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Help a Reader: Child Support Taking All Our Money!

by J. Money on Thursday, April 7, 2011

So yeah, don’t even know where to start on this one :) Don’t have any kids of my own yet, and haven’t a clue about child support and how exactly all that stuff works out. All I know is it makes me sad.  Mainly for the kids, but also for their wallets.  60% is a LOT of money!  Man…

I’m hoping some of you can chime in and share some of your thoughts? Maybe you’re experiencing something similar and/or have advice on how to improve their situation? I know our reader would REALLY really appreciate it, and I think it’ll help the others out there going through the same thing that may be too afraid to ask. Here’s the situation:

My husband and I have been happily for married for 3 years. I’m his second wife and he’s got two children from a previous marriage. She lives 9 hours away so we get the children on long breaks, summers, etc.

I don’t plan to have any kids of my own… reason #1 being we can’t afford them!

The custodial parent, ex-wife, gets 60% of his net income for two children. Two whole pay checks plus part of another go straight to her! Every time there’s a change in circumstance, (oldest takes piano lessons, youngest enrolls in ballet), we go back to court, pay more legal fees and ultimately, the CS order is increased. He knows the children are his financial responsibility too… but good God! He’s gotta eat! I don’t know how he’d survive financially if he wasn’t married.

He and his ex-wife both bring home about $3000 per month. Only, we’re only able to see about $1000+/- of his money after witholdings and CS. He could get a second job… but ultimately, he’d just pay out more and they payoff to us wouldn’t be worth the time away from home?

I knew when I married him I’d be taking a financial hit, and I have. I still manage to save for retirement, not incur debt and keep a little cash tucked away but we definitely don’t live the lifestyle we would otherwise be able to afford. My poor husband can’t afford to put anything away for retirement. We don’t have excessive debts, just a car payment and two student loans. We don’t have any credit cards. We don’t own our home. We don’t shop excessively. We don’t eat out. You can imagine the resentment I feel for working my butt off to pay for someone else’s kids. But, what we do for love, right?

My husband and I both have good jobs with good benefits. I’m sure there’s lot of families out there in this situation.

What’s your advice on coping with ever increasing child support payments? Do you put off saving and then “double up” the saving once the kids are grown? I’m able to put some of my check away into our retirement… but what about my husband? Does he have to put his financial planning on hold for the next 13 years? Do you think it’s “unethical” to make a minimal cash income on the side and not report it? **I think I do **

Whatcha got for her, friends? Let’s try and get them on a good game plan :) I’m drawing a blank… except for that last one, I don’t mess around w/ that non reporting stuff. Too afraid of getting in trouble!

{ 231 comments… read them below or add one }

1 prenup man April 7, 2011 at 7:38 am

Divorce (on paper) the second wife. The seconds wife’s income is counting towards what the judge sees as “his” income. Without that second income, the judge might be willing to drop the amount being paid.


2 Angie April 7, 2011 at 7:38 am

My husband also has a daughter from a previous relationship. We are lucky that he doesn’t have to pay 60%, however I know many that do. Some, as you said, are unmarried and have had to move back in with their parents at 40+ years old because they could no longer afford to support themselves with what is left.

I’m going to have to agree with J. in not messing around with “under the table” earnings. If the custodial parent is taking you back to court as often as you say, you are going to be in big trouble if she catches wind of unreported income. You may owe back CS, taxes, fines, etc. That’s even riskier to your situation than where you are now.

This is part of the life that you chose. That sounds harsh, but it’s true. Having resentment towards the situation won’t solve any of your problems. Have you considered picking up a second job? Your income isn’t figured into the equation. I have a good feeling that isn’t what you want to do with your current feelings, but it may be necessary if you want a more financially stable life for yourself and your husband.


3 Angie April 7, 2011 at 7:42 am

Oops. The first commenter must have posted at the same time. Perhaps the spousal income varies by state. We have never had to turn over my income for consideration. They only consider my husband’s.


4 Daizy August 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm


What stated do you live in?


5 Tea April 7, 2011 at 7:49 am

60% of his income may seem high, but the court is also looking at all his assets, and that includes his new wife’s income, as it is a marital asset. This is where she should have done her financial planning before she married him. She needs to maintain her assets as separate property from the marriage. This means no joint bank accounts, no joint credit cards or loans. Nothing owned jointly. I would suggest she meet with a lawyer to figure out how to unentangle her assets from his. Then draw up a post-nup that clearly separates their finances. Once the only assets he has are his solely, then he can go back to court and request they re-evaluate his situation. Although if the wife is receiving spousal support, he may not see a lot of change, child support is normally around 25% of his income, with spousal support on top and can easily reach 50% of his income.


6 eddie May 22, 2014 at 4:20 am

Its her burden for marrying him? 60% is ridiculous.. The child support system is a disgrace to all of us it takes away from a father who’s relationship failed. Well that decision works both ways. The cost of raising a child is no where near what they illegally impose on the fathers. And also how do you justify a modification of support after several years have passed? Just because I’ve bettered my life and moved forward I should be punished? Why should I even try to better myself if all it’ll do is cause me to pay more? Once set it should be done. But the courts seem to think they rule the world. And you well your not seeing clearly.


7 ashlee March 26, 2015 at 6:41 am

you sound absolutely brain-dead. raising a child, costs far MORE than what the system imposes on fathers. just because a ” fathers” financial responsibility ends at 18, doesnt mean that it should. the MOTHER still helps, and takes care of there child. regardless of the COURT telling them too. as should the father. THAT is why the court makes it so high. too many Dead Beat Dads, and shit show husbands.


8 Melissa March 28, 2015 at 1:05 am

Ashlee, so what you’re telling us is for example, the average person in this case brings home $3000 a month. She said 60% in cs. So he pays roughly $1800 a month. So if you match that $1800 in what the mom should pay to make it equal support for the child, it cost $3600 a month to raise 1 child? This is very interesting to me….


9 prenup man April 7, 2011 at 8:05 am

Tea, your post is very informative, however if they remain married (even with separate accounts) it has been documented that the income is there and available. The judge might view this as “hiding” the income and come down even harder at the next hearing. It’s always been suggested to me that you file for divorce (again, on paper) and “rent” from your new ex-wife. A judge who has a heart will not enforce those payments as some states have a clause about “financial hardships”. Either way, this is a good lesson; ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS sign a prenup. In that prenup you need to stipulate n% for each child and 0% (ZERO) for spousal support. I’ve seen bitter ex-wives living off their ex-husbands support for decades while not even lifting a finger to look for a job. “It’s what I am accustomed to, so therefore he has to pay for it”, meanwhile the ex-husband is living in a trailer park.


10 skippy September 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Prenups aren’t worth anything if you have a vindictive, entitled ex-wife.

The first post was good advice. Legally divorce the current wife. As far as the court and state is concerned you’ll be divorced and the payment should go down. It would be better if you had children with her, then divorced so you’d pay your current wife child support too. As for the legal divorce; man cannot separate what God has put together. You aren’t really divorced, just under color of law in the judicial system.


11 david December 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm

When it comes to child support no man out there is going to win. Not to bad mouth all women, but they own you when you have a child with them. Ive seen many a friend go through the same situation time after time. Today many of young men are saying no to marriage and is there any wonder why. Marriage is nothing but a legal document that is signed by both parties so legally the man is agreeing to give up control of his life to his wife and kids. This day and time any man decides to get married pre-nup or conventional marriage pardon me , but HE HAS GOT TO BE TOTALLY ILL INFORMED OR JUST A COMPLETE IDIOT. There is a huge number of men that are deciding to not get married. Marriage is for women only, when are men going to take their set of jewels back and own them for himself. Today most all marriages that are made and then when the divorce comes it is filed by their wives . They cannot come out on the bad end of the deal. There is no such thing as commitment anymore from anyone. All of you know that if the man in the marriage is unhappy WHO HAS TO PAY of course HE DOES and likewise if the woman in the marriage is unhappy WHO HAS TO PAY of course HE DOES. Marriage doesnt mean equal commitment. Im warning anyone not to do it. Ive studied psychology for many years and there is a much larger pool of women than in the older days that are just not marriage material anymore. Even today when you look at it who is complaining about men not wanting to get married anymore. ITS THE WOMEN. Women can change as fast as a heartbeat. They are always looking for the better deal for themselves, and who has the upper hand . They do!!!!!! I’m warning you again not to get married, keep your sanity and your strength and dont do it.


12 B February 3, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Just wanting to point out the fact that once you have a child with someone if you are not with that person you should be paying child support if you don’t have full custody regardless of marriage. I’m not saying what amount, but your reasoning behind not getting married is pointless if you have a child anyway. Also your theory doesn’t work if you live somewhere that common law marriage is legal and most states require that in order for the ex-spouse to receive alimony they must have not had a job for X number of years straight. I believe in Texas it’s between 7 and 10, can’t quite remember.


13 Melanie March 15, 2015 at 9:45 am

Can you spell bitter?


14 crankymommy April 7, 2011 at 8:26 am

As a woman going through a difficult custody battle and not seeing a dime of child support in the meantime (even though I am under-employed for the sole purpose of caring for the children), I am going advise the following.

1. Let go of your resentment. It’s not hurting anybody but yourself.
2. Make a budget and stick to it.
3. When the child support payments increase, re-do the budget.

You husband made a commitment to his first wife and an even bigger commitment when they had children. He is obligated to care for them. End of story. Like you said, you knew this when you married him. You might not be able to have everything you want right now, but the most important thing is to make a budget according to how you ARE able to live. There’s no point in fantasizing about “if only he didn’t have to pay child support we could live a much better lifestyle” because what you are really saying is “if only he didn’t have kids.”

I’m sorry to sound harsh, but I think you’ll be much more successful in dealing with your situation if you accept its reality and stop looking for ways around it.

I am FLAT BROKE, but it is what it is. I stick to my budget and I don’t complain.


15 raul September 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm

crankymommy…the name fits…you are probably just another one of those “WOMEN” looking for a damn hand out. If yall can’t afford to live or maintain and need more money from us, why don’t you just be an adult and give us the kids. We are just as capable of parenting as yall are. And his x wife always readjusting thats bs, if she wants to put them in stuff she should figure out a way to pay for the classes, not take him to court for more money…Now tell me who’s working the system now. WOMEN!!! You all know how to manipulate the system. Its disgusting that yall get so much why don’t yall just work more.


16 militarywife4life September 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Now, wait a minute, please don’t lump all women in the same category. Four years ago, I lowered my ex’s child support on my own from $750/month to $250/month, because he came to me like a sensible human being after trying to pay it for a few months and he was having to pick and choose what bills to pay and his house payment was one of them. We sat down and looked at his bills, which he brought with him, to include his bank account so that I wouldn’t think he was lying and showed me where his paycheck was going in and only bills were coming out. We matched them to his statements that he brought from his bills. I had to be that strict with him in order to agree to lower it, because he has lied to me many times in the past and was getting large bonuses from his previous job and wasn’t reporting it. However, with his new job, he didn’t get any bonuses and there was no unreported income. We drafted up our own agreement, based on what he could truly afford, which had absolutely nothing to do with my income, which was only $1000/month at the time. I worked with him and it was an agreement that I was okay with, because it was based on honesty. Now, I know a lot of exes can’t work together like that, because there is resentment from the divorce, but it’s truly best to work things out than to go back to the judge all of the time. He has since dropped out of my son’s life, because he has a new wife and she has two kids of her own, but I chose to leave the child support the way it has been, because he still has the same job and his new wife works to support her kids as their dad has passed away.

HOWEVER: There are some women that are extremely greedy. My husband’s ex wife is blaming my husband for the military giving him orders to move from Michigan to Texas. She thinks it was a choice, which it was not. He tried everything he could to stay and it just wasn’t in the cards. They only have one child together. Before we moved, we had his son every other week, they have joint custody, and they make the same amount of money. Though he was told by a judge that he didn’t have to pay any child support, because we payed for the daycare and all expenses on our own week, paid half for any extracurricular activities, and carried the health insurance for him and paid for the dental insurance, my husband still decided to pay money to go into a 529 account in his ex wife’s name so that his son would have money towards college. When he moved down to Texas, she got angry and went to court to raise his child support, child care, etc even though we offered to send her money for half of the child care, half of the extracurricular activities, and half of anything else she would need for him. That wasn’t enough for her. She took us to court and was awarded $950 and we all of a sudden owed $4000 in back child support while waiting for a court date. We have two kids together and we don’t make a whole lot of money, but it seems a bit ridiculous that even though we still have him 106 days of court ordered time (we actually ended up having him 136 total, because she let him come early or stay longer so she didn’t have to pay child care those extra days). A temporary order was put in place back in February 2013 until our objections can be heard, which her lawyer keeps getting permission to delay the court hearing, maybe he and the judge are buddies, who knows. Anyways, after 8 months of paying that large amount plus back child support that magically showed up, our house in Michigan (which we were unable to sell before we moved and our renters that were there left in June after 6 months, because they were soldiers and had to move as well) is going into foreclosure, we are now behind on our vehicle payment by a couple of months, we haven’t been able to pay the credit cards since April, our vehicle insurance was cancelled for non-payment and then we had to decide to pay that bill instead of others, because you can’t drive without it. We are rationing out milk to our two little ones, who are 3 and 4, because we can’t afford it. I can’t even work, because we would be using all of that money to pay for daycare, because it’s so expensive down here. We went to the state to try to get help temporarily until our objections are heard, but they go by his income before deductions and child support doesn’t count as an allowable deduction. Our 3 year old needs a $232 dental procedure done, but we can’t afford that either. We have also gone to her and tried to be civil and come to an agreement, but she won’t even hear it. When my husband was gone to Iraq, she agreed to allow us to pay $200 on top of the amount we paid for the 529 account, and I took him every other week still to offset her daycare (though I ended up with him more because she’s an alcoholic and likes the bars and partying, plus she got a new boyfriend and was spending nights there). Now, we move to Texas, not by choice might I add, and she’s punishing us for it. She is the type of person that is greedy and causes divorced parents to be in and out of court constantly and ends up ultimately punishing her own child, because when he was with us all summer, we couldn’t do one thing as a family or go to one event, because we literally were down to allowing the kids one glass of milk per day, no seconds at meals, etc. It’s just getting worse and worse. Our court hearing is on Tuesday next week, hopefully we get some relief and no delay.
I am not trying to get out of paying child support, by all means, but there is a line between reasonable and unreasonable. If the child is supposed to enjoy the same standard of living as when they were married, then why is she living high on the hog while we are rationing milk to our kids?!! The system is truly flawed and you don’t see it truly unless you can see both sides of the fence, like in the situation with my ex compared to my husband’s ex. The system is flawed in that, even though it would be great if the child could truly enjoy the same standard of living as when his or her parents were married, that’s not feasible. There are now to separate incomes, houses, expenses, bills…double everything. It doesn’t leave room for you to move on, be happy, start a new family, and still include your child from your ex as though they never go back and forth. The system says that child support and visitation is separate and that the two don’t inter-mingle, but that’s not the way that greedy parents look at it. They look at it as though your love for your child directly relates to the amount child support you pay, which is the furthest from the truth. They allow these greedy parents to continue to operate this way and never reprimand them for it and that’s why they continue to do it and get away with it. However, there are deadbeats that don’t pay at all, even though they are ordered to, which directly relates to why fathers ultimately get shafted, unfortunately. It is a catch 22 all the way around for the parent that makes even a minute amount more, my husband and his ex are literally $127 difference in what he makes a month compared to what she makes a month.
SO, before I got all long-winded, which I apologize for, I was saying that you can’t lump ALL women in the manipulation and playing the systems category. It simply isn’t true. There are just as many manipulative women as there are deadbeat dads, unfortunately, it’s the ones that are actually doing the most for their children that get screwed because of those that mess up.


17 BothSides February 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

@ Raul… are being completely repulsive to crankymommy and quite frankly very bittter.

Both situations apply to me here.

#1 – I am a second wife, my husband has two children from a previous marriage. I completely agree with crankymomm, I married my husband and his children. I am happy to help support these children through thick and thin. A second wife must always understand the situation that she is marrying into, and that’s that your husband has a responsibility to his children first and foremost.

#2 – In the last year my husband has become the sole legal and physical custodian for both children. This essentially means that now their mother has a financial responsibility to help support her children. She has yet to pay one cent, barely has any visitation time with them, and now we are 100% financially responsible.

Raul – I agree that often men seem to be mistreated both from not gaining custody to having to be more finanically responsible. However, in our home state whoever makes more money is more financially responsible for the care of the children. In our case that means my husband, whether he has custody of the children or not. However here is a concept…..he is happy to do it! They are his children! He cares more about them than being bitter about money related to taking care of them.

Over the past 9 years that means he and I have made many sacrifices, but that is what you do for your children! It’s not about manipulating a system! And if one parent works more than who is watching your children?! They need constant parenting and a healthy enviornment. If you want you kids and are capable as you indicate in your post, than go file for more custody! Prove to the courts that the children should be in your care because it is in their best interest. But really money should have nothing to do about what is in the best interest of your children.

Bottom line – think about who you are marrying and having children with! You both chose a divorce and therefore you are in this situation, stop playing the victim role and just be a great parent who provides emotionally and financially.

For the woman who posted this question originally and all other wife #2′s. Focus most on raising these children the best you can, enjoy the moments while they are here. Soon enough the children will grow up and move on. You won’t have to “pay for them forever”, focus most on their emotionally stability right now. In a few years you all can take more vacations and have more money. For now put your head down and focus on what’s really important, the children!


18 CrankyMommy February 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Right on, sister!


19 Richard April 15, 2014 at 10:44 am

Your statements may apply to some, but definitely not all. Divorce is. 85% 1 sided. Both parents rarely agree to a divorce. 80% of the time the wife initiates the divorce. Most states are no fault, and the wife goes down and applies for the divorce and be awarded custody over 90% of the time because she supposedly interacted with the children more because the husband is out working, busting his but to support the family he loves. In my case my wife commits adultery, and files for divorce after I find out about it. Was I mad? Yes! Have I ever hit her? Never. She files an injunction on me after I leave the state and gives a fake address where I live. So the injunction becomes active on me. Through routine check my employer informs me and I go down to Florida to contest it. I’m granted a hearing and she goes to the courthouse and requests the injunction get dropped be caused it was based on a lie. I’m paying her 62% of my income as child support and spousal support and we still aren’t even divorced. I have a short every month of $400 and my lawyer could care less. I’ve gone through 2 lawyers and they are no help because they take on more clients then they can handle screwing over fathers and their rights that are being violated. My children? I haven’t seen then for the last year becaus my wife has been alienating me with them. They fear me, not because of anything I’ve done to them or her, but because of what my wife has done. I have no contact with them at all. I love my children dearly. Through joint friends I have been told that in that year, my oldest has raped a 6 yo, 2nd oldest has been arrested 2 times for arsen, and 3rd oldest has been expelled from school for fighting. I am heartbroken and cry every night because I am being denied access to my children. My lawyer could care less just like the last one. My wife is laughing at the state of Florida and I am devastated, going bankrupt and will lose my job because it requires a security clearance. Financial problems will remove my clearance. If I loose my job, I will not be able to afford to make my payments… I just learned that my oldest could be molesting my 2 younger children… My lawyer? Where are you and why are you not on my side? Now I will be labeled as a deadbeat dad who doesn’t care enough about his children to make his child support payments… Cost to maintain children when we were happily married? $300. Cost now? $1610. Something isn’t right.


20 Not A Deadbeat Dad June 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

I know the feeling I now must live on and maintain the same level of living that once supported a family of three on half as much. Meanwhile the ex has the kid, doesn’t work because she’s living off the new fiance and in his home. I have no doubts how they paid for there two plus week trip to Europe last Summer! But #yesallwomen you better check #yourmaleprivilege


21 Kari Anvick February 20, 2015 at 5:03 pm

My husband is going through the same. Ex wife cheated and left for more money, a ton more. Her new husband makes $200K a year and yet she still wants 65% of his income. He can’t even afford the gas in his car to get to work or his insulin (you know, to keep him alive.) She doesn’t work and has a new baby and another on the way. We just went to court and judge said that there’s no way she should have to count any income or take any financial responsibility for their three children because she’s pregnant. Did I mention that she also lied to the court and had his time reduced, no matter how much proof that he brought in. I am also a mother of three from my first marriage. I have NEVER, NEVER committed these acts or behavior to my ex and he is an inconsistent father as far as time is concerned but my kids love him. I have given back his CS at times when he was struggling financially. I choose my kids happiness and well being over money. Too bad more moms (who claim to be good mothers) don’t. Just because you stay home and make lunches doesn’t make you a good mother.


22 Bitter and Cold August 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

Unfortunately, this is usually the case. The ex-wife initiates the separation and the divorce and the ex-husband pays for it, even if she was the adulterer, SO STUPID. Men, please stop marrying and having children with women who behave this way. You are marrying actresses who manipulate their way into your bed and you get comfortable because she makes you feel like you are the supporter and she wants a family with a dog and picket fence. Amazingly, she wants a family that is not living together. So you get stuck with paying for their life thereafter with her new live in deadbeat boyfriend who has sex, but no financial responsibility to her or your children and you end up paying their rent/mortgage, food, utilities and transportation, or all of the kids needs for up to 18 years, and the children suffers the most because they are now a “purchase agreement” and not a child reared in love. The trashy mother doesn’t contribute to anything the child needs, she calls you. Disgusting.

You have been SUCKERED. Find a woman who is fair, rational, honest, emotionally stable, and who has integrity BEFORE you get married. Marriage changes two things, 1) How much alimony/money you’ll pay after the divorce 2) and her last name to yours for as long as she cares to have it. Men, you are compromising your integrity and the rest of your life with a woman who could be the best thing that has ever happened to you, and all for a woman you thought was someone different. From a woman’s mouth, we don’t change after marriage and babies to be worse wives and mothers, we change to be better wives and mothers. I feel sorry for your situation, however, the marriage and court systems need to change so that couples can live in harmony, without the comfort of knowing that an ex-wife can sit at home, have sex with whomever she wants, ignore the children and receive payments from the ex. I believe that in order to receive alimony or child support, a woman must maintain a certain income after the children are 4. I also believe that child support and alimony should not be paid in cash. It should all be tracked on what is actually being used and where. I also believe that the children should maintain a certain grade in school and have a certain acceptable behavior and upbringing for the custodial parent to remain the custodial parent and receive payments. I believe both parents need to contribute to the financial upbringing of the child, not necessarily 50/50, but when there is no investment, there is no value in the upbringing.


23 working mama August 23, 2014 at 4:21 am

As a Mother of 3 and a step-mother of 2, I am very familiar with both the struggles of being a single mother as well as the devastation of ridiculous CS. My question for you, crankymommy, is at what point did the commitment/obligation to care for the children become solely his? I ask this question honestly as a mother who financially supported my son solely on my own. And did so proudly as that was the commitment that I MADE to my child. At some point you have to accept responsibility too and do what’s right because far too often it’s not “if only he didn’t have kids”…it’s “if only his ex shared the responsibility of supporting the child/ren that it took both of you to conceive” In many cases, CS is set ridiculously high as though it is a fine for a failed relationship. What’s that teaching your child/ren?
My advice to you:
1. work to change your status from underemployed to gainful employment with benefits so that you can care for the child that you brought into this world.
2. make a budget and stick to it.
3. accept that BOTH parents are responsible for said child and his/her life will be much richer for it. Teaching them that every choice has a consequence and a strong work ethic will take you much farther than a handout!


24 working mama August 23, 2014 at 4:35 am

Bitterandcold, I agree with you completely! As someone who has lived on both sides, not receiving a dime in CS for my son to marrying a man who pays out the butt…the world is full of women who are always searching for greener pastures and act as though they have no financial responsibilities for the children that they brought into this world. To them I say…Get a Job, set an example, earn your child’s respect. STRUGGLE, then next time you find yourself tempted to betray a “GOOD” man you might just stop and reconsider.


25 Kari Anvick February 20, 2015 at 5:10 pm

I couldn’t agree more!! Most of us as single/divorced moms have had to work and also provide support for our children. I find it disgusting that the court is basically saying that husband and I (two income family) are responsible to contribute all my husbands wages (nearly) to a one income family by choice and completely absolve the mom’s responsibility to support her own children.


26 skrood September 10, 2014 at 2:26 pm

This is a waaaay too common story. Something must be done.


27 Armywife February 28, 2015 at 4:14 pm

How could your husband get full custody against a woman? We are in a bad situation now with my husband, because of his ex gf and it stresses me out because he is really depressed and i am afraid of losing him. :’(


28 tina February 26, 2014 at 11:33 pm

to Raul

U sound like a very bitter man.


29 Amy February 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm

As a mother of 3 myself I COMPLETELY AGREE. I do receive child support for my 3 kids but I was completely reasonable and my ex thanks me almost weekly for being so reasonable. My boyfriend’s ex is the opposite. They have 50% custody, she lives in income housing paying $0 rent, gets food stamps, doesn’t claim her income on eBay AND STILL he’s supposed to pay her $300/month and pay for 2 kids to have insurance. Funny thing is, he lost his job and can’t do either, she will not allow him to claim even one kid for food stamps, she makes about $3,000+ a month and has like NO BILLS, and he makes $0. Ya she’s so concerned about the kids’ well being by not letting him have food stamps to feed them while he has them 50% of the time. So guess who has to pick up the slack?! Ya me.. and I’m a low income family myself with 3 kids and now my kids get the SHAFT because NOBODY wants to take responsibility for these 2 kids, not even their own MOTHER.


30 kack January 5, 2014 at 10:57 pm

I agree with you, but you are much nicer about it than I am. My response would be, “oh well, you said it yourself, you knew it when you married him” Do you expect the children to go without because of you? I would continue to say that I have no sympathy for her, that it is what it is and stop bitching because I can guarantee that the mother and the children have it MUCH worse. That the mother scrapes and probably goes without so her kids should have things, well the husband should do the same!!! I would also say that she lives a good distance away, she hardly EVER has the kids so she does not pay for much most of the time and EVERY LITTLE THING adds up. And since this woman has no children, she has no clue about all those little things, all the birthday parties, class field trips, “designer” clothes that EVERYONE has, just going to the movies or going to get an ice cream or…….. She has no clue!! I have no sympathy for these “second wives” I am sorry, they knew this when they signed up. Sorry!! Just my opinion. YOU did not sound harsh and I do not think I was that bad either because I could say so, so much more!! lol


31 Heather April 15, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Kack – I have to disagree completely. There are users/abusers of our legal system on both sides of this issue .. men and women .. custodial and non-custodial parents. Pick from a long list of reasons why vengeful ex’s do it and go all the way down to some are simply that greedy. On the other hand, there are plenty of “deadbeat” parents that seem to forget they have an obligation to help with their children once the divorce has settled and do everything they can to circumvent the process, regardless of the consequences.

I’ve been on both sides of the issue myself. I seldom saw child support for my two oldest children and had to struggle to make everything work out. We all know how expensive it is to raise a child these days. I had jobs I definitely would have preferred to avoid, from being a correctional officer in a maximum security prison and a second job at night at a chicken processing plant. I also eventually joined the military so we could have some degree of security, financially and medically (we have a special needs child). Right from the start though, I disagreed with what the court said it would be for child support. It was over $1100.00 for two children. It DOES NOT cost an additional $1100.00 to HELP support two children! It didn’t cost half of that. I did the paperwork to ask for a modification to reduce it to almost $300 per child. Granted, I seldom saw that either, but it was a figure that allowed for me to put them in childcare while I worked as well, and do some of the things the kids enjoying doing.

Fast forward to the other side of things. My current husband is paying $600 a month for ONE child, in addition to providing health and dental insurance, and helping with extra activities. While the child is continually told by his mother that they don’t have money for this or that (she almost makes more than my husband does without counting the child support), she is out at bars, shopping for herself, getting tattoos and surgically inserted piercings. She blows money like it grows on trees and then comes around with sob stories about her utilities going to be cut off. Meanwhile, we continually tell our children we have to save in order to go to the movies, or the shoes that teens think they must have will have to wait until a birthday or something along those lines. They are needing braces, and we haven’t been able to afford that for them, either. Do the children in those situations also just have to “suck it up” as you say the wives should?


32 country August 19, 2014 at 7:53 am

You know I am sick and tired of hearing about dads being dead beats,there are more dead beat moms than dads do some research and you with find out.I just got out of courtand got to pay more money. I have not seen my kids for 11 years bbecause she took them from me and the court did nothing about it.In fact we both work for the same company different shift and she took a pay cut so she could get more money,and today I found out she has her old position back and making more money than me. Now where do you see that is right dead beat dad my ass.


33 Work for a living March 17, 2015 at 6:51 am

I’m response to cranky mommy, I am the “second wife”. In response to your comments.
1. I agree, any resentment I have only hurts me, but also my relationship with my husband.
2. We have a tight budget.
3. There might be something I am missing but in 90 percent of the situations where we incur an increase in the monthly child support is when the mother of my husband’s daughter decides they will live in the most expensive suburb in the state and things are needed such as private sailing, painting and golf lessons. We pay half of an absurd amount without the option to give input, we just pay half of whatever and say thank , can I have another. In addition we pay half of all dr and dentist which in this case the mother takes her to have a brain scan for a mild headache.

This is ridiculous and puts a huge strain on us, on purpose I believe. The bitterness stems from her and they obviously “use” my step- daughter to hurt each other. Sad.


34 Tea April 7, 2011 at 8:28 am

pre-nup man, most states have predetermined figures for the courts to use for child support, so an pre-nup that is less than that is likely to be thrown out. Also zero for spousal support won’t fly if you asked your wife to stay home, be a homemaker, and care for the children full time. She will be given, and be entitled to support while she reestablishes her ability to support herself. If you accustomed your wife to a certain lifestyle, you are likely to find divorce will not eliminate your responsibility to provide that lifestyle. The longer the marriage, the longer she will be allowed to maintain that lifestyle. As for a divorce on paper, there is no such thing, they are either married or divorced, if she wishes to remain married, and not just live with her husband, then separating her assets is the best she can do at this point. It also might make it easier for her to accept his responsibilities if she remembers that the ex-wife is only getting the spousal support, the child support portion, while the check may be made out to her, is for the children, and must spent on their care. Marriage is a partnership, and involves legal complications for both parties, it is best to do your financial planning prior to the wedding. I am a big fan of pre-nups, I think a woman is more likely to get a good deal when negotiating with a man who loves her, and she can learn a lot about his character in the negotiating process.


35 prenup man April 7, 2011 at 8:41 am

Tea, all great points. Just to clarify, divorce on paper just means to go through the divorce, but still live together, etc. Just a forced separation of assets in the governments eyes. Like you, I’m a big fan of prenups (in case you couldn’t tell by my handle)


36 Starla April 7, 2011 at 8:44 am

“I knew when I married him I’d be taking a financial hit, and I have.”

His children didn’t appear out of nowhere. You KNEW what you were getting in to. You made an adult decision to marry someone with previous financial obligations. Period. They are his CHILDREN – not some ridiculous time-share or a sports car he is paying for.

The upside is, it isn’t forever. The court ordered financial obligation has a stop date. Suck it up and plan for that future. There are cash job opportunities out there that can offset this financially lean time in your life. Babysitting (though you don’t sound like much of a fan of children) or something like picking up lawn mowing jobs. Get a roommate if you have extra space. Things of that nature can help a person survive. I know, I’ve been on BOTH sides of the fence. I am a single mother and always worked two jobs. Sometimes three. I’ve had to have roommmates as well. You just have to accept what is and deal with it.

Besides, how much respect could you have for the man you married if he were a deadbeat dad?


37 skrood September 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Yes, they’re his children, but somehow, magically, the ex-wife has to spend 3-4 times what they used to spend on the children? Why is it that the state can come up with an arbitrary percentage? Perhaps it’s the financial incentive from the federal government for maximizing child support orders?


38 Kari February 20, 2015 at 7:28 pm

What about when the mom stays home and lives off her husband’s substantial salary continues to have kids, already has a welfare fraud conviction, left us holding the $10K bill for something she ran up and they caught my husband because of course he’s the only one who works. And yet we pay for her plastic surgeries, fancy cars, constant vacations and she cries about how she can’t make it. They can afford all these things and their rent is $700 MORE than our mortgage. We are trying to make ends meet and catch up on payments from when he wasn’t working. Should we feel the same lack of sympathy for the step dad who picks up the cost for the kids?


39 J.O. April 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

Just a quick update to all, I’m the reader. My husband does not pay spousal support and my income nor the ex’s new husband’s income is considered in our state. It is based on the income of both parents only. The ex-wife works too.

If our incomes were included, my husband and I would be in a better predicament. Her new husband’s income is 3x that of my husband’s.

Angie, You’re right about the second job – My thoughts exactly! I work about 55 hours per week for a property management company and I wait tables 1 night per week. I don’t think I can do much more! ;)


40 Frugalapolis April 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

I would go back to court and get a modification of the order, it seems too high. I work for the State of FL in Child Support Enforcement and the highest judgement in ANY case can only be 55% of the non custodial parents (NCP) income only – and thats if there are multiple custodial parents and families taking from the NCP income. Usually for one family the max is about 35% of income. It would help if he could change ownership of any large assets out of his name so he could bring down his net worth too.


41 Arllah July 9, 2013 at 6:14 pm


I saw your post and just wanted to ask a question. My husband and I have three children together and he has 1 by himself. He is ordered to pay child support and he does. However, is there a form that allows the FL Dept of Revenue to talk to me regarding his case? I am not a party in the case.


42 Me August 21, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Frugalapolis would it be possible to contact me via my email? The reason I ask is that I could use some information regarding Florida Law. I live in NY and I am dealing with the state of Florida and Child support. Hope to hear from you. Thanks for your time.


43 J.O. April 7, 2011 at 8:59 am

Starla, Yes, you’re correct that I knew the financial obligations. I admired the fact that he isn’t a deadbeat dad and loves his children. But he needs to be able to maintain a household as well. The children have a home with us too.

I think you may have misinterpreted my intention somewhere along the lines. I love his children and look forward to their visits. I have a very close relationship with my stepchildren. In fact, the ex-wife and I get along fine as well.

If it weren’t for our financial obligation to his children, I would consider having one of my own. It wouldn’t be fair to my child at this point in time. I’m only 26, I’ve got plenty of time to reconsider all of that.

I know that I’ve got to grin and bear it for the next 15 years. I was just curious as to how others cope with their situations and save for the future.


44 ExperiencedInChildSupport March 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm

J.O. – I wanted to respond directly to your post, if you are still out there. I hope a year later you have remedied this situation somewhat. I do think you need a different lawyer who can present your financial case better. Don’t listen to these other judgemental writers because they have NO clue what it is like to work hard, and then give more than half to your children. I wouldn’t do that if I was married still! Children will bleed you from every dime if you allow them, especially children nowadays who feel so entitled. I make my children work for things and pay for their own things and refuse to spoil them. Your husband is also being abused financially, and this is not just about his children, this money is going to his ex wife so her and the children can live a luxurious lifestyle, while you two struggle to get by and have NO retirement. When two people decide to divorce, they know this comes with sacrifices for everyone! I had an economic mediator who told us to get rid of our pets because that was a non-emergency expense! They also said no cable TV, no cell phones, and no contact lenses… all considered luxuries. While we all want children to have what they need, there is a line, and these fathers should not be forced to have to give up half their salaries so their children can live better than they do and the father barely makes it. It makes you want to go out on disability or unemployment… whats the point of working hard if it is all taken away from you? I am divorced too, but my ex and I are reasonable about spending and we do not overindulge or punish each other like this. Suze Ormond always gives good advice and that is, when the airplane is going down and the masks drop, who do you put the mask on first, you or your child? Yourself. You have to save yourself before you can save your child… financially. You don’t give up retirement while your kids are living lavishly. The kids can pick ONE activity a season, which is reasonable. Remember, by law, child support INCLUDES all these activities, so your husband needs to look into this. Also, you may want to do what we did and that is to put a “cap” on extra expenses. My husband was being dragged into court every 3 months by his ex to pay “extra expenses”. This was thousands and thousands of dollars each time, and usually she would “out talk” him and she would win. This was before he got a lawyer. The court mediator came up with a dollar amount that my husband pays each week for all extra curricular activities. This amount is $25 per week in addition to child support. This worked for awhile, but now his ex is abusing him by submitting “medical” and “college” expenses, which are not included in child support. For instance, she allowed the son to take SIX (6) SAT tests in 9 months – ridiculous and excessive. She allowed the daughter to get new eyeglasses even though she had new glasses from last year – all because the daughter wouldn’t wear the old ones because they were babyish. I wanted my husband to fight this expense, but when it turned out to only be $60, we decided it wasn’t worth it. So while the weekly activity fee worked well for awhile, it isn’t remedying the problem we have now, which is that his ex emails us daily about this expense and that expense. This might work for you, if your husband’s ex is more reasonable. Also, make sure your husband puts in his agreement that he wants all proof for these expenses, prior to paying them. For instance, the mother should send a monthly envelope with invoices, showing her proof of payment, and any related information such as an EOB for medical expenses, etc. You then should have 15 days or so to verify the expenses are legitimate, and pay your half. If you make it a little harder for the mother, it may even lessen the expenses. It doesn’t work with my husband’s ex witch, but it does work with reasonable people. I hope things are better for you now.


45 Valerie August 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm

@EXPERIENCED IN CHILD SUPPORT. You gave some very good advise. But I just thought that I would mention that extra activities are not always included in the amount that states determine for child support. For example, in Louisiana there is a chart. It lists how much it cost to raise a child. X amount for one child, X amount for 2 and so on. That base amount includes, food, housing, clothes etc. Then on top of that each family is required to submit a list of additional expenses, such as private school, daycare, dance, piano, sports, tutoring or whatever else the child is involved in. The judge then adds that total to the total amount it costs to raise the child (he can disallow items if he feels they are excessive). The total is then divided based on how much each parent makes. The total amount each parent makes is added together and then divided. If the custodial parents makes 60% of the total income and the NCP makes 40%, then the NCP has to pay 40% of the total amount it costs to raise the child to the custodial parent as child support.
My only point is that states can vary wildly in the the way the determine child support, what is allowed as an additional expense and what is not. A friend of mine lives in another state than me and her experience is completely different. The judge said that extras were not allowed, that she had to pay for everything out of her base child support amount. To the original question asker: if I were you I would get a lawyer to help you navigate the system. Best of luck.


46 Goose April 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

I’m a family law lawyer in my state, and there’s a few things that can be done- 1) have your husband ask for a support modification. It can be reduced based on the needs of the parents and the child, reduced because a child is no longer in daycare, etc. The purpose of child support is to keep the lives of the children as financially equal as possible between the two households. 2) The only time 60% is taken out of someone’s income is when there is back support owed. Have your husband get caught up on any back amounts and then ask for the modification again. Or, if he can’t pay the back support, have him ask the court for a payment plan. 3) Most states adopted a new “cap” on support amounts being taken out (to 50%).See if that’s true in your state and (guess what) ask for a modification. 4) Look over your state’s child support formula. Every state is required to have one. The formula will define what is and what is not income. For example, in my state, only the parent’s income is considered for support– not the new spouse’s income. 5) See what the spousal support amount is in comparison to the child support amount- I bet he’s paying WAY more in spousal support than in child support. See what her “income” was set at, and ask for an adjustment. Has she gone to school/made herself more marketable? Can she work a job at minimum wage but is choosing not to (the court can impute an income for her)? 6) Steer clear of under the table earnings like J. says- it can only lead to an increase in the support amount AND possible jail time (you’re lying on court documents- that’s perjury/ hiding assets. That’s a contemptable charge, looking at a fine and/or jail time. 7) Every state has forms that a court participant can complete, asking for a waiver of fees. If he has to pay court fees every time he goes to court (which is odd in itself- usually only the person bringing the motion has to pay), he can ask that the fee be waived. 8) He needs to keep in perspective that the money is for his KIDS. He’s helping to make their lives better (ballet lessons, piano, etc). It shouldn’t come as a surprise that kids are expensive. The Wall Street Journal estimated in 2008 that it would cost $222,360 to raise ONE child born that year, up through the child’s age of majority. Putting your husband’s support amount into perspective… I’m sure he’s not even paying *half* that amount.

And, prenups can be invalidated if the court sees that the support amounts you agreed upon for the children is unfair. If the prenup was signed 6 years prior to the dissolution of the marriage, and the circumstances of the parties have changed, the court can easily change the support amount. Prenups are used more for property and financial splitting- not for setting child support amounts.


47 Me August 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Great info honestly. Need all the help we can get right now.


48 J.O. April 7, 2011 at 9:12 am

My husband is not in arrears and has never been. Keep in mind, it’s 60% of his take home pay… not his gross. All incomes for both parties are current – we just revisited child support last month. It’s the “extraordinary expenses” that are making the amount so great. If all of the “expenses” weren’t calculated in there.. the support would be about 35%.

If the two of them were still married, they wouldn’t be able to afford all of those expenses! It suprises me that the court considered so many things an “extraoridinary expense”


49 Miss Lissy April 7, 2011 at 9:19 am

Can I just say I don’t think divorcing, even on paper, is a good idea. It puts other rights and privileges at risk, like hospital visitation and medical decisions should something happen, inheritance if there is no will, and other things. Is losing out on those, something that I would consider to be invaluable (such as seeing your spouse in the hospital) worth a “paper” divorce? Because once you’re divorced on paper, you lose the rights that come with that piece of paper to.


50 Tea April 7, 2011 at 9:27 am

Yes, if they were still married they could not afford those expenses. But they are not still married. There are now 4 adults who can help pay for their expenses. His children are benefiting from that situation. It is his children who are benefiting, not his ex-wife. I would suggest trying to build a better relationship with his ex-wife, so that you can decide together what activities you can and cannot afford to provide. If you can decide together, you can avoid lawyers and court fees. Also, keep in mind that when child support ends, is obligation to his children does not. there will most likely be college and other expenses. So keep that in mind for your long term financial planning.


51 Kevin @ April 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

I know nothing about the court system or anything, so I can’t provide advice. Sounds like you need a better lawyer, a nicer judge, and a less vengeful ex wife


52 Amy April 7, 2011 at 10:11 am

I married a man who had three children (I have none by choice). At the beginning, he was bringing home about $1900 a month and $900 a month went to child support. Out of the $1,000 left, he had to pay car ins., gas, food, rent, a loan repayment to friends (500), basically, everything. The ony reason his expenses for living were so low was because I had a very small condo. Otherwise, he would have had to move in with this mom, as $1,000 a month wouldn’t have been able to support him. It got easier as the kids aged out of child support (2005, 2007 and 2009) and now we are in catching up mode with saving, retirement, etc.

I knew full well what I was doing at the time but the funny thing is that I thought it would be OVER when they were 18!! The joke was definitely on me. I reasoned that ok, I had to suck it up all those years doing without part of his paycheck, now I wanted the whole thing for our joint goals. Well, we had to figure out a way he could help his now older kids without me getting my panties in a wad. (A generous weekly allowance did the trick – he gives part of his to his two college age kids – I save mine for travel – a cruise in June with my sister and a trip to Germany to see friends in October). I’m happy with that arrangement but it’s weird to see that his “personal” account has like $300 in it and mine has about $2,000. Everyone knows that kids are expensive and really, it never ends. Even when they are adults.


53 Grace April 7, 2011 at 10:13 am

I hardly think expecting a father to take financial care of his children is “vengeful.” And I really hope this resentment over money from their stepmom isn’t hurting these kids.


54 militarywife4life September 30, 2013 at 6:48 pm

It becomes vengeful on the part of the ex when she is getting so much of your income that she is living high on the hog, going out to eat every night, and buying new cars, a new house (which her dad ended up paying for in full for her), plus going on vacations with friends…all the while the other parent is so strapped that their house they actually worked hard for is going into foreclosure, they are rationing out milk to their kids that live with them full time, and they literally have no extra money for the child shared in the first marriage divorce to enjoy any standard of living when he is at his father’s house. My husband was already paying towards a college fund, splitting EVERY cost, giving his ex extra money (though a court order said his child support was $0, due to making virtually the same amount of money and having 50/50 joint and physical custody). My husband only had to put into a 529 account each month that he and his ex agreed on and had put in the court order, but he went over and above, because he loves his son and takes full responsibility for his child and is involved as much as he possibly can be. He is definitely not a deadbeat, but his ex wife is vengeful. Does that explain the correlation between vengeance and child support? And, yes, I am the stepmom. I do have a lot of resentment as we are rationing milk out to our kids down now to one glass a day, but the situation has been explained to my stepson as he is 9 years old and wondering why we can’t even go to a movie at all or why he can’t have a glass of milk at lunch AND supper. My resentment is definitely towards my husband’s ex, but it would be silly and a lie to say that any of the kids don’t see frustration when it comes to money and how the heck we are going to pay school lunches for my 16 year old Autistic son. I am just the stepmom, but I lowered my own ex’s child support from $750 to $250, because that’s what he could truly afford without losing his home and vehicle. I also treat my stepson like he is my own. He is no different than my own kids, he is not above or below them because they are biological to me and he isn’t. He is still a child and he is my husband’s son. It would be shameful if it were any other way as it’s not the children’s faults when their parents can’t stay together for whatever reason. And, it is not my place to punish a child, just because he is from my husband’s previous wife. Again, it is greedy parents that get more than enough child support, whether it’s ordered or not, and then go for more just to punish their ex as much as possible for their marriage or relationship not working out. Financial responsibility crosses over to vengeance when one of the parents is greedy.


55 Robert Muir April 7, 2011 at 10:21 am

No kids or ex-spouse, but these are my random thoughts for what they’re worth.

1. His income makes a difference. I would think the judge is basing the amount on the children’s requirements, not so much the father’s income. So logically, if he increases his income, then he should be able to keep more money. 60% of $1000/month is $600. $600 from $2000 a month would only be 30%.

2. The child support payments are not tax deductible and the mother most likely gets to claim them for tax purposes. Hopefully the agreement takes this into account.

3. Hopefully the agreement only covers support through high school and age 18. If college support is required, I think I might turn into a dead-beat dad after they graduated from HS. JMHO.


56 J.O. April 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

The support amount is based on an income shares model. For EXAMPLE, Mother makes $3000, father makes $3000. (Before tax deductions) Combined income is $6000. Court documents say 2 children at $6000 cost $2500. There’s a chart for this.

Husband’s income is 50% of $6000 so he pays 50% of the $2500. He pays $1,250. Add 50/50 split on cost of medical insurance, ballet lessons, tap lessons, art lessons, day care, etc — you’re looking at $1800/mo. These are considered “Extraordinary expenses” and are in addition to the monthly child support. This leave father with $1200 BEFORE taxes and health insurance deductions. I think if incomes were calculated on post-tax numbers, things would be easier all around.

If he increases his income, the combined income increases which increases the total child care cost. His percentage of the total increases and increases the support. He wouldn’t see much of an increase in what HE actually sees unless he were to get a HUGE pay raise.

Child support is non-taxable income for the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent has already paid the taxes. The custodial parent, more often than not, gets all tax benefits that come with having children. I don’t know much about those except that they are substantial benefits.

But, the purpose of my questions was to see how others are coping with this and planning for their futures – not to take jabs at the ex-wife or complain about my husband having to support his children. I’m honored to be their step-mother and will do whatever it takes to be sure they are taken care of. They are my family. When I married my husband, they were the best wedding gift I received! I hate that we can’t afford to provide all the extras for them when they are with us like they are able to receive when they are with their mother! They can’t understand that my husband does provide for them financially. They just see that dad has a tiny apartment and we never get to do anything fun like with mom. No fun. It breaks my heart to see my husband struggle with this.

Support does end after high school. Of course, we’ll help with college expenses, etc. But payments to the ex end when child is out of HS.


57 J. Money April 7, 2011 at 10:54 am

This is a GREAT discussion guys! Scares the crap out of me, but hopefully it’s helping :) Freakin’ love blogging!


58 J.O. April 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

Do you think that you and your husband will be able to “catch up” after all of those years? Are you seeing light at the end of the tunnel?

Thanks for the reminder about it never ending, even when they’re adults (College, etc.). It’s definitely something to ponder. Maybe it’s worth ME setting some of MY money aside for that now to avoid financial problems after the CS ends so that we’ll be able to play catch up!


59 Jason@LiveRealNow April 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

Prenups rarely apply to custody/child-support issues. Any kid-related clause will easily get tossed in court. It’s all judge’s discretion.

That said, get a better attorney. 60% is too much. I would be willing to bet around half is alimony, which is crap in my book. Unless the supported spouse was unemployed during the vast majority of the marriage, she can go back to work like everyone else.


60 SarahInMI April 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

I haven’t read all the comments, so I may or may not be duplicating what’s been said already but first of all…

ODDS are, the current wife’s income is NOT being taken into consideration. Mine never has been. (This can and does vary by state) This also means that odds are that the ex-wife’s new spouse (if she has one, his income isn’t being taken into consideration either).

60% IS a lot – and it can vary by state. In MI, I believe the limit is 50% – a noncustodial parent has GOT to live on something.

I would look up the state’s support guidelines. I find it pretty interesting that the custodial parent is able to go back to court for extra funds for extra-curriculars. The fact of the matter is – child support is for the care of the child. It is to ensure the kiddos’ needs are being met – food, clothing, shelter, the basics.

The extras? They’re just that. Extras. And IMO, they should not be dictated by the court. If you want your kid to play t-ball (random example), I think that is between the parents (and frankly, am surprised that the judge/referee/caseworker of this system isn’t frustrated by the constant appearances for more money… In MI, unless there’s a drastic change of circumstances – parent loses their job, parent starts making a lot more $, etc… – there’s a limit to just how often yo ucan ask for a modification).

We have actually stopped using any legal representation for child support stuff (thus eliminating legal fees and resentment) when it comes to most routine c/s matters re: my stepson because frankly, spending more money to lose more money just amps up the resentment (And honestly, giving a chunk of your income away each week can cause resentment enough on its own even when you know it’s really for the child).

Most states – yeah, that’s generic – have a table set up that shows mom’s income and dad’s income and what the support should be for those numbers.

I don’t advise going into arrears, though. If the support decree doesn’t already state it, I’d have your husband ask if he can claim his children on his taxes – if not every year than alternating years. No, it doesn’t fix everything, but it does help the financial burden on those years.

I would limit the extracurriculars though – i find it hard to believe he is LEGALLY obligated to contribute to those activities. Have each child pick an activity and contribute to those things if you CHOOSE to help (if it’s not legally required) – keeping a roof over your own head and feeling financially secure has to take precedence over those activities… even if it’s a bummer for the kids.


61 prenup man April 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

prenups are a legal binding document between the two parties; just as a contract is. IF it is written in a way that has no “wiggle room” and everything is stipulated, by law, the judge cannot throw it out. He has no grounds to void a legal document that the two parties agreed upon. Just ask any union rep.


62 Tea April 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

From the numbers you put forward, it would appear that the child support is going to support his children. The payments are to the children, not the ex-wife. Her name may be on the check because she manages the children’s expenses, but they are payments to the children. Yes, you will stop mailing the check to his wife when they are 18, but you will probably still be paying for their health insurance. Day Care and dance lessons will be replaced with tuition and car insurance. And once you finish those expenses, there will be weddings, then grandchildren. I think for long term financial planning, I would count on 60% of his income going to his kids for the rest of his life. If it turns out they need less, then great you will have extra money. As for your living situation, I think honesty is best with kids. It doesn’t hurt for them to know you make less than their step father does, so no you can’t afford the kind of home they have. But there are plenty of fun things to do that don’t cost money. And the best gift you could give those kids is to teach them that life can be good without spending a lot of money.


63 J.O. April 7, 2011 at 11:54 am

Thank you for the suggestion, Tea.

The only part of CS that I have a problem with is that my husband doesn’t have a say in what “extras” HE can afford. Just because she and her new husband can afford to pay it, doesn’t me that we can? But this a flaw in the court system and not really a “financial” question.

I hope everyone understands I’m not angry about my husband supporting his children, I’m not angry that the check goes to his ex-wife and I’m not looking for loopholes to get out of paying! I just wanted advice from others who are coping with this.


64 crankymommy April 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

If you guys can’t afford the extras, you need to talk to his ex about finding a cheaper daycare, cutting down on the extracurriculars, etc. I think that communication is the answer here.


65 polerbere April 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Any chance you can change the custody of the children? Based on the formula you proposed above, if they lived with you, the ex-wife would send you the check each month. If you were able to do even half time, would that make a difference?


66 J.O. April 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

We’d love to have them half the time. The ex wife moved out of the state with her new husband and lives 9 hours away so it’s not feasible. They moved to a very rural part of the country so moving there would be very difficult as far as finding employment. Plus, we can’t follow them around the country. They’ve moved a few times to different states.

I agree with you and have begged for that! If only it were that simple between the two of them! They can’t even stand in a room together. It’s tough on the kids I’m sure and it’s a shame but out of my control.


67 charles jewett April 9, 2014 at 2:33 pm

If she relocated she should of had to do a relocation plan. Its required in florida and you can fight it. it would also put the burden of paying for thetravel back and forth


68 Erin April 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

If it’s 60% of take-home income, is it possible for him to do some pre-tax retirement plans, that take out the money before taxes? That way you could save without that money being garnished.

If it were me, I’d probably be doing some cash work on the side to supplement my income. My husband’s daughter is in California, which has a 50% cap.


69 Confused Reader April 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I am confused when people say the parents have to take care of their children after 18 y/o (tuition, car insurance, grandkids, etc). I know plenty of people (myself included) who were pretty much “kicked out” of the house at 18 and had to pay for their own college, rent, car, expenses, trips to Europe, etc. Are divorced parents not allowed to “kick out” their kids at 18? And what about the grandchildren? I think grandparents don’t “have to” help pay for those, only for the things they “want” to pay, whatever those might be (toys, lessons, whatever).

Not that I have a bad relationship with my parents, we are great! I think they taught me a lot about growing up and taking care of myself by doing this. And if I am in a tight spot, they help out but I’m still on my own to make ends meet, isn’t that what being an adult is about?


70 Tea April 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm

J.O. I was not suggesting that you don’t love his kids, I just think you will be a lot happier if you think of the money going to his kids. It may seem unfair that his kids are taking 60% of his income. But if you make your financial decisions based on that continuing, you won’t find yourself in a situation you can’t handle. If you decide to have a child or buy home, only 40% income may be all he will ever be able to give you. Hopefully at some point it will be more, but you don’t want to make life changing decisions on money you may never have.


71 Jennifer Lissette April 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Honestly, I think that the two of you should consider moving closer to the ex-wife and kids. If he was taking them every weekend AND long vacations AND summers, not only would the child support probably decrease, but he’d be a better father.

If either of you are unwilling to make that move, than I think you should suck it up and deal with not having the money. The time sacrifice you make for his children is only two months out of the year. You can spend that extra time that would be spent helping with homework, settling sibling disputes, driving to lessons, providing guidance, enforcing discipline, etc, finding ways to be more frugal with your money.


72 Jessie April 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I am a stepmom myself, so I understand how it feels to be pulled in two different directions. On one hand you want the best life for that kid because you love them and want them to be happy and well-cared for. On the other hand you don’t want to be destitute yourself, working like crazy to be broke. It’s tough to feel both those things at once. You mentioned that you aren’t interested in having a child of your own right now, with a good part of that decision being based on not being able to afford it. Keep in mind that if you and your husband have a child, that child then becomes part of the equation and you can request a modification based on the fact that he now has three children to support. Because he is just as responsible for providing for that third child, the amount of support going for the other two should be reduced accordingly to allow adequate resources for the third. At least that’s how it is in my state. Your should be able to get a better idea with some research (in my state, the formuals and everything are readily available online and this concept is called a Qualified Additional Dependent). If you still don’t want to have a child that’s fine, just don’t make that decision for the wrong reasons or you may end up regretting it.

As for budgeting, I recommend you completely forget what he “makes” on paper and plany using only that leftover amount coming in. Combine that with yours and then decide how much should be going into retirement accounts (for both of you, because if you are planning to stay together your fates will be intertwined even into retirement), how much you can afford for rent, etc. You may find that your lifestyle is more expensive than you can actually afford which means trading down where you live or selling off the car with a payment and buying an older car for cash…basic frugality and debt-snowball type stuff.

Finally, I would recommend that you reconsider moving closer to the kids (therefore getting more time with them and paying less support money). While the salaries are smaller in a rural area, so is the cost of living so it may not be that much of a net change. As a child of divorced parents I can tell you that face time with the noncustodial parent is so important to the parent-child relationship. You are all missing out on some great stuff by being so far away. If you move there and then the ex picks up to leave you may be able to get the court to give you primary custody since you could provide a more stable home and you made the effort to be close. This depends on the laws of the state and sounds a lot easier than it is, but it’s a possibility.

Anyhow, wishing you the best of luck. It sounds like you are making the best of a challenging situation and just looking for ways to make things better for everyone.


73 mp April 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm

As a single mom who has my child roughly 85% of the time and does not regularly receive child support, this is probably going to sound strange coming from me, but I can understand your frustration. I of course want my child to have the best of everything, but that’s just it. I want him to have it, but it’s not a necessity. He will be completely fine if he only plays one sport and not three. He does not have to attend every extracurricular activity that is thrown his way. Personally, I think children involved in too much are stretched way too thin. Sometimes they just need to be kids and have fun. Anyway, my point is to check into your state’s laws. Not all states take extraordinary expenses into account when calculating child support. I know mine doesn’t. It does consider things like daycare costs, but not discretionary extracurricular activities such as dancing lessons or sports lessons. My best suggestion is to find a really good family law attorney. It may cost you more upfront, but the money you may possibly be able to save in the long run could be worth it. And I do not think that this in any way diminishes your or your husband’s love for the children. Of course you want what’s best for them. But you also have to survive and should not have to struggle because of “extraordinary” items that the ex can afford but you can’t.


74 J.O. April 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I agree with you, Tea.

My husband is the best father that he is able to be. As I stated before, the new wife’s husband moves frequently with his job from state to state. He works in the oil business. We are unable to follow them around the country. Their current home is in a very rural part of the country, there’s no way we can afford to quit jobs, job search in a difficult market (esp in that area!) and not get behind with CS and other bills just to have to move again in a year or two. Impossible. We get the children one weekend a month, long vacations and the summer.


75 Jessie April 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Confused Reader -

Whether or not a divorced parent can “kick out” an 18 year old child might depend on the agreement made when the divorced and child support were finalized. In my case, my divorced parents were each obligated to pay 1/3 the cost of tuition at an in-state university. So 1/3 from Mom, 1/3 from Dad, and then I was responsible for the last 1/3. If I had decided to go to a private, more expensive college then I would have also been responsible for the additional tuition costs. Some child support arrangements specify that support continues until the child reaches the age of majority (18), then some other financial support kicks in for a few years provided the child is enrolled at a qualified educational institution.


76 Andrea April 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I’m curious about the extraordinary expenses.. correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like almost $600 a month is just for extras like lessons and sports, etc? It just seems excessive to me. We just finished paying child support last summer and hubby and I have two children and there is no way any “extras” have ever cost us that much, even when paying child support.

I guess it depends on what the judgement states and what state you are living (actually the child lives)?

I’m completely in agreement that the children shouldn’t suffer, but niether should the noncustodial parent.


77 Yana April 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm

That is very sad. I don’t think there should be child support laws at all. Parents should support their children. I don’t have any advice, because I don’t know a good solution, but it’s an option to seek full custody. The custodial parent is the one actually supporting the children; child support payments have little to do with the child. It’s a punishment payment levied on the non-custodial parent using the child as a weapon of extortion. If there’s a way to keep the law out of the situation, that is the only way there can be any winners. Children cannot win when their very existence makes a living hell out of the life of a parent, and it makes love – which is what everything good is all about – secondary.


78 Albert April 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm

My first suggestion is get a new lawyer. Find the meanest, ugliest shark you can because the one you have is gettin’ their butt kicked. I would look for a lawyer that got angry WITH me about the injustice of the matter. Until I found that I would keep shopping. Pay the fees, because it is going to be worth it in the long run.
Second, find out what the child support garnishment laws are in your State. In California for example, child support is only allowed to take 50% of net income, which will get 10% of it back into your pocket.
Another thing to do is make sure that your husband’s withholding is correct to claim the children that he is allowed to claim, via court documents. A lot of people forget about this, but a child tax credit is $1000 per child, which could help throughout the year. If his W4 is adjusted to reflect that then he will have more money in his checks. YOU DON’T WANT A TAX REFUND! Child support will just take it from you if you get a tax refund because of the 10% that isn’t being collected.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pay the full 60% of child support due, but I do see that your family CAN’T pay that amount. It’s too much. If you had the money I would say do what your obligation is.


79 Julie April 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Hubs should be allowed to claim the tax deductions for the kids. I’m not sure I have any advice for coping, because as some have already pointed out, it does continue on past age 18 (my stepson flunked out of college and is living less than paycheck to paycheck with mom paying most of his bills, but managing to guilt dad into an average of $400 a month.) Someday it will be over, but there has to be something legally he can do. You need a better lawyer…


80 Liz April 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I’m a single mom, my kids are with me 100% of the time and after going back to court, I’ve just recently begun receiveing child support again. My ex has never been required to pay for any extra curricular activities. Yes, they are good for the kids, but it’s my choice to allow them to participate. I would love help with tutors, dance, sports, etc., but I’m not going to get it and frankly, have never heard of this. (Probably since the laws vary from state to state.) I do want to say thank you. I know this is difficult for you guys and I think what you’re paying is excessive, but I appreciate so much that your husband IS paying. Too often, that’s not the case.


81 Michelle April 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Wow! My heart goes out to you and your situation! I can relate from both sides of the fence – I receive CS for my oldest son and my husband pays out CS for his oldest daughter. Fortunately, we’ve not had to experience what you are going through. My original court order is from Texas (which is very strict on CS) and I’ve received the same amount each month for the past 10 years – even though my ex has changed jobs and pay grades – because I chose not to press the issue because ultimately as the primary parent it is my responsibility to provide the majority of the support for my son. The child support is to help supplement some of the expenses – but not ALL of them. There is no asking his father for funds for extracurricular activities – I choose to put my son in those activities and I make it work with the budget I have with my income and the monthly CS I receive. The only “additional” money that I receive from his father is 50% of all his medical expenses – which is pretty standard. Both sets of parents have families to support and it’s not fair to anyone involved to make the other live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Is it part of the court order that he has to pay CS and ALSO send extra money for extra-curricular activities? It sounds as though that is double paying… The child support is just that – support for the child and up to the parent receiving the funds to determine where it needs to be spent.

I would definitely take the advice of others and check into the laws of the state that the order is for and see what the percentages are and what the funds are supposed to go to. Also, ask for a modification. I have seen instances where the income of both parents was taken into consideration in extreme hardship.

Best of luck to you all!


82 Debbie Beardsley April 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

This hits too close to home. My husband had 2 children when I married him and my life was at the whim of his ex until they went to college. My income was included in the determination of child support, so I think this issue is dependent on the state you live in. I’m in California. Courts use a chart in determining child support. Unfortunately there is nothing you can really do. Maybe you should get pregnant and when the baby is born have your husband quit his job to become a stay at home dad! No income. . . I’d get advice from an attorney.

Although my husband and I have survived all this mess and are in a great place, I would advise anyone considering a relationship with someone who has kids to run the other way. It ruins more marriages than make it. Sad but true.

Good luck.


83 Confused Reader (now less so but still) April 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I have never thought that child support extends beyond 18 years of age. It seems unfair to the divorced-parents to have to support the child after they turn 18, while still-married parents get to make decisions like that for themselves. I’m not saying parents shouldn’t take care of their kids after they turn 18 IF THEY WANT TO. That’s their adult decision. But why, oh why, do we punish divorced parents with this crap! And why do we detain kids from growing up and keeping them bundled after they turn 18.

Good luck to the OP, I hope those step-kids of yours get themselves on their own two feet when they leave for college (and that they DO leave for college). I have no personal advice to give but getting a second opinion with a tougher lawyer sounds like a good option recommended above.


84 skrewed October 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

In NY child support is until 21, sometimes 22 if they’re in college full time. That’s right! Kids away at college full time? Continue paying mom the child support while still getting requests from your college student for some spare cash.


85 Sassy April 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm

As a single mother of two young children, I am in shock that that much is being paid out per month. I don’t get a penny from my ex. :( It gets really tough at times. Being a single mom is extremely tough. Personally, you knew what you were walking into. Just because the children don’t live with you and your husband, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be paying to help support. However, I do think their mom should cut back on the activities, as I do NOT think a child should be in that many things at a time. I wish that my ex would even send me $100 a month!


86 Danielle April 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I’m both a lawyer and a stepmom, although I don’t practice in family law. (My husband does.) In NV, for two kids, it would be about 25% of the income. 60% seems excessive for two kids with the same mother. (It would still be under 40% if they had different mothers.) Changed circumstances are typically things like a drastic drop in grades, a major life event, etc. Not taking up piano lessons.

If she has primary custody, however, she is due child support. Plain and simple. If he can’t afford the payments or if they are not in line with what your state statutes outline for the percentages per child, your husband needs to have a long discussion with his lawyer. If he isn’t represented, he needs to be. Plain and simple. He should not have to work a second job to pay his support payments. So it seems that there is more going on here. (It may be a marital settlement agreement with some type of alimony or he is paying her for a division of their assets.)

As for how to avoid this, get a lawyer at the divorce. The best that you can find. Don’t try to do it yourself when kids are involved and you may have to pay support. You will often end up in a situation like this. And, please, do not see a paralegal service that is practicing law without a license. Even worse. Then, you think you are getting decent advice and you aren’t. (I read this comment on another blog – you wouldn’t let some random person on the street take out your appendix, right? That’s how you need to treat the law. Go see someone with a license.)


87 LaToya April 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm

J.O. Why not have the court put a maximum amount allowed for extraordinary expenses so that the amount does not ever get beyond 1,200? Have you guys considered filing for custody, so she would have to pay child support to him. If you love the kids, and the husband wants to provide for them, why not share them equally? Maybe it is your husband’s turn to raise the children in his household and the mother should get a break and pay child support. Just a thought.


88 SarahInMI April 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Something I keep seeing cropping up is the change of custody thing – it’s really really DIFFICULT to change custody – and w/o knowing the entire situation, it’s hard to say if it’d be warranted. Yeah, it’d solve the money problem… but it’s not that easy.

(Though, who knows – the argument of providing a stable home without moving so frequently could actually be an argument in the OPs favor if they did opt to go that route. I dunno.)

I like the idea of seeing about getting a cap on extra curriculars though. Though I’m a stepmom, I have two kids of my own and the number of extra activities they can do is limited – I don’t need to FILL every minute of their day – and I think one activity at a time is a reasonable amount for a child’s schedule (and my wallet).

(And I feel bad for the custodial parents that are getting by without any help from the child’s other parent… Both parents should support the children, absolutely – and I give you much credit, those of you going it alone without any help, financially or otherwise from the noncustodial parent)


89 Kristi @ Creative Kristi April 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm

WOW! I got a totally different tone from the question than what is being talked about in the comments! I thought she was happy with his kids and totally WILLING to pay the child support but worried about how to budget and afford his retirement! LOL!
Think that you should meet with a financial planner and stick to a very strict budget so that you can make the most of what little you have left over each month.
Also do either of your employers have a matching program for retirement contributions? And it might be worth looking into seeing if he contributes more automatically from his paycheck if the courts would consider that as ‘income’ or not? It might reduce the amount he has to report to the courts because it’s going into a penalty to remove type of account?
Just my thoughts! :)


90 J.O. April 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Kristi, we are willing to pay the child support and that WAS my question. I may not think some of the stipulations are fair but I don’t make those calls, the State does.

So, my question was more “how to cope and budget” not “how to lower CS” Thank you for noticing! ;)


91 April 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm

I wonder, from the point of view of the second wife, it looks like unconstitutional desapropriation of her income. What does she have to do with these kids?

Of course, it seems they should have been intelligent enough to never marry. I highly doubt that there was a legal way to take money away from an unmarried person to pay for child support of an unrelated unknown party.

The entire child support industry is a single ripoff for men. Read the discussion here


92 Andrea April 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm


I can’t answer for everyone but I know for me, the intent is not reducing the actual C.S. but the “extras” for non necessities. Medical/Dental, sure those are necessary but most things outside of that are not and there should be a cap on what would be considered reasonable.

Any medical/dental bills split 50/50 would come after the service is provided and the insurance has paid… not a $600 cushion each month


93 Jen April 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm


My heart goes out to you in this situation. It is TOUGH to be a step-mom…I always say it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. And like you, I’ve created a good relationship with the mother, which has helped tremendously. I commend you on that…NOT easy to do! You have a good attitude and outlook, and that’s what is going to get you through all this.

I work in the family court system, and I would say that a majority of these dads that I see on a day-to-day basis that pay these high amounts of support live with their parents AND have two jobs! It’s unbelievable the sacrifices they go through to support their children. Then, of course, I also see the ones that go to jail because they refuse to pay their support! So I’m sure it’s going to be a constant struggle for you and your husband to afford this obligation for quite a few more years.

My advice is just to hang in there….it sounds like you know what’s important and what priorities are in you and your husband’s lives, and I think that’s going to be what gets you through this. From what I’ve seen in court, most parents in your husband’s situation do have to wait until CS payments are concluded before really starting to plan for the financial future they hope for.

And I know you’re not looking for advice on the actual CS issue, but I do honestly believe that the “extra” expenses are able to be litigated if your husband so desires; therefore, that could save you some in the meantime. I really think that that part of his CS order is very unfair. :(

Good luck to you!!


94 Donna Freedman April 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm

@Yana: Of course parents SHOULD support their children. But plenty of them would not if it weren’t for child support laws. A close relative’s ex often did not send the money, forcing her to go after him legally. Maybe he thought he’d moved far enough away that they couldn’t find him. Guess what: He had to pay. If not for the law, he would have gotten away with skipping out on his responsibilities.
The payments are not “punishment” — they are the non-custodial parent’s share of bringing up the kids s/he helped make.
As for “the custodial parent is the one actually supporting the children”? — plenty of divorced parents could not make ends meet if not for the support checks. Those who don’t get any kind of help often end up in some pretty desperate straits.


95 Jen April 8, 2011 at 12:12 am

If I were in this situtation as new-wife, here’s what I would do:

* Create a budget that uses only wife’s income. Ignore husband’s income, if there is any left, use that for savings, retirement, etc.

* If husband has the opportunity to contribute pre-tax money to a retirement account, then totally do that. I would shoot for 20% to help cover his missing income. (This should also lower his child support payments a bit.)

* Try to find fun things to do that don’t cost much money. It’s amazing the things that kids enjoy.

Since you are already in a difficult financial situation, it will be hard to pretend his income just doesn’t exist. But, if you two can work together and create a budget and decide what things are really important in your life together, then it will get easier. If you really got a handle on things, it could maybe even work out much better by omitting his income. Maybe you could downsize your house/apartment, find a cheaper area nearby, give couponing a try, lower your quality of life (such as nice cars, fancy clothes, dining and entertainment etc.). I do have to say that all those $$$ activities the kids are doing are just nuts. I can understand daycare, but more than one activity at a time is kind of just seems like a waste.

Everybody’s circumstances are always different, but hopefully you two can find a way to get ahead. Good luck. :-)


96 Yana April 8, 2011 at 12:55 am

@Donna – I understand many people may agree with the way you look at it, but my take is that nobody is “forced” to go after an absent parent – unless there is public assistance involved. It’s a choice, normally.

“If not for the law, he would have gotten away with skipping out on his responsibilities.”

That makes me sad. Children ought to be a blessing and a joy, with parents who love them and support them because they want to. Not a burden. My personal attitude is that if you don’t want the man, you don’t seek his money. When I divorced the father of my child years ago, I wanted to waive child support rights. My attorney said I couldn’t do that, but I never pursued child support – and I was as poor as could be and still be able to provide a home for us. Desperate straits don’t justify what child support laws put children and victim parents through. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I’d like it better if they just called it “alimony”, because then it wouldn’t make weapons out of children.


97 sarah April 8, 2011 at 9:36 am

Personally, I receive child support from a dead beat dad. I don’t care how much or how little he makes, the price of what he has emotionally done to his child can never be re-paid.

I think he makes in the neighborhood of 35K, and my daughter gets $525/month. While that may seem like a fair sum of money to some, it’s really diddly squat compared to what it takes to raise her. And in 2 1/2 years when he’s “off the hook”, I’m still on it. There will be cars, college, books, first houses, weddings, grandchildren… He will wash his hands of all of this once she turns 18. I will reap all the rewards of raising a strong, beautiful, care, young woman.

I could care less about his money, it means nothing to me or her. If she had it her way she would rather have a relationship with her father rather then a savings account.

Pardon my french… he’s a douche bag.


98 sashie April 8, 2011 at 10:16 am


My recommendation would be for you and your husband to create a budget that takes into account only your salary to live on. Take the $1000 a month left over from his salary and put $500 a month into a ROTH IRA for each of you until you hit the maximum for each acct ($5000). Then take the last $2000 a year that you will have left over and either plan a vacation for you and his kids, or a nice Christmas, or whatever.

But make your salary the salary that pays for the necessities. Housing, food, car, etc. His salary should fund joint retirement, and also any joint splurges. Start couponing (if you don’t already) to reduce your food/toiletries expenses. Try to use Groupon (or other sites like that) to get cheap membership to the zoo, or museum to take the kids when they come visiting.

Yes, you may be living in a tiny apartment and not have a lot of spending money – but you know what? A lot of 26 year olds live like that. It isn’t shocking that you would need to too. You chose to marry someone with previous obligations, and you need to be creative in how you can do that and also make the commitment to start saving for retirement.

Good luck!


99 Sassy April 8, 2011 at 11:57 am

@YANA- Saying that child support is a weapon using the children against the other parent- WOW, that is all I have to say. It costs a lot of money to raise children. And when the non-custodial parent just up and leaves, moving out of state and hasn’t paid anything toward the children, that is on them. I would never consider it a punishment against that parent when child support catches up with them. It isn’t like the other parent got up on themself to help make the children. Intsead of communicating to work it out, they just walk out and leave without even a warning sometimes (my experience at least). It isn’t a PUNISHMENT. The parent should help provide for their children.


100 F April 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Sarah stop being resentfull calling someone names dosen’t help anyone.
525$ for one child and you are complaining? I get 350$ for two if or when SHE pays.

There is usually a limit that can be taken based on state laws I would verify with his lawyer and the state.

Actually Goose if you had read how much he pays and done some quick math at 2K a month that is over 400K which pays for both children completely based on your numbers.

Raising children on a standard income can be done. I do it. I am a single father with two children. I get 350$ a month and save 20% of my income despite the fact half my money goes to daycare and mortgage. People want everything when in truth they need little.

J.O. I do not know how much you make, but if possible I would recommend the earlier comment of you being the bread winner and your husband the saver. Save ALL his money if possible. I know someone who lives in a 2 bedroom house on 16$ an hour. It is all about managing expectations.

If you have any debt pay it off
Evaluate your needs versus wants. There are so many wants we don’t really need. We do not need big vacations nor giant Christimases. Be frugal and explore your own area or state.

Most importantly if you really want a child with your husband DO NOT let the other woman dictate your family. Check with the state also most judges take into consideration other children in determine child support. He has to pay for them as well.

Love each other unconditionally and support each other through all things. Your happiness is in your hands.


101 F April 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm


Some people do use child support as a weapon. They want all they can get as much as they can get. It is not about what is best for the children. They spend the money on clothes, phones, trips and the like. The poor child gets left in the middle between a parent who pays and gets seldom seen and another who cares more about the money for them-self than the child they helped conceive.


102 Donna Freedman April 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm

@Yana: How nice that you are able to support the kids yourself. But here’s the thing: Not everyone can.
Sometimes the custodial parent’s wages don’t cover the basics. It’s a question of survival — and, in MY personal opinion, what the man (or woman) is supposed to do, i.e., help support the children s/he brought into the world.


103 Yana April 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm

@Donna – I had a poverty-level income. I had little financial or practical support. Anyone who could not provide what I did in the early days ought to seek public assistance or give custody to someone who can. I made the most of what I had. When my child’s dad took her for a visit, he paid whatever expenses were incurred. That is what I call child support. You support your child who is in your custody, whether temporarily or permanently. You are (should be!) the master of your own life and your income, and hopefully you act responsibly. Paying one’s ex is not supporting a child, but it absolutely can interfere with being able to support your own child when you have that child in your care. Why is it that “deadbeat dads” are so irresponsible – criminal, even – but the moms are exceedingly loving, caring and responsible by pointing the finger and trying to extract money for whatever purpose they wish to use it? It can go the same for a female absent parent, but that isn’t usually the case. Someone before commented that a woman should RUN from a man with kids by another woman, and that pretty much reflects our child-unfriendly society and child support laws. And incidentally, just one more reason that abortion must remain legal. I’m also one who prefers that the law and government stay out of people’s personal lives, and people should be responsible for their own actions and choices. Who married the jerks? Above all, if a woman (because only women can bear children) doesn’t want to have, raise or support a child, she should not have one.


104 Donna Freedman April 9, 2011 at 1:35 am

@Yana: Again, not everyone is responsible. Some custodial parents never see the ex again (like my relative) and thus cannot get even the small amount of “support” that comes from the non-custodial parent taking the child for a visit.
“Who married the jerks?” Surely you’re not serious. Have you never known anyone who married a person who later showed his/her true colors?
Incidentally, not every custodial parent uses the money for herself/himself. Plenty of them are using it on the child’s medical expenses, food, clothing, etc.


105 Yana April 9, 2011 at 2:05 am

The point I was trying to make in asking “Who married the jerks?” is personal responsibility. I’m a believer in that. Someone who makes a mistake involving a spouse showing true colors later is still responsible for his own choice. It’s a gamble, for sure. When I took a big leap of faith with my current husband early in the relationship, well, it was a leap of faith. But it was my leap and my choice, completely. It was a winning gamble, but I would still be responsible for my choice if it hadn’t been. Life’s a gamble! I just hate the idea of somebody’s life being ruined because they made a baby, because the law is involved in child support issues. I think most of the time, the children and accused parent suffer the most. I would never have wanted my child to think she was such a burden, and all about money. She wasn’t. And I wouldn’t have wanted her to have an attitude toward her dad that he was the guy we got money from, and that is what he was good for. He was the dad she loved, and who loved her. To each his own, but that’s the way I wanted it. And incidentally, I was also responsible for marrying that guy, having our child and wanting to raise her solely, without joint custody or anything like that. I like the responsibility I choose to take, because it means I am free and I have authority. I would afford that to anyone – but as you say, some people are not responsible and shun responsibility. It’s true. I don’t understand it, really. When somebody says, “The devil made me do it”, I think they are negating their own personhood. If they are not choosing who they are and what they do, they cannot have any authority, even over themselves. Not talking about the original subject, just rambling ;)


106 Ivy April 9, 2011 at 11:20 am

Sorry for your situation, I never got child support from my dad and my mom had to do it all by her lonesome. When I did live with my dad due emergency reasons she kicked me out real quick so your tolerance, love and dedication to me is admirable seeing how some “step-xxx” do not have a lick of those above mentioned qualities. In regards to savings it really is all about budgets and sticking to them, downsizing and accomadating on behalf of both of you (which truly sucks considering that none of what’s going on is your fault) I’m not sure if I read about investing?, maybe buy little stocks to make some extra cents a year or if you’ve saved a good amount maybe a cd? If anything to make the dollar and situation work for you. Please remember that you should save for you even if he can’t right now and I’m sorry about that, make sure you save for retirement, save for yourself and in a non-related $ issue, if you want to have kids in the future (you did say you didn’t have them due to the situation) was this something you spoke to him about? Doesn’t sound fair) umm ok, every dollar counts, every invested penny is more money be it big or small, and hang in there girl, your doing good morally and budget wise it seems. Sorry for the ramble…


107 James April 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Most states have a max %, but it is undeniably his responsibility to support his kids.

However, I absolutely disagree that he should be paying more based on the activities of the children. If the mother wants them in expensive activities, she should be footing the bill with her own income and what she is already receiving in child support….. that’s what it’s for.


108 Shelley April 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I have not read every post, but I need some immediate gratification by posting.

If there is a good relationship between the parents then, I would think that there would be communication about extracurricular activities to ensure what each parent can afford. Especially when you are expecting them to take part in the expenses. Not every child needs to be in every activity.

I would never think to go back to court to get these costs. Heck, I don’t even go after the out of pocket expenses for medical (the Judge never even gave us a breakdown for these expenses) or dance classes. I can’t be bothered because #1 – I don’t like him; #2 I don’t feel like have to discuss everything that I want to enrol her in with him. I pay for it on my own if I can afford it because I can’t always ensure that he will have a job nor do I want to feel like I depend on someone to “make it.”

Plus, every time I go back my Judge does the opposite. He practically kisses him on the mouth because he was Army Reserve in Iraq, lowers his child support obligation, and gives him a pat on the behind and sends us out the door (with me looking at my lawyer bill thinking “WTF?”). When I finally got my Judge to add in my childcare expenses of $1K per month (at the time), and I got my support LOWERED again (this time by $13; $220 the first time) because he lowered Dad’s earning potential. I gave up at that point because no matter what I am the “stable” earner and he gets to flitter.

I am not bitter, nope, not me! Not bitter at all. =o)


109 J. Money April 15, 2011 at 11:45 am

Haha, appreciate you sharing your story with us though! Hope things get better! :)


110 Heather April 25, 2011 at 1:46 am

I can understand that the kids need to be taken vare of…. However, why is it that the mother can keep taking the father back to court for more money even though she has about $130,000 in assets and cash, while the father has about $2,000 in assests??? And how is it fair that the father should have to pay for the childs insurance when he makes 3 times less that what she does???
Personally I feel that most women/men just feel the need to screw over their ex/parent of the child just because they know they can or because they want to!! I think it is a discrace and someone should put a stop to it! If the parent with sole custody is better off and has way more money than the parent paying support, then they need to reduce their c.s. payments and not require them to pay all of the insurance. It just makes more since. If anything, give the kids to the parent with less money and have the other pay them money!!

Also, I was wondering how often can you taken someone to court to re-do child support?? I think every 3 to 6 months is crazy!! At least thats how often we go!


111 m.white May 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

My husband has a 35 years old daughter and he still pay childsupport and they put a lien on my home did not let us know.Now they want 33,000 and raied his payments. I was told I had to divoice him to get my home back.


112 J. Money May 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm

WOW. I don’t even know what to say to that. I hope things get better!!


113 Heather May 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm

@Prenup- Its easy to say that but Ive noticed that they always count te non costodial parents spouces income, however they never count the coustiodal parents spouces income. I don’t think that is in anyway right!! If your gonna count one then you should count the other as well when determining cs. Child support and their guidelines are retarded and need to be reevaluated!!!!


114 Heather May 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm

@m.white- Why is your husband still paying c.s. on a 35 year old??? And, they only put leins on your house if your not paying like you should.


115 Shelley May 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

My daughters father will have to keep paying child support until she is 28 years old (if he continues on the current payback). That is because he is only paying $100 per month to the arrears. I can also put a lien on his apt to ensure that I am paid the arrears before he takes any profit.


116 melissa May 25, 2011 at 10:09 am

If I were a man…I wouldn’t touch a woman with a TEN FOOT POLE!!! Don’t do it guys…most women are vindictive and don’t want their kid NEARLY as much as they want your money!!!!! I hear blow up dolls are getting more ralistic!! Women suck…they’re vampires who do wait in the cover of night to pounce on you as soon as it looks like your not suffering…and woe unto you if you get remarried!!!


117 OtsegoMI August 16, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Child support is nothing more than legalized extortion from men. It doesn’t take near the amount of money the corrupt court systems contrive, then rule awarded, to raise a kid. It makes me sick to think of all the money guys get screwed out of just for having a kid every year. To make matters worse many times the women just plays a victim card and sits on her ass and does as little as possible while sucking off of the man as much as she possibly can for as long as she possibly can. Now that’s repulsive.

Men are better off having one or two and getting a vasectomy in confidence. There will be no more so called “obligations” and it’s a nice way to nail the worthless all too often incredulous, cheater should she get knocked up again. Most women are not trust worthy to the full extent so plan on forking it over if you happen to be stupid enough to get semi or permanently involved and not take responsibility for contraception yourself. Sometimes they’ll lie about that just to get knocked up, use caution.

Your situation calls for action! Use every evasive procedure you can. Have him get the lowest paying job he is qualified for and hold it for the duration of the extortion (Child support). Let them base it off of that if at all possible. Take some under the table work immediately. Construction, insurance sales, car detailing, waiting tables, delivering pizza (TIPS) and any other cash projects that don’t include a W2 or W9 form. Take this money and or checks and cash them at a bank and don’t deposit the funds. Never deposit the funds anywhere and keep them at home in a coffee can or safe area. Working under the table is the best bet for keeping her leeching to a minimum. Rentals are good as well, just have someone else claim the money or get paid in cash. Farms (baling hay, picking fruit, milking cows), farmers markets (sell livestock, produce and crafts), ebay anything untraceable. Keep it off the books and out of accounts until your hardship sentence is over.


118 mary January 5, 2015 at 12:47 am

I agree. I’m a woman making CS payments for equal time 50/50 with their dad. He makes no money, so I get screwed over because he has no education.


119 OtsegoMI August 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

There are other ways to minimize the damage that a support order can inflict to one financially.

Be as proactive as you can before getting an order established if possible. If you really want to avoid it from becoming a order disappear for several years before they can serve you. Most States will not place an order if they can’t get a DNA test. Move constantly (every 4-6 mos) for a decade or better with no utilities and/or mailing address. It’s not as hard as you think and you’ll get to travel and make friends all over. Just live off a minimum and save all the money you can. If you are cornered and can’t run move to a location with the best laws for YOU. Be sure you don’t wind up somewhere that lets her suck you for money while they go to college too! Be sure to live in a State where the age of majority is 18. Make sure the State doesn’t credit for daycare or anything other than base support. Run several calculators and see where the thresholds are for income and look for hidden deductions in the State’s formula manuals. You have to know the law to beat it if you can.

Hide and protect assets immediately if facing a support case/order. If you have real-estate market it before arrears are ordered (especially if they are imminent, it takes time for a lien to go through you have about 2 months time to liquidate it before they can snatch it). Sell it via auction if you have to, to move it fast; you may lose 25-35% but that’s nothing compared to all or most of it if the leech get’s it. Don’t deposit the money, keep it somewhere safe and say you lost it gambling if you get cornered on it. You can buy later ;for now, just be happy with renting or working for rent at an apartment complex as a caretaker etc, or with family or friends. Anything to save money and keep real valuable things out of your name. Some States will not let them seize your primary residence under a certain value. It’s worth spending $100 or calling legal aid to grill an attorney about laws and loop holes to find them and exploit them. College roomies are fun and usually cheap. Look around campuses if you can stand the crowd; otherwise go rural.


120 OtsegoMI August 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Once you get hit with support you can do little to avoid getting leeched. You can minimize the losses however.

Side jobs (greenhouses, farms, construction, handyman, computer service etc), pay pal, ebay, on line money making, rentals, self employment is great use an llc and an attorney to minimize the leeching.

Constantly be a little late or behind to make it look like you have a hard tiem making the current order. If you always make it on time and they get the money they will inevitably want more and more. You have to almost go to jail a few times to avoid getting it raised. they want to make you suffer and make you pay. They don’t’ want you to have it easy or be able to meet your obligation.

Consider going to another nation that will not deport you legally before getting behind. You can start over. Consider stripping, selling drugs or doing whatever you need to do to get more cash. You could off her but that won’t do much good if you get caught and of course “I’m joking.

I’ll continue this later.


121 Yana August 16, 2011 at 11:09 pm

You’re a little harsh there, OtsegoMI, but if you read my previous comments, you know I agree with you in principle. I like your instruction to say you lost it gambling – it is good for them to think you are a loser! Sadly, though, what all this brings to mind is that without even dropping our pants, we are subject to getting more screwed by the medical system in America, and your advice ought to be considered and expanded upon for self-defense in that area.


122 Beat down Dad September 9, 2011 at 10:27 am

I think child support is the biggest joke there is. The laws need to change in a major way. First, if you were married or not, I think custody should be split 50/50 unless the parents live in different states or the kid(s) is at the age to decide which parent they want to live with. And with that there should be no support. Things should be split straight down the middle unless the man..or woman shows they cannot handle their responsibilities. See I believe the man or woman will show their colors when the rubber meets the road. Once that happens then the courts can take corrective action.


123 Shelley September 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm

For someone that did not live with her daughter’s Dad, I am not down with 50-50. Not every child can handle that type of inconsistency.

Child support is not JUST for supporting their daily needs, it also covers their portion of housing, electricity, water, gas, etc.

If one parent earns $25K and the other makes $125K, splitting 50-50 is ridiculous.


124 OtsegoMI September 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm

If you are hit with a support order there are a few other things you may consider to stop being screwed by the system.

One is to change your identity and move on either in the US or elsewhere. Sometimes this is a viable option if you have no family or friends you want to keep in touch with. A fake ID and SS number is easier to come by than you think and is worth its weight in gold to avoid debts and charges of all kinds. If your prints are in the system you have to commit to a life of non-illegal activity because if the fat cat finds out you’ll be facing additional charges.

Another option if you want the kid(s) is to take them from her legally by proving her unfit. Remember she didn’t mind screwing you so perhaps you can return the favor. Imagine what would happen if she got pulled over because someone anonymously called the police and told them the driver of such and such vehicle had a gun and was pointing it at you or some kids and took off down the road. When they search the vehicle and find a large sum of narcotics or some other illegal items under the seat that won’t look too good in family court now will it? Of course it’s even better if her prints are on the bag (trash is everywhere right). Remember to stay anonymous and even better use a voice changer and a payphone with no cameras or a disguise walking in. This may require some work but it’s fool proof. Most people forget to lock things at night and are creatures of habit after all.


125 OtsegoMI September 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Bottom line is the system is nasty sometimes guys are victims of unfair laws and have to be proactive.

A few more words on moving on with a new ID. For US people this will require some connections (think Mexicans, and other foreigner communities). Be sure to drop everything and everyone, liquidate everything and you’ll have to start over completely never to return to your previous life, accounts, home, or anything else. Protective custody if you will.

For an Ex Pat trying to escape the system in a foreign land is a good option if you have some skills. Sometimes obtaining documents is easier in these places too. Again, no connections of any kind to your previous life. Pick up a skip trace book and read it a few times to get the drift of what this involves. This is for the person that is serious about getting away.

Remember if you have back support due you can’t get a passport and won’t be able to leave the country. However, remember too that once your paid up you can go freely. You’ll just need to stay gone if that’s your plan and have a good plan and some travelers checks and cash to keep yourself that a way.


There are other problems with the system as well. They will try to get you to pay medical, dental, psychological and any other services they deem “needed”.

You can avoid these “obligations” by simply not having the coverage available. If you don’t have it through work or are self employed or its too expensive your order will likely be increased be a few percentage points but this fact can save you tons of money in the long run from a sleezy ex that just wants to rack up bills for you. Make them carry the coverage by claiming its too expensive for you and don’t carry it on dependents at work. Simply elect not to take it and buy your coverage somewhere else that they don’t’ know about. Remember the less they know about you the better.

Avoid facebook, myspace and linkd so you don’t have your face, location and/or resume floating around for people to find you.


126 OtsegoMI September 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm

While there is some ways to completely avoid support orders many times they require intense effort on your part, may be slightly illegal, and may not be for everyone. The best bet is to be proactive and avoid the situation in the first place. If you can run and not be served paperwork do it! You need to stay ahead of them and never let them catch you. Once the kid(s) are older you can slow down and enjoy life again. Otherwise, plan on paying if you have an order in place, or it’s pending the best thing you can do is minimize the bleeding or change your identity.

Remember Mexican’s cross the border everyday by the hoards. It’s not that hard to go the other way if you need to, even without a passport. Think of the giant border to the North as well. Canada is full of hiding places and under the table work. Staying in the US is a good option too but most don’t have what it takes to get the ID and the discipline to completely leave everything behind…I mean completely.

Personally, I don’t want the kid(s) so I don’t want to get custody but for those that do you can do it with some clever “innovation.” Otherwise, you may well be screwed. Taking temporary jobs is also a nice excuse in court for why your income changes and may allow you more freedom and flexibility.

I don’t have much more to say about this but I feel for every poor guy that gets screwed by the most unfair system there is.


127 J.O. October 18, 2011 at 2:08 pm

The last modification of child support was found to be invalid. Long story short, there was some corruption in system. (Judge was ex-wife’s second cousin!! She spoke to him off the record!) Also, her state did not have jurisdiction of the case and did not have the right to modify the decree. This was great news because her legal costs are free in her state. She works for her best friend, the only attorney in that town.

Husband appealed the case and the modifications were reversed. He filed for a modification in the correct state. Child support ended up being reduced by nearly 30% from the modified amount and increased about 15% from the orginal decree. All is fair and REASONABLE. Also, he was given credit for the over payment and ex-wife had to pay a portion of the legal fees.

As far as running from CS, I don’t think that’s a lifestyle he’d want to live. Providing money to be sure the kids are being cared for is the least he can do considering the distance between him. The kids may not understand that he’s helping out now… but they will as they grow to be adults.


128 Andrea October 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I’m a little confused about the jurisdiction, no matter where the decree was origionally placed, the rules apply where the child resides. My husband & ex-wife were divorced in one state, their son grew up in another state, but they moved during his high school years to a third state. That move was great for us bc it meant one less year of paying child support. It’s money now that we can give directly to him to help with college.

Kids understand more than they let on… they definately figure things out, just as their son did that his mother cheated and left and married the other man.

Distance stinks, we did it stationed overseas… all he can do is be the best dad he can be regardless of the miles. Cards, letters and calls go along way.

Regardless, so glad you got a modification.. I hope you can breathe a little easier now and you can make your decision regarding possible future children without this stress hanging over you. My husband and I have two…I wouldn’t change them for the world, no matter how lean in the finance department it was for a few years for us, we never regret the decision to have children anyways.

Best of luck to you.


129 J. O. October 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Andrea, thank you for the kind words.

The law is very interesting regarding jurisdiction. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act was enacted in 2007 and basically states that as long as one parent remains in the state that the original decree was filed – that state retains jurisdiction. If my husband and I also move out of this state, jurisdiction is transferred to the home state of the kids but ONLY after the original state agrees to give up jurisdiction. This stops custodial parents from moving from state to state trying to get a better arrangement. It also prevents multiple custody/CS documents from being filed in multiple states.

Perhaps this law wasn’t in place during your situation?

Either way, it’s been a saving grace for us and I love to hear from someone who’s been there and done that and survived!!


130 Andrea October 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Most definately wasn’t in place. It’s great to read that there was something enacted that benefits the noncustodial parent. Thank goodness it was there to help your situation.


131 jack October 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm

my story is similar to many written here. The difference is my husband’s ex wife is an eye doctor with her own practice. She hired her boyfriend to work there, also an eye doctor. We suspect she is hiding her income by paying her boyfriend more money in salary. She is now wanting my husband to pay for college and according to her two years of health insurance she claims we didnt pay.

my husband has been paying child support and providing health insurance to his daughters since they divorced. We have gone through unemployement for almost a year (both of us at the same time) and nw we are trying to catch up in paying off all our debt incurred due to unemployement. We have no money saved for retirement and my son’s future.

As is wife, I am angrey and bitter at his ex wife because she could afford to pay for their college. She has brain wash their children to the point that there is no relationship between father and daughters for many years. In the state of nj it is required that we pay for child support until they are 23 – 24 years old.

I don’t think it is fair that we have to go through this since we try to do thinks right for a very long time. The truth is the ex wife is a money hungry woman and can’t see her ex husband live his life. And she has a house that is worth over a million dollars!


132 J. Money October 20, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I’m so glad things are going better!! And that you all are discussing back and forth here – that’s great :) Love seeing people helping each other!


133 second family momma November 4, 2011 at 12:48 pm

A second job is STUPID!!!! all that will do is INCREASE the time away from your family and INCREASE your income so they take more – they only way to beat it is to get a job off the books. It doesnt matter what she gets wind of, b/c she has to be able to PROVE it in court… and as there is no paper record of it, thats pretty hard to do. It doesnt matter what you know its what you can prove. I am all for supporting the child but these women are greedy and selfish – and they use their children as their meal ticket. If you have a job making $12/hr and you are driving a $50,000 car there is something wrong with that – child support is not meant to be a JOB. They system is flawed and these women need to be taught a lesson.


134 Shelley November 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Such generalizations! These women who? For as many women that get tons of money there are a lot more that don’t get enough or anything at all. I, for one, am the bread winner in my scenario. He pays support and I certainly don’t eat filet mignon. His money is a bonus since it is certainly not to be relied upon to come in a timely manner. Let’s not generalize about all women and lesson teaching. Nothing gets my feathers more ruffled.


135 Mayra December 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Every situation is different! I thing when you decide to have children you have to know that they come with a lifetime comitment. Most of the CS laws are fair. Some people just choose not to take the time to understand them. I have 4 children 60 percent of the time and my ex has them 40 percent. He makes more money than I make and he pays 600 dollars a month. He was only paying 389 for a long time…… He had time and money to rent a nice little place for him and the kids and didnt. Instead spent all his extra cash on travaling and living a “single man” life style which to me is “STUPID” He lived with his mom, and had the kids cramped into a bedroom, while I bought a house and made a home for my children. He then decided to take on a swing shift job; He was never there for the kids and never provided a space for the children. NOW that to me is selfish. After 8 months of asking nicely to please make changes to his situation, I gott tired of waiting for this moron to make a change for the best interest of the kids and filled for more custody of the kids, I was greanted the 60 percent and now his paying 615. The Dude is having a heart attack about it, and Im like WTF, you had time to get yuor shit together and you decided not to. So now move th F out of my way so I can provide for theese kids. One man alone with out re-marying should be able to provide for him self with a very small amount of money. The courts dont believe that you will be stupid enough to marry or have more kids thats why they make the laws they way that they do!


136 Jody January 12, 2012 at 7:19 am

Boy, I thought we had it rough having to pay out $48,000 over a full 18 years on one kid. We had a good attorney and refused to pay the “extraordinary expenses.” She was only allowed to ask for a modification every three years and only got it once because of our wheeling and dealing with the good attorney and a judge that was a family friend.

Of course we didn’t make a lot of money, but no way I would ever marry another man who was paying child support, especially if my income was considered.


137 Jody January 12, 2012 at 7:36 am

I forgot to mention we live in Texas. We were not made to pay insurance either. Child support is so unfair. It is to pay for the mother’s lifestyle more than the kids.

I don’t even want to think how much we would’ve had to pay out if we had to pay for insurance, extra expenses, daycare, dental, co-pays, and didn’t have a good team on our side.

$48,000 over 18 years comes out to be about $222 a month. Take away about $7,000 that my husband’s parents paid for us because they thought it was so unfair, then the amount we actually paid was $41,000.


138 New Wife in town February 1, 2012 at 8:50 pm

For the ex wived who side with 60%….. Go ahead, keep typing why he left yo ass in the furst place because his best intrest is a non factor in your opinon. You dont seem to mind that someone you claimed to love wont be able to move on and be a great father if he is still grumoy behind your decisions!! If you decided you wanted to move on should you pay him? Should you be forced to pay whatever the court says because he is bitter about the fact you two arent right for each other? File separate taxes, sign a prenup that omit u from financial responsibility. If you think he wont be there mentally and physical, u r justified, if u know he alway been there and do it to hurt the new wife you are super foul and pathetic. Go get ur own man, cant handle your bills? Let them live with Dad and u pay support then! Oh you dont wanna trade huh! Somebody should go file joint custody and joint child support for 6 months swapping the kids since its gotta be organized and impersonal


139 mommmyof4 February 19, 2012 at 10:18 am

I am a divorced mom of 4 beautiful children. I could say so much here but do not know where to begin… (ex is in breach of contract)… The one thing I will say right now, is that in the state that we were divorced, it states that CS be paid until the child is of age 21..and/or, the age of 22 years old (if still attending college.) I am going to post again soon. After reading all of this, I feel horrible. Children are innocent, and every action and descision made should be in the best interest of our children.


140 Matticus March 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Child Support is just a flawed system that was built on good intentions. In Texas, if you had a 60k a year job while you were married, and then lose said job after divorcing, then you’d still be required to pay the same percentage amount as if you had the 60k a year job. It takes 3 years of not having the same income to get the child support modified. I look at it this way, if you had lost the job while you were married then the whole family (including the children) would take a hit, so what’s the difference when you’re divorced. Child Support should not be given to custodial parents as “free money”, because that’s exactly what it is. It should be distributed as “food stamps”, school meal tickets, clothing. Texas now gives custodial parents debit cards to spend the money more easily and they can be spent anywhere on anything that the custodial parent wants. Try requiring the custodial parents to report their child care expenses and the crap that child support is used for would cause several killings. Just off the top of my head, child support should be broken down into percentages for needs (i.e. 40% food for child, 40% clothing, 10% hygiene, 10% extra-curricular). I strongly feel the piece of mind non-custodial parents would have from knowing what their child support was going to would help the whole situation. If the ex-spouses were married then each party would be entitled to a decision as to where money went to, right? Why should that change when they divorce? Of course something like this would never happen, it makes too much sense. Thanks for reading.


141 Gary March 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Apparently we all here are believing that it takes more money for his two kids to live than himself.
That, despite that they have a shared residence and living expenses of their mother.
Something that gets swept under the rug is, IT DOES NOT.
The actual expenses of the two children cannot be possibly 130% of your husband’s income.
I say 130%, because the other parent should be spending half of what it costs to raise the kids. If you pro rate it for that, then it is costing 30% more than your husband makes to raise these kids.
I do not believe it.
What is actually happening here is, it costs a lot less to raise these kids, and the mother is pocketing the rest.
But we are institutionally prevented from knowing this, because there is no right to see where the expenses are going.
This is a hole in the system. A non-custodial parent should never have to pay more than half of the ACTUAL expenses of his children. Anything else imposed upon him is forced socialism.


142 Punked March 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm

You are inexperienced with rearing children and can not possibly know what money is involved. You are only 26 in time you will know. I don’t believe that you are “friends” with the ex-wife or you wouldn’t be trying to sabotage her support to raise her children. The mother loves her kids and why shouldn’t they go to all the classes they can go to? The father was not absent in their creation. You are just whining ! Because you can’t have your husbands money go toward you and future children of your own. To see lawyers on this thread say you should take the issue to court is ridiculous. Unbelievable.


143 Punked March 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Pocketing the rest of the money! really Gary? Ha I raised 3 children with out the help of their father believe you me there is no left over money when raising children. You do it because you are obligated and mature enough to handle it.Obviously. Remember if he left her he will leave you and if he deserted his children and bitches about supporting them monetarily someday you will be understanding all of this. So watch what you say you will eat it. Bon Appetit !


144 missyme March 30, 2012 at 3:27 am

I feel for you. Not all parents are able to put their kids first and some women feel entitled to have their own money and half or more of their ex’s too. I too am a step Mom and I love my step daughter dearly but I have to admit the ongoing shananigans of her mother make it difficult to feel love for the child. Sad but true! I don’t understand anyone that thinks they should be able to sit on their ass and continue to leech from their ex. We have the child exactly 50% of the time and the ex is remarried and chooses to stay home with her “new children” so according to the table in our state her income is 0 which goes against ours. The harder my man works the more he pays even though the costs of raising the child do NOT go up because his income does. Note to men out there single, in a relationship or married protect yourself DO NOT RELY on your partner for birth control protection. You will pay and continue paying for 20plus years! I just have to hope that regardless of the brainwashing like attempts our smart little girl will one day see her mother for the person she is. Way to go all you step moms and dads out there that love and care for the kids caught in these situations THEY ARE whats truly important.


145 WHManor April 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm

That is so messed up. 60%? Wow! That said we’ve been thru the ringer ourselves. Court, child support increase, custody issues because she won’t let us see the children. My daughter gets really hurt by it because she loves her brothers. This is what I know
1) Your income should NOT count as his EVER. If you bought a business then they could ONLY count his part of the income from it.

2) He doesn’t have to worry about reporting his income. Why? Because they will NOT back charge him. He only owes what he already owes until its changed through court. Once he’s served(most people try to dodge it) and shows up for court. Then he reports his income and only then does he start owing that amount.

3) Overtime shouldn’t count because it’s “unreliable income”. Heard a judge say that exact thing during my husbands child support hearing.

4) He’s paying way too much and he should take her to court to lower it. Goodluck and hang in there!!!


146 Lena April 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Your task is challenging. And its a never ending battle. There is no doubt that you support your husband and are intent on maintaining the welfare of your step children. But I’m in the same situation as you with my husband. The only difference is that my husband owed back child support due to his business going under but he failed to disclose this important information to me prior to marriage. Nonetheless, I married all of him when I said, “I do”. It is difficult when it seems that you work so hard to meet your own living standards and then the custodial parent decides to go to court to increase the payment. And now you are back where you started. In my situation, my husbands ex chooses not to work (her kids are school age and high school) for whatever reason. I have paid thousands thus far and am sure because of how she chooses not to work, I will pay more as my husband works a side job while he rebuilds his business.
I don’t believe divorce ends parental responsibility. I believe both biological parents are responsible for the welfare of the child. And I’m aware that there are deadbeat fathers and deadbeat mothers out there that need a strong hand. But what about the good men and women who have been diligent in paying but run into financial misfortune, that get dragged through the mud (courts) despite their past good record. Yes, you can go to court and modify your payments but what if those payments are even a struggle? But I would like to know why are these women and men who have full custody of a child allowed to not contribute financially (have a job) to their child’s welfare? Don’t get me wrong, it takes more then money to raise a child but in my husband case, his ex wife fought my husband in court to have custody of the kids, yet, she chooses not to work (she went to college and worked. But decided not to work once she and my husband divorced). If I had my way, we would have custody of the kids and refuse any financial support from her. She could see them whenever she wishes. I know, wishful thinking. Lol.
But I will say that I agree with most. Budget with only your income, don’t consider his. This is what I’ve done since day one. It may exhaust your funds but its comforting in the end to know that there is stable income to pay for your own needs. Whatever extra he may have, should be saved in an IRA or 401k, however little that may be. Fortunately, I have a pension that was established prior to my marriage) and, I was able to save quite a lot prior to marriage (I stopped contributing to this account once we married and it remains a part of my assets only, per my lawyers advice). And I suggest you retain the services of an aggressive family court lawyer who will keep yours and your step children’s best interest in mind. Lastly, if you want to have a child, don’t let this keep you from doing so. The last thing you want is to regret not recognizing your needs and wants. Most likely, having a child might be even more of a blessing then you think.


147 Shannon April 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm

My husband and I are in the same boat. We have been married for almost teo years. He was not working for about a year. That means yoou have to pay back child support boo! My husband is paying on two kids and one is 16 and he never gets to see because of the wife. It really sucks we still have to pay on him. He said if he does’t the mom will tell him he didn’t want him. It is screwed up all the way around. I hope when he turns 18 and his sister tells him everything that happened he can choose to see his dad if he wants. All we can do I guess is keep paying and its all about karma baby. What goes aroound comes around.


148 Derek May 4, 2012 at 11:17 am

Ok just to throw another story in the mix and see some thoughts on it here we go:

I have 2 kids by 2 different mothers both of which I separated from them for reasons I would feel most people would separate for. I lived in a tri-state area. 2 kids 2 different states. Neither state recognizes the other for child support. I am happily married now with a 3rd child. When ex 2 heard I was getting married she jumped on child support and stopped letting me see my child. The first child the court left it up to her if I could see my child or not. Keep in mind I was involved with my 2nd child. The first I found out about her later on in life. There has never been any abuse or anything reported or anything against me in my life. I’m a normal guy who works hard and wants a family. I work for more than minimum wage which i’m pointing out because i’ll let you know how little I make now later in this post. When ex 2 went for child support she had been to my house a billion times.I have pictures to prove this by the way but for some reason my court date and papers on this whole matter ended up at a random place in my state signed for by a random person.So I missed my court date. I got hit with 10,000 in backed child support from day 1. They did not recognize my other child. I had proof of my other child I had proof of me being with her and paying bills and buying things for the child and being the only income in the house and still pretty much was though she still lived with her parents. I didn’t get to voice any of this so I filed to appeal to tell my side of the story to maybe get this lowered. I was shot down for the appeal. I had no rights to my child to see them and was paying a lot of money. I went back to court finally after filing for 2 years for rights to see my child. It took another year to set any visitation up. By this time my child doesn’t really remember me. My ex even on court appointed visits doesn’t even bring my child anymore (which i drive 3 hours to see my child ) she sends texts stating she won’t be there because she believes its hurting my child to see me. I’m the father. I have scheduled calls and have yet to talk to my daughter 1 time. The lawyer was friends with my ex’s brother which at one time was a lawyer but can no longer practice law. I now with child support bring in less than $500 a month. my rent is $595. I get food from churches and whatever else to feed my wife and child. Child support laws were put into effect in a time when men could support a whole household and housewives were everywhere. Its a new time these laws should be changed. Do I have a problem with paying to take care of my child? no. I do have a problem paying for everything for both kids and myself and my wife and my other child???? yes. Neither parent has a job or is willing. The law states after the kid is in kindergarden the father is attributed 50% of the support the other parent is supposed to get a job and do 50% as well… well again denied for this as well. The judge whos name is actually signed and stamped all over the order said his/her name is not on the order. They will do nothing i’m in limbo… anyone have any ideas of how i’m going to live?


149 Derek May 4, 2012 at 11:22 am

and to add more I lost a house, and several jobs because my paycheck came back 0.00 after 1 state was double dipping also that same state took all of the support so more support for state 2 and never gives them my tax returns. which they are supposed to alternate…I can’t afford to go to a dr and get the medication i need for panic attacks as well so i just live with those as well. just thinking about this destroys my world every single day. The thought that some have it worse than me makes me get up in the mornings.


150 MRSobONE May 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

My husband has been faithfully paying his child support for the past 15 years. Our last payment is June 2012. I have always supported the fact that he had to pay child support. What didn’t seem fair was that the girls were with us from Thursday to Sunday – every week, we paid for many lunches, haircuts (because she wouldn’t) child care, school clothing and much more. We lived in an old run down appartment while she had new vehicles, snowmobiles, camper and a great big house. She hardly gave the girls any money nor did she put any away. We couldn’t put anything away for them because she was getting a big chunk of change. She took us to court many times and got more and more…but it wasn’t for the kids, it was so she could spend more on herself! IN SOME CASES, it should be written in the divorce decree that the mother needs to put some money aside for the kids – provided she can of course! Not all circumstances are like the one I’ve described. My two cents worth!!!


151 ARG May 13, 2012 at 12:06 am

I understand that child support is needed, but regardless if you have children or not you still are responsible to pay rent, utilities bills, car payment (if you choose to have one)..and so on. My husband has 2 children from a previous relationship and we have 3 together. She is now receiving more than half of his take home pay. The only way the courts will deviate from the guidelines is if he is paying child support for our 3 children. What is the difference if he is married supporting the kids or divorced and paying child support? Does this mean we should get a divorce and he pay me child support?? Mean while his ex has had two more children with her boyfriend, she hasn’t had to work for the last 7 years, and receives food stamps…oh and did I mention she drives around in a 2008 Chevy Tahoe with rims and she also has a 2005 chevy Tahoe. Whenever we see the kids their clothes are stained and old and they don’t look well kept, but their mother always has her hair and nails done and wears the lastest fashion. My husband has never missed a child support payment and is now being treated like a dead beat dad. My husband and his ex made an agreement on the amount of child support he would pay while in court, but a month later she went back to court and lied stating that my husband’s failure to comply (which was untrue b/c the support taken out automatically from his paycheck) was willful and now he is paying $2000 a month for child support for 2 kids, which is making it impossible for us to pay the necessary bills. I am hitting so many dead ends and am so frustrated with the system. Why work when you can’t support yourself. We have put in for an objection, but it’s been almost 60 days and haven’t heard anything. We are in the process of filing a petition for modification, but in the mean time we are falling behind in bills. Not sure what else to do.


152 lol May 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm

It all comes around. It is kind of funny, all the damage boys do to females, in the end the female can do as much damage back. If not more. HUGE lesson not to be selfish people. It is easier to live alone with a pet nowadays, it is extreme work to stay in a committed relationship. uuuuuug. I don’t want to get married. or have kids. All these stories are pathetic!


153 debygirl May 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Try having your husband earn a commission income and his CS only being based on his highest quarter of the year not the entire year. So on an average he pays 45% of his net income in CS for 1 child. This doesn’t seem ridiculous, right. Well he has 2 children living in our home with us that they don’t account for because there’s no CS order for them. Can we get a CS order for them in order to have the other order reduced to take the 2 children in the home in account. No, because they live with both parents is what we’re told. Apparently, the 1 child not in the home is more important than the 2 children in the home. FYI just venting here the whole system is messed up.


154 Kollette July 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I’m also on each side here, but mainly at the moment I’m afraid. I have four children, all of them I had very young (20 when the youngest was born). Yes I made mistakes, but all of that is over now and the children are here, so please no “you should have thought of that….” stuff. Situation…The children have 3 different dads. The oldest one’s (16) father has paid a grand total of $700 since he’s been born. The second one’s (15) father paid a total of $200 until he was 5, at which time he took me to court and won custody (we now have joint, with him being primary) My other two, 11 & 13, belong to my husband of 14 1/2 years. Unfortunately, all of the baby making I was doing kept me at home with kids and not in school due to child are expenses. My husband has no formal education including diploma or GED. He is now working 79 hours a week just to pay bills and buy groceries. My son’s father never asked for support, so when my son came to live with me for 3 years, I did not either, I just continued to struggle and do without for them. But then my son wanted to move back to his father’s, which is cool as I felt he was old enough to decide. He then stopped calling me, stopped answering his phone, and would not return my calls. I received NO call on mother’s day even! Then two weeks after mothers day he called and asked to meet with me. I was so excited, then I found out he only wanted to meet with me so that he could ask for me to pay for half of basketball camp. I told him I would do my best, but deep down knew there was no way I could come up with it. Then I get no more phone calls and a child support petition.

Now to why this scares me…I currently work only 4 hours a day because I am in school full time for a dual medical degree. But also, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis back in 2008 and have since had a severe relapse causing severe fatigue and heat sensitivity. This in itself limits the jobs that I can work. Then taking into account my cognitive difficulties, I am having a very hard time in school, and was going to leave work so that I could focus completely on school. I need a very high GPA for employers to consider me even with my limitations, and I WILL fail courses if I have to work too. That happened to me last semester and I have to take my classes from that semester over again. I have no fatigue in the mornings, but it’s extremely rare to get an employer to “give” you morning shift and the only way I can get a good private practice job is if I can get to the top of my class.

I will struggle through this, but I already have to take my children to goodwill for school clothes. My son’s father makes about 3,200 AFTER TAX, I make 720 a month before taxes. Paying an extra $100 a month will most certainly make my other children go without a few meals. His father has 3 brand new vehicles, one they just bought my 15 year old who won’t even be 16 until next year. They bought him a brand new ipod4, $700 worth of brand new school clothes. They go to the local amusement park every month, to the beach every other weekend, and have been on 3 cruises just this year. I have to write bad checks just to get gas for the children’s doctor appointments.

My daughter was just diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and I have to take her 3 hours away to the only pediatric specialist in the area. My left recently because of all the financial stress we were under and now he pays the vehicle payment and $200 a month in child support, but that is it. We have nothing, less than nothing, and it will not get any better if I can’t graduate because my field has no open positions to anyone that was mediocre in classes. I tried for disability, but even a disability lawyer told me that I have no hope of winning if I was not in a wheelchair. But, to be honest, I don’t want to be disabled, I WANT to work, it just really can’t be after about 7pm because after a long day the fatigue and cognitive issues take over and I’m completely drained. I think I can work a full 8 hours, but what if I can’t? Then what?

Please forgive me, but I have no sympathy for my son or his father because I guarantee he is not going without, but the rest of them are and it hurts my soul to see it. I am trying to give them that kind of life, but crap keeps knocking us back down, and the government has no sympathy for the working class. My son even told me that he is working for his dad’s friend and making $10 an hour, so my brat makes more money than me!! I could put my 16 year old to work, but I want him to take advantage of education unlike me, so that he will not have to live this way.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind paying it. I never have, I’d he asked for anything for my son, he always got it, but he ne’er asked for anything that wasn’t needed like basketball camp. We have eaten Lima beans and cornbread for three nights in a row because there is nothing else, or no money for anything else. While I see on his Facebook that they all go out to Applebee’s “at least once a week for family time”. I have no faith in a family court system that will take from the 3 children that live with me and give to the one living with his father. These kids see me struggling and say there is no hope for their future, and honestly I am inclined to agree at this point.


155 Tracy July 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Its easy to form an opinion but at the end of the day it all comes back to communication between the 2 exes. You say your husband cannot be in the same room with the ex-wife yet they both moved on!! There is the problem, if they both put these kids first and settle the matter amicably for the benefit of the kids, you would have a better work out. But if he dished out jerk that’s what he will get back. However, if he treats the ex-wife with respect I know she will work around the numbers and cut him some slack. If he is feigning responsibility and turning the ex-wife to be the demon, she will return the favor the best way available to her. As for you new wifey, this could easily be you in her place where you fight for your kids rights to all they can get. So move forward with caution coz this kind of guy just might do the same to you. Be nice to the ex and she will compromise. Until you have kids, focus on your own home and work with what you have left. In the meantime caution your husband to be a man and sit down with the ex-wife to resolve these matters as a family. In fact courts appreciate when parents can work out these issues without the hand of the law. Its simple but idiots try to make it so hard


156 Teapot156 October 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Theres a lot of crappy advice on here.

The truth of the matter is that your situation is unfair. When you pay child support it would be silly to think that all your money is going towards supporting the children. The contrasting differences between income and lifestyles is obvious and theres no real way to justify paying that much support. Kids don’t have to have every thing in the world anyways. You either accept it as the normality of life or you get a new lawyer and or fight it.

Both aren’t easy solutions, but they’re solutions.


157 Broke Dad October 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Any advice for me?

I am paying 50% of my net income in support with 10% additional in arrears. Approx. 1700 a month! I have a good job, so does she. I cannot afford this amount and keep my life together. My rent, car ins and car payment are more than what I take home per month. I cannot afford these three bills, and that does not even include my internet service, cell phone, power, food, or gas.

I am a manager and I need internet and cell phone for work, not an option there. I also travel a great deal for work, cannot really downgrade my vehicle.

As well I have a new child that is 5 mos. old now that is not from the ex wife.

Exwife has changed the childcare to new places that are cheaper too.

I have an attorney still, but he never seems to get me any results. Issue is that I have already paid him thousands and don’t want to start with another attorney and pay again….

What should I do, what are my options?


158 Rachael November 9, 2012 at 10:14 am

If you and your husband decide to have a child you can have his child support order modified to allow you money to care for you own child. I have 3 children with my exhusband and 1 with my current husband and my portion of the income shares takes my youngest child into consideration..


159 jess November 17, 2012 at 10:40 am

I live in Texas and they are not suppose to take the new wife’s income into consideration. That’s her income not his.
I’m a custodial Mother and my ex is to pay 20% of his income towards child support. I have a friend that married a man who has 2 kids from a previous marriage and she feels like most new wives do.. she loves the kids but it upsets her that her new families finances aren’t what they could be because the ex is getting a portion of his income. My friend actually has his kids on her insurance because it’s cheaper for them that way. It’s definitely a tough spot to be in I’m sure.
My only advice would be to not get involved or married to a man with kids with someone else. It’s really the only way to make sure your income isn’t effected and you don’t have to worry about how you can’t afford to have your own children because your ex has to give part of his income to his ex. My friend is struggling with the same problem.. she wants kids but doesn’t see how she can afford it. She’s already working 2 jobs trying to make up for the loss of his income that goes to child support. I feel bad for her, but that’s just the way it goes when you get married to or in a relationship with a man who has kids with someone else. Not much you can do about it I’m afraid.

LIke Rachael said, if you do go ahead and have a child of your own with this man, yes you can get the child support reduced, but it won’t be that much. The ex will still get a good chunk of his income and if you’re lucky he’ll get to keep $75-150 of his money each month to raise your own child. So might not really be worth it as it will still be a struggle as the first mom to the mans children always gets the most child support. Even in the event y’all have a child and if things don’t work out, you’ll only get a fraction of the child support that Mom #1 gets for her children.


160 Jackie November 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I’ve just recently gotten raped by the courts for CS, too. I will tell you this. I cannot afford to live. Period. The courts do not care. Period. Get a second job? Can’t. The ex can then take me to court and raise support. Can’t get a second job on the books. Period. Cost of living raise? Don’t want it bc the ex will take it. The system makes you want to be a deadbeat. The system makes it impossible to retain the same standard of living for the children from one house to the other. At my ex’s, they get everything. At mine, I can barely afford to feed them. My car is probably going to be repossesed. There will be no Xmas for my children. I make too much to qualify for any assistance. In short, I’m screwed. Best advice I can give. DO NOT GET MARRIED AND DO NOT HAVE KIDS. I love my kids, but life would be much easier without them. And, by the way, child support does not go to the kids in the majority of cases. It funds the social lives of the ex. Take off the rose colored glasses people…child support is alimony. My ex is remarried and living off his new wife. Her income is not considered. He has no expenses. The state doesn’t care. Period. The system is unjust as hell. I get why people run to other states and leave their kids behind to avoid paying. I get why people take under the table jobs and thus hide income. The state doesn’t care, the ex doesn’t care. Money is a motivator. Money is a controlling factor. Money makes you hate and resent and therefore makes it harder for the two of you to get along. And again,NO ONE CARES that you can’t afford it. I would run if I could…if I could leave my kids, I would. But I cannot bear to do that, so I will probably be homeless in a few weeks but at least HE WILL GET HIS DAMN MONEY. And the system is not gender-biased either, only income biased.


161 Nicholas December 25, 2012 at 9:12 am

I would really like to meet a father that while married used 60% of his income on his child or children. Alimony is also absolutely ridiculous 80% of the time, I’d loooooove to see a wife set her husband up with a “certain type of lifestyle” and then have to keep him living it after divorce HA!


162 Amber January 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm

My husband has 3 kids with his ex wife, mind you we are military, up until recently we shared 50/50 custody with his ex, week on week off. He pays his ex $2150 a month with this arrangement. She has been unemployed for 3 years and recently she has moved to the east coast with her new husband. We still have to pay his ex $1200 a month, while his children are with us 100%. Tell me California isn’t jacked up. Where do they come up with these #’s? Who receives child support when they have no kids with them?.


163 simplesquid January 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I am a single mother who receivers child support, 1100, from a military dad, he has to pay 72% of my daughter’s expenses. He has an exwife and recently remarried, and is expecting a new baby in Feb, he took me to court to reduce his obligation, and the court reviewed my documents and his and ADDED an increase to his support, lol. He makes about 100k a yr, so it’s nothing to him but it does hellp me cope when I think of it, took me to court 3x and all three times they found in my favor, so careful what you might ask for. I am employed but don’t make as much as he does and when I file my taxes I do add the child support in there. So he gets some benefit and I claim my child but they dont’ tax him on the CS, they tax me which is fine with me, I don’t care really, the money goes to my daughter. I pay all the expenses for my child out of my own salary and have the CS going in to an investment account for which my daughter is the sole heir and the only one that can take money out, we can all put money into it, but only she can take money out and I also use a portion of it for her college fund, so if the ex-wife really is thinking about making life better for her children, she might want to do something like what I am doing for my child.
My child’s father used to hate me and complained that I was wasting the CS on myself and when I showed him what I was doing with CS he got mad and said it was for spending on my daughter and for her to enjoy but it’s also for me to take care of her, granted I dont need it so I use it sole for her benefit and our daughter will thank mom and dad for a free ride to college and financial freedom at 25, and my ex? he can blow kisses out the window for all I care and his wife, she can blow kisses out the window too, she blames me for all his financial issues, when it was the first wife who put him in financial hardship, took half of everything including, two houses, cars, vacation home, retirement pay, savings etc. I only get child support and its only a fraction, so you all new wives need to chill out. My husband doesnt care one iota as long as her daddy spends time with her, he doesnt care about the money.


164 Wantingtodie January 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Being a father of 2 kids, the xwife wanted to live with her parents forever and not move away, so I divorced her as that was no condition for kids to be living. Make a long story short, 60%+ of my paycheck is gone, anytime she thinks she needs money she cries to child support and they tack it onto me, deducting more from my paychecks without my knowledge.

I don’t even get to be responsible and make the payments myself, they just garnish what ever the hell they want out of my paycheck.

In the 2 years since that I divorced her, she has gotten a new car, new place to live, new top of the line cell phone, Put a pool in the backyard, purchased tablets for her parents, gets the bonus’s from taxes for the kids, but I can’t see the kids unless She approves it, and when she think’s It’s ok…. The only reason for our divorce was she was acting like a child, not wanting to leave the nest, now I’m stuck without my kids getting to see me, i’m lucky if i get to talk on the phone, any gift I get the kids, they never talk about it’s like they never got them, or they never get put together, always get put off, and I pay for all this… Only time I hear from her is OH this came up and I need MORE money but i’m not a gold digger.

The only way out it seems is 160mph into a brick wall.

I can’t afford anything, got a beater car, live with my parents, school loans I just can’t pay so they have garnished wages as well, because I have no money, but she makes twice what I do.

I can really see why people snap and do crazy shit.

I love my kids and want their life to be the best it can, but what about my life? What about her just pissing the kids money away?

Courts don’t care, they just up the % I have to pay anytime I try to re adjust, I got laid off for 3 months, and they wanted me to pull money from where the sun don’t shine to pay her or they threatened to sue me and put me in jail, ya that will get you the money you want, put me in jail.

I would love to see my child support payments accounted for by receipts, i’m sure she is buying everything HER heart desires, which is not a needed for the kids.

I still can’t wait for the day I get to sit down with my kids and let them read what their mother says and let them see what she did as to why their dad is not around.

I took her to court for child visitation rights, which now accounts for me to take a required drug test before I see my kids? wtf is this shit? Being dead would be so much peaceful.


165 janeT January 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Here’s one for you all…
My husband has a daughter and a son. Daughter is soon to be 16 and son is 20. 20 year old was 18 at time of divorce and wasn’t considered in CS. We pay 1200/month for daughter. I married him this past April and have a settlement from my ex in the bank. We recently purchased a home. I used part of my settlement as a downpayment, the rest is mortgaged.
Very little communication with his ex and both kids live with her and unfortunately very little communication with them as well.
Went to court last fall to clarify alot of the double talk in the decree. Some things were ironed out others not so much. Decided to revisit in 6 months. Within this time like I said we purchased a home together. It was either purchase one or rent one.. monthly payment is pretty much the same. I am currently seeking employment and hope to soon find something. We will be making our bills … but it will be tight until I find a job. We won’t be living lavishly that’s for sure. I have some of my settlement left over and will be purchasing a few pieces of furniture so we have something in the house we just bought. lol Neither of us has much of anything.
My concern is what his ex reaction will be in court this spring when she learns we purchased a home. As I said it was purchased using my settlement for downpayment etc. Not a cent of his income has been touched and won’t be touched except for mortgage payments and bills which we had anyhow, with rent/utilities.
Is there anything she can do or say about this? As I said I’m worried because she will think we are living luxuriously due to us BUYING a home when in reality it was a foreclosure and a steal basically and again we used my settlement from my divorce, when in reality we will be living paycheck to paycheck until I find a job.


166 Don't get Married January 14, 2013 at 8:21 am

Hi Everyone! I am too in a similar situation, partner has 3 kids from two moms and we have a daughter together, the financials stress caused us to separate because my daughter was not taken into account in his child support orders so he could not help me, we had to separate and put a child support order just so he would be able to help me support his daughter (his idea) we then got back together and are not suppose to, we would like to get married but can’t since the support he provides is vital. The irony here is that CS is suppose to be in the best interest of the children, it would be in the best interest of my daughter to live with both of her parents, but because she would not get accounted for if her parents are happily married her parents need to be separated so that daddy can help support her too, this I think is very unfair, why should a child in a family be treated differently, they too have the same needs as the other children. So we are simply not getting married, not “officially” living together, and I am planning on buying a house/condo since rent would be the same, he definitely can’t be on the loan either, if something happens to him (god forbid) I would not have to pay CS, but the mothers can come after his estate.


167 skyye35 January 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

My story is just alittle different from all these. I am a single male raising someone else’s child. I was in a relationship (gay) and my partner past away. We took in his sister’s child when she was born. When he past away, I made the decission to raise her on my own. Things changed when I lost my job and had to resort to welfare. That’s when welfare decieded to go after the mother. Now things are bad between the mother and myself. She is very angry with me by taking money from her. I feel that if I am raising her child, which she never wanted, she should help pay for expenses. I am now employed, but I am not stopping any of the support!! She needs to take responsibility like everyone else that has children.


168 been screwed January 18, 2013 at 8:29 am

I disagree you took on a child and all responsibilities just because governments make it possible for you to bleed money of someone else doesnt make it right .By your money for nothing attitude parents who adopt should be able to seek child support . And that also makes sperm donors liable .You want the child and somebody else to pay you for the privilege .


169 Jennifer Clanton February 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Wow that is a horrible situation! Your post was from 2011, so I hope it’s been resolved by now. You need to make a motion to modify child support. If it’s affecting your life and putting you in a crisis you can get the amount you pay per month lowered. I’m actually going through a situation like this right now. My baby daddy went to court without me knowing about it because the court didn’t have an updated address for me, so I never showed up and he suspended my visitation, received full custody, and sued me for child support. I haven’t gotten to see my daughter for about two years now, and the last time he got money out of my paycheck last year I lost my apartment, got put in debt, and lost my job, and my car was supposed to be paid off last year and March, but he kept getting my money I was going to make a car payment with. It’s been so hard to pick up on my feet because I can’t get any free legal help, and attorneys are so expensive, and I haven’t even been able to start building a savings. I just now started getting back on my feet because of my bf. I know how you feel and I just hope you’ve gotten out of that mess, but if you’re not then you need to file a motion to modify child support, and if you can’t afford an attorney yet you will need to find the paperwork to file yourself online or you can get the paperwork to file from the court clerk if you know exactly what it is. Please let me know your results!


170 kenny March 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

can i take my wifes x husband to court for the right to claim her daughter as a dependant on my tax return? he pays 45 dollars a week child support and makes more money then me a year, and i spend alot more money on her throughout the year..


171 Pixie March 15, 2013 at 11:23 am

I was living a certain lifestyle prior to the recession. However, as for many people, the recession left me in a situation where that lifestyle had to be altered. I don’t see the U.S.Government designating anyone to allocate funds to me just because i was accustomed to a certain lifestyle prior to the fall. Why is it assumed that a parent who has been unemployed or a homemaker and “accustomed” to the luxury of being part of a team where the other half takes on the responsibility of being the primary breadwinner, is afforded the assumption that they should be allowed to maintain this lifestyle when a downturn of the relationship occurs? I am sorry, but as a single parent, I have to be the homemaker and the breadwinner. Both are hard work. I think there is strength in independence; the ability to adapt to ones’ situation and troubleshoot (ie get a job and support yourself rather than depending on taking a portion of your ex’s income) is an incredible lesson about personal responsibility, accountability and strength that one can teach ones’ children. The lack of personal accountability that is becoming more and more prevalent in the US astounds me and totally depresses me. Getting married and having children are huge decisions and there are never any guarantees about how it is going to play out. We should be prepared for the possibility that we might end up having to carry on the entire weight of the responsibility alone and realize that lifestyle changes will be part of that responsibility. I realize that people always take issues too far–to the extreme–people abuse the system at both ends. But good lord people! People having to move to a trailer park to make alimony/childcare payments while the other stays unemployed or minimally employed and receives monthly handouts? When did we stop being responsible for ourselves?


172 ExperiencedInChildSupport March 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I realize this is an old blog, but I found it while searching for help with additional expenses besides child support. I have a great deal of experience in matters of child support and have been dealing with my husband’s ex and children for 7 years now. Child Support for him changes every few months, because his ex is never happy with the amount, and finds loopholes and ways to get more. Mistakes have been made and in total, my husband has paid $15,000 IN EXCESS in CS than he should have over the past 6 years. He can’t get that back, even though these were mistakes made by the court, fraudulent expenses submitted by the ex wife, etc. If you don’t “settle” or allow the Judge to rule, then you go to a mini trial, and that costs approx $20k. My husband’s ex has no attorney and is “pro se”, and my husband has had (6) attorneys over the years. None of them have made it past ONE motion due to his ex wife and all her craziness. She is a sociopath who only cares about money and hurting my husband. She continually abuses him financially, but has committed the worst offense – Parental Alienation. She has made both my husband and the children suffer deeply over the years. One child disowned him, and the other has been so severely brainwashed, that they are in weekly therapy together. My advice is this: don’t EVER rely on your attorney. They do not really do what is best for you and they care about other things like, how well they settle a motion, how they look in front of the judge, etc. My husband’s attorneys will make him pay an initial retainer of let’s say $2,000, which is a great hardship for us, but then once they get a taste of his ex wife and her antics, they double, sometimes triple the payment to $6,000. My advice to all of you is this: ALWAYS do your own research and never settle for somethign that doesn’t feel right – don’t trust your attorney to do the right thing. They have different motives for doing things and I have seen it all!! You are ALWAYS allowed to ask for proof of things, so make sure you ask for proof for expenses. We deal with an ex who submits fraudulent expenses and gets away with it. My husband once paid the kid’s medical insurance for months, only to find out, they didn’t have any and this $700 a month credit was going right into her pocket. Finally now after 7 years, child support has been adjusted to a somewhat “fair” amount, which is about 40% of my husband’s net pay. I did not think this was fair years ago, but he was up to nearly 55% of his pay going to the children at one point. The problem is, the ex isn’t happy with this, and she keeps finding reasons to get more and more money. She will “spend” just to screw my husband and has a real sickness. We realized that there was no way she could afford all these expenses either, and this is when we caught her committing fraud. She also has a second job with additional income, but has refused to disclose it, and no Judge has ever pressured her to do this! It is amazing what I see people get away with in court and the trick is what my husband ex’s does: she brings up SO many issues and problems that the Judge becomes confused and frustrated, and barely listens to the important details. In the end, all they care about is the kids, so fair or not, he rules in favor of those kids. There are many vindictive ex wives out there that do this very thing and get away with it. My husband’s ex hated me from day one, I don’t know why, I am actually older than she is! She made sure to tell the kids all sorts of lies about me so they hate me too. It is not fair for the fathers out there and how they get raked over the coals for money and when an ex holds back the children from him. My husband didn’t see his children for over a year because his ex claimed he was a drug addict and alcoholic, and the burden was on my husband to prove otherwise. His ex even manipulated their daughter’s therapist into believing this lie, and the Judge temporarily took away his priviledges to see his children until the therapist could “work” things through. Now my husband is working with a therapist who has totally made a 360 turnaround, but alittle too late. His daughter is already alienated and it has taken a year to get back on track – and they are still only at one visit a week. This is still not right, but he has to go slow because the therapist thinks this is best. The ex wife presents my husband with expenses that total just as much as child support each month, so he is actually paying double. In family law, there are no real rules and laws, and it is all up to the discretion of the Judge. I have seen the most bizarre things happen that are so UNFAIR. Each lawyer that my husband retained in the past 6 years, represented him ONCE in court and then either “quit” or told him they would have to charge double to continue to deal with his ex wife. THIS is what she wants! She writes and calls these attorneys incessently, sometimes 10 times per day. She is pro se, so they have to answer her just like they would an attorney, if she had one. She thinks she can get away with murder, and does! My husband just lost his latest attorney who went from charging him $2,000 for a motion, to $5,000 for the next motion. After child support, my husband makes $40,000 a year – not alot. He cannot afford an apartment, vehicle, any expense above and beyond food and commuting to his job. His ex makes the same salary as my husband, plus gets his $2,000 a month in CS, another $1,000 from social security (death benefit). She has a side business that no Judge has ever made her disclose, but my husband knows she makes between $5-$10k per month. She nickels and dimes him for $10 items, making him pay half, $5. She sends him an invoice every month, where she spends thousands on medical bills for a 13-year old and a 19-year old. These aren’t babies that need constant check ups. She spends excessively as a way to hurt my husband and vowed years ago that he would have “no life” if he left her. Those who haven’t seen it with their own eyes will say, why would she screw herself like that, but she DOES because she is a sociopath who would rather HURT my husband and be vindictive. The worst part of it all is that she is a pathological liar and thief, and she will lie about anything,under oath, and has NO fear. It is important to mention that she has been in jail for embezzlement and fired numerous times for stealing at various employers. Wehn we tell the Judge these things, he doesn’t care! She explains it as if it was a “bad” time in her life, and viola, no repercussions. If it was the other way around, and my husband was in jail and lying under oath, he would be in jail right now! She alienated the children and abuses him financially. NO lawyer has been able to get a Judge to see this or sort the lies from truth. She confuses the Judge and everyone in the courtroom to the point where the Judge just wants the case over, so knows nothing more than to do what is in the best interest of the children. She is the most manipulative person I have ever known. Does anyone know what expenses are considered “frivilous and unnecessary” for children? When I went through my own divorce, we went to economic mediation and were told that contact lenses, cable TV, cell phones, vacations, and even our pets were considered “unnecessary” expenses. The economic mediators told us if we couldn’t afford our divorced lifestyle, we needed to get rid of these items above. How do you tell your children “Dad and I are getting divorced” and then say, “and we cannot afford our dog and cat, so they have to go”. My husband voluntarily decided years ago to contribute an additional $25 per week for his children’s extra activities, just so the ex would leave him alone about money. She harrasses him DAILY, sometimes numerous times a day, via email, text, and phone demanding exhorbitant amounts of money. She does not include him in ANY decisions regarding the children, and she is allowed to spend whatever she pleases and then demand he pay half. The bottom line is: do your homework and don’t rely on anyone to do it for you. Research everything, ask tons of questions, and realize you are entitled to PROOF for expenses, and any information you want about your children. Don’t ever let an ex spouse hold back any information from you. Always demand to be involved in the decision process, where your opinion counts. Get an invoice, proof of her payment, insurance company EOBs for medical, and call directly and verify these expenses. I have seen everything from his ex “whiting out” an invoice to change dates/amounts, to providing false invoices that don’t exist that she typed up herself. Your lawyer and the Judge will NOT be fair and the only way you may get close to ‘fair’, is by protecting yourself. I came on here to look for a list of expenses that would be considered “unnecessary”, does anyone have access to something like this? Thanks and good luck to everyone here… some of you are rather harsh and judgemental and obviously have NO clue of the flaws in our justice system that cause severe unfairness to fathers. I sympathize with all father’s out there who voluntarily pay child support and support their children….the Michael Strahan divorce story is good – read it!


173 Tachea March 24, 2013 at 10:36 am

I have a question I have three kids with this man he have not paid child support n 7 years the last was 2006 $58.00 this year he filed tax child support took $2778.00 all of it they told me he owe the state n they have to get there’s first. I have not got no cash from OWF n the last 6 years n 2005 I got $1400.00 off his tax so how the hell he owe this much now I was reading online that if u have more then one case they split the money between the two n my case I have two with the same father, one case he don’t owe the state and one he do so they put all the money on that one and took it all. I ask Chris support how is this helping the kids I’m a great mom and I work hard to take care of them by myself n he dose nothin and child support dose nothin but take from the child how is that helping when they take it all


174 Lisa May 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm

My husband conceived a child during an affair. I didn’t find out about the child and neither did he until 8 years later. When she notified him that it was his child and she wanted child support. He came clean to me once it was determined the child was his. He’s now paying child support to this single woman who has 2 more children by 2 different men.

I didn’t divorce him because we have 3 children and I know it would devastate them (the only reason we’re together). It’s been 3 years since I’ve found out, and now she is requesting more money, receiving $650 a month now. We are trying to make ends meet, and my children are going without.

What can I do? I know he was wrong, and feel it isn’t fair that an adulteress can be rewarded money and more money when she had a child with another woman’s husband.


175 MK June 3, 2013 at 6:22 am

I feel better now that I know I am not the only one who is dealing with a husband’s child support payments. My husband has 2 children with his first wife. We have spent THOUSANDS of dollars in lawyer fees over the past 13 years, and still owe him a couple of hundred yet. My husband pays about $1000 a month in CS along with medical, dental and vision. And yes, the court wanted my income as well to take in consideration when it came to paying child support. I don’t mind that he pays the child support. What I’m having a problem with is that we have 2 children of our own. My husband went through cancer treatments and a job loss. No matter what, domestics wanted that child support. She would receive her complete payment, leaving only $20 in his check for all of us to live on. Most recently, the court took OUR savings account to pay for his arrears. There was no warning and no reason for this action. We received no notice that he was even in arrears. Nothing like waking up to find your savings account GONE! I’m devastated and angry over this because the courts are taking money from my children for his 2 other kids. The money they took was money that I saved from my paycheck for our property taxes. His ex is remarried so she has her husband’s income, her income, half of my husband’s income, and her daughter’s income. I have half of my husband’s income and my income (which is not much). I watched my dad go through this when he left my abusive mother. He struggled to survive until my baby brother turned 18. Now I’m having to do the same thing. My children shouldn’t be punished so that their sisters can live comfortably.


176 d June 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm

This is exactly why I date from other countries that don’t have child support, child support is nothing but legalized fraud.


177 caca June 11, 2013 at 8:30 am

i think the point being missed here is yes, he has a financial obligation to his first family. but when he re-married, he ADDED to his obligations to his NEW family and they do not deserve any less than the first. when HIS baggage of child support is increased, he does what he has to do to take care of his new family, working 2 or 3 jobs if he needs to.


178 Rip September 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm

You missed the point the problem wasn’t supporting his children or paying cs but about the extras he is forced to pay. Just because his ex and her new husband can afford to pay for the best extracurricular doesn’t mean he can. Most people look at the best that they can find for what they can afford.


179 MK June 11, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I have to agree with d. It is legalized fraud. It is a very unfair, outdated system that displays blatant bias. Unfortunately, I do not think there is a way to change it. Fathers are an unspoken for minority within the child support system.Yes, fathers have an obligation to support their children. Not even going to argue that point. But they should not be treated like criminals when they do support them. For those that pay child support, it is like being on probation. Every time a father goes to domestic relations for any reason, he is treated like a criminal regardless of the situation. I have experienced this time and time again. As for the nay sayers, I guarrantee that you have never walked in the shoes of the father or have been on the receiving end of Domestic relations. Someday I hope that your life, or the life of a loved one, is affected by our family court system that way you can experience the pain involved with it. Then you may not be as quick to pass judgement on the fathers that are caught in the tangle of the court systems. It is a true american tradgedy.


180 TB June 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm

My husband has 2 kids from a previous marriage. His ex-wife came from a lot of money, received a huge trust fund and a huge inheritance. She owns two homes (worth about 600K) and has hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank. She has spent about $200K on very expensive private schools for the kids, who are now in 11th and 12th grades. The kids have never gone without–iPhones, Mac laptops, Kindles, iPods, trips to France, etc. She and my husband make about the same income– $55K/year–so clearly she and the kids are not living within the means of her income and child support. Until now, my husband’s child support was based on the amount from during their divorce 12 years ago–which was about $600/month. She has now taken him back to court to get the maximum amount of child support, plus pay for college!! My husband has no savings, no assets, no retirement from paying child support and trying to have a small semblance of a life. I have worked my way through 3 degrees and I have a good job and income to reflect that. I have a child from a previous marriage as well. When we married 3 years ago, I bought a house big enough for all of our children to come and visit and he pays me “rent”. I pay for everything in our household–he can only afford to pay about 15% of our bills. Now that I am in the picture, she is deposing me and all of my financials so that she can prove we have “means” to pay for college. So essentially, he will be court-ordered to pay for college that he cannot afford (on top of child support) based on my income and assets. As I have a child (and I don’t receive child support becuase i never wanted it) I feel that this is hurting me and my child unfairly to favor his children who have literally never suffered for anything in their lives. The fact that she has almost $1M in assets and he has none doesn’t seem to matter to family court. Contrary to some opinions, no, I didn’t sign up for this when I married. I don’t care if he has to pay child support at the maximum level for our state. That’s fine with me. What I’m bitter and resentful about is that I’m expected to provide “means” for college for HIS KIDS while my own goes without. Sorry but family court is a joke.


181 kack January 5, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Why did he not go back and try to lower his support? Was the trust fund not brought up at his orginal hearing? If so then he had a sucky lawyer. It is woman like her that give mothers who go without for their children while their husbands new wives hide all their money!! WHy not try something scummy like Christine on here suggests. Be a total sleaze like her, obviously your husband is not like hers, he puts himself first and of course Christine!! Anyhow, you do not say whether you get child support? If you don’t you should be getting it. Your husband needs a good lawyer, I do not think your income can reflect her support. I am fairly certain it might help a bit, (meaning he has you to pay for much of the bills, but unless you are extremely wealthy, it will not help his ex to go after your money) but overall, your money can not be expected to pay for his kids education. College should have been brought up in his original agreement and if it wasn’t then once again he had a sucky lawyer. If it was brought up, his ex will have to prove what has changed in your husband’s life that would allow for him to pay for that. Marrying you is not change enough (I am fairly certain of that). So she should no have a chance, your ex should prove how she travels and spends money and that he should only be responsible for his fair share. Sorry you have to go through that, this lady sounds horrible, but sadly I do not think she is the norm. I am certain she isnt. Good luck.


182 MK June 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

I wish there was a better way to give fathers a voice in the child support system or to even change support decrees. It is hurting more than it is helping.


183 S M July 19, 2013 at 12:56 am

Me and my ex are still in a battle with child support. We went to court and I had to show bank statements for the last year and taxes from the year prior and pay stubs. I have my son 80% over night stays and he has him 20%. He had his own business and on his financial affidavit he put on there that he makes $300 less than I do and I only make $10 dollars an hour. He says he has all this money and he had two truck, two cars , two trailers and a boat but he can never pay his child support on time. I finally went to an attorney to get him to be able to show proof of his income because im trying to go for an increase in child support to make it half of the cost that will take care of out son so he never had to show anything he just put a number on paper that was less than my income. How am I able to prove what his income is. My attorney said that I would have to go to a accountant in family law but it will cost me 5,000 and I can’t afford that. Is there any other way? I know his income annually is about 75,000 at least!


184 kasandra August 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm

So since the reader posted and said that her income is not considered in her husbands Child support order, there is really only one explanation, because 60% is far above what the percentages are for two kids in any U.S. state. In my opinion the husband owes his ex arears, meaning that he was supposed to pay a certain amount of support for a number of months/years but failed to do so or failed to do so through the department of revenue. I am curious to know if the reader attended all of the court dates with her husband. Most states do not take into account a spouses income and only use half the value of jointly owned property as assets. I really just dont believe there is a judge out there that would order child support in the amount of 60% of his income. I believe his paychecks are being garnished for payment of arears. the only other way this would be happening is if the order is being written by criminal court (modifications to a restraining order or something) which is probably not the case since they have visitation and also because any lawyer would tell you to go straight to family/probate court and it would be significantly less.


185 kack January 5, 2014 at 11:36 pm

I agree. There is more to this than meets the eye. This woman like MANY of the women on here need to stop feeling sorry for themselves. There are children involved, they are adults, they knew this going in. I have no sympathy for anyone on here, Christine is an embarrassment and a disgrace to all fathers and their new wives. No wonder step mothers get the rep of being step monsters, that greedy witch totally fits that bill!!


186 Kat August 28, 2013 at 5:24 am

We live in an age when fathers are punished by the legal system.

Like things that are fashionable to decry at the present time, such as abuse against women or the environment, this punishment will be seen, with hindsight, as grossly unfair by future generations……..

but that does not help all the dads at the moment. They are just all out of luck.


187 outragedandunderpaid September 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I was married for 14 years. I gave my heart and soul to my family. I worked equally with my spouse to provide my family with a beautiful home. I stayed home while our children were young and worked sometimes 2 job to support my spouse and his dreams while he went back to school to earn his masters degree. The deal was, I was going to get my degree once he got settled into his new career. He got in trouble with the law, i put off school to financially carry us through and I worked to pay off the fees for the lawyer to bail him out of trouble and ultimately exponge his record. I got sick and had to stop working for about a year. During that time his career took off due to his education status.He left me and my 2 children with literally the few dollars I had in my pocket. Now I struggle at a minimum wage job to make ends meet. He pays 60% of extra curricular activities and medical after a yearly copay and after school care. What he pays covers for our rent, utilities, the used car and insurance I use to drive them to school and activities and groceries. That’s what he’s would have to pay for if we were still married anyway! He no longer pays for school clothes, play clothes, school supplies, shoes, holidays and a million other things kids need on a daily basis. I don’t know ANY Single mom in my situation thaotsvliving the high life like you all assume your exes wife does. Its a daily struggle where often cable gets turned off so supplies for a science project can be purchased. I’ve asked him for help in really lean times for milk or christmas gifts from santa and he says too bad, i met my obligations.and then takes his new flavor of the week to italy or vegas or disney ( not the kids, just the girlfriend) that may be all good and fine for you now but Consider if you trulay WANT to have more children in this persons life- he could just as easily treat you and your kids like this one day!


188 Thatguy September 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I just read these post and 65% sounds about right since I, too, was paying about that for two kids as well. I make about as much as your husband and yes I was taking home about 1100 a month after everything. I was living like I was getting paid a little less than minimum wage. Bunch of BS but here is how the judge explained the calculation to me. Since I am a single male who is responsible and has a steady full time job and doesn’t have any other financial burdens like school or other kids, I was immediatly set at around 50 percent since i had only every other weekend and one evening during the week for visitation. Granted that each state is different but here in California they base the percentage of visitation on over nights. So really in the courts eyes I was only having 4 over nights per month. So I was ok with the 50 percent since I was living on that before I got my current job and did ok. And by ok I mean living in the ghetto in a small 1 bedroom apartment and driving a 10 year old car with a billion miles on it. But oh well. Then the judge asked for extra expenses that my ex was paying like child care, sports, medical bills, etc. Well here in cali you can expect to pay around 1000 bucks a month for child care in an OK place for two kids so I was set to pay half. Right there it exceeded my two thirds law on the max they can take. Well he didn’t care about that law because up until recently I had around 27 thousand dollars in back support. Well I had to go to court (both criminal and civil/family) to break down all the charges because DCS had a warrant issued for me eventhough I had been giving 2/3 of my check but yet they wanted more. Well after that was cleared up and DCS was never held responsible for “small mistake” I was finally set for max 2/3. Now we realize that our children’s well being is worth more than fighting over money so we came to an agreement where if she reports (with receipts) on actual cost of my boys like daycare, food, sports then I have to pay half and then she has to give me visitation. Kind of like renting my children but hey it works and we don’t fight anymore and cost are way lowere. So I suggest try to get along with the ex and work together and get the government’s fat head out of your children’s life. Take co-parenting classes as much as possible and offer to pay half when you request it from the judge. The judge will be like “what the hell” when your husband goes in there and is like “we need to work on our co-parent relationship so we can no longer rely on the courts and ultimatly the tax payers pockets and I would like to request as many co-parenting class as you can order and I am willing to pay half if she is ok with this”. The judge will then look to her and be thinking “your kids dad wants to work with you to better the relationship with the kids and you so you better say yes”. I will say that the co-parenting I went through made us work together and I started seeing how we were bickering and we started working togther.


189 hollywood September 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm

i have been paying for child support, I bring home 2000.00 by weekly, I paid uncle sam 546.00 biweekly, and then I get 775.00 net after child support by weekly, how can I survive with 1550.00 a month leaving in new York, my rent alone is 1100.00 a month. she does not paid rent because she is married with a superintendent of the building, don’t paid for cable or phone , they even don’t paid the garage, she is always traveling, while I cant even afford a vacation, to just stay home, I don’t have a problem supporting mu kids, they are my responsibility, we have three kids, she does not allowed me to claim not even one child on my taxes. I think they need to change the rules of child support, one year she claims them and the other year I claim them but its not like that, I know what the reader that posted this question is going through,


190 jeez October 12, 2013 at 8:51 am

I can’t believe the pathetic comments on here. Don’t marry men who have kids. Plain and simple. If you do, be prepared for all the trouble that comes along with it. Complaining and blaming the ex does not help at all. As a matter of fact, stop focusing on the ex. She has nothing to do with you. And stop using “we”! The child support obligation is solely your husband’s issue. You did not help make his children.


191 Sabine October 21, 2013 at 5:13 am

Conversely one could reply: Men with kids should stay with the biological moms of their children forever and not get into another relationship.

Most people here are struggling to get by and usually realize the huge mistake of marrying a man with children from a previous relationship only after the financial stress brings them to breaking point. You really can’t blame them, since Disney and “Dad” both promised everything would be okay.

My boyfriend’s baby-mama recently informed him that he would have to pay several thousand for his son’s braces. This decision was taken unilaterally by baby-mama and told boyfriend on the day the child received his braces. So much for prior warning. As a result, my boyfriend can choose to pay for rent or for food but not both. I have gone over his finances thoroughly and I do not really understand how anyone in his position can make ends meet without having a rich wife/mother/father/girlfriend. Meanwhile his married ex is able to go on vacation, have two more children and support a menagerie of animals both in the house and housed in rented facilities. I am not sure how she does this since her husband is not working and her job is not that great. The funny thing is she seems to be a nice person, so I can not even call her nasty names or anything. Ha ha, I actually like her. :) I just hate the situation.

I am not married and I have to admit I am put in the very real and uncomfortable situation of choosing between the man I love and my hopes and dreams which I have striven to achieve alone with much work and study but would forfeit if I married him. This really sucks but it is reality and I am a practical person.

Anyone who say that children are only there for a little while are living in denial. Children are a financial obligation well into their adulthood and any woman waiting until the kids are out of college or until they turn 18 is setting herself up for an unpleasant surprise. If the child is his first priority now and you are second and left to foot the bill you should expect this to be true for your whole relationship until you die nothing will change this. The ex will always be the mother of the first and most important people in his life and you can look forward to you and your family always coming second after his first family.


192 Andre Lenoig October 22, 2013 at 8:26 am

Look people bottom line the child support system is a job maker and a cash cow for states. I’m on child support and I pay $557 a month for one child. My problem with the system is why does it take more to or less to raise my child than the next 9 year old. Why do they combine my income with the mother even though we were never married, and figure out a number for me to pay? Why do they intentionally put you in arrears when garnishing your check and not tell you that your support is due on the first of every month? The messed up thing is that if you pay out of pocket on the first they will still garnish your check anyways. Louisiana Child supports system is designed to put a father in arrears for the first 9 months of the year but they messed up big time. Any one of you fathers that are in arrears may have noticed that they report you to the credit bureau if you are behind on your child support. I have filed a lawsuit against the state of Louisiana under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for reporting me to the credit bureau for arrears but the only reason I have them is because their system is designed to put you there! The good thing is I have a strong case under the Act and I should be receiving a nice hefty sum back……..I SUGGEST SOME OF YOU LOOK A LITTLE DEEPER INTO YOUR SITUATION. Learn to dance in the rain!


193 Yahhh November 4, 2013 at 2:48 am

Man o man! I feel your pain! Supporting another person sitting on there butt and collecting child support while you help your husband live because he can’t make it paying her…story of my life! I married him better or for worse and I will help him any way I can but when I know she is not giving the same amount to the kids and that she feels like we should support her too that is what gets me! No one understands unless your the stepmom taking care of kids 50% of the time, loving them like your own, barely making ends meet basically because you succeeded in your life and had enough pride not to think people owe me instead of working! I am also like you 27, wanting a child of my own, wanting to get off night shift but unable to do so because I have to pay the bills my husband can’t help with and he could get another job but heaven forbid they will just take more money. Maybe in 7 years they will live with us but I guarantee she won’t pay us a damn dime!!! This is the world we live in. The good fathers try to move on and do their best and most exs take all they can while they try! I have faith that God will reward me one day and I know he will for you too!!!


194 kack January 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Sadly not actually having children, you have no clue what it entails to raise them. You say you have them 50% of the time, well then if that were actually the case, then you are not giving her a ton!! She has as much money to raise them as your husband. Actually less, because he has yours as well. If you had any clue about all the little things she probably pays for, that you don’t, then maybe you wouldn’t bitch like you do. You knew this going in, but apparently you must have figured you would have some control over the situation, well guess what, they were there first. THEY should be his number one concern, not YOU or his ex wife. Stop complaining, if you don’t want to pay support, try to get custody now. But something tells me you do not want them, you like your free time. Well that is good, but you have to pay for it. Sorry it is just a fact, one you knew all about when you signed up!!


195 Christine November 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm

My husband had to pay $1,400 in child support each month to his ex wife. It was crippling us. I set up an LLC, and I earn all of my income through it. I work as a marketing associate and earn $61,000 a year. I take a salary of $21,000 a year—which drastically lowers the amount that is counted against us. The “business” pays our mortgage and expenses, and we live on a mere $21,000 plus his part time income. Since the court can’t order him to pay an amount that would put us below the poverty level, his child support amount was lowered to $50 a month. Yes, this is entirely legal. Ask your lawyer and accountant about this. There are ways to get out from under the debt…


196 debra November 13, 2013 at 3:32 am

hello i am faceing this with my husband we been together for 16 yrs and we have 2 kids together and until aug 2013 he was paying $314.00 now the court lowerd it to $225.00 but they never of our 2 kids but they started takeing out july2012 with no dna just a default and to add insult to injury she have 4 other children and getting no childsupport for them but she filed in 2009 and after the cut her off welfare then in july they started the garnishment he made $34454.00 that year i dont know what to do


197 Yana November 10, 2013 at 7:20 pm

That is outstanding, Christine – and that kind of thinking and information is very valuable, not just to protect against the threat of child support payments.


198 Alexa November 13, 2013 at 11:20 am

I think the best thing you can do is have your husband talk to his ex wife.

My situation is a little different. My exhusband and I do shared parenting. My exhusband does make more money than I do but he also has higher bills. He kept the house we lived in and that came with a high mortgage payment. Since I felt like my kids were being ripped into an unknown territory when we divorced I wanted my kids to have the comfort of the house that they had been raised in. I felt like it was the right thing to do.

I want the best thing for my kids. Had I requested child support from the ex I knew he wouldn’t have been able to swing the bills on his own, so I didn’t. I think talking to the exwife like an adult and explaining the situation is the best thing to do.


199 kack January 5, 2014 at 11:11 pm

Sadly, HE should have given YOU the house and paid the mortgage, so the kids could live there all the time. (assuming you kept custody?) It is hard to tell from your post if you have custody or if your ex has custody, if your ex has custody, then you are really in no position to be posting advice like that because of course you would not take child support. If you have custody and did not take child support, then you are a fool. Your husband could see the house because if your kids are not living with him most of the time, you uprooted them anyhow. Your ex chooses the lifestyle he has. If you have a great job and do not need his support, then you really are in no position to be commenting on child support anyhow, you do not know that his ex wife does not need the money? She has the children 95% of the time, there are MANY costs that go along with that.


200 Tom January 15, 2014 at 1:41 am

To crankymommy

I bet your one of those people that would suggest that someone still pay child support for children that are not his..
I.E Paternity Fraud
And not to be harsh completely!
I am glad to hear you are content with your life.


201 K January 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

I’m one of the mothers receiving child support. We do things outside of court and he pays me a little over half of what The court would determine. I did work up until recently when I moved in with my boyfriend and therefore have less bills. I have paid all dental bills myself as well. However to be honest I don’t want to go to court but feel it is necessary because he won’t agree on sharing claiming the kids every other year on tax returns which seems fair especially since my state would determine I get to 100%. He doesn’t pay dental but never brushes their teeth so dental bills are high and says the dentist I chose is too privy but he is good I drive an hour to take them And the kids love him. It is true he is pricy but these aren’t toys and crap these are their teeth and their comfort. He recently got married to a woman that was formerly on welfare with two financially uncared for children. They married after two months and he is now having another baby. There is possible child abuse going on at the wife’s families house and he won’t keep them away from there. I would have been fine not going to court but it is more than necessary and when I get twice as much I’m child support because I had to take him I’m not going to reject it. I’m also planning not to work for two years because I’m in school full time as an honors student and in an active volunteer group. Between classes I volunteer at my sons school because he has problems. I will get the angry card all the way around but why should I feel bad. The kids are with me most the time and they should be because they are safe and cared for properly with me. I wish I had finished school before I had kids but I didn’t and my kids shouldn’t pay for that. There are a lot of single parents in the same situation so I don’t think it should be so harshly spoken about. It’s not as easy in either spot and should be dealt with civilly truly based on need but sometimes it has to go to court which is very sad.


202 NYChick February 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Baloney on the “You knew what you were getting into” and the “She has as much money to raise them as your husband. Actually less, because he has yours as well.”

Did you not read the part about the BM’s new husband earning 3X what biodad earns?

1. I was a true single parent in the eighties with ZERO CS and worked 2-3 jobs to support my children WITHOUT alienating (aka trash talking dad) the children.

2. I did not know that this biodad I am currently with would believe ex-wifey about “owing her his ENTIRE income till eternity” something I put my foot down about six months into the deal

3. In my case, biodad earns 32K a year gross in NYS, yet pays $1K a month non arrears taken out of net income, yet still owes taxes at the end of the day. He is scared crapless about going back to get a downward mod as a significant part of the CS is for childcare expenses which the BM has not used in over five years. She is greedy and will find SOME way to increase it.

4. If it weren’t for my income, biodad would be living in a cardboard box, never mind a trailer. He has ten years down and ten more to go at least (21 not 18 here in good ol’ golden uterus centric NYS)

5. The BM earns 10K+ more than biodad and her new hub earns almost six figures. The children lack for nothing materially; they have iphones, ipads. take many vacays to Florida and the like. Yet all three are failing academically as the BM (who is a CPS worker with Cadillac health benefits and retirement) doesn’t act as a parent but instead BFFs her kids and doesn’t make they do homework, classwork or even attend school, yet insists they participate in all the extra curriculars despite what the school says. All the children are hopped up on ADHD meds and anti depressants in lieu of discipline and social mores.

The laws stink. Custody should be 50/50 with no CS changing hands other than in the case of Parental Alienation. Whichever parent commits Parental Alienation should IMMEDIATELY and PERMANENTLY lose custody and be ordered to pay CS. The modern day stay-in-bed Facebook Mom should be outlawed. And CS should go to 18 not 21+ like it is in many states. Half of college attendees should be replaced with trade school. Not every child is college material although community colleges LOVE the “C.O.D.” (child of divorce) for whom no bar of expectations was ever held due to sheer pity and “everyone gets a trophy.” Seems today’s “institutions of higher learning” are enamoured of the endless payments for remedial grade and high school non-accredited classes from the “cash cow” biodad.


203 Steve Michaels February 26, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Very well said, these current laws are unreal and the amount of money some of use are forced to pay is a stick up plain and simple. I feel better if they would come to my home with a pistol and just rob me, at least I’d have a better understanding as to what’s really going on.


204 alain smithee April 30, 2014 at 3:47 pm

I don’t know about your state, but mine allows a non-custodial parent to petition the court to require an accounting to make sure that the money is actually spent on the children.

I’ve also been trying to get my ex-wife to use a shared checking account like this one ( so that I can make sure that what is labeled as child support is actually spent on the children.

Other questions – is it worth considering moving to where the ex-wife lives so that the parents could share custody, with no exchange of money between the parents, and is the ex-wife willing to allow your husband to claim the kids for taxes because of the percentage of his net income that he pays in ‘child support’?


205 Savanna May 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Alain how do you do that? my husbands ex wife wants money through western union she doesn’t want us to send checks but we want to make sure what we send goes for the kids not on her. What does this account entail i’m curious. It would be nice to know that we aren’t getting screwed over by her.


206 Savanna May 13, 2014 at 7:28 pm

We are in that situations, she lives in the states though. We pay what we can afford, if we paid everything she wanted us too we’d have nothing. We have a son whos 7 months old together but he doesnt take alot of money. She wants Air jordans for her son, new iphone5′s for the kids and were like we dont even have iphone5s why would we get it for the kids? then she will say well because he is in canada and we are in the states he should have to buy them more gifts???> He says if he wouldn’t buy it for him if he were there why would he buy these for them when he’s here in Canada. Kids for 2 do not cost as much as your husband is paying. The thing is that it isn’t about the kids its about her greed she’s going by what they want not what they need. Make an agreement what you can afford and she can take any lessons music, ballet whatever out of that amount. He has to support the kids not go hungry doing it


207 monica May 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

each situation regarding child support differs. In my situation, I am the custodial parent and mother who has financially supported and raised my 2 children on my own. My son is 21 and my daughter is 19. Throughout the entire time that i raised them, I have been unsuccessful in having their dad help financially, and be involved with them period. I was surprised when my children’s father even showed up in court. I was relieved when a court order was issued for the non custodial parent to pay child support for the 19 year old until she turns 21. He didn’t voluntarily support them on his own. He has not been in their lives since my 21 year old was 9 years old. before that the non custodial father didn’t help out financially.

The non custodial parent has missed all of the important moments that occurred in his children’s lives as well as the times my son needed his dad. I have wore the mom and dad hat all along. The non custodial parent who is not active financially and physically in the child’s life has no reason to complain about paying child support. Better, a court shouldn’t have to force a person to pay support. The way I see it. After all the years i have been paying the absent parents’ share, i wouldn’t allow him to dictate what to spend the money on. especially since i have been sacrificing, while paying the non custodial parents, share the entire time. It’s ludicrous to pick and choose what the money is spent on. The custodial parent did not make the kid on her own. The only thing i would recommend however, to the spouse, married to the non custodial parent, who is paying for child support is; deal with accounts separately as opposed to jointly, and don’t add the child support as part of the budget you pay out of your pocket. I would arrange everything separately before marriage knowing that their is a child support issue. This way, you don’t “make a bed that you haven’t slept in”. I have nothing but respect for parents who are there for there children.


208 NYChick June 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm

That is a rarity ESPECIALLY in BM-centric New York State. I too was a single mom in the eighties and held down two to three jobs supporting my children since I received no child support.

Somehow I still managed not to alienate the children from my ex-husband. Oh and my now adult children are productive members of society. More than I can say for the budding felons that the BM in my case is “raising.”

My husband I’m living with now has had his children alienated by the BM, but she sure does love that $1k a month coming in tax free!! She got what she want. His wallet and not him as father.


209 sensible June 5, 2014 at 11:22 am

Everyone is making good points but the fact of the matter is the child support system is not fair. I am a married woman and my husband pays a ridiculous amount of child support. We both work and we also have 2 additional children. What about them? They are suffering because he pays over 2 grand a month in child support. He technically has a good job, but once that comes out and the medical insurance, even with my salary, we barely break even. He is not working the hours he use to either, due to kidney dialysis. The funny thing is we can’t even afford to go to court to try to get a modification because we can’t afford a lawyer and I know we can do it ourselves, but we heard it was better to use a lawyer. I definitely understand that the father is suppose to do his share but why can’t both parents share the responsibility? She is a nurse who works off and on. Ironically, I applied for child support for my oldest child and never received a dime. When I went through the state with a ss number and address, still nothing and now she is in college. I am not defending the deadbeats, but should everyone be punished? Also remember, there are mothers who pay child support as well and I am sure they are probably struggling too. I don’t want to offend anyone because I notice on these blogs when someone come in defense of the non custodial parent, the responses are brutal. But what do you suppose to do if you are a dialysis patient who is trying to do the right thing, but once you receive a paycheck, can’t even afford prescriptions? When the kids do visit on the rare occasion because she refuses to bring them by or have him pick them up, you can’t do anything because there is no money? It’s not easy to go to court if you are going to dialysis 3 times per week. And then you call the state to see if there are any program to help the father and there are none. There should be some balance on both sides.


210 Brian June 18, 2014 at 10:06 am

I’m divorced in 2004 . These child support laws are way out of hand. I work 6 days a week . Made more then the average bear last year. I’m flat broke! I lost my biz , my house , I don’t own a car because fl dept of rev will take it . I have been arrested three times in 10 years because I didnt have money at the time. I live in a bed room at my mother inlaws. As of recently , I have been informed I no longer am allowed to fish. On top of that I have my kids half the summer need to provide for them and pay support. My drivers lic is suspended multiple times a year. I have to drive to work. So if I get into an accident with my kids in the car we are all screwed. Why we do this to loving caring fathers is beyond my own comprehension. Not only that but now my children are in a higher socio economic class and resent their dads imposed poverty which strains our relationship. we need to change Florida laws and criminalize being a father.


211 Brian June 18, 2014 at 10:08 am

Meant to say decriminalize.


212 Tara June 26, 2014 at 10:01 am

I just would like to say I am a Woman AND I COMPLETELY understand a lot of men’s frustration on the matter of child support!! I am a mother of an almost 7 year old and because I didn’t have a “stable living situation” , or a vehicle, or money to afford a lawyer and the father of my daughter DID have all those things I got COMPLETELY screwed in court during our custody battle that got finalized in 2012 ..he won..I lost. My daughter means the WORLD to me but I was only able to work part time jobs and minimum wage jobs and because I have a few domestic violences on my record cuz my daughters dad was always super quick to call the cops on me bit when he did stuff to me I never once called the cops on him..but I have been turned away from A LOT of good jobs cuz of that..he has One domestic violence but I got like 2 or 3..I’m not a horrible person but he ALWAYS knew the right buttons to push me off the edge..anyway back to my point..I am COMPLETELY bitter and resentful of the courts cuz let me tell you WHY! For starters my daughters dad had ME served with custody papers saying I was an unfit parent and said many very malicious LIES about me that was just disgusting and appaling let me justsay this too..I may not have been the perfect parent but I loved my girl soooo much I made a lot more sacrifices for her than he ever did hands down..I was the ONLY one scheduling and takimg her to her doctor check ups and dentist appts..when I lost my studio apt I cpuldnt afford my own place so I stayed at friends house and I slept on the floor so she could have the couch. If I only had enough money to feed her I just didn’t eat..she has ALWAYS been my world and I would do anything for her! Well between her dad and his awfully sadistic mother took me to court..they coached her to say UNTRUE things like that I was spanking her when I had stopped after CPS told me I couldn’t and I hadn’t in over a year and all a sudden she’s scared of me! They brainwashed her telling her mommy starved her and locked her in a closet and gave her baths in swimming pools and SO MANY other CRAZY HORRIFIC things! I couldn’t bring myself to say such awful lies cuz its NOT ME..and here is what REALLY blows my mind!! I got served saying I was the unfit parent RIGHT?! My swell daughters dad shows up to the first court hearing HAND IN HAND WITH HIS MOMMY DRUNK!!! Yes! Drunk!!! He is 5 years older than his 30′s now and mommy walks him in while he’s REAKING of booze so much so that the judge WAS INFORMED and he had to do a breathalyzer in the middle of the court room and failed called an alcoholic as he had first told the judge he had a beer and one shot before midnight (YEAH RIGHT!!) so he got a slap on the wrist and our court got rescheduled and from then on he hired a lawyer..he AND his mother said him drunk that day was 100% MY fault and when we had to do mediation which I KNEW would be a TOTAL waste cuz this ahole is IMPOSSIBLE and he tells me before we went..exact words ill never forget ” I’m gonna get custody so I can get child support from you so u know how it feels!” What a vindictive SOB!!! Well needles to say I lost DESPITE EVERYTHING!! He lied under oath and got called out on it..he showed up drunk and a slap on the wrist but it was never mentioned again..HE STILL WON!!! I went in empty handed but did ALL the things I was spose I was most compliant I didn’t lie underoath or make up lies about him AND I’m the MOTHER and lost to that jerk who soley just wanted money from me that I DONT HAVE! So I agree IF HE CANT AFFORD HER THEN LET ME HAVE HER CUZ I MADE IT WORK BEFORE WHEN I HAD EVEN LESS THAN NOW AND I WILL MAKE IT WORK IF I HAD HER!!! at this point I don’t want a dime from him JUST my girl!!! Currently I’m at over $8, 000.00 in arrears and am spose to pay almost $500 a month in child support but I ONLY see her 30 days in a WHOLE year cuz he screwed me there too..EVERUTHING he’s wanted and asked of the courts EVEN IF I say my wants first he ALWAYS gets what HE WANTS!!! ITS MIND BLOWING!!!! and he has se decision making on EVERUTHING… I got NO say and since he and his twisted mommy loathe me so much I really don’t have ANY say..I get MAYBE a small handful of pix of my girl in a whole year despite me asking..I only hear from her if I call her but she’s mostly with his mom and she NEVER answers my calls or texts..they won’t even let me cut my daughters hair and it Desperately needed it ..she hadn’t had even a trim in a whole year! They haven’t taken her to a doctor or dentist AT ALL since he won custody..he just cancelled the appts I had made before I lost and moved out of state but I visited her and my mom and I took her to see the dentist and a doctor and I got her hair trimmed despite what I was told cuz I don’t want her to look like a scraggley bum! I don’t get updates on her..I don’t know when she’s sick or if she everr gets hurt..I get nothing!! He wouldn’t even put me down at her school as her other parent cuz he told me I wasn’t one cuz he was the one doing everything for her….WHAT THE POOP?!!!? NOW I’m married and got 2 other babies that live with my husband and I full time..he works full time and I am a stay at home mom I actually am a better person now and still progressing..I’ve done A LOT of counsiling and I got an AMAZING husband who is helping me WANT to be an even better mom, wife, and oldest daughters dad just got put on house arrest last christmas..isn’t married and according to her his girlfriend (the one he chose over me a few years back) was asking my girl who daddys new girlfriend is and she told her the name but he’s still with both..sorry this is soooo long but I got sooooo much resentment and frustration buolt up inside of me cuz of this…and to all the men out there that think its just you and women get favortized…we if that’s true then why did I get SCREWED like this?! I just can’t wait til my husband can finish school so we can make A LOT more money so we can afford a GOOD lawyer and fight again..this is messed up and this momma ain’t giving up!


213 Renee July 7, 2014 at 9:27 pm

My hubby has paid faithfully for 13 years on two kids! The ex GF is a welfare whore who smokes dope and will not work. She married a pot smoker who works. She was suppose to carry insurance like we did, so she went on welfare for insurance and never had to pay out of pocket! She gets food stamps, cash and medical and child support. The teenage kids come over with nasty dirty clothes on, have not eaten, and thy smoke cuz mom lets them! I always take them shopping when thy do come over for nice clothes!!! Thy are 14 and 16! I am a mother who supported 2 kids w no child support, maybe just maybe 1,000 their whole life! My kids have always worn name brand clothes and never went without with me supportig them only!!!!! I cannot stand worthless mothers who act like thy cannot MAKE IT and want more money! Called a job! I have worked my whole life and never had to be in any assistant even as a single Mother!!! I worked my ass off to give my kids food on table, clothes on their backs, etc! Still to this day my ex husband owes me 17,000 in bak support which I will never see due to him playing the system! We hired an attorney for my new hubby child support hearing which will cost us around $250 for atty to attend the hearing for us! We are requesting a hair drug test on the mother, cuz we were told she smokes dope in the bedroom! Now we know where the money is going!!!!


214 AJ July 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Pretty hard to get the advice your looking for, lots of people have lots of energy. Whatever the case, we are in similar situation, finding ourselves difficult in making ends meet.
The system is flawed.
Simply put, we pretty much have to check our finances every 2 weeks.
Yes, we may have to lose our house if something bad happens. My truck broke down, so now I may not be able to take my kids to school. Don’t have the money to fix it…
Its a crappy situation. And it opens the oppertunity for a vindictive ex to say “you can’t support your children properly”
So, what should you do? take it a day at a time. if you don’t have enough for the phone bill, well, i guess the phone bill doesn’t get paid. By the time it gets so bad that you might go to Jail?? Well, I guess someone goes to jail.
Sorry, thats my advice. Of course, there’s always a way to try to reduce the severity of the situation. Like – go to court and reduce the amount, sell the boat, sell expenses… etc.. but if you’ve already done all that, then that’s the situation we’re all in. Sorry, there’s a small light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m never absolutely sure I’ll see it come. And I’ve accepted this.
I am a father of 5, 2 step, 3 my own. I play with them immensely. No regrets.


215 zfiles July 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I understand the responsibility of the father to provide x dollars or a percentage of income to have the ex wife baby sit. In my case, I have an ex wife of who lives off of her parents at the age or 45. Her father is a millionaire. At present, my children of who I have every other weekend states that their mother doesn’t work – taking the summer off to sit for the kids. I am at 29% of my income for 3 kids. I am underemployed and am searching for other opportunities. No more marriage for this man. Why complicate matters. So, after all is said and done with better that 50 grand in debt, I make about 5.70 dollars per hour. Hard to live off of the income that I currently have. I do perform minimal side jobs as a result that pays very little, but an extra 20 bucks in my pocket goes to tooth paste and toilet paper. Not to mention that vicious cycle that I am into, I currently live off of the system receiving food and healthcare benefits from the state. It is difficult to try and better myself in light of being involved in such a bad situation. No resentment on my behalf. With all of the opportunities to gain a better employment situation, a rut has formed and no need to continue to better myself. I have 12 plus years to endure. In my case, the court serves the wealthy and slams the impoverished father. If things go bad and jail happens…what good comes from it. Terrible system based on traditional values that just aren’t applicable anymore. Keep the head up and try to stay afloat for the kids and never focus on the vindictive ex louse.


216 mom and 2nd wife July 17, 2014 at 11:40 am

I am in both positions. My husband has kids from his first marriage. He pays almost his whole paycheck for child support and insurance for the kids. He could not afford to live on his own. He works 7 days a week (2 jobs full time) so that he can bring some money into our household. Is it hard? Yes. Does him working everyday suck? Yes, but guess what? He made those babies, and he was completely open with me about his financial situation when we started dating. I knew what I was getting.

On the other hand my ex stays purposely under employed to keep low child support for my 2 kids. What he pays literally will cover lunch money for the month. What a joke. They are in sports and activities because they want to be. Who pays for everything? Me. Mom. I work full time and my dh with working 7 days a week. Not only does he support his 3, but he steps up to help support mine and carries us all on his health insurance. My ex has never paid one dime extra and whines about what he does pay. He has a huge arrearage and will not pay unless they find him to take it from his paycheck.

Is it hard? Hell yeah! Did I know what I was getting? Yes! At least I was getting a real man who works his ass off to support his kids and family and does not try to cheat the system. I will take husband number 2 and be poor for several years 1000X over.

So basically, my advice is sorry, it is what it is. Is your husband worth it?


217 Chase July 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Hi everyone im 17 and Im in love with my ex, I’m still trying to get her to come back to me but she’s not ready to be serious. She is 16 and she is pregnant with my child. She says she doesn’t want me to have to pay child support because I am not a dead beat dad. When I found out first that she was pregnant instead of doing what most teenage fathers do(run) I got a second job and I finished my junior year of high school. I am currently waiting to enroll for my last year coming up in august. My question is it required of me to pay child support if she does not ask for it? I am not greedy and I want to make the best life for my child. I want me and my ex to get back together but I don’t see that happening. So for now I’m planning on working and getting my education to be finally ready to support my child and keep him happy. Take in mind that I haven’t spent a dime on myself, all my money has gone to my ex when we were together to keep her healthy and happy and now it is currently going towards things for my child.
I want to finish school and get my degree and I also want my ex to do so as well, because im still in love with her, how will that be possible for my side if I have to pay absurd amounts of child support even if she doesn’t take me to court for it?


218 Chase July 22, 2014 at 5:24 pm

i also haven’t had to pay bills yet which is why i spend my money on my ex and my child.


219 Chase July 22, 2014 at 5:30 pm

and don’t get me wrong for i would pay child support and live in poverty, because it is my child, I just want to get a better job with a degree and be able to live and keep my child happy. I wouldn’t force my ex to pay child support if i had custody. And if she was anything like me i wouldn’t think any less of her for it because i know she would help out just because she wanted too.


220 Beenthere July 30, 2014 at 5:35 pm

I generally read these blogs and don’t post, but I figured I might be able to add some insight. I am a Step-mom and we have two small children of our own. We have been dealing with issues like this for almost 10 years. Here’s what I learned….

If your ex is anything like ours, then you pay a significant amount of child support, yet the children are under-dressed, have very few toys, books, etc, don’t participate in extra activities; yet their mother has new expensive tattoos all the time (shes completely covered!), top of the line purses and clothes, hair and nails always done. At first this would aggravate me because clearly the significant amount of child support did not go to the care of the children, rather her party life, lack of employment, and her dress up habits. Numerous court appearances did not help, as we found that the judges generally favor the mother with warnings. So what did we do?? 10 years ago we were strapped with my husband only bringing home about $400 a month after child support, health insurance, taxes, etc. So we went to college and got better jobs. Yes, he pays even more than he did then because he makes a lot more; but his take home pay after child support is also a lot higher, which makes a difference in our household. I also went to college, obtained my Master’s degree, working on my Ph.D., and got a much better paying job. So now between my husbands left over money, and my income, we live comfortably and can afford to spoil our two children we have together. No we do not have a million dollar house or drive Bentley’s, but we have a nice middle class home, nice cars, we can take vacations, do extra stuff when we have his kids, and still spoil our two.

My recommendation to those above, is to invest in the “new” wives education so that she can make more money; which can not be included in the child support garnishment. I make a significant amount now and it all goes to our household. We keep assets in my husbands name to a minimum. For those wives who don’t want to make up the difference in income because they prefer to stay at home with their kids and avoid daycare; I work from home as an online professor. So I can make up the difference in income, avoid daycare, and spend more time with my children. College is a lot of work but it can be done!

Get comfortable with living modestly because child support raises and lowers all the time. Normal home, not lavish; and cook or bbq instead of eating out. In the end you will gain much more than a monthly paycheck; memories and family time. Remember that at 18 it all ends and you will no longer be supporting the ex wives life style. (At least for us, being it is clearly stated in the divorce decree that child support ends when they graduate high school and our state honors this.) Once they turn 18, any support you provide will go to the kids at your discretion, not the mothers. Also remember, that at this point, your wallet will increase significantly with no child support, while the your ex wife will take a big hit, that she won’t likely be able to make up on her own. (Generally they don’t plan for the extinction of child support) You will have extra money free and clear of debt because it’s money you are not used to having. So keep working your way up the ladder. Don’t quit because it causes you to pay more in child support. Once your children are grown, all those raises will pay off for your retirement and make the next 50 years of your life easier. In our case, the ex will still have a minimum wage job and will have to live/struggle without a significant child support check, all on her own. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.


221 Dave August 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

I feel the pain of these situations. I have 2 children who i would do anything for. Unfortunately their mother is all about the green. I pay 2/5 of my take home pay in child support, and barely have anything left over after bills (rent/utilities, cant afford cable or internet) are paid (just enough to take the kids out to eat once every other month.) On the flip side, their mother’s rent is 50% more than what it was when we were together, brand new car, and is always taking trips to amusement parks and vacations. Sorry to say, but the system is rigged. There is no way for a father to do anything out of the ordinary for his children with the levels child support are set at.


222 Victor Ozy Ncongwane September 1, 2014 at 5:47 am

I have a step son aged 21yrs that was involve in car accident. I have been covering all expenses from 2009 until now. My wife is divorcing me because they will be receiving third party money in October this year 2014. I want to know that am I entitled to receive money as is not my son but he was my responsibility from the age of 4yrs


223 cyounq2q11 September 23, 2014 at 3:11 am

This is a subject that hits home for me on many fronts. I pay $2k a month for my children from a previous marriage. I think the systems needs to be revamped in a major way, my ex has a college degree and is just plain lazy, she makes $38K a year but will not think about getting a job cause she is lazy and content I don’t even know where to start with our story, I always paid the majority of the bills and have paid for the families health insurance etc, since they’ve been on this earth. It’s funny how my ex got a new 2014 Maxima and her place is decked out with new furniture once they increased my child support from $950 to over $2K once I got my new job and raise. My kids who are 17 & 14 (twins) are constantly call me telling me they need things cause their mom says she has no money. I do not have a problem taking care of my children but it is total bs that I can not afford a decent place to live, pay my bills and student loans etc. I am currently living with my best friend at 43 years old which really sucks, considering I put in the work and pushed myself to get to a certain level in my career and she is content in average. I don’t see where the money goes, I personally think she is saving the money to support her wants cause she knows that the bank will be closed to her for good in less that 3 years. I could type for days about this crap but I feel my blood pressure rising. Again, I have no problem taking care of my responsibility but cmon man, $2K a month is ridiculous and excessive, when I get my kids we can;t do much cause the income I do have goes to covering living expenses as I rob Peter to Paul.


224 Jennifer December 10, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Really? Boo hoo. If things had worked out these dads would *hopefully* dedicate 100% of their income toward their children’s well-being, education, and cultural/extracurricular enrichment. *I’m SO upset that ex-wife is providing those kids with piano lesson.* Get a grip. At least she is not spending the money on HERSELF. These women know what they are signing up for. You’re getting someone’s leftover remnants that the *first wife* has to bring to court to fulfill obligations. The courts are very lenient toward fathers and the mother should not be the sole caretaker and provider. Best wishes you don’t procreate with someone else’s deadbeat or you will most likely find yourself in the same situation. Consider both sides and how you would feel if left high and dry with children. Best of luck to you!


225 me December 31, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Umm.I hate to say it but you married some one with baggage. Poor him? Poor kids who don’t have a real father and at least the extra lessons and such help the children develop as real humans where they lack a father. If he was half the man you say he is then he would have the kids. If he didn’t want to “fight” for them then that’s his deal. Never mess with a mama bear. BUT sorry honey… you knew what you were getting into when you met him. Clip coupons and get a second job. That’s the benefits of being a part time or less than such dad. AT least with all the extra activities an such that they are in that you know it is things being used directly for the kids and not some Crack or drugs thing. You know they are in good hands. You being a step parent should embrace that… and should have embraced such before you married the man. To know that when you say I do… that it means you do accept his kids as yours as well and would want the necessary benefits for them. You should be great full they are in good hands and kids are not cheap. So embrace your role.


226 My Sacrifice January 5, 2015 at 9:33 am

I’m the 2nd wife and my life is going to be the sacrifice. My husband has several health conditions and 700.00 a month in child support. Better then half his income goes to child support. I have the income carrying both of us. His medical needs bow absorb what little he has left.

I now have major health issue I cannot afford to fight. We can’t afford both medical expenses. Kids come before 2nd wife’s life… right? Ex wife and kids will be overjoyed!


227 sara fellows January 12, 2015 at 11:27 am

Hi everyone
Up here in Canada the men have it even worse…
My husband had a child at 18, has always paid the maxium support allowed since birth and its been a struggle for us to put him through university and pay rent at the same time. Basically he started on an income of $25,000 at $365 a month plus every extra possible expense you could get. Once we ate our kd for a year and he finished his education, his income rose to $70,000. We got married, had two babies and of course I worked through materninty as his payments rose to $1000.00 a month. We paid half of braces, soccer lessons, glasses, computers for school, driving lessons any and every expense you could think of. His ex has an income of $60,000 plus is married to a wealthy husband.
This week we found out we my husband is responsible for half the university tuition/ dorm (about an extra $10,000 a year ON TOP OF the regular $1000 a month. This will be until she gets her degree about 3 years. Im devestated…..
I have to pick up the slack now since we will be in mad debt. No point in him getting anymore income because they will grab some. I make $30,000 so combined we make $100,000. I really dont think we could ever afford to put our two kids through university. Lets just hope they are not those entitled type , or we are up the creek.
Hey , how many of you had to struggle a bit for their tuition? Whats next , our own kids suing us for tuition? I guess my parents had it lucky, I had to work and pay my own.


228 Sonya T January 20, 2015 at 11:03 am

So I am married with two children by my husband. He has a child before our relationship and he pays child support for that child. But the court never took in account that he has two other children that he has to help support. In fact, when he brought that up the judge actually said “That’s not my problem”. So when he gets paid after deductions and child support is paid, he literally comes home with $100!!! That is not enough to help me with supporting our two children who live at home. Also, my stepson’s mother lives in a subsidized house rent free, also gets help with food stamps. I receive none of the above. Why don’t the courts take in account all these things?


229 David Morey January 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Anyone know if they stoo taking your tax refund once you catch up on child support? I should be caught up after filing this year, just wondering if I’ll get my money back next year. I have 3 kids at home and the money would help with a lot of expenses….


230 Sonya T February 6, 2015 at 10:30 am

they only continue to take the refund if you still have arrears..


231 Amber March 14, 2015 at 3:12 am

My advice is to keep your finances separate, divorce the husband legally, stay with him if you want, get an attorney, and go to court showing why he shouldn’t have to pay that ridiculous amount. I made the mistake of marrying someone with children. To be fair, he didn’t tell me about them until six months after I said, “I do”. We already had a prenup, and thank GOD for that, because he makes around 40,000 per year and I make just over 100,000 per year. I am not paying for anyone else’s ex or children. I hate to break it to you first wives, but nice girls don’t want you or your kids. I left him, but found out I was pregnant with twins, so I came back for my children. Because of the amount of support he pays, I pay for everything related to our children. I have a lot of resentment toward him because he supports his ex and her kid (that he didn’t want, he was young and too stupid to wear a condom), but can’t support our kids. So, it’s probably a good thing you aren’t going to have kids with him. Just make sure that doesn’t build into more resentment later. If you wanted children, you shouldn’t be punished for his bad decision to marry his ex. (For all of you bitter women haters out there, yes, I did consider abortion, but I can afford my children without him. I shouldn’t be punished for his bad decisions, but that still doesn’t help with the hatred I feel when I go shopping for birthday presents for my kids knowing I will put his name on them and he didn’t buy a damn thing. You want to talk budget? Mine is very tight.)

Another option you have is seeing if she will allow him to relinquish his parental right. It’s a long shot, but it can happen. If he wants to be a part of his children’s life, then that’s a no go. Just a thought because I don’t know you or his situation.


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