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Author Topic: Opinion - CS- Who should pay for what?  (Read 4496 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.......

MYSONSDAD

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RE: Amazingly similiar to what our situation was!
« Reply #10 on: Oct 26, 2004, 01:12:42 PM »
How can a parent do this to a child they love?

Wish the courts would look more closely at the emotional abuse...

My PBFH will literally strip our son at the door if he is wearing anything I give him. Outside, regardless of the weather conditions or who is watching. It hurts me more then when she left and took him without my consent. Feeling his anquish and his embarassment...

"Children learn what they live"

catherine

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RE: Amazingly similiar to what our situation was!
« Reply #11 on: Oct 26, 2004, 01:33:57 PM »
Funny, as CP and NCP we had problems with clothes, big time!  The main problem being PB "stealing" the clothes.  Seems minor, but when you are CP and slowly all the clothes you have bought the kids end up with the NCP who only *wants* to see the kids 4 days a month - it gets frustrating.  When we were NCP we had clothes at our place, washed the clothes they came in and put them back in those clothes when they left.  Even this past weekend - PB put OSS in her raggy old clothes and "kept" the outfit he was wearing when he went there.

cathy

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Yup - -
« Reply #12 on: Oct 26, 2004, 02:30:02 PM »
And I remember one weekend we were getting ready to take the girls back over to their mother's house.  The oldest went into panic mode, her mother had told her to bring back home a pair of panties she had left over here.

Well, we had just bought her a package of brand new panties and I told her to just grab a pair of those.  Oh nooooooo! It had to be THE panties that MOM bought.

Oh - and the socks.  One time we went bowling and didn't have socks with us.  I bought some - no biggie.  Kids wore some socks home, I didn't pay attention to which socks they wore - didn't care.  Eventually, the "original, purchased by mom" socks went thru the wash and I remember them when the girls were over - at least a month later.  I gave them to the girls and they said "Oh good. Mom was wondering what had happened to those socks!"

Huh?  Do you keep a running inventory of your kids' socks?!?!?!

I could go on all day - - - but sounds like you know exactly what the stories would be like.  I just don't understand how parents can do that to their kids.

lucky

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RE: Yup - -
« Reply #13 on: Oct 26, 2004, 02:40:30 PM »
Well, to be honest (and dh is NCP of yss) I DO check which socks yss wears here and then what he's wearing home.  You see, I don't even know if pbfh#2 BUYS socks for yss because everytime he comes here he has these filthy, holey socks on that stink to high heaven and would fit oss (who wears a size 11 in mens and yss wears around 4 in boys).  

I KNOW she gets cs plus she gets disability payments for ALL FOUR of her kids so you can't tell me that she can't afford to buy him socks.  But, ya know, she's never complained when yss DID wear the new stuff we bought home -- but we never SAW any of it again either -- socks, undies, pants, shirts OR shoes.  Sadly enough, we no longer allow anything to go back.

Now the other kids take their clothes back and forth -- but it didn't used to be that way because their mom (ex#1) used to keep all the good stuff too and send holey, too small/big stuff home on them.  DH was CP of all of them at that time.  Till they got old enough to like THEIR clothes and do NOT try to take a teen's or pre-teen's clothing away from them!!!!  You might lose a body part in the fight, lol!
Lucky

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cathy

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RE: Yup - -
« Reply #14 on: Oct 26, 2004, 02:54:52 PM »
Well, I can't say the clothes the kids came in were holey and stuff -  sometimes they were too big or stained.   But even when the kids were young and wanted to take their new outfit, we had no problem with that.  (We would also send the clothes they came in back).

Thing is that their mother wouldn't allow them to wear anything we bought them.  How warped is that??  

And really, I would have rather bought socks every weekend, have them wear them home, and know they had socks rather than know they were wearing old, dirty, holey socks.

dad in az

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RE: Opinion - CS- Who should pay for what?
« Reply #15 on: Oct 27, 2004, 06:29:09 AM »
In our situation each parent has custody of one child. Why does BM feel like we have to pay for everything for OSD that lives with us and for YSD that lives with her??? She doesn't help or even ask if we need help with OSD but she sure as hell feels entitled to more than what she gets in CS??  That's very frustrating!!! DH pays $300 a month, 75% of everything and SD is coming down for Xmas and if she doesnt come with appropiate clothing for the weather then guess what?? We will have to go shopping b/c we cant let her freeze.

I guess BM can't afford to pay a medical premium of $15 a month, so she sends us a bill, she wants DH to pay HIS shatre $11.75.


Wi-Mom

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RE: Yup - -
« Reply #16 on: Oct 27, 2004, 09:41:51 AM »
I wonder what might have happened if at that point you'd sent the girls home with like.. 25 pairs of socks each.

kitten

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RE: Amazingly similiar to what our situation was!
« Reply #17 on: Oct 27, 2004, 10:17:08 AM »
Our BM gets over $1600.00/mo.  SO asked her to put 5 yr old in preschool so that he will be more prepared for what is expected of him when he starts K.   She said it was too expensive.  She would have to give up her $75/mo gym membership that she pays for with CS!  The CS is for things like PRESCHOOL, not water aerobics so she can have a tight a$$ for her new hubby!  

cathy

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She probably would have pitched a fit
« Reply #18 on: Oct 27, 2004, 11:26:08 AM »
and sent them back.  I'm sure she wouldn't have let the kids wear them.

cathy

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One of the amazing things....
« Reply #19 on: Oct 27, 2004, 11:29:04 AM »
PBHF worked and her husband work.  On top of that, she got the $1390 tax-free child support.....but they had NOTHING to show for it.  They lost their house and were renting.  Didn't have fancy cars.  Didn't wear expensive clothes.  Didn't go out to eat or on vacations.

On one of the financial affidavits from 5-6 years ago, she listed $32,000 on charge cards!

No idea where all that money went....

wendl

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RE: Opinion - CS- Who should pay for what?
« Reply #20 on: Oct 29, 2004, 06:00:17 AM »
Well I pay 100% of everything as my sons dad fails to pay his cs.

Now my dh pays his cs and this is what happens to him.
Mom never sends kids with clothing (only what they have on their backs) so dh buys clothing, toys etc for our house. DH pays for gifts if the kids go to bday parties while at our house, mothers day, xmas ect, kids make their moms gifts.

Parents need to realize instead of trying to ruin the NCP they need to work together, I personallyl think ALL cp's should have to use the CS credit card and give the NCP the monthly statement showing WHAT they spend the cs on, we know dh's ex doesn't spend it on the kids or OSS would have had glasses by now ( hasn't had them since June)

If I got cs, I would spend it on, clothing, medical prescriptions (cost me around $60 a month after ins for sons meds) shoes, food (you all know how much pre-teens can eat. But my cs is $160 a month so that would be one in a minute.

It is so sad that each parent can't help the other when providing for the kids, in a perfect world NO cs would be ordered, the parents would need to work together to provide for the kids, I personally think CS is a joke as when you were with the mom/dad you weren't told how much to spend on your kids and ordered to spend that much. That is just silly I don't see how the states can appose certain amounts of monies that ncp must pay, how can they do the fairly hmm They DON'T.

They don't take into consideration that most ncps need to move back in with their parents, live our of their cars, live with friends or relatives, they put the ncp in the poor house and they then cannot provide for the kids while in their care (at least some of them) all the while the cp can get new clothes (not for the kids) new cars etc. Pretty sad in my opinion.

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**

Kitty C.

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A running inventory?
« Reply #21 on: Oct 29, 2004, 06:48:49 AM »
Hell yes!  Our PBFH is SO anal that she actually makes a list of everything that goes into SS's bag and checks everything off when he gets back!  SS has gotten better at making sure he has everything together before he leaves, but there was a while there that we always got a call within an hour of him going back, asking to find some piece of clothing and DH would have to drop everything he was doing, find it, and bring it over IMMEDIATELY.

When SS is sick, she sends over the meds with a CHART of times it is to be taken and DH has to mark off that it was done.  It pissed me off so much that when SS was apparently 'constipated' (wasn't), I went overboard, taking his vitals (BP, pulse, resp.) every 4 hours, wrote down EVERYthing he put in his mouth, the time of EVERY bathroom visit, what he eliminated, how much, AND the consistency and color!  If she wanted anal, I was going to give her anal!  DH thought it was a hoot!

But you know what's REALLY sad?  She never batted an eye when DH handed her all the documentation for that weekend.......she's NEVER said a word about it.  Then I found out from past babysitters of hers that they couldn't stand dealing with her.  As infants, both SS and her current rugrat came to daycare with JOURNALS and they had to practically write down the SAME THINGS!  Times, quantities, consistencies for both intake and output.  The way I figured it, if she would have had the intelligence, she would have made a great nurse, at least when it comes to documentation.  DH told me that she writes EVERYTHING down and makes lists ALL the time.  Talk about insecure, paranoid, and ANAL.................
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

stepmom

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RE: Opinion - CS- Who should pay for what?
« Reply #22 on: Nov 08, 2004, 10:39:49 PM »
My husband & I buy his daughter school clothes every year for the past 4 years and spend a couple hundred dollars.  Instead of her mother saying thank you she comes back saying what are you trying to do make yourselves look good to the court or win his daughters love.  Now how absurd is that.    We have also paid 1/2 for her glasses once to find out 2 months later she still hadn't gotten them and paid her mothers 1/2 just so she could get them.  I think what infuriates me the most is that her mother refuses to work and sits back & collects cs and for most of his daugthers life welfare because she won't work.   If she does do any work she makes sure to get paid under the table so she doesn't have to report it to anyone. She is now taking us to court for more support this is the 4th time in  a couple of months because she has failed to show because she forgot or whatever and then files again.  We also pay for her medical insurance & have paid for other things that she has called & wanted, yet her mother really pays for nothing.   Will the courts take this into consideration when determining the amount of cs??  Also how do you feel about the mother wearing the clothes/shoes of her daugther that we purchased for her for school??   The daughter once made a comment to us that her mother needs to get a job and buy her own stuff.  She tried hiding her boots on her mother one day when she went to school and got punished for it.    Another question, how does taxes work is there something that says we can claim his daugther maybe every other year??

 

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