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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Child Support

As the spouse of a custodial father, I have learned the hard fact regarding child support.  DON'T PLAN ON IT!  That is right, you can never plan on child support.  Currently my husband's ex is more than $7,000 behind on child support.  With that it mind, the most essential thing is that you have a plan to provide for the needs of your family without support.  Watching every penny, clipping coupons, working two or three jobs sometimes you still are not able to make it. 

I believe that many noncustodial parents think that they pay an insane amount of child support.  Money that couldn't all possibly be used by the child.  Many also believe that the custodial parent spends the money on themselves.  Let me break it down for you.  I have one stepchild, who eats every day (I know pretty insane) with an average cost of $10.00 per day for three meals and snacks.  That works out to $300.00 a month or $3,000 a year for the time she is with me.  She is still growing so new clothes, shoes, coats, jackets, etc work out to be about $300.00 a year.  School fees, supplies, field trips, school pictures, etc work out to around $500.00 a year.  She is also my child who leaves utilities on all the time, so when she is visiting her mom my utilities drop by $75 a month so from that I can safely assume that she costs $75 a month in gas, electric, water, sewer, garbage, etc and since she is only with her mom for two months a year that leaves me with a cost of $750 a year.  Medical bills, as she is a child with asthma and her mother doesn't pay any medical support work out to $175 a month or $1750 a year that I pay for. Percent of housing cost because she has to have her own bedroom works out to $1200 a year.  Then don't forget all of the "askadentals" the things they ask for such as toys, candy, movie tickets, popcorn at the theater, etc just plan on $1500 a year for that. Then you have to figure transportation to and from visitations, to and from school, to and from events etc $500 a year (I know low figure here but stick with me), Also don't forget daycare expenses for after school care $250 a month and then $350 a month during the summer months she is here so a total of $2600 a year (GRAND TOTAL   $$$$$$$ 12,100 A YEAR!!!!

The noncustodial parent is supposed to pay half or $6,050 a year if they were fully helping to support the child that would be around $504 a month with low figures, but in our case she is only ordered to pay $343, of which we see $0.  I know many of you all would say hey, can't you garnish her wages?  The answer to that is No, you can't garnish if they are working under the table to avoid paying child support.  Can't you take her to court?  Yes, we have, but all the courts have done because she is a woman and not a man is simply hold her in contempt and order her to pay our attorney fees which she doesn't do. 

To make a long story short, adults realize that child support is indeed for the benefit of the child.  Custodial parents rarely if ever use this money on themselves when they really are supporting their children.  The cost of a child for both traditional families and blended families is the same.  Custodial parents do not have foreign bank accounts to pay for these expenses.  Money is not used for romatic getaways, trips to Disneyland, or even the purchase of a new boat.  Custodial parents do not win the lottery in paying for these things.  Many custodial parents work hard to pay for all the needs of their child without assistance from the noncustodial parent. 

And as a final note to noncustodial parents, these are your children, these are the same little ones you held in your arms and vowed to love on the day of their birth.  Those of you who have stepped up to the plate and support your children in every aspect, I congratulate you on being a great parent.  To those of you who have yet to step up and support your children or who look for ways to avoid paying child support, I urge you to consider what you are doing to your children.  You are taking their custodial parent out of their lives by making them work harder to do what you are supposed to do.  You are leaving your child in the care of strangers for long hours because you choose not to support these children you vowed to love and protect. 

Child support is not for the parent, and punishing the other parent by not paying is not a way to benefit your children or your relationship to them.

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