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Author Topic: What do you think of this letter?  (Read 28476 times)

Wi-Mom

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RE: Are you serious???
« Reply #10 on: Oct 22, 2004, 10:55:33 AM »
Well, I can say that my relationship with my ex is definately not the same as yours and I am absolutely aware that your case is definately more normal.

The reason I know is that my new husband (I just got married on Sept 4th) has almost the identical scenario as you! His wife is constantly going to WI child support to see if she can screw him out of any more money (that she divides among her four children two of which are not his) and just got a big $2000 check because they magically came up with some arrears that he owed..and even she admitted to him that it wasn't true but wouldn't send back the money. So most of the time I'm feeling like you do because that money we had to pay her came from me. She already gets everything he has pretty much. If she sent him a letter like this I would tell her the same thing you would!

My ex and I have 3 children, and the state of Wisconsin garnishes 29% of his wages. These are the only kids who live with us and every dime of that child support goes into a joint account with my ex. He has full access to that account and any time he wanted to he could get a printout of every dime that was spent. This was my choice to do this. I only spend that money on our children and nothing else. Every other trip to the grocery store comes from that account too.. but food is a covered expense. There is always plenty of money in there but I must say that during school registration it was emptied. Almost $200/kid! I do find that I have to contribute a good deal of my own money to their care so I really can't give you a breakdown of what exactly it costs each month for the kids.

I have told my DH that if my ex and I were still married our kids would be rich! So I'm trying to spend more on the kids then on myself and DH.. they should benefit as if there were no divorce. They eat better and are clothed better then I am for sure!!

Once I was telling my ex about some father's rights issues my DH and I were looking into and my ex said to me, "I have no concern for these issues because you take excellent care of our children."

When we went to the attorney to draw up the details of the divorce he requested that his wages be garnished because he didn't want to have to deal with making sure his payments were on time. He preferred what we had set up. I used to give him back any extra over-time money, but he got a new job and I honestly don't know how much he makes without overtime. His checks are different every time. I guess I could try to find out.. but he sure doesn't seem concerned about it at all. Also, our divorce does indicate that he should cover half of all Dr co-pays and I have never asked him for a dime of it. I pay those all myself. I think I'm being fair.. and I believe he has no complaints about the way he's being treated.

It's all so complicated now! He just got married too (that was weird.. 20 days after me and to a girl he'd only been dating one month!)... and his new wife has kids and receives child support from her ex. So here we are.. I'm paying and receiving and so is my ex! Perhaps we're all even Steven in the end!


POC

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RE: What do you think of this letter?
« Reply #11 on: Oct 23, 2004, 06:58:47 AM »
No, I don't think you should send the letter to your ex.

Sincerity is not the issue. I believe you are very sincere in what you are saying. The problem is the realities of what the letter is about.

1) Child support does not provide for children. It is a court order for one parent to pay money to another, whom they had a child(ren) with. The income shares guideline you use in NC is based upon marginal tobacco and alcohol consumption of parents before and after having kids. It is intended to restore those levels to what they were before the kids were borne. It has nothing to do with direct expenditures for the benefit of children.

2) Your gratitude for receiving the money probably is of little consequence to him. I am sure he would rather be able to buy things for the kids directly, so that the kids can see him doing this. Even if he would rather you be able to buy and pay for necessary items, I am sure he would rather just give you the money, rather than be forced by court order how much to spend on his kids.

3) Saying that "your father works very hard to support you" gives the connotation that it is not a responsibility of mothers to do the same. Surely, you would want your children to believe that when they grow up that both they and their spouse will share the financial responsibility for your grandchildren, regardless of whether their spouse chooses to stay with them, or not.  

4) No, they don't probably ever tell their dad about money that he gave them when they were with you. Like other kids, they ask for money from which ever parent they happen to be with at that time.

5) Accountability in one's own head is an oxymoron. The most basic of premises to accounting is that one person has another person look over their work. It is o/k to justify things. But, don't confuse justification with accountability. If you want accountability, get his approval before making expenditures on your kids. If that doesn't work for you, be satisfied with your justifications.

6) If you want to lessen any possible resentment, ask him what can you do starting today that might possibly make things better in the future?

7) If you want to write a letter, ask him after 4 years, what can we do to make things better for our kids without involving a bunch of attorneys? Let him know that you believe boht you and he can make better decisions about what is best for your kids than some person dressed in a black robe, that doesn't even know your kids.

You don't have to dwell on the past. Just move forward. Treat him how you would want to be treated.

joni

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I agree
« Reply #12 on: Oct 23, 2004, 09:51:37 AM »

As well intended and sincere as your letter may be, I find it patronizing.  I agree with POC, it's totally unnecessary.

I think you putting the CS money in a joint account with your Ex speaks volumes for your accountability and sincerity with the money.  It's obvious to anyone that you do this out of respect for your Ex.  If you really want to send a message to him, like POC said, get his approval before you make the expenditures for your kids.

It's best to let sleeping dogs lie.  Remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.


KAT

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RE: I agree
« Reply #13 on: Oct 23, 2004, 11:34:14 AM »
If you REALLY want him to know how much you respect him, give up *custody*. Instead make it 50/50 joint *parenting*. You support the children with your own dime when they are with you & Daddy does the same. Who ever makes the most, carries the insurance.

It's not that I don't understand what your intentions are, I do but I just don't think there is anyway you can go about thanking him for court ordered child support without sounding patronizing. You gave it a very good try, it is an excellant letter......however under the circumstances this isn't a battle you can win with a letter.....

KAT

Sunshine1

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RE: Thank you..and Amen Sista!! eom
« Reply #14 on: Oct 23, 2004, 11:44:04 AM »
.


cathy

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Disagree/Differing opinions
« Reply #15 on: Oct 23, 2004, 12:32:51 PM »

>1) Child support does not provide for children. It is a court
>order for one parent to pay money to another, whom they had a
>child(ren) with. The income shares guideline you use in NC is
>based upon marginal tobacco and alcohol consumption of parents
>before and after having kids. It is intended to restore those
>levels to what they were before the kids were borne. It has
>nothing to do with direct expenditures for the benefit of
>children.

The basic premise for child support is to help support the child.  Of course, there are LOTS of cases where this doesn't happen.  It is also hard to provide money that exclusively supports the child - or at least make a direct correlation.  And yeah - it sucks.  My husband paid $1390/month that obviously did not go to supporting the kids.  But that is the fault of the mother.  Yes, the courts could put in places better safeguards to ensure that happens - but ultimately, it is the responsibility of the parent receiving child support to make sure it goes towards supporting the children.

I live in NC, but I have no idea what you are refering with your statements. "Marginal tabacco and alcolhol consumption"???  Please.  Yes, NC uses income shares - which I personally think makes more sense than some.  My understanding is that the idea behind it is to look at the combined income of both parents.  Based on this amount, they come up with a percentage of that total that typically would be spent toward a child.  Then that amount that would be spent on a child is divided between the 2 parents, in the same percentage as their salary contributes to the total combined salaries.  Sure, it isn't perfect - but it makes more sense than a set percentage of a salary.

>2) Your gratitude for receiving the money probably is of
>little consequence to him. I am sure he would rather be able
>to buy things for the kids directly, so that the kids can see
>him doing this. Even if he would rather you be able to buy and
>pay for necessary items, I am sure he would rather just give
>you the money, rather than be forced by court order how much
>to spend on his kids.

I think you are making a lot of assumptions here.  I think most people appreciate an acknowledgement when they are doing something "good" or something they are suppose to.  I don't think the gratitude expressed is for the money as it is so much for the fact that her ex is not playing games and is willing to help support his children without hassles and games.

And as you do acknowlege, he may actually not like shopping and buying and might rather provide the money.  And so far as being forced by court order - - well, sometimes that is just part of the standard deal.  Typically,child support is addressed in a court order.

>3) Saying that "your father works very hard to support you"
>gives the connotation that it is not a responsibility of
>mothers to do the same. Surely, you would want your children
>to believe that when they grow up that both they and their
>spouse will share the financial responsibility for your
>grandchildren, regardless of whether their spouse chooses to
>stay with them, or not.  

I think it is great that she tells the kids that their father works hard to support them.  Perhaps she does tell the kids that it is both her and their father's responsibility to support them.  Maybe she feels the kids understand that she has an obligation to support them simply because they see her supporting them.  You know, it seems like if the person getting child support never acknowledges that the other parent provides support, they are wrong....and now, if they do acknowledge it, they are wrong.

>4) No, they don't probably ever tell their dad about money
>that he gave them when they were with you. Like other kids,
>they ask for money from which ever parent they happen to be
>with at that time.

Not sure what your point is with this.  Yes, that is true that kids typically ask for money from whoever is there.  But it sounds like the mother here is at least telling them sometimes that the money she gives them is from their father - - -   Chances are, since they are mostly with their mother, she ends up giving them money more often than the father does.  So it is nice that they realize their father is providing some of that money - not just their mom.

>5) Accountability in one's own head is an oxymoron. The most
>basic of premises to accounting is that one person has another
>person look over their work. It is o/k to justify things. But,
>don't confuse justification with accountability. If you want
>accountability, get his approval before making expenditures on
>your kids. If that doesn't work for you, be satisfied with
>your justifications.

Interesting twist on "accountability".  Getting approval before buying something isn't being accountable.  And I do think you can be accountable in one's head.  She is accountable to HERSELF and to her obvious belief that child support should be used for the children.  

Now don't get me wrong, I personally think it would be good to have some form of accountability to the parent paying the child support.  But that isn't the case - so at least she is holding herself accountable for doing the right thing.

>6) If you want to lessen any possible resentment, ask him what
>can you do starting today that might possibly make things
>better in the future?

Good idea.  Not sure how that relates to expressing appreciation and acknowledging the part he has played in financially supporting his children.

>7) If you want to write a letter, ask him after 4 years, what
>can we do to make things better for our kids without involving
>a bunch of attorneys? Let him know that you believe boht you
>and he can make better decisions about what is best for your
>kids than some person dressed in a black robe, that doesn't
>even know your kids.

Again - not sure how this really relates....and it seems to make a LOT of assumptions.


jilly

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RE: Disagree/Differing opinions
« Reply #16 on: Oct 23, 2004, 12:55:43 PM »
I live in NC too. I wouldn't mind the income shares model so much if they would look at the NET instead of the GROSS.  The Courts really need to look at what is actually being brought home after taxes and do the calculations from there.

cathy

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Understand
« Reply #17 on: Oct 23, 2004, 02:45:39 PM »
But thinking about the specifics - that would be kinda hard.  How do you determine NET?  The amount of tax withhold?  Well that depends on how many dependents you claim.  Your taxable income on your 1040?  Well, that depends on your deductions and tax breaks.

So I'm not sure how you could fairly determine "NET".

POC

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RE: Disagree/Differing opinions
« Reply #18 on: Oct 23, 2004, 05:09:18 PM »
Before I respond to the rest, do you believe that if child support guidelines were to be based upon parental tobacco and alcohol consumption that children's best interests would be the primary concern of said guidelines?

cathy

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If I understand what you are saying.....
« Reply #19 on: Oct 23, 2004, 05:15:16 PM »
of course not.  That is absurd.

So what?  Are you know going to tell me that somehow NC's child support guidelines are based on the amount of tobacco and alcohol one or both of the parents consumed??

Andyes, I have seen these self-promoting quips and quotes - taken out of context to try to muddy the waters.  Not only that, but it seems they only tell a small part of the story.  How about the numbers times the guidelines have been altered, changed and updated?

Although I don't particular care for this lawyer, her site offers a more detailed explanation than the "sound bite" of alcohol and tobacco consumption:

http://www.benderlaw.com/child_support_guidelines.html


 

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