Friday, April 29, 2011

Child Support Issues - Getting Out Of Hand??

I am hearing more and more over the years about the 'other side' of child support court cases - not the ones we usually hear about where a parent is trying desperately to get a few bucks in support on a regular basis from the other parent, but ones where it just seems freaking CRAZY how much they are going after. Most often you hear about women endlessly taking their exes to court to get more cash and I am starting to hear more often about how some dads are seriously considering walking away from the child sometimes because they just cannot afford to keep going to court, and keep getting hit up for more money. In some cases it's just one or the other blowing smoke, but I happen to know both parents very well in the story that will follow and I am increasingly at odds with the MOTHER.

First off, the child in question is 12. And that's about how many times the mother has taken the father to court. She lives in a very nice house in a very nice neighbourhood with her fairly well-off boyfriend, gets a widow's pension on top of her deceased husband's work pension - while the father of her 12 year old lives in an old cruddy house, drives an old cruddy car that is about to fall apart, and she is after yet again more money. I really don't understand it. She is now trying to get a chunk of his overtime pay because she feels she has a right to that along with a big chunk of his regular pay. Keep in mind that he has his son every other weekend and many weekdays each week, so the boy is spending about 40% of his time with his dad, who then feeds him, clothes him, etc. As well, he has to pay 75% of every extracurricular activity, school fee, etc on top of all that and started working more overtime whenever he could because half the time he is barely able to make his mortgage and utilities payments let alone anything else.... but now she wants some of that too. What does she do for a living? Nothing. All of her children are in school full days now (she had 2 with the deceased husband), and she still does not work. I see her all the time because her kids go to the same school as mine and I just want to reach out and rattle her brains when I pass her in the halls.

I have two exes and combined I get less child support than this man pays for one child, even though my exes make about the same. I don't ask them for more unless I really really need it because I figure the amount they pay is an equal share compared to what we put out for a bigger house, food, utilities, etc. I dont even ask for money for school fees (though I probably should), I just ask for half sports stuff now cos it's getting expensive. I just want enough to help raise the kids and also because I have the kids 99% of the time due to my exes living far away. If they had the kids more and were paying more directly, I would ask for even less in child support or at least not increase it very often. I have not gone to court even once for support or visitation issues. I realize some people have no choice and a personal agreement doesnt happen, but what about the ones who keep endlessly getting dragged into court over this stuff? Surely that cannot be good for the children either. Kids arent stupid, they can tell when there is tension even if they do not know directly what is goign on. It's aggravating to me.

But I also ask - why are courts allowing this to go on? I wouldnt survive long as a judge because I'd be ranting and raving at such plaintiffs and get kicked out of my robes lol. But seriously, why does this go on? It's such a waste of time and money all around, and  drain on the other parent's finances just to satisfy some insane 'need' inside the custodial parent to prove a point or something. Crazy if you ask me.


  1. I totally agree with you. I have 3 children and an ex who is $70,000 in arrears. I have made due and make sure the kids never go without. That is a long story. On the flipside, I work with men that have exes always after something-or-other, even though they receive $1,340 a month for two kids. I know it is so because I do the payroll and send in the garnishment. Let's get a sense of balance here people! People need to get out of themselves for a minute and do right by the kids. It's about what they need to survive and indeed to flourish. You can make your millions and have your "me time" AFTER you have been responsible (is that not "loving"?) and raised your kids properly. It is indeed the plague of our society. Thanks for the post.

  2. Ugh 70 grand!! I don't envy that situation for sure! But like you said, you see the other side where the custodial parent is getting a good chunk of cash toward their child(ren)'s upbringing, and it's 'never enough'. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground these days and that's sad.

    I have an agreement with my ex that many people think I'm a sucker for, but it's my family and my decision. My ex lives very far away -overseas. Our son was born there and I was the one that left with him and came back to Canada. We discussed many options for support and decided that I would take a certain amount less than what the court deemed was fair, but then my ex was in charge of saving up for paying for flights over there. He paid for mine as well, to accompany our young son, and I also stayed over there for free for 2-3 weeks at a time and just did my own thing. That works for us. I have not increased the support amount in about 6 years because he does offer to pay half (or sometimes all, if I am really stuck) of expensive extracurricular sports. This summer he is flying our son over (first time he is old enough to go on his own) and the flight alone costs almost $2000 now because of taxes. So I am not going to be asking for an increase. That's how we work things and he pays every month on time and doesnt feel pressured, and I feel that he is respecting my role in being custodial parent. The support is about 1/4 of what you mentioned above.

    My other child's father is less easy to work with and always acts like I am asking him to give me his blood if I ask for more money, so I figured out a low-ball amount that he would pay without moaning and I keep it at that for now. But he had to pay half of 4 sets of swimming lessons in the last 6 months. He really should be paying more now, but I base it on what he was earning when we were living together - not going after the higher paying job he has now. He bought a great big house, a new truck, a hot tub, etc and the way I look at it is he decided on his own that those things are more important, and he is the one that will have to live with that. In the future when he looks back on his life and sees what he did, he will not be happy with himself. Or he might still think he did his 'best' and 'the right thing'.. but the only thing that matters to me is how our daughter thinks and feels and I am raising her the best I can along with my new partner, and we manage just fine. It would always help to have more money to play with each month, but we have enough to feed and clothe and house the kids and that's just fine.

    I don't want to go to court and waste what would amount to several months, if not more than a year's worth, of support money. It's a pain in the butt, we'd both have to take time off work, and that's just not in my 'things to do' list lol.

    To each their own - but I am getting really tired of people looking at $$$ signs instead of their kids. I have heard far too many stories of men taking their own lives due to financial strife over child support issues and that is sickening.

  3. Count me as another "walking credit card" father.
    Another downfall of our (Canada) system is that child support can't be reduced if you have a new family:
    So you’ve remarried and find out that you and your new partner are expecting triplets. Will child support law give you a break on your child support payments because of this? Probably not. Expect to eat Kraft dinner for the next 25 years. And if you take on extra work to support the triplets, your child support obligations under the Child Support Guidelines will increase commensurately.



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