Conflicts of Interest: Child Support – The Woman’s Point of View

child support child

Last week, Dr. J wrote a post on the New NYC Teen Pregnancy Prevention Ads. At some point during the day, a debate on the role of child support erupted in the comment section. In reading these comments, I realized very quickly that men and women have very different views on the role of child support, the fairness of child support (laws and calculations), and what child support does cover or should cover. Although this was an interesting topic, since I have no firsthand experience with child support, I solicited an open call on Twitter (@WisdomIsMisery) to see if any men or women would be willing to share their experience, views, opinions, and trials and tribulations with child support. Two writers, a man and a woman, volunteered. While I wanted their pieces to be original, I asked them to, at minimum, address four questions:

  • What do you think child support is “for?”
  • Is it fair?
  • What are some issues you face as a man/woman?
  • What, if anything, would you change about the process?

The Woman’s Perspective on Child Support

(click here to read the man’s viewpoint on child support)

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to discuss the topic of child support. Let me give you a little background. I’m divorced. My ex-husband and I had three children together during our marriage.

What is child support for?

Child support is for anything that directly relates to raising a child – utilities, rent, food, clothing, medical expenses, and childcare.  Shared expenses (utilities, rent, and food) can be paid with child support. If we were still married, his funds would go to shared expenses. Child support can go there as well.
As a child grows, you can add recreational activities to the mix. For example, my kids use the money for entertainment – movies or dinner with friends; activities they do without me. They are teens. Having me around cramps their style, so I just give them the card and send them on their way.

Child support is not for me. It’s not for me to get my hair or nails done. It’s not for me to go out with friends. My rule of thumb is to never use child support funds for any activity where only I benefit.

Is child support fair?

My first answer is: Hell, no!

I’ve found the child support system is not fair to men or women. From my perspective, the State is only vigorous in pursuing child support for women/men who are receiving government benefits or can afford a good lawyer. I’ve been divorced for 10 years; I received no support for four years after we divorced. I tried working out a solution without using the courts but I was very unsuccessful. When I went to fill out the affidavit requesting support, one of the first questions they asked was do I receive any type of government benefits. I didn’t receive any. The moment she realized the State couldn’t recoup any money from me, the case worker’s whole attitude changed. She was not very interested in helping me. My friends and I who don’t get benefits compare notes on how long it takes/took us to get court dates versus those we know who get some type of government benefits.  Our friends who receive government benefits get moved along in the courts much more quickly. It would take way more than 750 words to describe the horror of having to deal with two states. I have a case worker in Tennessee who won’t give me the time of day and another in South Carolina who won’t even talk to me. My ex went to court to have his child support lowered because he and his new wife had a baby. The State of SC didn’t even see fit to notify me until after the fact. Since 2008, the State of SC says I’m only entitled to $338 each month for our three kids. For 2007, I was only entitled to $400. There is no mention of how they came up with those numbers in any of the documents I’ve requested from either state. I can assure you, he pays more than $338 in daycare for his new child. That’s part of what makes the system unfair.  The calculations used to set support are unrealistic and vague. I could be totally in left field, but based on my experiences, the people who get the largest child support awards either have really good lawyers or get some type of government benefit the state wants to recoup. Yeah, I’m a little salty about these calculations.

The issues that women face?

I think the biggest obstacle is the system itself. The court system is designed to be adversarial.  In terms of child support, most times people are in the courts because they can’t see eye-to-eye in the first place. A good way to get around the acrimony is to require mediation before a case is heard. I’m talking at least four or five mediation sessions where conflict resolution skills are taught and parents are required to come up with a budget, a visitation schedule, the whole nine. Changing the structure from adversarial in front of a judge to partnership in front of a mediator will go a long way towards building maturity into the process.

What would I change about the process?

I would make the process more realistic and user friendly.  I would like to see a standardized process throughout all 50 states. From what I’ve heard, the process is drastically different in each state. I would put firm timelines in place to ensure each case is handled in a timely fashion. I would make the reevaluation process automatically occur every two years. In some states, child support is only reevaluated by written request.  Another thing I would do is require each case worker provide status updates periodically, like at least once/twice a year. I would require each state to provide plain English descriptions of the methods used to calculate monthly support. I would have the state set support and visitation in the same hearing/proceedings. I would also require the courts be more merciful. There are times when they take so much money that the non-custodial parent can’t afford to live. I wouldn’t allow courts to do this any longer. I would require the court take into consideration the custodial parents ability to work and not just their previous work history.

About the Author: Jamesetta is an independent distributor for AdvoCare. It’s elite nutrition. She does healthy weight gain and weight loss. You can email her at [email protected]  or find her on Twitter @cjamesetta for a free health assessment.

WIM SigNow we turn it over to you SBM: 1) What do you think child support is “for?” 2) Is child support fair? 3) What are some issues you face as a man/woman? 4) What, if anything, would you change about the process?

If you’re on Twitter, please participate in our #SBMQOD:

 

From Our Partners

  • J. Crawford

    I am going out on a limb and assume I inspired these posts, to which I'm gald this topic is finally being addrewssed, regrdless if it is in Good or Bad light:

    1) What do you think child support is “for?”
    I was told as a Kid, Teen and as an Adult and Father myself that it is "support" for a Child(ren)……… apparently this is Subjective and Arbitrary since what Most of which consittutes as "support" USED to be Privivleges back In The Day, even as I was a Adolescent myself (extracirricular activities, vacations, etc). I understand Clothes, Food, and what not, but Gas , Rent, Utiliites would HAVE to be paid whether or not a Woman/Man had Kids or Not……..

    2) Is child support fair?
    Society has made it that Kids are "most Cared For" by Mothers by Default, courts are in the pocket of WOmen/Mothers like Israel is to the U.S.- Even when Israel/Women-Mothers are in the Wrong and Abusing the system (for Any Woman who deems ALL Women are Innocent and Victims Only are part of the problem as well)

    • J. Crawford

      (CONT)

      3) What are some issues you face as a man/woman?
      As a Man, and a Young/Black one at that, stereotypes and bad reputations of my gender and race give off a Guilty until Proven Innocent stigma; it is also as if Many Refuse or Deny Accountability for THEIR ROLES in Dysfunctional Situations, and squarely place 100% Blame or Responsibility towards 1 Side- mainly Men (again, any Woman saying they had Zero Role in a bad relationship or situation is disengenuous, ijs)

      4) What, if anything, would you change about the process?
      Honestly, IDK; Mediation is mostly Useless as even Mediatiors don't do a damn thing when there are violations to agreements, and waiting on a court date takes weeks and/or Months. I DO KNOW that most go straight to the Courts rather than doing the Adult thing and Talking/Arguing it Out BEFOREHAND. We love to say Government is Too Intrusive ino ur lives yet We are Usain Bolting to go to Court for CS…….

      • amaris79

        I can see the frustration in your words, I hope your situation works out. I'd say something like "don't paint the entire picture based only on your view", but to be honest, I am fully cognizant of how frustrating it can be when you want to be an involved parent and hit roadblocks at every turn. Be well.

        • J. Crawford

          Thank you. In this new era where what Used to be the Definition(s) of Masculinity are being changed, it is really hard to break Old Habits and Stigmas of what a Man is ( shows little to no emotion, Rugged, 'macho" masculine, etc), as well as how Relationships were viewed and handled back in the day are not the same as it is now- though Some Things Haven't and probably Never Change.

          Any Male can say they are "not like Other Guys" even while doing Typical Man things, but what else Can he Say to distinguish himself, truly? Being Honest about Anything means for the Good, Bad and the Unkown, and thats for Both Genders, which is why I Try to be Open-Minded on many topics and situations. I can't, however, Compromise my own Experiences for Satus Quo or to Appease, whether it's for Guys in General or if Some Women are Offended, and I'd Expect Others would feel the same way

    • julie

      regarding Gas Rent and Utilities….I would live in a one bedroom apt and not ask for a dime from my ex if I didn't have kids…but because i have kids, I have a 3 bedroom house- so I do in fact need the child support to pay for the mortgage and utilities- and for gas…I would just be going to work and home without kids, but with kids there is always something they need, some activity or school function….so yeah, gas too.

      • Chester

        Do each of your kids need their own room?

        • Lisa

          No which is why she doesn't have 4 bedrooms…

        • Lisa

          Nevermind…don't know how many kids she has…

    • Ashley D

      So these mothers are supposed to live in one bedroom apartments, not allow their kids to take showers, not allow their kids to use the heat or A/C to to maintain the temperature in a larger home, not allow their kids to turn on a TV or a computer or even run a dishwasher/washing machine more often to wash the increased amount of dishes/clothes that added people make, not allow the children ask to go anywhere that requires gas money even in cases of emergency unless the father is present to approve each individual expense?

      You, like a lot of people, lack basic math and home economics skills. I think men who think itemized receipts for child expenses would make child support cheaper are in for a HUGE shock. I'm not even in this situation, but know better than to think a few hundred dollars each month would have covered half of my basic expenses growing up and the cost of raising children has only gone up while wages have stagnated over the past decade. Your child should be living the type of lifestyle with which you can afford to provide them, not eating the scraps. $338/ month for one kid is nothing for more than one kid is a totally pathetic shame.

  • guest

    I would say it depends.. if he IS financially able to pay child support for his children (if you have a job you should be able to contribute something) and does not it wouldnt sit well with me…if you dont help take care of your child..im not sure if I want you coming around playing superdad on saturday and sunday. Part of your responsibility to your child is the financial piece… I get so tired of men having issues with child support…i get that it could be children from a divorce…but most of the child support woes come from having unprotected sex with a woman that you wouldnt want to marry…which could have been avoided if you used better judgement. Dont lay up with a chick that you wouldnt want to share your seed or your last name. Wait…im getting off topic.

    • Adonis

      @guest

      I don’t want to allow today’s comment section to go left, but this has to be addressed.
      I am assuming you are a chick based on the way you write & the shots that you are taking.

      Dont lay up with a chick that you wouldnt want to share your seed or your last name.

      The problem with this statement is that you are asking irresponsible men, the type of men, women love to procreate with, to be more responsible, even though you & the whole world knew what type of dude he was when you met him, and you probably stepped over more capable responsible future fathers to get to that irresponsible man.

      Can you see how problematic your thought process is, when you make a dumb statement like that.

      If you want responsible men (who take care of house, wife and/or kids), give deference & priority to those men. And you ladies will get more responsible men in turn.

      Stop promoting one group of men & then asking where are the other group of men go. Lol

      I know @Keisha Brown is going to stay far away from his comment section.

      And I don’t blame her. Carry on.

      • Ashley D.

        "A chick," really? Based on your comments I'm assuming you're one of these disrespectful men who should be avoided for procreation purposes. You seem totally lacking in basic self-awareness. Your argument is exactly the same as the one you are rebutting except that the gender roles are reversed. Otherwise your argument is not at all different. How did you miss that? Are you a little slow?

        The point of these messy child support situations is not who is at fault for even having the baby in the first place, but how both parents can find a way to step up equally for their children. I'm so tired of men who didn't get to date cheerleaders in high school because they are short or ugly or rude taking to the comments section to complain about how they don't get chosen. All of the world's problems are NOT based on the fact that all women everywhere aren't madly in love with egomaniacs. The world doesn't owe you Punanty, sir. It takes all kinds to make the world go round and people who aren't like you will continue to live their lives and fall in love and have babies and those babies won't want to date your kids either. That's just how it is. Not everyone has to be like you or think you like in order to deserve to have a decent existence on this earth.

        We just need to find a way for everyone to take FULL responsibility for innocent children who deserve a safe, poverty-free upbringing. I'm not even a "baby's mother" and at least I know that this discussion should be about shared responsibility.

    • Tristan

      *whistles for the reach*

  • Adonis

    That was a hell of an education. Thank you Wisdom and thank you Jamesetta.

    FTR Jamesetta is a divorcee and not someone’s never married baby mama. Respect.

    This whole post reminds me why I need to continue to mature into a responsible man, AND pick a responsible, cooperative woman to procreate with. If you don’t play the game of life right, you can find yourself in a hell of your own doing.

    Thanks again, I am on the sideline eating up he education today.

    • Adonis

      And to add to my post, I believe in men having 51% custody, if not full custody of the child, and that is how I will handle my relationship with women I procreate with, especially with my future sons.

      Based on the way society is now, we need dads handling parental responsibilities more than ever!

      • JasMaTazz

        What does 51% look like? Why especially with your sons?

        • Adonis

          @jazmatazz

          51% really is reserved for the smart baby mamas who excel in certain areas of parenting. (Anything less is a dictatorship by me.) But at the end of the day, I have the final say, and I have full custody, but of course you are allow to love & help raise your child at any day.

          I trust ME, so that is where the power goes. Natural birthright

        • BillyJean

          Natural birthright? Then go through the 9 month process of carrying and growing the child with all the health risks and workplace bias that comes with. Then we'll talk about your natural birthright.

  • Southerngyrl_

    I've hashed and rehashed this out in the last post. My answer to all of the questions can be found over there.

    I read the man's point of view, but I wish it expounded more on his current situation than various court cases that tackle the extremes on each side. I do like that he has joint custody. I also mentioned this (and sole custody) as a possible option for some, but I noticed that advice was ignored in the comment section. : )

    FYI – I would like to reiterate her point that a mediator and/or lawyer are good things to have if you can. I mentioned that several times.

    • J. Crawford

      It wasn't ignored, just that you believe that much of what Some Guys speak up Actually Happens. Like I said in my own comments and on the last post, Men and Women are and can be on Foul, Conniving, and Shady actions. I ask and go by what a Person says since I Don't Know them Personally, rather than Dismissing their Experiences, which are Different than Opinions.

      Not Everything is Black and White, and until BOTH Parties can Own Up to their roles in situations, the Battle of the Sexes will continue; I don't Condone nor Cosign Deadbeats or Men in General just because I am one myself. I hope you also do the same

      • Southerngyrl_

        huh? I didn't really say anything on the last post, but you really aren't that good at expressing yourself in written form.

        • J. Crawford

          Because I rather use Objectivity rther than Emotion in my wors or that I don't have an expanded vocabulary??? All I know is that the triades and the Negatives of Men and fathers have been the Only and De Facto narrative for the last 50+ years, even though there are some Deadbeat Mothers and many instances annual of that. Even in my own situation which isn''t really all that rare, to say "Oh Well, you're shit out of luck" and Never thinking about if Women were in the roles of Men shows Mass Bias and Deflecting on the Flaws of the Family Courts and the Chikld Support System.

        • Southerngyrl_

          Yeah, not helping.

    • jdoubleu

      [I read the man's point of view, but I wish it expounded more on his current situation than various court cases that tackle the extremes on each side.]

      I was thinking the same. The man's POV wasn't as personalized as this post was. Not that it takes away from the brother's article, I just felt like I missed anything to comment on that wasn't about the "gray" area" of the subject.

  • J. Crawford

    *rather

    • Ashley D.

      I hope you take the following comments as a growth opportunity… J. Crawford, I think you are generally not good at expressing yourself in written form for the following reasons:

      1. Your spelling isn't "internet typos" bad. It is "I am using words I have never seen in written form" bad. I know it seems trivial and mean to criticize spelling online, but it does get so bad at a point that people can't be sure they actually know what you were trying to say. I think you have crossed that line.

      2. Your responses are devoid of facts and rely exclusively on conjectures, anecdotes and opinions. All three of these things would be just fine to use in an online comments section, if you just recognized that they are not facts. Opinions, when based on faulty facts, can and should be adjusted. Smart people don't know everything, but when they are presented with new information they develop more informed opinions. That's why I insist on separating facts from opinions. It leads to problems in adjusting our thinking down the line when we don't recognize what the difference looks like in the "real world." Ignorance doesn't always come from not knowing things; sometimes, it comes from knowing things that aren't true.

      3. Your responses are actually unresponsive and only tangentially related to the posts to which they are attached.
      (For instance Southergyrl's original comment specifically cited her disappointment that the man did NOT use his own experiences, but rather things he heard about other men's experiences. Your response asked her not to dismiss the man's experiences despite the fact that she CLEARLY didn't do that, but instead advocated for hearing MORE about the specific of his own situation.)
      4. Referring to women as "emotional" when they best you in a discussion is not only a stereotype and cliche, but a sign that you are losing the argument.

      I hope you take these notes in the spirit in which they were offered. Seriously. If you have the desire to improve any skill, you will find the tools to do it. Stay encouraged and keep trying.

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

    As I’ve said in the male pov post, you can’t put a dollar amount on a child. Again drawing from personal examples, my sister is grossly underpaid in child support (my nephew’s father works odd jobs so pays about $60/week #loophole). My sister works and her fiance does well, that child support is slight work, she gives it as allowance (he’s 5, how he spends $60/week is beyond me, spoiled lil ninja he is) But that’s beside the point because in different circumstances that is just pathetic.

    I also know the cliches, who use the money for themselves, they look at it as if they used their own money to feed their kids and pay bills (even though it’s govt assistance I’m sleep tho) then they are entitled to use child support as they see fit. The state takes care of the kids while the man takes care of her. Also pathetic.

    I think a reason people are so against it is because it’s so shamelessly unpoliced. Men can’t be trusted to take care of their children, women can’t be trusted to use the money responsibly. It’s a vicious cycle that no one wins in. I only hope I’m married when I slip one past the goalie.

  • SMileZ_920

    1)It’s hard to talk about child support because people tend to talk about it from each side of the extreme, men talk about their homies who are getting robbed and women talk about their friends who can get 20 dollars out of their baby’s father.
    2)I think child support is fair. Babies don’t live off of I love you’s they need food, shelter and other things as well.
    3)I think the family courts need to update the child support laws to match the times we live in today. Child support cases should be looked at holistically. They should look at the fathers major bills (rent, car payment, school loans) into account when averaging out an amount. Every 2 -3 years the court should go over both parents finances.
    4)Joint custody should automatically be granted between each parent. Full custody should only be granted in cases where there is a history of abuse, physical, drug alcohol etc…

    • SMilez_920

      5)The child’s custodial parent should not be based on gender but, circumstance.
      6)Child support should only go up until 18 – 21 if your child is in some sort of school. (24 If their special needs)
      7)If the father feels the mother of the child is misappropriating funds, the court should have a secondary option where the father can choose a set of bills to physically pay each month for the child that would equal out to the child support payment… EX: he can pay for child care and insurances each month. At the end of each month a record of receipts can be sent to the case worker as evidence.

      • Southerngyrl_

        I am all for those except for #4 and #7. I think #5 is usually based on who wants it rather than gender, but that is neither here nor there.

        #4 – Maybe in an ideal world, sure, but honestly some are okay with being part-time parents so that won't work. That every other weekend thing works for them because their life isn't being disrupted.

        #7 – I can just imagine the stampede that will happen at the courthouse if they put that policy in place. There are a lot of dudes who don't even think they should pay child support, and if they do, it should go to what they see fit and not what is actually needed.

        I think if he feels that it isn't being used correctly,an investigation should be conducted. Her finances should be audited and a judgment made. I don't think they should just take either person's "word" regarding finances.

        • Smilez_920

          7) Well that really anybody has in most of these cases. What I'm saying is there are men who stop payment completely because they feel the money is being misused. Therefore there can be an alternate option after some sort of investigation where the father can put money toward specific things for the child.

          4) I think joint custody should be a first option not something that you have to fight for but some that is automatically granted if both parents are asking for custody of the child. Now if one parent doesn’t feel any special way about it then fine. But if I’m a active supportive parent in my child’s life joint custody isn’t something I should have to fight for.

          5) I know it usually based on who wants it. But there are cases when the father wants the child and the court tends to favor the mother even if she’s not the better parent. It takes a lot of proof for the court to take the kid away from the mother to the father.

        • J. Crawford

          Sorry, but Your Opinion of #5 is straight up a Lie, or maybe that's what it is in Your State, and #7 Already is Biased to how and what the Custodial Parent ( Majority are Women) 's "Word" and has deemed "fit" for Support, so what are you Really Saying???

          The Guys who believe they Shouldn't Pay are the ones who NEED the Harsh Treatment, not Everyone as a Whole, which is what the Male's POV is all about. IF you're going to be Biased Still, at least Own it and be Honest about it….. and Yes, I'm Passionate about this and No, I don't think I Shouldn't Pay,but I'm like Plenty of Fathers that would like Fair Treatment from the Courts other than be relegated as Opposition and Obligors by Default

        • Southerngyrl_

          Did you just tell me that my opinion is a lie? LOL……sigh

          I realize you have strong feelings because of your own situation, but I am going to try to be nice on this board. I find most of your views are obviously tainted by your own situation. That is on you. It is hard to empathize with you when I see the craziness (including weird caps) that comes from your posts. If this is what is on the other end of the line when talking to you about child support, I can see why someone would choose the option to go straight to the courts rather than talk to you.

        • J. Crawford

          Yes, I called it a Lie. Who "wants" it better??? Is that what you Really Think of Men, that we want to be Less of a Parent? If that Garbage of a statement is how You Feel, and if what I said, which isn't on some Ghetto-Thug steez is Unresonable then I'm more than certain you are part of the problem rather than actually Trying to come up with Common Sense Solutions.

          Name any part of my last post that comes off as Deadbeat Language or me Supporting Abandonment or Deliquency of Parental Duties

        • Ashley D.

          Anyone following the thread immediately saw your complaint about having to contribute to rent, utilities and gas, and to be honest that sounds pretty awful. Quite frankly, that is deadbeat language. Your child needs appropriate shelter, access to showers and clean clothes (which drive up the water bill considerably because kids get dirty often and running water isn't free as much as I'd like for it to be).

          I think the only overly emotional person in this string is you. You've got to calm down and consider facts. Your kids deserve the most you can provide for them, not the least. They are YOUR kids and they will grow up to resent their poor living situation when they find out that you could have done more for them, but thought that gas, rent and utilities were just extras. Yikes.

          The cost of living goes up with a child in the home. The custodial parent bears the majority of that responsibility as an addition to bills they are already paying and the non-custodial parent should pay a portion of the ADDED rent, utilities and gas that comes from having a kid aroundPERIOD. This isn't a difficult concept and it is separate from custody issues or any conflict you have with the mother. You can't just buy the things you want your kids to have. You have to buy the things your kids NEED.

          Many men who are from all types of backgrounds are deadbeat dads (wealthy and not so wealthy) because they have wrong-headed thinking not because they are thugs. I know plenty of guys who are wealthy deadbeats. They live in my fancy apartment building where we have all sorts of amenities and pay more than $2500/ month for rent, but complain about what their ex wife does with $300 each month while trying to invite me out to eat. I just keep on moving. That doesn't sound like your situation, but the principle is the same. It is cheaper to raise kids together than it is doing it apart, but when you make the choice to separate the responsibilities of that choice should fall evenly on both parents so your child doesn't suddenly see a difference in their living standards. This automatically means that you AND the mom have to sacrifice in order to maintain the same standard as before. Her sacrifices are automatically built into her bills each month and the point of child support is to do the same for fathers (or non-custodial parents). Just pay your child support and quit complaining about the mom. FOcus on the kid and making sure the kid has the same standard of living as they did when you all lived together. No need to downgrade your kid's lifestyle to improve your own financial comfort.

      • J. Crawford

        I agree with all of these, Smilez. These are Fair and Well- Thought out, rather than Emotionally driven with Little to No Consideration for Circumstances of Both Parents involved

  • Uncle Hugh, BP

    1) What do you think child support is “for?”

    What it states: supporting the child. Above and beyond what one would have to pay if the child was not born.

    2) Is child support fair?

    LOL!

    3) What are some issues you face as a man/woman?

    The courts by default tries to get money from someone. They have to pay for the CS employees. So they screw someone, usually the man, especially if he has a decent income, to subsidize themselves. Ultimately, they simply want to interfere, they generally aren't looking out for what is best for the child.

    4) What, if anything, would you change about the process?

    It's hard to say, because as I stated in the post that spawned this one, a lot of men straight up SUCK, and would only pay $100/month if they could. At the same time, a lot of women try to get over. As ambiguous as this sounds, the thing I would change about the process is getting CS workers and judges that don't have an agenda and that have common damn sense.

  • Beef Bacon

    The systems has holes in it for a reason, those holes leak directly into the someone's pockets. I wish more people in each state stand up and ask for change. Especially, the brothers, I mean, people that have skin in the game. It won't change with low-key complaints to your boys. People within the system see what is wrong first hand.

    States make a killing from these cases. What is free to them comes at a price to our families. If the system actually helped, it may undo it self over time. The people that would gain the most are the least likely to ask for change because of fear. Ask and yes shall receive….and fight the powers that be.

  • Uncle Hugh, BP

    "Shared expenses (utilities, rent, and food) can be paid with child support. If we were still married, his funds would go to shared expenses. Child support can go there as well."

    I mentioned this in the last post, but I would like someone to help me see where I'm supposedly going wrong here.

    Why should a man pay for shared expenses? It sounds fair, until you realize a woman is paying LESS for her bills. For example:

    Before the child: A woman comes home from work. She turns on the light in the living room, and it stays on until she unwinds and goes to bed four hours later. She has to pay for operating the light for four hours.

    After the child: Woman does the same thing, and the light is on for the same four hours. But now she has the kid with her and says, "hey, I can charge half of this usage to the father!" Now she's only paying for two hours of usage.

    How is that fair? The child is not costing her anything extra, but the man is paying for his and half of her electrical usage.

  • InsomniaPoet

    I couldn't resist commenting. I was a Family Law Attorney for about 3 years in Atlanta. I dealt with everything from prenups, divorces, adoptions, alimony and YES CHILD SUPPORT. In all fairness, there are extremes on both sides, but the real problem is all the people in the middle. Imagine how difficult it is to come up w/ fair laws for child support when it really is a case by case situation. Ideally, the court should really not (nor need to be) dictating your family life. Hence, the problem with the current status of child support laws; basically just trying to do the best they can for the most people. DISCLAIMER – My comments are solely about people who have children OUT OF WEDLOCK because in my experiences divorces are a whole other can of worms.
    Child support is inherently illogical. It is society trying to police a situation, which society makes NO EFFORT to curb BEFORE it happens. Child Support came around as the result of too many absentee fathers creating needy mothers and children who were a burden to the State. State's answer? Shift that burden to any man we can, willing or unwilling.
    My biggest issue with child support is women who CHOOSE to have a child they cannot afford. I have a friend who had a baby, when the month she got knocked up she was borrowing money for her light bill. Seriously, WHO DOES THAT?! You don’t have lights but you think you can have a child. Or people who can’t afford the abortion so they just have a baby. I just don’t understand that. It seems that people take every other decision more serious than they do bringing a life into this world. I also feel bad for all the men who didn’t want the child but then are required to pay support. I don’t think that is fair AT ALL. And I think the whole “you shouldn’t have been rawdoggin” statement is such bullsh!t. Unless every baby mama out there was PLANNING to get pregnant when they did. I don’t think I have ever once during s~x thought to myself – yea if he knocks me up. Not until shortly after do I have that oh sh!t moment. I feel sorry for men because at least if I get knocked I still control my own future.
    From my experiences I think women take ZERO responsibility in the whole baby/child support world. They act like the man secretly took off the condom, knocked her up, told her to have the baby b/c he’d pay for it & then ran away in the night. When in actuality, BOTH parties laid raw, HE usually said no I don’t want a baby, or can’t afford a baby, etc SHE decided to have it anyways AND HE is expected to contribute. Then women will play the – oh this innocent child didn’t ask for this life or doesn’t deserve this blah blah blah. But my response to that – is did YOU think about that before YOU had this child. Where is the accountability LADIES?

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      InsomniaPoet: "In all fairness, there are extremes on both sides, but the real problem is all the people in the middle. Imagine how difficult it is to come up w/ fair laws for child support when it really is a case by case situation."

      Truth. That's why the best I could come up with on how to fix the situation is to get CS judges with no agenda and an ounce or two of common sense.

      • InsomniaPoet

        Yea but everything isn't a conspiracy. Many times these judges are just doing the best they can with other people's PERSONAL problems. Maybe the solution is people stop having children with someone they are INCAPABLE of co-parenting with. Maybe these people who think they are RESPONSIBLE enough to raise children need to learn to work it out without mucking up the courts and wasting taxpayers money….

        • Southerngyrl_

          Pretty much. That goes for men and women. I am not going to say accidents won't happen, but damn.

        • Uncle Hugh, BP

          That's true, many times the judges are doing their best. But to paraphrase Charles Barkley, sometimes your best ain't no d@mn good.

          "Maybe the solution is people stop having children with someone they are INCAPABLE of co-parenting with. Maybe these people who think they are RESPONSIBLE enough to raise children need to learn to work it out without mucking up the courts and wasting taxpayers money…. "

          I couldn't agree more.

    • Adonis

      @InsomniaPoet

      #Respect & Thanks for the insight

    • JasMaTazz

      I was wit you until this point " And I think the whole “you shouldn’t have been rawdoggin” statement is such bullsh!t." Yes, a lot of women aren't sitting there saying "if he gets me pregnant" but only a few women are up here having sex with men they find detestable in every sense of the word and someone they don't want to be with. For those women, I ask God to work on their souls and minds and not give them children. But there are a lot more men who are making a lot of promises to women they know they have no desire for just to get the cookie and then looking at that women once she got pregnant like she slipped him the okey doke! A man who doesn't want more than sex really shouldn't be raw dogging, point blank period. As a man, that's where your control of the situation begins and ends and, tbh, they need to excercise that power with better judgment.

      • InsomniaPoet

        Jas – I hear you and I hope my original post didn't come off as supporting every deadbeat dad out there because that is NOT my position. I think men AND women lie to themselves (and each other) before the children arrive. Are there men out there who will say any & every thing for the cookie – including lies and pipe dreams YES – do women already KNOW this YES. Yet when I did family law – everyday there was a woman crying for support and help from a man that she ALREADY KNEW really wasn't ish. Women stay thinking they can change or control a man – and that if they can't the baby will. When that doesn't happen where do we end up?! Sitting in court listening to these sob stories of why they need support. I am talking about the women who KNEW the man had prior children he didn't support or care for – but thought hey me & mine will be different. The women who are having children by men they BARELY know – you don't know his last name – aint never met his mama – but you wanna raise a child with the man? You KNOW the man aint never kept a steady job in the 2yrs yall been smashing but you think now that you're pregnant he's gonna be Mr. Breadwinner. etc etc etc

        I think EVERYONE (men & women) needs to use better judgment when making the most important decision of their lives – whether to have a child.

        • Adonis

          @insomniapoet

          Yet when I did family law – everyday there was a woman crying for support and help from a man that she ALREADY KNEW really wasn’t ish. Women stay thinking they can change or control a man – and that if they can’t the baby will. When that doesn’t happen where do we end up?! Sitting in court listening to these sob stories of why they need support. I am talking about the women who KNEW the man had prior children he didn’t support or care for – but thought hey me & mine will be different.

          You know what is so funny, when I say this, I get crucified, and get called evil, or dismissed as crazy, etc.

          But you literally have first hand account of this for years.

          I am all for limiting the male deadbeats, but these irresponsible so called intelligent women out here, give these men a hell of alot of incentive to keep behaving badly.

          So, for now on, ladies, get off that tired professional victimhood, and take responsiblilty for setting up your children for a life of misery.

        • InsomniaPoet

          "You know what is so funny, when I say this, I get crucified, and get called evil, or dismissed as crazy, etc."

          Mr. Adonis, if I may – I frequent this blog quite a bit and I think the reason you get attacked for what you say isn't you message but your delivery. I read your comments often and don't always disagree but sometimes, the WAY you say things makes me cringe LOL you are that harsh realist that MOST people can't handle. Just my lil 2 cents :)

        • Adonis

          @InsomniaPoet appreciate the two cents.

          In life they say “If you are not cheating, you are not trying.”

          So, my motto is (and thanks for he inspiration,)

          “If you are not trolling, you are not trying.” -Adonis

          So, again thanks for the kind words, thanks for the education. And don’t worry, I lose testosterone as I get older, so this stuff will get less fun eventually.

    • shar

      All of this right here! I know a girl who had an abortion(her third one in life) then turned around and got pregnant again! When she was contemplating the third abortion I asked her why she wasn't on birth control. She said she didn't want to get fat. Um,okay. She wasn't even really sure if she wanted to have a child with this dude. Seeing as he didn't have a real job and was trying to "make it" as a rapper. Of course, she wanted to be with him if he made it. But I tried to ask, what if he didn't make it. Perhaps this isn't the man for you if you don't want to have a child with him.
      Anywho, before she got pregnant after the abortion, I remember her saying something to the effect of, "he wants to get me pregnant again."
      I knew she wasn't about shit when she said that. This is not a game! This is your life. Of course she got pregnant again and kept it because she "didn't want the blood on her hands" but had the stank face on through the whole pregnancy. What is the point of that? We all have choices. Men and women. Men: if you don't want a baby wrap it up. Ladies: if you don't want a baby,utilize all of these bcontrol methods we have.

      • Southerngyrl_

        Yes, I am not sure what is up with sex ed these days, but did they discontinue all birth control pills? They don't make IUDs anymore? No depo shot?

        I have heard the fat excuse before and I am not impressed. Anytime I hear a woman say that, I think she's crazy.

        Condoms are great, but I have encountered quite a few grown asses (women) who don't use a secondary method (honestly, it should be primary for bc). I think guys should ask this question too. I also think they should be really suspicious if she isn't on anything, unless she was celibate for a while, and even then she needs to have already made an appointment with her gyno.

  • sensesocommon

    Oh Child Support… what is that? LOL!!

    TRUE STORY: baby is born. Dad goes to jail. Dad gets out of jail and rather than going home (y'know, the right thing), he decides that getting his life right consists of staying some thousand miles away. No biggie, things are still cool. Dad goes back to jail (LMAO!!! omg, I'm killing myself) Dad gets out of jail, refusing to pay for anything because he, "just don't have it". However, mommy supports him. Dad moves back in with his mommy who provides, housing, clothing, car payments, etc…. (the same ppl who acted as if my son was non-existing while he was away) Rather than trying to adjust to co-parenting, negro goes straight in for custody: Courts, calling cps, etc… what most would consider baby momma drama… he's a mitch. Only to fail in the precedings and be ordered to pay $50 a month. That doesn't even cover a third of what I spend on my son's wardrobe.

    • sensesocommon

      I don't know that social workers pick who and how much money is received according to whether or not the woman is on welfare. I can tell you that $50 doesn't cover much on my end and to add insult to injury, even if I wanted to spend it on myself…. LLS!!!

      For me, child support is a waste of time. To be honest, I would be happier with the mitch in my son's life. There is a such thing as a parent doing more harm in any event such as this. Child support should be able to cover a child's expense, clothing, shoes, things for the child (common sense). Is child support fair?… how would you spend $50? If I could have it my way, the sperm donor wouldn't exist.

      • Smilez_920

        In some states welfare is seen as a replacement for the income that a father would bring in. Like in VA if the father is alive and has sign the BC and you have to go on welfare they go after him for child support money.
        If you don’t mind me asking? I know you mentioned that he was back and forth in jail. Was he like that before you become pregnant. If so did you really expect him to have more than 50 dollars or anything to give? Do you think the court mad ethe payment that low because they look at his personally situation and felt it would be a wasted to ask for more than that?

        • sensesocommon

          Actually he wasn't back and forth to jail. And no rap sheet of any kind before hand. I'm not slow.

          We were really good friends that just so happen to test the waters, and found out that the water was heated at a boiling temp of "Hell-degrees".

          His family background consist of a line of entrepreneuers. At the time that I met him, he was doing really well for himself. But some things are left unsaid… what I didn't know was he was trafficking.

        • Adonis

          @SensesoCommon

          If you were married to oh boy, I would understand your story better.
          Maybe even months from the wedding.

          If you are not married, you are single, and that means, you didn’t fully vet him out for the long haul.

          No sympathy

        • sensesocommon

          You are absolutely right. I wasn't looking at things for the long haul, not in him anyways. My son is good with or without him. Better without him, if you ask me.

          And I wasn't searching for any sympathy. This post is about child support, and I shared MY experience with it

      • cynicaloptmst81

        $50 a month???? What's the daggon point?

        I take it he's not working and that the judge figured $50 was a reasonable amount that he could get from Mommy, smh. Shame on his Mom for coddling him!!!! Grrrrrrr…..

        • http://sensesocommon.wordpress.com candi

          Lmao!! I was wondering if anyone was going to catch on to that. Such a shame. And slightly embaressing, lol.

          Thats the same thing I said. Nope, he doesnt work and he was fighting tooth and nail to not have to pay that. Would you believe that he’s behind on that? Lol! You see, mommy dearest pays for all his other expenses. He doesn’t have to work. I’m assuming that CS is of no importance and considered to be a privlege and not a necessity. He’s damn near forty and has never had to really fend for himself.

    • shar

      Sound like my brother's father. Tried to go for full custody, failed to remember he owed back childsupport, was harassing my mother, AND didn't have a place to live his damn self! Shut the front door!

      • sensesocommon

        Amazing! lol!

        It's like they have a point to prove. I'm not quite sure what that point is though o_O I have yet to see the criminal who gains full custody, or better yet, the donor who missed a portion of their childs life and then come back full fledge like a superhero *Batman Returns* LOL!!

  • sensesocommon

    *without

  • JasMaTazz

    Never replied back to your other thread cus i'm just now seeing this message. If the expenses were shared, you'd BOTH be spending less overall on bills each with the knowledge that you'd be spending more overall had that child not been in the picture. I'm not so much an advocate for child support, and I don't believe that everything should be defaulted on the non-custodial parent but if you never take that child home with you for more than 2 days a month, you're not really gonna see a bill increase, nor would it be unreasonable to expect that the child's expenses are ingrained in your households as well. Plus you may be spending more at the expense of the child rather than yourself. Using the example you gave. Maybe that light isn't on because she's unwinding after work, maybe that light is on because your child is afraid of the dark and sleeps with a nightlight or the tv on. Other examples, paying for gas is shared as well, but after having a child, gas may get spent more quickly because not only are there extra trips being made, but the heat may be on longer to make sure that child is warm on a cold day.

    • JasMaTazz

      Paying for groceries is shared, but they're eating the food you cook also, which makes it go a lot faster plus she may need to buy extra on days she's not eating to make sure her child does. does that mean you should only pay for the food that you buy specifically for them and say we'll she was gonna buy those anyway, when you're not supplying ANY of her basic 3 meals and snacks? That's why I say it's bad math, because in a perfect world the accounting is not just for the excess but the overall usage, which of course isn't a perfect science but it's definitely not just an (X+Y) equation either…

      • Uncle Hugh, BP

        That would be part of Y. You are correct in that it is difficult to divy up when looking at one thing. That is why it makes more sense to look at the whole to capture what she is using that wasn't used before. If she was spending $X total on groceries a month, but now is spending $Y extra a month, that does capture it all.

        That captures the fruit snacks, whole milk, or whatever extra that only the kid eats. But it also accounts for mom having to buy extra Cheerios, bread, fruit or whatever that they both eat.

        And again, I'm not even saying mom should have to split the extra. I'm saying dad should pay it all.

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      JasMaTazz: "If the expenses were shared, you'd BOTH be spending less overall on bills each with the knowledge that you'd be spending more overall had that child not been in the picture."

      This I understand, if the bills were previously shared between the two. I was originally assuming the couple did not live together.

      "Maybe that light isn't on because she's unwinding after work, maybe that light is on because your child is afraid of the dark and sleeps with a nightlight or the tv on. Other examples, paying for gas is shared as well, but after having a child, gas may get spent more quickly because not only are there extra trips being made, but the heat may be on longer to make sure that child is warm on a cold day."

      So she is turning on a light or using a nightlight that wasn't used before. That would be part of Y, measured in kilowatt-hours for electricity and BTUs for gas. X would still be the same.

      I'm not trying to be stubborn, but I still don't get it.

      • JasMaTazz

        I think the disconnect comes from the idea that I thought you meant to split it and only account for the excess when splitting, If you feel that it would be sufficient to pay for the excess then that would more accurately account for half of what's being spent exclusively on the child.
        Also, in some case the BTUs or kilowatts may be "extra" but I was moreso thinking of cases in where the mother may be sacrificing some of their usage in order to accomodate their children. Some parents just can't let their kids run up their bills extra so they may modify the things they do to account for the extra. I do agree that they would have to pay for those things with or without a child, but in some cases they would be spending way more if they had their own habits and let their child do what they were doing as well.

        • Uncle Hugh, BP

          Assuming the mother is sacrificing to provide for the child, I'd agree.

        • Ashley D.

          I don't see how your argument is in any way different from the woman who wrote the post. She isn't saying all of her bills should be paid. She is saying that those expenses are SHARED. You see?

  • http://www.conventionalculture.com ConventionalDee

    I am a divorcee from California, and the system is completely different. The court gives you the calculation worksheet w/ your order, hell you can calculate it online yourself. I wasn't looking to get rich from my ex, I just wanted him to be responsible for our child. What he pays (when he feels like paying) isn't enough to wipe my ass with, but to me it's the principle. I only use the child support to pay the household expenses and childcare, I don't get enough to do anything extra for my son. In California, I do believe the system favors mothers and those on assistance, however if you sit in court all day you do hear a ton of men (occasionally women) not caring for their children. But I do believe the system works. The issue is people, both men and women, not being responsible pre-conception. I ignored the red flags with my husband, so my punishment is having to deal with him for the next 11 years.
    My recent post Weekend Link Up – 3/16/13

  • Uria

    Wow the amount oh combativeness on here is frightening, where is the compassion and the truth that both men and women in these situations are lost and needing healing. Resolving financial responsibility differences is tough work with so many other issues at the table. There should be a more holistic long term approach to solving child support custody issues because all involved suffer when even one part is distrustful or feels like they have been duped. We need to listen to each other and heal the wounds despit past moments of perhaps making a child without regard to future. A child born is a child in our community that is God sent we create the trauma and drama. Lets get to the real issues go to a spiritual house a counselor a mediator. Finally FORGIVE …eventually

  • Adam Bradshaw

    Should a man who doesn't (or can't) pay child support still be allowed to see his kid(s)?
    Here comes the intricacies and complexities of the issue at hand. While I do understand that enforcing child support as a condition of seeing the child has its positive ropes, like motivating responsible behavior on the part of the man, I think the matter of child support should not hinder the continuity of a good, loving relationship between a man and his kid. So by all means, yes. Unless the chap proves to be a bad role model for the kid, like seeing the child drunk, trash-talking to the child or trying to put the mom down all the time. Except for these kinds of bad influences that a child may pick up from a dad that's separated from him, the law, the mom, the child and everyone else involve may see some good in having money issues get into the backseat for the meantime. Everything all boils down to the best interest of the kid.
    Great posts by the way, both on men and women perspectives! Here's an equally nice post on insights and perspectives about money and relationships worth checking out, with mention of this article: http://financesonline.com/relationship-pressures-

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  • BillyJean

    2 years before I was forced into a divorce after 19 years, because the husband was using drugs and women, I had offered a divorce with no child support. I offered no support just split medical, clothing..etc. he was all for it until he realized that also came with 50% parenting time. Now please note for years he built a lucrative career by having me remain a stay home mom, so there was no interference to his schedule with my job and I had the bulk of the household/ childcare duties. I finally was able to start my career and now I'm left to build my career with the responsibilities of 3 kids, one of which is severely disabled. The ex is out of state and makes twice what I do, and pays only when it suits him, and never even meets half of his obligation. He breezes into town and spends tons of money on entertainment, wont use the money for anything they need like clothes or school supplies. Because we are still legally married, he is sucking off my health insurance and I am paying his premium. I offered a reduced child support amount and cut his arrears to less than half. He still isnt satisfies and is using his larger income to bleed me finanially in a continued court case in which he is trying to get his support obligations reduced yet again. Presumably he is paying the lawyer with money that could go to child support. He never asks if I am doing ok and able to put food on the table, yet constantly asks the kids why they arent in the extra curriculars they used to enjoy when we were together and they have to tell him "mom can't afford it". Which he already knew but never offers to pay himself. Just tries to use it to prove I am not a good mom, since he has nothing else.

    Most of the time it is women whose careers take a backburner to family build while men move further with the increased support and pressures of family. Also men tend to have higher incomes overall, more access to higher income careers and make more on average in the same careers as women. Then they cry that they shouldnt have to pay when a divorce occurs, that the woman should figure it out. And alot of times the divorce happens because men hit middle age and think they deserve something more than a middle aged wife, who supported them when they were young and broke. Then they dont want to support those kids from first wife because newer and younger wife now wants a baby.

    Unless you think I am sexist, I know a few men in the same situation. Women can be douchebags too. More often because of how babies are made and how society (a society largely set up by men for men) is set up, it is women who end up in the vulnerable financial position with the bulk of the responsibility for children. When we as a society learn to stop treating sex so cheaply and value families and teach or children what it means to be dedicated in marriage: women on average will continue to struggle with childrearing and men will continue to get pounded in the court system.

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