20 October 2009

Child Support vs. Supporting Our Children

There is a huge difference between just paying the prescribed amount based on some obscure mathematical equation and actually supporting a child.  This is one of the hotly debated topics that I see all over the place.  Moms and dads both feel they are cheated, regardless of WHO pays and WHO receives.  Generally, BOTH parties will say they are getting screwed.

Both parties may have a valid point...the Family Courts often are the ones that ‘profit’ from custody battles and child support issues.  The longer they can keep two parents fighting about this the better seems to be the modus operandi.  Parents and children surely do NOT profit in anyway from the child support issues or the money.  Now, here I am NOT talking about the stars and rich people we hear about having to pay or receiving $30,000 a month and craziness like that.

I am talking about normal people with normal incomes and normal bills.

Personally I feel that where possible no child support should be paid by either party and if it is, then the person receiving it should have a yearly review of what they are spending it on.  Now, with that said....I do not think this should be used as another means to allow abusers to control their victims!!

Personally I have been on the paying and receiving sides.  I know damn good and well what I was assessed to pay was NOT enough to totally even feed my children for the month, much less all the other stuff that they needed.  I also know damn good and well that when I was receiving support payments for my kids it was not enough to cover their food bill let alone anything else.  And, no I don’t have a football team worth of kids and no they are not pigs and just eat too much.

I also know several single parents that could NOT afford to keep a roof over the kids head and food on the table, without being paid child support.  And, let me assure you...the person with the most money is NOT always the best parent.  Remember the saying...Money can’t buy happiness....

Now along with child support we also have to look at other factors....is the parent that is keeping them kids with them only motivated by the money?  Well sometimes....but not usually I think.  Remember I said on Sunday that most likely a person would end up spending more on lawyers and court costs than they’d stand to gain.

And, then we also have to look at the patterns of abuse within the family prior to and after the separation.

I saw a discussion the other day on a forum about an article that said something to the effect of:  Protective parents would rather have their children safe than receive child support.  I tend to agree with that.  Although like I mentioned above, there are many single parents that can’t make it without the additional help from the other parent.  (Oh, and I didn’t see a link for that article so I didn’t read the article just saw the discussion that was about it, so I can not link it here.)

I have seen that abusers will fight tooth and nail to get custody of their children so that do not have to pay child support and also they can use the children to continue to control and abuse the other parent.  They also generally do not spend what they should on their children's needs, nor do they support them in a nuturing, caring, loving manner.  This all usually amounts to neglect.  The children suffer, regardless whether they are being physically abused or not.

In my opinion, parents should NEVER ever put the well being of their child below their own greed or control issues or even personal needs.   I know of couples that have worked out some rather creative child support payments, such has taking a percentage of all household bills for the house the child lives in and adding that up to come up with the amount.  That works, if there is not an abuser involved.

I’m not sure I even know the solution to the problem, but I do know there is a problem!  I also know that we as parents need to figure out what is best for our children and come up with a solution, rather than just sitting back bitching and waiting for someone else to get something changed.  Which, I guess if you wanted to you could say is what I just did.

My point here is to bring the issue to light.  From there a solution can be gained.


rj said...

Oh my i'd have to say I am totally against:

then the person receiving it should have a yearly review of what they are spending it on.

but i have never been on the paying end

DenomShi said...

I meant that for the cases where the parent receiving child support is neglecting the kids needs and spending the support money on themselves. Since there is no way to screen for that, then everyone would end up having to go through that; which I too disagree with.

I feel that the yearly audit would actually give abusers one more way to control their victims.

My statement, being not fully explained in my post, I guess was sorta misleading as to what I was really getting at; because of wording.

I do think that child support should be avoided when possible by both parents; however single parents have it tough and there are many situations where it is needed!

Then when you throw an abuser into the equation the whole thing changes!

Mel said...

I came across your blog while researching articles to support an issue we are having and I am surprised to have not found anything substantial. Perhaps you know of something that has been published?

My husband pays 52% of his annual income to his ex-wife for the support of the one child they had together. One of the primary points of contention in their relationship was money in that she had 100% of the control of it and he, as the primary wage earner, was always on a $20 a week allowance. When they divorced, she received the majority of all assets, even though she's never worked a 40 hour week in her life.

The issue we are having now, and have had for four years, is that she brings up money issues in front of the son - as in "where is my money" and "do you have money for me" and "how much can you pay me?" I believe this to be damaging but can't find anything to support this. Any ideas?