Can we get real for a second? I wrote last week about how we choose men and then consider them unfit to be more than a weekend dad and now I want to talk about the child support drama. Now, before going off on me, please read the entire post.
Okay, do I believe in child support? Yes, I do. We can’t raise children on purely love, hugs and kisses. It takes finances to be able to raise children. In other words, you paid to play, you paid to lay and now you have to pay to raise.
For the Ladies…
Some women (if it doesn’t apply to you stop getting mad) use child support as a weapon against their child’s father. They in turn use that support for things that have nothing to do with the child. Is that fair? No.
It takes two parents to raise a child. If you are a woman and your children are school age you need to get a job. You need to provide financial support for your children as well. You need to be able to raise your children financially. We can’t assume that the other parent has to do it all. He shouldn’t have to.
Neither should you. But, you need to be working. Let’s be honest…it takes more than one income to raise children from infancy through college. You need to be a productive member of society showing your children that you worked hard to provide for them.
For the Men…
It is never acceptable for you to go off and make a new life and not support your children. Children have needs and expenses that require both parents to participate in. Nope, I’m not asking you to pay my rent, mortgage, utilities or car note. I’m asking you to help with the expenses of health, dental, vision and schooling including activities.
You can’t be a every other weekend dad and just take care of your child 4 days out of 30 or 31. What the hell is wrong with you? Who is supposed to do it the rest of the time? Your children have expenses and is the mother of your child supposed to figure it out?
I remember hearing my mother beg my father to support us (it was 3 of us) once a year. She said “My two hardest times are when school starts and Christmas. If you take one of those events I will support them the rest of the year on my own.” You know what he said? No.
I’ve had men tell me that I’m a good woman because when I asked for a divorce I said we could have joint custody. No child support. That doesn’t make me a good woman. I did it because I believed that we could both support our child without having the courts interfere.
But, here’s a piece of information that I found out when going through a divorce…Child support looks at both incomes. My lawyer told me that because I made substantially more than my ex-husband that I would have to pay him $497 a month to keep his son 50% of the time. Say what now?
Yes, I couldn’t believe it. She asked, “Why did you marry someone who wasn’t in your tax bracket?” I was stunned. I responded “We dated in our mid-twenties. It wasn’t that big of a deal when we were younger. He likes working in the non-profit field. They don’t pay as much. I didn’t care. I wanted him to work wherever he’s happy.” She said, “Well, now you could pay for it.” I responded, “No, I will never pay a man to keep his child 50% of the time. I still have bills and expenses including trying to save for college. I can’t afford that. I’ll file for sole custody before I pay child support.”
I went on talking and explaining my expenses for my son that I pay for without ever asking for financial reimbursement from his dad. I told her that I keep him on my health insurance because I do this for a living and would never have him on a plan that wasn’t phenomenal. I told her that in the beginning of the divorce, I actually divided and shared my son’s clothes so his dad could slowly rebuild. Anything that benefited my son I was doing. She added those numbers in and had it down to $10 a month.
But, what about me? Was I wrong in my thinking? I mean after hearing that I would have to pay my ex-husband child support to take care of our son half the time I was willing to change the circumstances of what I had initially agreed to. Was it fair? In my mind I believed that to be the case which is why I called him.
I told him what my lawyer said. I told him that “In the interest of being fair, I just found out that I would have to pay you $497 a month to keep your son 50% of the time in child support.” I said, “I’m not going to do it. I will never pay someone child support to keep their child 50% of the time knowing that I do a lot that I’ve never asked for reimbursement for anything I’ve paid for. I’m also saving for his college fund. I will file for sole custody with a visitation schedule if you want child support.”
Yep, I was kinda rude. I own it. But, he was understanding and he knew that I would have to pay him support but agreed to not take anything from me. That doesn’t make me a good woman because I didn’t take him to court for child support. I understood the differences in our income and knew that my son’s father does support his son. He may not do it at the level I do financially, but that is okay because I make more.
Parents need to support their children. It takes two parents and we’ve got to make sure that we are not using our children as pawns or paychecks. I know that I don’t. I just ask that you consider not doing it either.
We need to support our children. Not by yourself but as an equal partner. You see that word? Partner. It’s the same letters as in Parent. Co-parent.