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Why looking to keep c/s low?

Started by timtow, Oct 15, 2006, 12:39:46 PM

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OK...I'm going through a divorce now, will likely be CP, and to my great surprise, c/s is turning out to be an issue.  I'm mostly just shocked that stbx is even considering going with the state minimums, and in visiting c/s boards, I'm surprised by how many people are trying to get support orders lowered.  Shoot, one of the ads on this page says "lower your child support."  I think it's terribly sad.  

I support myself and if necessary could support our daughter alone, so that's not an issue.  I wouldn't have had a kid if I hadn't been pretty certain of my ability to do that.  And I certainly don't expect stbx to support me.  But I thought the point of having the kid is that you give the kid everything you can.  If the kid needs money for activities, college, whatever, you don't wait for someone to drag you into going out to earn it -- I'd think, well, you just go do it.  

My dad had a professional career, but when he wanted more money so my brother and I could do things, he drove truck early morning to make a few bucks on the side.  His dad got up at 3:30 am and worked like a madman all day.  I'm pretty soft compared to them, but plenty of 1:30 AMs see me up in the kitchen working on a freelance job or figuring out how to bump up the hourly rate, even though I know I'll have to be up by 7.  I do that partly so my preschooler can have morning nanny, someone who'll actually pay attention to her, instead of having to be in fulltime daycare in a sea of kids.  I want to make sure she can go to gymnastics, hockey, whatever activities are going to get her working and playing at something with some discipline and focus.  She'll have significant college savings so that she doesn't have to walk out of college with a heavy debt burden.  I'll have retirement savings so she doesn't have to try to support me as she's raising her own family.  She's got an insurance trust in case something happens to me, so she'll be able to stay in her home and school, have college paid for, and have money to help her dad pay for nannies & household help.  If I die, I don't want the rest of her life busted up, with her shuffled around among relatives feeling like a burden.  Yes, it's a lot of money.  That's what it costs to give a child good odds of a comfortable, healthy life, one where she can freely use her talents and gifts and make herself as happy & productive in society as she can.

Which I'd think is the goal, and which is why I need to get back to work now.  

But please enlighten me.  Why are you guys fighting buying life insurance -- possibly the cheapest insurance there is --  and paying for braces?  Why not pick up another job?


As I said and as my husband feels there is nothing greater than being a parent.  We love are children and work very hard to provide for them.  My husband and I both have full time jobs and get up at 4 am every morning to deliver newspapers on top of our full time jobs.  My husband pays $1200 a month for 5 kids and I recieve $366 from my ex for my 4 children.  We cannot afford to pay for $10,000 worth of orthodontia work on top of the $1200 we pay already.  She didn't get them braces because they medically needed them she did it because she does a poor job at parenting and does things like this to overcompensate for her lack of good parenting.  Also, she doesn't get the kids what they need.  She gets what she needs with the money we give her.   All of the kids are in school full time and she is not working.  There is no excuse why she can't.  We do pay for extras or things that she doesn't get them.  We do pay for extracurricular activities.  We never deny them anything that is a need plus a few extras.  Why do we pay for her to have a do things instead of the kids?  Also, she knows that she doesn't have to pay for the majority of the braces, we do.  She also claims all 5 kids at income tax time and recieves a minimum of $5000 each year while we end up having to pay in.  Do you know who ends up paying for her devious ways?  The kids, all of them.  We can't afford braces for one of my biological (I hate putting it that way because they are all mine in my eyes) sons because he medically needs braces not cosmetically.  We wouldn't deny them something they need.  Anyway, she put 3 in braces at once and is working on the fourth.  Who does that?  I don't know many people that can afford that but somehow we are expected to because she is devious and loves to "stick it to us".  You would not believe some of the things she has put our family through.  Anyway, bottom line is that we love our kids, we live on four to five hours a sleep 7 days a week.  If you knew us you would know that our kids come first and they are not pawns and that we would do anything for them.  It is hard to know what is going on in someone's life or to truly know the situation just from a simple post.  I came here to get suggestions.  Trust me I pray every day that she will change and make everyone's life easier including her children.  For the record, even her own parents agree and know that she is always up to no good and never does anything for the good of her children and loves others misery.  I am happy that you have a good ex though.  God Bless


I have been on both sides of the child support issue. I think that the guidelines are very unfair across the board. It varies according to the state you live in and that should not be. When you pay hundreds of dollars a month and then the BM asks for half a copay is just ridiculas. Child support is suppose to be HALF the amount to raise the child at the standards of living from when the divorce happens. Many CP's think that is it for ALL the costs involved. In my state, child support goes until 21 years old while in other states is goes to 18. My state also MAKES the NCP pay for their "share" of college PLUS child support. THe whole system is just not right.
You have great goals for your daughter and many CP's could only dream of providing all of that for their kids. Child support is for the bare essentials (foold.clothing, shelter) and not extra to save for college. It is great that you will not rely on child support for every day bills but MANY people can not do that....


"When you pay hundreds of dollars a month and then the BM asks for half a copay is just ridiculas."

No, that's half the noncovered cost.  If you're splitting the cost of raising the child half and half, well, copays are part of the cost.  If you're only paying hundreds a month, then probably you aren't paying half the real cost of raising the child.  Maintaining the home, food, utils, medical, daycare, clothing, furniture, gas, dental, promotions foregone because you have childcare responsibilities, all these are fairly basic costs.  I added up what my daughter costs monthly in dollars, not counting foregone income, but including med and daycare.  She's healthy, we live in a cheap housing market with good public schools.  For those essentials plus summer camp, one or two activities like music lessons, two plane tix a year, college savings, and scholarship-supplemented ed enrichment, the total is around $2K/month.  Which is actually on the low end of the 'what it costs to raise a child to 18' calculators you can find online.

I view college saving as an essential.  College is necessary to getting most jobs you can actually live on, the job market is more competitive than it was, and college is a lot more expensive than it used to be.  I live in a college town, and I see a lot of very worried and exhausted 18-22 year olds accumulating major debt while working part-time and churning through school as fast as they can.  That debt's going to keep some of them from going after the work they want to do, and will delay homeownership and families for many of them.  It's not a nice thing to hang on a kid, especially if you don't plan on saving enough for retirement.  Then the kid has to pay off school debt while raising a family and trying to help you out, too.


get away with paying nothing at all, then there are some NCP's that got raked over the coals and can barely provide for themselves.  Are you aware that if these NCP's get a 2nd job to pay for CS, that income is ALSO subject to the CS guidelines?  And if they have a vindictive CP who takes them to court for every last penny they have, then working a 2nd job does nothing but up their CS.

I am happy that you are trying to provide the best possible life for your daughter, but not everybody is as dedicated to their children (Sad...I know) and barely provide the minimum care for their children.

I'm a CP who does NOT receive CS on a regular basis.  I am lucky as I have figured out how to survive with out it.  Can I save for their college education?  NO.  Right now they need food, clothing and shelter over a savings account.  I also feel that if it is something they want, that they should put forth some of the effort to get it.  I have seen many teenagers who are handed things in life, not care about it because it was a given.  My own little Sister (14 years apart) was that way.  She basically grew up an only child so Mom and Dad were able to do more for her.  Only now they realize they didn't do her any favors at all!!  The rest of us kids (6 of us...she makes #7) had to learn that if there was something we wanted, we had to work for it and that in turn taught us to take better care with what we had.  Lil Sis isn't that way at all.  She thinks that it should be handed to her, she went to college and dropped out.  She was given a car that she let all her friends drive and mess up.  She gets in a tight spot financially because she just had to get a new outfit...so she thinks she can just call Daddy and he'll send her the $$ to cover the bills the outfit money was supposed to be for.

The most valuable lesson you could teach your daughter is to take pride in what she has and not to expect things to be just handed to her.  Also, having Nanny's and that are fine, and if you're willing to work for it, that's fine to....but when does your daughter get to see YOU?  Studies have proven that the more time you spend WITH your child, the better off that child is.  Working to  provide the BEST of everything is NOT necessarily the best thing.  As I stated earlier, I'm a CP, I work 40 hours a week and make a good living (and no I didn't go to college...but still make more than the average US income...but I do talk of college to my children).  Anyway, I don't normally get CS and it is virtually impossible for me to work a regular 2nd job because when would I have time with my children for 1, and for 2...I'd just be working to pay someone else to be with them.  On occasion I will work a weekend to earn extra cash (in fact I did that this weekend) for things like Christmas, birthdays, etc....
Kids don't need the best of everything, the really need the best of YOU.  We don't have much, but we do have each other and that's whats important!!!!
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!



Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.
- Will Rogers[em]

Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. ~  Will Rogers


I work at home and frequently adjust my work schedule so I can work at night and spend time with her during the day.  That way she gets to see me, and while the nanny is over, she can come visit me in my home office and I can take breaks to come play with them.  I take her to gymnastics one morning a week, and every so often take mornings off to have a special breakfast out with her.  We spend most of the weekend together.  

There are ways to work these things out.

Yes, a second income will up the CS.  That's the point, upping the CS to better provide for the child.  And of course you can't just throw money at a child.  There has to be teaching and parenting along with it, or they won't know what the money is worth.  It's possible to do both at once.  It happened for me, and it happened for many of my classmates at college, many of whom were from very well-off families.  

It takes some imagination, is all.  


>Yes, a second income will up the CS.  That's the point, upping
>the CS to better provide for the child.  

I have been following this thread with some disbelief! I am trying to determine where the original poster is coming from. Nanny, summer camp...etc.

I think most people that are trying to get a Child Support Order adjusted are those that have a difficult time making ends meet in their lives. I believe most that can pay child support do! Most that do not pay can not afford what has been ordered. The whole purpose of getting a second job is not to increase the amount to be paid in child support, it is to be able to put food on the table because of the child support order that is currently in place.

My ex is having trouble making ends meet. Has applied for food stamps, etc.  This is all my fault. Her solution is to want more child support. I just make ends meet as it is. So to have to pay her more, I would have to work OT or get a second job. The results of this is the possibility of an even greater increase. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT WOULD DECREASE THE TIME I HAVE AVAILABLE TO SPEND WITH MY KIDS.

Let's face it. If a child is a child of divorce, they most likely not going to have a Norman Rockwell childhood. Where they once lived in a family that may have had 2 parents supporting a single household, they now have 2 parents trying to support 2 households, or in some cases, 1 parent trying to support 2 households. Kids don't "need" all the extra stuff that the orig poster talks about.  Yes, they would like to have them, but "need" them, No!  What a child needs is both parents that love them. Love is not shown by sending them to Summer Camp, and dance class, and having a nanny and sending them to college. Love is being there for them when they need you.  Can't really do that if you are working a 2nd job, no can you?

For the person that wants the money to tell the other to suck it up and get a second job, because it is in the best interest of the child shows how narcisitic that person is. I think my child deserves this, so you need to go out and make more money. If you feel that it is that important, then you go out and get a second job!!!


I have a second job, and post-divorce it looks like I'll be providing 75+% of our income.  I'm also in school doing PhD prepwork so that eventually the high-wage piecework is replaced by something high-wage with good benefits, security, and satisfaction for me, and I work it so that school pays for itself.  I look for and go after high-hourly-rate work that I can do on a flexible telecommute schedule; next after that is high-wage flexible.  I do a lot of the work after my daughter's in bed, when she wouldn't be spending time with me anyway.  I'm also the one there with her when she wakes up in the middle of the night, in the morning getting her breakfast, taking her to gymnastics and watching through the parents' window (while working, yes, and it's annoying to try to work while the non-employed parents are talking, but that's what it is), taking her to daycare, taking her grocery shopping, making her dinner and eating with her, playing games with her in the bath, answering her questions ("Why are bananas this shape?" "How old is the sky?"), dancing with her, teaching her how to write her letters, taking her to church, etc., etc.  I'm also careful to live in a safe, high-quality, low-cost town with good public schools.  I don't date and I fit my socializing in with work and church, and I'm not planning on having more kids.  I can swing college for one, but probably not two.

I am a tired lady.  That's OK.  I expect to be tired for a long time.  She gets one childhood, and when she gets to adulthood I want her to be able to do whatever work she loves, instead of whatever work she has to do to pay off loans.

You know, there are people who go to other countries to work so that their children can have good, better-than-scraping by lives, college educations, etc.  Really, I don't think this is such a big deal.  You guys seem to me to be throwing up a lot of surmountable obstacles.


[em]"I'm going through a divorce now, will likely be CP, and to my great surprise, c/s is turning out to be an issue. I'm mostly just shocked that stbx is even considering going with the state minimums,"[/em]
Why would you be surprised?  There's a reason you're getting divorced after all.  Put the shoe on the other foot.  If you are NCP, how much will you give your ex?

[em]"But I thought the point of having the kid is that you give the kid everything you can."[/em]
Give them everything you CAN, not everything.  Not everyone has the skills to work like you do.  Not everyone has the ability to do the type of work you do.  Not all jobs pay really well but SOMEONE has to do them -- and those people might just have kids.  Most of us cannot work from home OR rearrange our schedules on an hourly basis and still keep our jobs.

Everyone has their own definition of how best to raise a child and what a child "NEEDS".  Yours is different from just about everyone I know, that doesn't mean you are wrong, or that I am wrong.  Just that we have different opinions.  My bet is that your stbx has a different opinion as well.

You know, I've read through your posts and you are coming across as being perfect and that anyone who doesn't believe as you do has something wrong with them.  Perhaps you don't mean that, but it's certainly the impression you are giving.  I suggest you re-read what you've written and look at it from the viewpoint of someone who doesn't believe as you do.  Someone open-minded instead of judgemental.


Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.
- Will Rogers[em]

Lead your life so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. ~  Will Rogers