Child Support issues - wwyd?

niveaMay 25, 2009

I just got off the phone with one of my best friends and I thought this was the perfect place to post about her problem, and I think I'm going to be soon having this problem myself, so wth..

Anyway, her ex wants to temporarily stop CS since his wife (SM) lost her job. However, she let him stop CS last year when he wasnt working (he quit) and he is still quite a bit in arrears from not only last year, but he only paid sporadically before he remarried, since remarriage he paid regularly but still has an arrears built up. Anyway last time SM did not feel it was her duty to pay CS (which imo is right), however my friend feels that this time it is not her duty to bail them out in the expense of not receiving CS.

Ok, so up to this point I think it is fairly simple and she is in the right to deny his request about stopping CS. And then it's also the problem if you let someone take advantage of you...they will continue too..etc, so she doesn't want to continue to let him take advantage.

But then she also reminded me that ANY time they had a money issue, her Ex involved the children. He would tell the kids he had no money for gas to pick them up, she would offer to do the driving, he would then tell the kids that even if she drove them he had no money for extra food and stuff...etc etc. It really hurt the kids and they didn't understand. They are now 10 & 12.

So anyway, she feels that she needs to cover for him and stop the CS again but also wants to stop the money games. And ftr, I think he lives above his means. Huge house, luxury cars...


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I think she helped him before and now he expects it. I think he was wrong to involve the kids in the money situation and blame their mom for his money issues.

Just because his income shrunk the kids do not stop needing food, shelter, and clothing.

So I think she should say no to his request. The economy sucks and he is going to have to adapt. Maybe downsizing in cars and homes...maybe getting a second job. Whatever it takes.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 8:53PM
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I agree, she should just say no. My guess -- your friend is going to have use other money. Ask her -- is she saving for her kids college? Her retirement? I think kids understand more than we give them credit for. They see who has the big house, etc. My prayers are for your friend.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 9:05PM
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Nope. Sorry SM lost her job, but the two children still exist, and still need support. Support is based on HIS income anyway.

And why should your friend suck it up? She shouldn't have done it the first time. He/they need to tighten their belts, and the luxury cars should be the first thing to go, IMO. You can have a very nice car for a reasonable amount. The oversized home would be harder to eliminate in this market, but there are plenty of areas they could probably cut back on.

She should be very firm and straightforward about saying no. If she agrees to do this, in essence she is paying "ex support".

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 9:40PM
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Isn't child support based on dad's income? If SM's income is not used to calculate CS, then it's not the same as giving dad a break when HIS income stops... he still has his income so he should continue to pay. Her income stopping is her problem... not yours.

It makes sense that he's been able to make regular payments since he got married since now he shares living expenses and should have more spendable income... but he's still not current in his support? There's no excuse, kids needs come first so that has to be his priority.

also, it irks me when comments are made about the lifestyle of an ex... nobody knows what someone else's true financial situation is... it's all assumptions unless you have access to personal records. But I can see how it would be irritating to see him drive up in a BMW and complain he can't make his child support payment. (LOL, DH is going to court next week for a custody/support hearing... BM doesn't want to pay the $216 in child support so she filed for custody... she writes on her income/expense declaration that she pays $360 for her car and $250 for quads. I guess those things are more important than supporting her daughter) But, yes it's irritating that she doesn't pay her support regularly, yet seems to have the things she wants... cell phone, cigarettes, booze... but then again, we don't know if SHE is paying for those things or if her BF is buying them for her. Unfortunately, many people that seem to have luxury/extravagant lifestyles right now, may have one foot in bankruptcy court and the other foot on a banana peel... it's easy to be trapped upside down on houses, cars, boats, etc. and getting rid of those things doesn't necessarily improve the situation if they have to pay off deficits.

But, no she should not allow him to stop paying his support because his wife is not working now. His kids still need to eat. She didn't have to let him off the hook when he lost his job... that was nice of her. If she lets him off the hook now, that will be stupid of her. (and he's a clod for even asking, IMO)

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 10:05PM
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Ditto what everyone else has said. I think she should say no, not to be a b*tch or anything like that, but just because one has to draw boundaries somewhere. She let him do this once before, and now he is asking again and if she says yes, I think he will ask again and again and again.

His problems should not be your friend's problems.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 10:09PM
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KKNY, she has a savings account but it's not labeled college or retirement and it's very minimal. She was a SAHM until the divorce and only had a few years of enlisted military experience before that. So she had a hard time getting on her feet with a good job etc. From what she was saying at this point she was used to the lack of support as she had to learn to budget without it. Which meant no savings, no activities etc. So now, she can pay the bills but the boys can't do summer activities or possibly fall activities, no summer vacation, no new clothes (second hand), no movie get the drift. Unless her Grandpa steps in, but she doesn't want to ask.

I get his problems shouldn't be hers but he is making either choice a problem.The boys will be affected by the activities or not seeing Dad (by Dads choice) Last time this happened the boys kept getting upset with Mom cause Dad kept telling the boys he had no money = Mom's fault.

And Ima, I do get it's hard to judge another's financial status. But I do happen to know the guy personally. All 3 of us were in the same unit in the military. After my friend separated (due to having their first child) and he and I would deploy with our unit, I would see him out all the time in strip clubs etc. He was known as a good time charlie and still is. And my friend was married to him lol, she knows how he valued material possesions and having the best of everything. Child support simply was not a priority for him.

In this aspect he reminds me of my ex and I do see this coming with Ex. He has been hinting that he's been hit by the economy and can't afford to have DD out for summer visitation if he still pays support. I've offered to pay airfare, but he didn't like that idea. He didn't get up the courage to ask to stop CS, but I know it's coming soon. And like my friend, I do know my Ex's intimate financial details and spending habits. He'd rather take on a $700 car payment for a brand new car than drive around his old paid off car. He likes to buy all the new sneakers that come out right away or buy them at an exorbitant price so he can show that he got them first...weird stuff I know.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 11:25PM
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CS is based on the dads income, it has nothign to do with SM losing her job. BUT here's the clincher...if he takes you to court and proves its detrimental to the family he can reduce it accordly. I'm sure state by state its different. I know in our province here the new law came into affect 2004 to protect and give leeway to fathers with second families. Its helped. No one likes losing their jobs.
BUt the wya you describe it, this guy expects her to cut off cs like she did in the he's taking the easy route out. I think CS should be reduced as a last resort if SM cannot find a job and money is tight and he honestly can't affort anything.....
Sorry to say i dont think he's getting the kids involved on husband has stated to his kids he had no gas cash and bm refused to drive them least your friend offered to take them!!! She made the effort. To me her ex is using money for extra food??? my skids do not cost that much foodwise when they come and they are at the same age group.
And flights are expensive and when one salary is down, you have to adjust. That's reality here. My dh's ex lost her job...she didn't put her kids in many extra activities...she couldn't afford her half of the cost. People have to adjust themselves.
1. no Cs support should not stop unless he proves its difficult.
2. SM can find another job. Anything! when you have bills to pay and find a way.
3. He can ask you to help him by meeting him half way for driving ...and explain to the kids that money is there may be less activities.
Kids also need to learn that money does not grow on trees.
QUestion, maybe he is also asking her as to not go to court cause of the cost???? or is he the type who just squeecks out of everything cause he just is a jerk and doesn't want to pay????

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 6:32AM
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Far more elderly women end up poor than men. She has to think of herself. If her truly deserves a reduction, he can go to go court and get it adjusted. I would also suggest that she communicate this to him in a low key but firm manner. Also, she should remind him that discussing money issues with the kids is detrimental, and may very well backfire -- in that they may realize he CHOOSES to spend money on other than seeing them.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 8:36AM
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Is the child support arrangement through court order or divorce agreement? It sounds like it is just a mutual agreement thing from the post. Because I am not sure that anyone can just stop paying anything on child support. Even if they did, then come tax time those arrears would be paid then. Even if he was unemployed there could be a lowered payment amount, but it wouldn't just stop or be "0" in child support.
Maybe that is why the arrears havn't been paid yet, he thinks that he had to pay zero since she agreed to let him not pay before.
I wouldn't do it if I were her.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 2:04PM
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