Is there a reason to worry?
This is an age-old argument, and while it is rarely true, sometimes it is. Sometimes parents do consider child support as a personal paycheck. Is there time for concern?
Child support is a formula. The judge considers a portion of the rent, electricity, food, and education for the child’s needs. He considers childhood doctor’s visits and their social life. After all, children are smaller, yet developing people. Then the essentials of life are added and divided into consideration in how much money each parent earns. The parent who earns the most income pays the other parent so that the child has a healthy income too. So let’s take a deeper look, and see if there is a problem. Here are some common complaints you will hear at every turn where divorced people hang out.
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio
Number 1 – She doesn’t need my money
Dad stops by after work on Friday night and everyone is all dressed up for a trip to the mall for a new outfit to wear. His ex-wife is taking their daughter and her friend to a concert for her birthday tomorrow.
Dad is angry. He works all week to bring this money for her care. But she doesn’t need it. You can take her shopping and to concerts. I am going home and eating frozen pizza and you are taking not one, but two girls to the concert.
What most parents do not remember is the person getting child support gets it at a certain time of the month. But her expenses are every day of the month. Your children do not only eat on the first day of the month. They eat every day. Every day they need clean clothes, a place to sleep, and a place to stay where it is warm and dry. so, they use their money. Every cent of the money they earn feeds and provides for their children. They keep the books and when the day rolls around that you pay your money, that takes some of the money you owe them and does something fun. Of course, there is an easy way to solve the issue. Come by and pay your part in advance. That frozen pizza would have tasted pretty tasty when she gave up lunch for the last several weeks, settling instead for crackers and the coffee they keep in the break-room. Plus, you could have chipped in on her present since she is your daughter too.
Number 2 – Spending money all on herself
In this day and age, child support is electronically deposited into your spouse’s account. Many times, the non-custodial parent picks up the child on Friday after school, or after football practice, or dance class, or whatever the child is interested in. Mom usually will ask what they have planned. If dad says nothing much, maybe going hiking or maybe going to play laser tag, she is going to send them casual, not too expensive clothes, and boots and shoes that have seen better days.
The next weekend you see her being led into a lovely restaurant with her hair done nicely. She is wearing a beautiful black dress, and when her wrap was removed her bare shoulders showed a perfect pearl necklace. Now you are fuming. She sends her kid out with you in worn clothes. Why? So she can look like this! She must have plenty of money!
Relax. Your children have nice clothing that is appropriate for any situation. She would not disrespect you by letting them go get dirty on a hiking trail or possibly tear a dress for church, a wedding, or a funeral. That’s why she asks you where you are going.
When a woman begins dating, she has lots of friends to help her. But, she could have been at a business dinner or any number of things. None of which are your business anymore. Unless you can prove your kids are uncared for, you have to assume they are.
Number 3 – Your kids are neglected
If you are continually picking up your children in worn out and outgrown clothes, you need to ask their mother why. If she is not offering an answer and instead is saying things like ”if you want him to have clothes, go buy him some,” there may be a problem. Get a notebook and begin to journal conversations and take photographs and contact your attorney. Having her child support adjusted and putting you in charge of buying what the child needs or even giving you custody is going to take some heavy ammo. Take photos of their hair. How long has it been since they have had their hair washed and cut? Contact their dentist, when was their last cleaning. Contact their doctor. When was their last check-up? Has there been any unusual injuries? Make an appointment with their teacher, principal, and counselor. How do they appear when coming to school? Are they clean and well dressed? Are they bullied? Do they do their best? Note, do not come across as if you are on the attack. Instead, thank them for the hard work they do and let them know you simply want to be part of their educational lives.
If something does seem off, your attorney, he will give you instructions on what to do next. At no time are you to confront her, stop paying her, or let her know what you know. The courts have people who know just how to handle this. Let them.
Divorce is not easy. As you can see, most of the time, you are mistaken. But when you are correct about a careless mom, it is up to you to protect your kids. Good for you for being a real parent.
Main photo credit: Ahmad Akacha