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Author Topic: Opinion - CS- Who should pay for what?  (Read 4497 times)

Wi-Mom

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Opinion - CS- Who should pay for what?
« on: Oct 26, 2004, 10:56:18 AM »
I'm sorry about the ruckus my first post caused. I very obviously struck a nerve with a lot of people.. and understandably so. We're all coming from so many different experiences. One of my posts that I think got missed I'm still very interested in getting your opinions on. I thought I'd repost it fresh if that's ok with everyone? I've posted how things are paid for in my case so you all know my own perspective.  Please let me know your thoughts on these things...


 I keep feeling that child support needs and expenses are so subjective I don't know how it could possibly be determined "fairly." There are things we all agree child support should cover:

Food
Clothing
School fees/field trips, etc


Then there are some things that are necessary, but subjective to others as far as what CS should cover: (In my case I pay for these as well)

% of rent/mortgage
% of heat/water/utilities
% of phone bill

Dr expenses should be divided between both parents, so that's in a category of it's own. (including glasses, dental, etc)


Then what about the other things that are not necessities but are part of childhood?

Birthday parties: - given (cake, pizza, soda.. etc) (In my case Dad attends but does not pay a dime even for his own pizza.)
Birthday gifts for your child's friend's parties: (Your kid gets invited they need to bring a gift!)
Toys (They have NO toys at their father's house)
Computer software for extra learning at home/Internet etc - (Their father doesn't pay for anything of the sort his house or mine)
Tutoring (I'm paying the $4600.00 Sylvan Learning Center bill myself because I elected to send our youngest son for professional help because he was failing every single class. It was not required.. but I believed we had no other recourse)
Drum lessons (Or piano, ballet, whatever your child is interested in)
Scouting fees (boy scouts/girl scouts)
Class trips to Washington DC (I paid the $300 fee myself for each of our kids because it was optional. If the kids hadn't gone.. they would have been the ONLY kids not to go.. but it wasn't required so I got to pay it.)
Class rings ($75 - $350) - Yearbooks ($50)
School photos/SENIOR photos!
Homecoming/Prom dress/hair, expenses.
8th Grade Graduation/1st Communion/Baptism family events/parties.
Christmas/Birthday/Fathers day gifts to the other parent from the kids. (In my case I pay for the gifts my kids give their dad, and my DH pays for the gifts they give me)

I'm listing all the extra things that I pay for myself and HONESTLY I don't even ask my ex to help. He knows the expenses are there, even attends the birthday parties and eats the cake and food but doesn't offer anything for them financially. School photo's he helps himself. I'm not complaining.. but I am just curious which of these items would you all put into what category? Covered under child support or not? Who should pay for them? (In other words if you don't believe they should be covered under child support - who should pay?) Am I missing anything in any of the categories? I think this is one thing that never gets truely defined or nailed down and I'm wondering what your thoughts are?



catherine

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RE: Opinion - CS- Who should pay for what?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 26, 2004, 11:13:43 AM »
Birthday parties: - given (cake, pizza, soda.. etc) (In my case Dad attends but does not pay a dime even for his own pizza.)
>> Whoever wants to throw the party - CS can help - NCP isn't required to help

Birthday gifts for your child's friend's parties: (Your kid gets invited they need to bring a gift!)
> CS can help - NCP isn't required

Toys (They have NO toys at their father's house)
>> Ask them to divide their toys and take some to Dad's house.  CS doesn't cover this

Computer software for extra learning at home/Internet etc - (Their father doesn't pay for anything of the sort his house or mine)
>> CS doesn't cover this

Tutoring (I'm paying the $4600.00 Sylvan Learning Center bill myself because I elected to send our youngest son for professional help because he was failing every single class. It was not required.. but I believed we had no other recourse)
>> CS *may* cover this too - if you can prove to a court that the child has special needs it can be alloted.  If you have joint legal though, NCP would have to be consulted before paying for it and their might be a much cheaper alternative/tutor.

Drum lessons (Or piano, ballet, whatever your child is interested in)
Scouting fees (boy scouts/girl scouts)
>> CP's responsibility - NCP not required

Class trips to Washington DC (I paid the $300 fee myself for each of our kids because it was optional. If the kids hadn't gone.. they would have been the ONLY kids not to go.. but it wasn't required so I got to pay it.)
Class rings ($75 - $350) - Yearbooks ($50)
School photos/SENIOR photos!
Homecoming/Prom dress/hair, expenses.
8th Grade Graduation/1st Communion/Baptism family events/parties.
>>All of the above it's the CP's responsibility - CS isn't for extra items such as these.

Christmas/Birthday/Fathers day gifts to the other parent from the kids. (In my case I pay for the gifts my kids give their dad, and my DH pays for the gifts they give me)
>>Your own money - your choice.

If the child support is reasonable and doesn't break the back of the NCP, what I think it really comes down to is how much both parents want to contribute.  No one can force you to buy your kids toys/yearbook/clothes but I personally, LOVE to spend my money on my skids to see the happiness in their eyes when they get something new or something that they want.

MYSONSDAD

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RE: Opinion - CS- Who should pay for what?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 26, 2004, 11:14:23 AM »
My opinion only.

You are itemizing too much.

BOTH parents should be responsible financially. If you choose the extras, it should be left in your hands. If you get an offer to help out with these added expenses, then say thank you.

So as not to stir up another mess, there are statistics that show CS is already well over what it takes to provide for the children.

Many NCP's have to move back in with parents or get a roommate just to make ends meet and put food on the table. Many NCP's are paying well over 50%.

And I do realize that childrens needs are priority. As it should be. In my case, I would gladly pay when it benifits our child.

The best way to answer your question is to ask yourself this,
If the situation were reversed, what would you want? What would you be willing to pay?

ADDED NOTE:

When I receive our son, he comes with the clothes on his back, nothing more. I supply everything he needs, and then some, while in my care. Insurnace is covered by me, I do all the driving. I have a room full of toys, furniture, books, clothing and all neccessities. I pay out of my pocket. She does not even send medication when prescribed. Maybe I should make an itemized list of all of the things she does not supply. After calculating all additional expenses, I am currently at 76% in CS.

If my son chooses to bring something from my home back with him, it is HIS choice. These are HIS items. Sometimes they are returned and sometimes, not. Bottom line is, they are HIS.

There are times he has no coat, no shoes. Tell me that's right...
I keep extra items in my car for those situations.

I also keep college expenses current for the future.

No one has ordered me to do this. It is done out of my responsibility as a parent. And I will keep on sacrificing.

cathy

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Amazingly similiar to what our situation was!
« Reply #3 on: Oct 26, 2004, 12:02:47 PM »
Kids came with the clothes on their back.  We had to supply EVERYTHING for them when they were with us - on top of paying a substantial amount of child support.

To go even further, ANY extras were provided by us as well.  If they went to the movies, it was with us.  If they went out to eat, it was with us.  If they went on vacation, it was us.

And I soooo agree with the things belonging to the kids.  This was one of the things that drove me batty.  Their mother would make them take off the outfit worn back (one we had purchased).  She would wash it and hide it and that was what the kids had to wear over the next visit.  One time, I was going to be near the kids school and was just going to pick them up instead of meeting at the halfway point - figured it would be easier for their mother as she wouldn't have to pick them up and all.  She drove all the way to the school, waited by their door and made them go into the bathroom and change into "our" clothes!  How insane is that?!?!?!?!?

But like you say - it is what you do when you are a parent!  And even though I am a step-parent, I still consider myself a parent!

cathy

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See, I think that is a big part of the problem.
« Reply #4 on: Oct 26, 2004, 12:06:36 PM »
What is a "necessary expense" and how much is that expense?

So many things on your list are subjective.  In an intact family, the decision would be made jointly and depend on so many things - the family values, the family finances, etc etc etc.  Well, now you don't have an intact family - so who gets to say?

A birthday party - it isn't really necessary......but most parents I think would want their kid to have one.  But hey - some want to do the clown, the pony and the whole ball of wax.  Some want to do the skating/bowling/whatever party.  For others, a few friends and a bday cake.

But who gets to decide?  Is it right that one parent pay the whole expense?  If not, then who gets to say what share each should pay?

Fair?  Like I tell the kids, life ain't fair so get used to it!


MYSONSDAD

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RE: Amazingly similiar to what our situation was!
« Reply #5 on: Oct 26, 2004, 12:25:24 PM »


Now that is going to the extreme...

"Children learn what they live"

Wi-Mom

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RE: Amazingly similiar to what our situation was!
« Reply #6 on: Oct 26, 2004, 12:39:56 PM »


This is the same situation I'm in too.. I mean look at the list of things I GLADLY pay for.. and yet there are people who would say that I'm getting too much CS. Hence my question.

My ex is invited (and comes to bringing his HUGE family) to absolutely everything. Christmas morning is spent at my house because the kids want it that way. After opening gifts together my ex and I make the kids and my DH (not sure how this year's gonna go now that he's married) a huge breakfast. Ex ends up falling asleep on the couch while the kids play and enjoy their gifts. We've been having Easter Sundays together too. All school events, all parties and things are given by DH and I and I don't even ask my ex to contribute.. although he's welcome to if he wanted.

Get this: Our family tradition is to celebrate everyone's birthday at our local Itallion restaurant. When it's my birthday I pay, When it's my kid's birthday, I pay, when it's my mother's birthday, I pay (for myself, DH, & kids)..  when it's my Ex's birthday... you got it.. I pay!

I wouldn't give up those celebrations to quibble about the money. That's not the point. My point is that there are SO many expenses in a child's life that I don't know how ANYONE could possibly determine a fair amount of child support. The best recourse is to not get divorced at all... but can you imagine still being married to that person?

Wi-Mom

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RE: See, I think that is a big part of the problem.
« Reply #7 on: Oct 26, 2004, 12:56:07 PM »
When POC posted their formula for determining child support.. I got stuck at the first requirement. How much it costs to raise the child.

momof2

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RE: Opinion - CS- Who should pay for what?
« Reply #8 on: Oct 26, 2004, 12:57:45 PM »
I'm a custodial parent that receives child support from my children's father.  He pays child support, carries insurance on the boys, and is supposed to pay half of all medical/dental expenses after insurance.  It is very hard to get him to pay his 1/2 of medical, but that's a different subject.

I've never expected nor asked my EX to pay for anything else for the kids, other than expenses incurred while they are visiting him.  Per the court order he is supposed to provide all clothing and personal items, but I have always supplied those items when the kids visit.  All other expenses including sports, extra curricular activities, summer school, driver's ed, school pictures, rings, birthday parties, etc. all fall on me.  His part is child support.

Now, if he ever had a party for the kids (which has never happened), I would expect him to pay for that.  But I've never asked or expected him to chip in above child support.

Kitty C.

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RE: Amazingly similiar to what our situation was!
« Reply #9 on: Oct 26, 2004, 01:02:54 PM »
Not really MSD.  PBFH once made SS change clothes, from his baseball uniform to his regular clothes, in the back of her van, since he was going with us after his game.  Heaven forbid we were to take his uniform home, or she would never see it again (HER reasoning).

Right there in the middle of the parking lot, in front of all his friends.......how humiliating............
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

 

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