeed they will give them an income. Dh's ex chooses not to work and lives off money her grandmother gives her each year (along with paying off her house) and what her current dh makes. And when she took us back for more cs (the courts said she proved that there was a need for more) they gave her min. wage as her income.

When dh asked about it they said we could contest it and the judge might not give her any imcome and we could pay more. When dh asked why they didn't tell her that if she could prove that she needed more money why not give her the option of getting off her butt and getting a job they told him if he can't afford his new family and old one maybe he could get another job!

Dh and I have five children together who wear hand me downs,get reduced lunches at school and live without but we work out butts off while this woman just goes to the courts and says she "needs" more money and they come knocking on our door.

One year and two months and all this crap will be behind us. Thank God!

saille

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #16 on: Jun 17, 2004, 08:30:09 AM »
My X went to the doctor and had himself diagnosed clinically depressed and unable to work at the moment.  Hence the support is not based on his income potential but on his current income.  

I know this is all a bunch of baloney.  He feels he's totally competent as a parent, so why can't he work?  

Plus, I just learned from the kids that he is working part time now.  But, he won't tell me where or what he's doing. . . basically because its under the table and there's no proof of it.

Thanks so much for responding!

-Saille

saille

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #17 on: Jun 17, 2004, 08:37:35 AM »
You know, that's why I titled my thread "I had no idea."  Because I didn't.  And, honestly, I don't think many women do until they experience it first-hand or marry/date someone who is experiencing it.  Its so frustrating because any positive change is not good "politically" because everybody wants to act hard on "deadbeat dads," while not even looking at the issue!  And, in fact, it places a social stigma on a mother who is willing to share custody.  I did my research, and everything says that divorce is bad for kids, but that kids with substantial shared custody by both parents are better off across the board.  I had to choose what was right for them, whether it made me feel good or not.  Still, people look at me like, you're the mom...why don't you have full custody?  And I have to say, because he's the dad and he's half their parents, he should be half their lives, regardless of how much I miss them, because its in their best interest.  I can't tell you how many people say I should go through the trauma of a custody trial just to escape paying support.  That stigma for moms has to change also.  Just like the false "deadbeat dad" cliche has to be changed.  

Its just all so insane and ridiculous that, until you or someone you love goes through it, you'd never believe that it could be happening the way it all is.

:(

-Saille

-Saille

jilly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #18 on: Jun 17, 2004, 09:26:59 AM »
That was the point I was trying to make in my grouchy way!  The PBsFH get everything handed to them by the Courts while those of us who marry in to the situation have to scrape by, make do and sometimes fight to provide the bare necessities for our children. Why does DH's second family have to be looked upon as second rate citizens or needing less than child/children from first marriage?  As you stated, the court will expect DH to work as many jobs as necessary to meet his obligation/responsibilty for first family. And what happens then? You have children from both families without a father because he's either at work all the time or too tired to be involved in the family. Makes my blood boil just thinking about it!

Mommyofone

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #19 on: Jun 18, 2004, 11:33:28 AM »
why do you have all the debt?  How much could you have to pay in child support ? Is the custody 50/50?  We have that and we pay 250 a month.

NeverGiveUp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 96
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #20 on: Jun 20, 2004, 05:10:22 PM »
First they came for the Jews, but I didn't care because I'm not Jewish.  Then they came for the Pols, but I didn't care because I'm not Polish.  Then they came for me . . . . .


I'm not trying to compare to the tragedy of the Holocaust.  Just the mind set.  Have you sent your letter to your gov officials??

NeverGiveUp

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 96
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #21 on: Jun 20, 2004, 05:27:58 PM »
Typicaly it's 23% for one child.  25% for two . . . .

That's from gross.  So, if you make 50K/Year and you have 2 children,  you'll pay ~12.5K/year.  I make 80K/year so I will pay 20K/year.  Yup, over 1600/month.  Then after taxes, that's about another 1/3 of your gross, you end up with less then 1/2 your pay.  Killer is, I end up buying stuff for my kids, like cloths, when they are with me.

You, either make very little money or are very very lucky.

KIASTAR

  • Guest
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #22 on: Jun 26, 2004, 10:09:35 AM »
Hun,I don't think she was whining,just getting it off her chest,like you just did.You BOTH explained why your situations are hard to live with so I really think she is right about having no idea. She is going through a lot of stress it sounds like as are you. I hopw both of your situations get better.

rainbow1

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #23 on: Jul 14, 2004, 07:57:28 PM »
Most states will set CS for an voluntarily unemployed parent at what their earning capacity is for their job history and education level. You could also ask for a change in custody naming you as having primary placement and reducing his placement time to allow him time for job searching. Sometimes it's all in how you word things to the court.

rainbow1

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
RE: I had no idea...
« Reply #24 on: Jul 14, 2004, 08:03:39 PM »
Try to get proof. Videotape him. Talk to the place employing him, I'm sure the IRS would love to know that he's got unreported cash coming in and they are paying cash without withholding taxes. If he's under doctor's order's ask the court to have him file for Social Security Disability if he won't do so himself, You can then file for the children's benefit off his S.S.D.

 

Copyright © SPARC - A Parenting Advocacy Group
Use of this website does not constitute a client/attorney relationship and this site does not provide legal advice.
If you need legal assistance for divorce, child custody, or child support issues, seek advice from a divorce lawyer.