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Author Topic: Summer visitation and child support question  (Read 2758 times)

charlie967

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Summer visitation and child support question
« on: Jun 23, 2005, 06:25:43 PM »
Hi all.  I am the CP to a 5 yr old boy.  He will be going for his summer visit (30 days) with his father in July.  We live in Texas and live less than 100 miles from eachother.  We have standard possession orders with few changes..  Last year was the first summer he went for the extended stay.  I have a couple of questions.

1.  During the extended summer visit am I required to pay half of any child care expenses?  He is asking for me to pay half since he is "short on money and our son is both ours." He wants to just pay  the difference of what child care will cost for him for July's child support.  (DS will be staying with his MIL who also watches his daughter. He also stayed with her last year and at Christmas and has never asked before for me to help)

2. Would he be in contempt for not paying child support for the month of the extended visit?

3.  He also stated that he could not afford to provide clothing for DS when he is at his home and that I need to send clothes for him to wear there because he has none and he can not afford to buy any. Orginally I sent clothes for the weekend.  But every week less came home.  So we agreed via email that we would not send clothing either way.  If he comes home with clothes that they have bought I send it back.  When DS comes home he has clothes that are 2 sizes too small and not with the clothes he had on when he left.  It states in our paperwork that he is ordered to return personal effects and I assume that is standard.

4.  In our orders it says that his child support should be withheld from his earnings.  Before we had the final paperwork signed he would just send child support to me.  It was never on time but it eventually got to me.  He never paid insurance or his part of the medical expenses and in the final paperwork the judge ordered that to be paid out monthly to me until he paid it in full.  After we signed the paperwork he asked me if he could continue mailing the child support to me because he was in arrearage and he works for a government office and they frown on that.  So I said that he continue mailing it to me himself but if it did not get to me by the 5th then I would start the process to have it withheld.  Well the past two months he has  been almost 30 days late and last month he was short.  Would it be (I don't know what the word it other than..bitchy of me to file the papers to withhold his earnings for child support?

I really have tried to be easy and flexible to work with because I don't want DS to suffer at all.  He is always changing around the week visits to fit his schedule and I always try to switch provide we don't have plans made already. If he comes early to pick him up I let him go and don't make him come back early.  But I don't want to be taken advantage of.  Does that make sense?  There are a lot of other little things but they are all adding up...coming home an hour after he is suppose to bring him home, not notifing me of him moving to a different city, phone numbers etc... Anyway, I guess I'm just asking how would you respond back in an email about whether or not I am suppose to provide half of child care while he is in his care and the other questions.

Thank you for reading and for any advice.


awakenlynn

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RE: Summer visitation and child support question
« Reply #1 on: Jun 24, 2005, 03:33:18 PM »
I know that you are not going to like my answer, but I try and remain unbiased.
Just to give a minute's background.  My DH is NCP and while the ex was making twice as much as my DH, she was VERY *itchy when coming to money.  My husband works hard, VERY hard, but he was earning very little, when it came down to having food on the table or losing the house or paying support, the 1st 2 had to take priority.  It didn't mean we loved SD any less, just that we were VERY POOR.

Ok, as the the questions.
1)Do you split child care costs now?  If you do, it would only be fair.  If it is MIL that is watching the children, possibly contact her.  Does she do this for a business?  If you get along decently with her, maybe talk with her, or to stay on good terms(if they are), offer like $20 a week to help her deflect the costs of the extra food, ect.  This keeps you in the loop and the extra cash out of his hands.  Try and get a receipt marked for child care and you can later write it off.

2)Is he court ordered for a summer abatement?  We are but our CS is withdrawn from his paycheck and we're not sure how on the ball SDU is.  IF he really is poor and is not making much, and REALLY is deadbroke and you are better off, it would be a nice gesture to forgive the support for that month.  He really does have to pick up the costs of being a full-time parent even if it only for a few weeks.  I'm not saying you, but alot of CP forget that a NCP must keep up a home and household for the child regardless of the child being there or not.  To us(the CP, the courts really should take that into effect, with support being issued).

3)Is ex really poor, it kind of seems like it from what you have said.  If you have the money, go to a children's thrift store(they have good clothes and kids that age grow really fast), buy like 5 sets of play clothes, 1 church outfit and 2 pairs of pj's.  Tell ex to keep these clothes there at his house.  Let him know this reprieve will allow him to save up a few dollars to buy child more clothes as child out grows them.  MAybe give ex a list of decent child thrift stores to "help".  We only shop at the children's thrift stores because we don't have the money.  Ex threw such a fit because we honestly would forget to pack an item.  We didn't have the money to mail it back to her.  Ex started sending a list of items she sent.  Whether she liked it or not, it really helped us keep track of everything.  We also went to the thrift store and got a few outfits for SD.  SD is VERY picky about her clothes, but she had to learn that we couldn't be picky(she prefered to wear only bell bottoms-to me that was too picky)

4)My husband was in the military, and frankly ex's reasoning doesn't wash.  Tell him you are going to get a withholding statement for child support.  We weren't very happy, but it helped make sure it was paid.  We are again struggling to make ends meet and are again requesting food stamps.  I am looking for a job with more hours(hate leaving a job I loved) and he is temporarily working a second job to cover bills.


As to the visitation visits, it is great you are keeping the issues seperate.  It stinks ex cannot be more responsible as to giving you the needed information or changing plans at the last minute.  If is great that you are willing to remain flexible to times when need be.  You may need to sit down with him with a list and say what you require-moving information, new phone numbers, 48 hour notice to time change ect.  Let ex know that the child NEEDS a consistant schedule and you want what is best for the child.  Let him know that you are not going to hunt him down when he moves or changes phone numbers.  If he has kept a constant e-mail, let hime know what days you have plans and that if he wants visitation before or after, what time frame he has.
Find out what his gov't job is.  Learn what is required.  My husband was in military and sometimes he was given no notice of a time change.  He flexible if that is the case, not so much if he works a straight 9-5 job.  Try and keep in touch with him, just in general.  The more information you BOTH have the more understanding you may both be.

As I said you may not like alot of my answer as we are the NCP, but I hope it gives you the picture on the other side.

charlie967

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RE: Summer visitation and child support question
« Reply #2 on: Jun 24, 2005, 05:58:44 PM »
Thanks for your reply.  I don't like or dislike your answer....just looking for any type of response so I can see both sides.  Make sense?  

 We have never split child care costs before.  When DS was in daycare (while I worked) I paid the total cost myself.  Monthly child support did not cover half the cost either so it was not like he paid for half of child care then.  I am a stay at home mom now so there is not child care away from the home.  He was in preschool this year but I just paid that out of child support.  I do not know his MIL.  Just enough to say hello etc.  I have only seen her 2 times.  DS's father and I were never involved in a relationship.  To be blunt we just slept together a couple of times and my birthcontrolled failed.  I got pg and he didn't want to be a father and wanted an abortion.  I didn't so we decided that I would raise the child on my own with nothing from him since he did not want to be involved.  It wasn't until I met someone almost a year later after DS was born that he wanted to be involved.  So we went to court and established paternity, support and visitation.    

As far as if he is really poor or not, I don't know that it is he is poor. I think he is just making poor money decisions. He and his girlfriend just moved 2 months ago and he told me they had to come up with deposits for everything and he just didn't have the extra money when it came time to pay child support.  I can understand that money is tight...believe me.  I was a single parent w/DS the entire time I was pg and for a year after he was born until I met my husband.  But he has had his job for 12 years and between he and his girlfriend they make around $50,000 a year-maybe a little more but I'm not sure about his side jobs he does.  And the new place they are renting is between $700-$800 a month cheaper.  But during the same time he said he was hurting for money and was late on child support he bought another brand new vehicle.  I'm not trying to make this into a money issue just giving a little background history.  

As far as the clothes, I thought about writing a list and sending it with the clothes but I didn't want to make them feel bad or that I was treating him like a chilc.  But maybe it will help them remember what he brought like it helped you.  DS does have a lot of clothes there because they have not made it home so I don't know why he said he doesn't have any.  I think i will  just buy some clothes for there because I would rather him have clothes there that I know he can wear than think about him wearing rags (I don't mean from the thrift store or consignment stores at all-they have great finds!!) or clothes that are too small.  

I think I am going to just send in the paperwork to have it taken out of his check.  That way we don't have to bring it up...it's just taken out and taken care of.  

As far as sharing the cost of his child care during his summer stay, I'm still undecided.  I can't see where legally it says anywhere in our paperwork where I have to and it does not say that he does not pay child support during the summer stay.  In fact it states in a couple of places that and expenditures incurred by him during his period of possesion for food, clothing, care, shelter etc...are his responsiblities and are not credits towards what he pays monthly on child support.  I thought about offering this option for his summer stay....he could always bring him here during the day while he is at work.  That would save him the money he would have to pay his MIL.  I believe she watches his other child and one more child (I think it is another granddaughter of hers) during the day.  She's not a liscenced or listed child care provider.  She just watches the kids because she doesn't have a job and because it's her grandkids.

Thanks again for your thoughts.  I appreciate you taking the time to respond.  Sorry my response was long.  I was just trying to give accurate and complete information and it got long!!  






flewwellin

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RE: Summer visitation and child support question
« Reply #3 on: Jun 29, 2005, 08:18:19 PM »
I'd tell him that he has to provide it for his son himself.  That is his responsibility.  If he doesnt' like it he can submit an order to have Child support suspended for that period of time. The likely hood that would happen is slim to none.  However it's possible. It isn't easy to provide child support AND child care for an extended period of time if that is taken out as child support monthly.  IF he wasn't so far behind and difficult to work with I'd ask you if it was that difficult to just let him have some of the money back from his child support since he has to provide. But since he isn't working with you easily I'd say tell him to figure it out himself.  You seem to be doing a good job and no you don't sound bitchy you sound like a concerned mom who wants the best for her baby.  As for withholding it through his check i'd say that is a wonderful way to ensure that he is providing for his son and your son is reaping the benefits of havind 2 parents.  Your son deserves that money from his father.

VAStepmom

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RE: Summer visitation and child support question
« Reply #4 on: Jul 10, 2005, 09:46:41 AM »
Last year, BM lost her job and asked us if we could take SD for the month, until she got back on her feet.  Of course we said yes, but that also meant we had to come up with money for child care, plus still pay regular child support.

We asked BM if she would send us back half of the child support we sent for that month (so we paid 100%, but as a "gift" she sent back half) to help cover the extra costs.  We thought that was fair.  Why send child support when we're supporting the child?  At first, she said she would, not problem.  The money never came.

My husband felt stupid for asking in the first place.  Now, we have SD for 6 weeks of the summer.  We still pay 100% of child support AND scrape up the extra money to support her and go to summer camp.  

It would be NICE if BM would offer to send some of that money back our way, but it'll never happen.  And after what she pulled last year, my husband would refuse it anyway, out of pride.  

Then again, we're 100% current on child support, and ALWAYS pay on time.  I guess I'm just telling you this for the NCP's viewpoint.  It's hard to send you money for the child, when the child is here with us, you know?  It doesn't seem fair, but then, life usually never is.

If your ex was current on payments and more cooperative, I'd say help him out for the month.  BUT, he seems to like being difficult, and you have no legal obligation to send him money, so I don't think I would.  Maybe you could mention that to him.  Once he starts helping you out by getting caught up and starting to cooperate more, you'll be more likely to help him out.  

And I wouldn't put up with that clothing issue.  Take pictures of what all is being sent and make a list, then take pictures of what is being returned and a list of that.  Each time it happens, send a certified letter to your ex about how it's unacceptable.  Document all of it!


 

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