Men’s Rights Myth: Typical Child Support Payments Are Insanely High

I frequently read and hear anecdotes about non-custodial parents (usually fathers) being ordered to pay outrageously high child support – amounts that are impossible for anyone with an ordinary income to afford. No doubt some of these anecdotes are exaggerated, but I’m convinced that some are not. Unaffordable child support payments don’t benefit anyone – not even the children – and should not be imposed. Furthermore, some measures to help non-custodial parents pay child support – such as a tax deduction of some sort – would be reasonable.

However, some men’s rights activists (MRAs) use rhetoric which suggests that child support payments are often or typically outrageously high, or that child support has made single motherhood a profitable situation for women. Neither claim is true.

According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report (pdf link), the median child support payment in the U.S. is $280 a month. The average child support payment is a little higher – $350 a month. That’s a noticeable amount – similar in scope to payments on a new car – but it’s hardly the crushing, slavery-like burden some MRAs seem to describe child support as.

Although the Census Bureau report doesn’t provide detailed income breakdowns, what information it has indicates that child support amounts are sensitive to income. For instance, among fathers who are below the poverty line, the median child support payment is $125 a month, compared to a median of $300 a month for those above the poverty line.

So despite the terrible anecdotes that we hear (and if you think about it, it’s those who are mistreated by the system who are going to talk about their experiences the most often), the evidence shows that typical child support payments are not ridiculously high. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be concerned about those outliers who are being ordered to pay unaffordable amounts of child support; however, I think the weight of the evidence suggests that while the system may need some tweaking, on the whole it’s not broken.

* * *

So the typical child support payment is $280 a month – put another way, half of custodial parents who receive child support get $280 a month or less. How does that compare to the costs of raising a child?

Again, the federal government compiles some good statistics on this (pdf link). For a single parent with an income of about $17,500, raising a single child for 17 years will cost about $10,125 a year, or $840 a month.

Of course, a single parent who earns $17,500 a year is pretty poor. What about single parents who aren’t poor? For better-off single parents – those earning an average of $65,000 a year – raising a single child for 17 years will cost almost $21,600 a year, or a little over $1,800 a month.

All told, the typical child support payment in the USA covers much less than half the expense of raising a child. Custodial parents – usually mothers – are taking on not only the majority of the work involved in childrearing, and the majority of the opportunity costs – they’re taking on the majority of the cash expenses, as well.

Therefore, I’d support a two-tiered reform to child support. Child support payments should be made more sensitive to individual situations, so that noncustodial parents are not saddled with irrational and impossible-to-pay child support orders, as has happened in some outlier cases. At the same time, typical child support payments are simply too low, compared to the cost of raising a child; therefore, most non-custodial parents should have their child support obligations increased. (This will also have the side benefit of reducing unwed motherhood.)

NOTE FOR COMMENTS: Please don’t post about how you have an income of $500 a month and the judge ordered you to pay $2000 a month in child support to your ungrateful lazy ex-spouse who spends all the child support money on dresses she can wear to the track and she earns more than you do anyway and the judge won’t even reply to your motions. Unless I know both you and your ex-spouse, and can verify for myself that she’d tell me the same version of events that you’re telling me, I don’t think anecdotal evidence of that sort is more useful than the federal data.

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1,309 Responses to Men’s Rights Myth: Typical Child Support Payments Are Insanely High

  1. 501
    Susan says:

    I won’t divorce work. Period, full stop. So I suppose what I say here has to be thus qualified.

    For me, life is too short to deal with the BS. I have enough work to keep me busy and flush with people who have real problems for which they are willing to pay. As an att0rney your mileage may differ.

  2. 502
    Torn says:

    Ampersand
    Yes, housing will vary city to city. However, I lived in San Diego for years as a single parent of 2 kids receiving no child support and was still able to care for my kids. I did a lot of research and found great apartments for way cheaper then the average for the area. Now, I did have a roommate (family) and my mom helped me a lot with watching my kids to bring down my cost of childcare ( from $1,000 a month to $600 a month.) You also have to remember though, in cities where the cost of living is lower the rates of pay are going to be lower as well. A $600 rent here would be a $1000 rent in San Diego.

  3. 503
    Jake Squid says:

    Tell me CS doesn’t force the NCP to work multiple jobs to stay alive 24,000 is poverty. Argue with that!

    CS doesn’t force the NCP to work multiple jobs to stay alive. Not one of the 8 employees with CS orders at my place of employment works multiple jobs. All of them are alive.

    the cp has a home and a job recieving 1456.00 a week plus 262.00 plus any aditional income brought into the house hold.

    Now you’re just making shit up. I have no idea how much the CP’s income is and neither do you. The rest of your comment is similarly made up of your imagination. Rave on, Dude. I’m done responding to your wild fantasies.

    Standards for “genius” sure have gotten lax.

  4. 504
    cal says:

    For those of you who can not follow the conversation (jake) your “made up numbers” were actually your “made up numbers” from your post directly above mine. So lets break it down elementary school style.

    sue and jack, they are married, both of them make minimum wage, hold on let me tell you what that is well here is a link to the minimum wage variances throughout the United states http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm .
    ok so sue and jack both work 40 hours a week, at a quickly estimated wage of lets say $7.50. Quick math sais… 300.00 a week per person before taxes. Ok so. Sue and jack both contribute equally to the marriage and their child, as most couples do, but then for some reason sue and jack split up. Sue is still working her 40 hours a week making 300 dollars as is jack. But here comes the third party intervention, so jack, because sue has a child, is told he needs to pay 71.10 in child support payments, in addition he must furnish the child with insurance, to which if he can not afford he will be supplied with at a cost of an aditional 10 dollars per week, so lets say 81.00. then to top it all off an aditional 90 dollars it taken out of his check for state, federal, local taxes. So Jake buddy, lets look at the math, 300 – 81-90 is… 129.00 per week, now this is Jake’s new life, he went from living in a 2 income home to being kicked out on the street, and automaticly making less than 1/2 what he made before the seperation. Now (Jake) lets look at miss sue, sue still works her 40 hours a week and makes 300.00 per check the state, and federal taxes ~roughly 90.00
    but then she gets 71.00 of that back. So sue makes 281.00 a week. But wait it gets better for sue, Now sue can claim her children on taxes and get child tax credits and so on and so on. Jake can not. Just figured i would through that into the equasion as well. But here’s the kicker, Jake goes to get state assistance because now, he is living off of ~129.00 a week, where as Sue is making 281.00 working the same amount of time at the exact same wage, Jake is denied because he makes too much money, why, because Jake’s child support is not a vallid expence. So (Jack) that is your Unbiased, and completely fair idea of a support obligation. I ask you, does it seem that this situation can possibly result in a negitave lifestyle for Jake. It certainly does not hurt Sue in any way, There are no negitaves in her situation, she got a raise payed for by her ex, best part she doesn’t have to pay taxes on it, she gets to keep the kids. And now Sue knows she has Jake’s number, because, no matter what Jake does, say jake goes and gets a raise to 10.00 an hour. he now makes 400.00 a week, 120 of that goes to state and local taxes, running total 380.00, 94.8 of that now goes to sue, running total 285.20. Back to sue, sue still works minimum wage, why? (because this is the way it is 90 percent of the time, and it proves my point so nicely) she still works 40 hours a week 300.00 – 90.00 for taxes running total 210.00 plus Jack’s contribution of 94.8. sue’s total income 310.00, sue is now making over 300 dollars a week at mimimum wage people, and jake at 40 hours a week 10.00 an hour is not breaking 300 dollars a week. There people, there is your system at work, no wonder people skip out on CS payments, No wonder divorced fathers suicide rates have skyrocketted… think about it.

  5. 505
    cal says:

    I’ll share with you a true story about me, truth is, when I DIVORCED my ex back 7 or so years ago, i was depressed. And yes, the child support was killing me, I’ll tell you why, first, find a place to live where you don’t have to pay, “first, last and security”. I was completely doomed from the start, but i did it, I found a place where i could live, still didn’t help the fact that my ex filed the restraining order on me and i couldn’t see my kids. And yes my ex played the games. Like calling me on the phone and having my son say that he wanted to see me, shit like that brings grown people to tear. To have your own son tell you he wants to see you but you know you can’t because if you do you will be arrested. It was baiting, and the cop tried to help, but when you go into court and try to tell a judge and get the responce, I don’t want to hear it, it gets very discouraging. Running completely out of money, i had to leave, But i PAID MY CHILD SUPPORT, i paid it at the loss of my electricity, my food, my car, and eventually my place to stay, BUT MY KIDS MOM GOT PAID EVERY WEEK. I watched my stuff get shut off and taken one thing at a time, untill it was all gone, but i was still alive right! To what end, I am no good to my son if i am living on the streets, which is what was happening. I was the sole provider for my family before the seperation, and the sole provider after the seperation, and the courts made sure of it. So i left, and went home to live with family 800 miles away. Still can’t see my kids… But i learned something, Lie to the courts, Lie like a fucking dog, and don’t stop, Don’t ever ever tell them exactly how much you make. So that’s what i did, I went to work working 4 jobs, I unloaded for walmart at night, cooked for friendly’s in the evening, did landscaping work during the day, and joined the military and drilled on the weekends. And I paid my ORDERED CHILD SUPPORT which was only equal to my walmart salary, but who cares anymore, the state didn’t care that i lost my home, my electricity, my car, they didn’t care that i had to go 800 miles from my kids to survive, so why should i care that they only know of one of my 4 jobs, To make sure that they never found out I would quit or get myself fired before the year was up, that way they couldn’t garnish, But i still PAID ALL OF MY ORDERED CS , Yes i lied to the courts, I lied my ass off, why, to f*ing survive, to have some sort of life. Why the military, easy, it was my back up plan, If my lying to the courts didn’t work and i continued getting screwed, i would just deploy and get myself killed, It was an easy choice, because death was better than living on the streets. Luckily it never came to that, and i kinda excelled in that field. I deployed to afganistan, Never told the State about that one, like i was going to try to pay more CS right I was already getting less than someone half my rank. Screw that, so i Lied a lot during this, but I lied to stay alive, and have an equal chance as my ex that was just collecting money from me. And still to this day, I pay all my ORDERED CHILD SUPPORT but maybe it is or maybe it isn’t what i actually make, And you know what, I feel fine about it, want to know why, fact of the matter is that it’s been 7 years, 7 years since i have had any contact with my kids, not of my own fault, because that is what my ex wanted, and she got everything she wanted. And the truth is, I don’t know those kids, I don’t love those kids, I feel nothing for them. I blame them and my ex wife equally, and they deserve nothing. period. Just saying. And if you don’t like my attitude, tough, i have a new family, a new baby that lives with me that i take care of, a loving wife, that understands how i can feel the way i do, regardless of what everyone says, i consider my situation to be an eighteen year debt, not Child support, those children are not my kids, and will never be, but I WILL PAY FOR THEM OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.

  6. 506
    Myca says:

    Cal, I’ve stepped out of this conversation, and I’ve done so almost entirely because reading your posts is such a chore. Your spelling, your grammar … even your ability to divide your posts into roughly on-topic paragraphs … all make it very difficult to sift through your posts for your point, if, indeed, there is one.

    I try to avoid grammar/spelling/English competence snark because it’s so cheap, but there’s a reason that so many previous posters have complained about this. Your particular posting style, combined with the length and frequency of your posts, makes it very difficult to have a conversation with you. If you want to keep having this discussion, please fix this.

    —Myca

  7. 507
    cal says:

    I find that, when a person gives another person something to argue, I.E. grammar and spelling, in addition to a problem that is particularly harder to argue against, people with weak arguments tend to argue about the grammar and spelling issue. My point has been made multiple times throughout this blog, each and every time I have made tremendously good valid points that people disagreed with they chose to argue my spelling and grammar, as to discredit me because I chose not to put my post into Microsoft word and spell check it. Because truth is, it only takes me one second to do so, whether or not I do is completely up to me, and what points I want to bring across. Myca, look back at how many posts people completely neglected the facts in the blog but decided to attempt to discredit me by using the fact that I didn’t spell check my work. Many, including you have done so. As a matter of fact, simply posting such a comment as yours has done nothing but validated my point as you have no argument to counter mine, save my grammar. Thanks for playing but you lose.

  8. 508
    Myca says:

    Cal, if you’d like to have a discussion of the issues, please format your posts so as to make that possible.

    If you don’t want to have a discussion of the issues, of course, carry on. It’s unreasonable to expect everyone to translate your ravings into coherence before they’re able to respond.

    —Myca

  9. 509
    cal says:

    Ok let’s see how mad this makes people.
    I chose not to spell check my work. I chose not to spell check my work on purpose. I did not spell check my work because it was the easy way out for the other side. I make a good point, the other side counters with problems with my spelling or grammar. That is the point I have been making since the beginning, I can be the smartest person in the world, but you don’t listen, because I chose not to spell check my work. Does anyone see the irony here? My points are not valid because I didn’t spell check? (Hmmm. interesting.) On that note, In the future you may want to actually listen to what a person has to say, not how they say it, or whether or not they spell check it. Because you people spent so much time trying to discredit me because I chose not to spell check my work, you in the process validated every claim I had. The truth about this situation is there is no right answer. The court system made a series of rules based off of “couple1″ situation and assumed that “couple1′s” situation would be the same as “couple2′s”. The system is not made to take each “couples” situation as it comes, because it would just take too much time. So, a calculation made based off of one situation was produced and is currently used. This, unfortunately, has a negative effect on some “couples” and not so much on other “couples”. The answer to this problem is to take every case as its own case, but this will not happen, mostly because it costs too much money to do so.
    So, in conclusion, yes, sometimes child support is too high; yes, sometimes child support is too low. It all depends on who you are, where in the world you are, and how much you make. I still stand by my opinion that child support should be set one time and never modified what so ever after that time. I believe it would help the situation more than adjusting the calculators either way.

  10. 510
    Myca says:

    I still stand by my opinion that child support should be set one time and never modified what so ever after that time.

    And I still maintain that you do not actually want this.

    What you want is for there to be a number of accommodations in place in the even that the non-custodial parent’s income drops, either through accident or through choice, but no provisions in place for if the non-custodial parent’s income goes up. I maintain that that’s unfair.

    You also want the custodial parent to bear the full cost of the child’s support at the non-custodial parent’s whim, with no penalties or interest for the non-custodial parent. I maintain that that’s unfair.

    Incidentally, your spellchecking isn’t the main or only issue, though it is an issue. The issue is the general incomprehensibility and run-on-nature of your posts, which your spelling is part of. It’s like having someone run into the room and begin shouting their arguments at the top of their lungs stream-of-consciousness style. Whether they have good arguments or not is beside the point.

    And, when someone says, “Hey, speak more quietly, pause for air, and make more sense if you want people to engage with you,” no, that doesn’t validate any of their points. That’s some shit that needs to get straightened out before you engage their points. That’s basic conversational etiquette.

    —Myca

  11. 511
    cal says:

    Now on to the points that I have made throughout this blog

    Child support is not the issue. The combination of child support in addition to a gross wage tax is excessive.
    Given two individuals that both work the same amount of time at the same exact rate, the difference in income between the NCP and the CP is double, in favor of the CP. This is fine, considering the NCP makes a lot of money. However, if the NCP is making minimum wage or close to it, it has devastating effects.
    Child support could be taxed but it is not because of the state would not benefit.
    NCP’s should be allowed to claim their dependent children on tax returns (if they pay). The children “depend” on the NCP’s payment.
    Child support should be set one time after the dissolution of the relationship; it should never be re-adjusted up or down. This not only eliminates the possibility of laziness on either part, it also gives hope to NCP’s everywhere that they can simply, make more money to survive. The possibility of making more money is the way that those minimum wage or closer earners that struggle can move up in society. This also creates a final severance between the separated couple, eliminating further court dates. As well as, closes a lot of open loop holes that are used to peoples advantage in child support cases.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but that’s all I have said this whole conversation. Frankly speaking, no one has countered that with any good defense. Therefore it still stands as a viable option.

  12. 512
    cal says:

    Sorry about that myca, didn’t realize you had posted. My claim to your response:

    “And I still maintain that you do not actually want this.

    What you want is for there to be a number of accommodations in place in the event that the non-custodial parent’s income drops, either through accident or through choice, but no provisions in place for if the non-custodial parent’s income goes up. I maintain that that’s unfair.”

    In most cases, people will not do anything that will jeopardize the life of their child. Now maintaining my original claim that, CS should be set only one time and never modified, if a man, (barring some very rare occasions) loses a job, he is still capable of making a wage that of or close to the wage of the job lost. This is the same rule as currently used. That being said, to obtain a job, and return to making CS payments should not take too long. That individual should not be punished, if he or she can show without a doubt that they trying.

    Furthermore, by using the system where CS is not modified, I believe fewer NCP’s would run from their support obligation. I believe this because the solution to their financial problems would be simple, work more, or get a better job. Take for instance my situation, where I spoke of working 4 jobs but only telling the state about one of them, or even about joining the military. One cannot argue with the fact that those were genuinely good moves on the part of an NCP. Question then is should the NCP now be obligated to pay more because he needs to work more? I say no. The fact that the CP under current guidelines is entitled more money based off of the NCP’s current financial situation at any given moment, is discouraging to an NCP, and again in some cases where the NCP makes little money it is devastating, inevitable causing the NCP to run from his or her responsibilities.

    The fact is that, no one should have to lie in court to stay alive, or to obtain, or maintain life, liberty, or property. This is the problem with CS.

  13. 513
    Grace Annam says:

    I find that, when a person gives another person something to argue, I.E. grammar and spelling, in addition to a problem that is particularly harder to argue against, people with weak arguments tend to argue about the grammar and spelling issue.

    I find that when a person is trying to convince me of something, but unnecessarily offloads effort onto me, he tends to be a self-important windbag.

    Writing conventions exist because they make it easier for people to follow you. If you choose to flout them, you kneecap your own stated goal of convincing people that you are right.

    Thanks for playing but you lose.

    So if I understand you, your goal is to convince Myca of your position. He is not convinced, and has offered advice on how to convince him. You have told him that he is wrong not to be convinced in the first place. He remains unconvinced. And thus, you win and he loses.

    Is that a fair summation of your position? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Maybe writing clearly has addled my brain.

    Grace

    [Edited to gender Myca correctly; I erred in referring to him as "she".]

  14. 514
    cal says:

    Grace, as I have explained multiple times in this blog, it’s not spelling or grammar that counts, it is the ideas, motives, and notions there in. That being said, if you intend on bashing me for my motives, or notions, be my guest but it will just discredit you. Now, back on subject, I have countered myca’s argument with a valid counter claim, if you have information to contribute, or simply don’t like my stance, say so or butt out. Thanks for playing.

  15. 515
    Myca says:

    So, to be clear, Cal, you’re backing off of your previous claim that an NCP who decides to go to school should have their responsibility to pay child support lessened or deferred?

    Is that right?

    —Myca

  16. 516
    Myca says:

    if you have information to contribute, or simply don’t like my stance, say so or butt out.

    Ah. No. Not your blog.

    Grace is a regular commenter and occasional poster here, she writes clearly and concisely, and makes insightful points. She’s welcome to post wherever she likes, and it’s not up to you to ask her to ‘butt out.’

    —Myca

    PS. Incidentally, I don’t mind being called ‘she,’ but I’m a he.

  17. 517
    Jake Squid says:

    Grace and Myca,

    I know we’ve all wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and hoped against hope that he isn’t a troll, but I think it’s clear that he is. How else to interpret

    … it’s not spelling or grammar that counts, it is the ideas, motives, and notions there in. That being said, if you intend on bashing me for my motives, or notions, be my guest but it will just discredit you.

    Ideas and motives count but you are discredited if you address motives or ideas? It’s kind of the Mad Hatter method of approximating debate, I guess. Entertaining and fascinating as part of a story, not quite so entertaining and not at all effective in conversation. Combine his Mad Hatterism with his disdain for grammar, spelling and coherence and his non-stop self-aggrandizement and you’ve got, if not a troll, somebody who’s just wasting our time.

    I, for one, would like him to stop wasting my time. Preferably in a way that does not keep me from reading anything in this thread ever again.

  18. 518
    Grace Annam says:

    Myca:

    PS. Incidentally, I don’t mind being called ‘she,’ but I’m a he.

    Thanks for setting me straight, Myca. I’ll do my best to internalize that. I’ve edited my post for accuracy.

    Jake Squid:

    and you’ve got, if not a troll, somebody who’s just wasting our time.

    Sorry, Jake. Sometimes when I’m feeling energetic it’s fun to dance a bit with the lightweight bag, but I was forgetting that it also wasted the time of others.

    Grace

  19. 519
    Ampersand says:

    if you have information to contribute, or simply don’t like my stance, say so or butt out. Thanks for playing.

    And I think that’s game over. Thanks for playing, Cal; you galvanized some other folks into writing really terrific comments, and I appreciate that. But I’m afraid that your time here at “Alas” has come to an end. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

  20. Pingback: Man's right to choose - Page 8 - Christian Forums

  21. 520
    LiSsA says:

    Cal…..how could you blame your kids and take your hatred for your “ex” out upon them?
    I don’t understand, these are kids we are talking about, what BS thier mother has bestowed upon them, is not your kid’s fault. You need a different outlook, maybe not now, but when they are of age attempt to have some type of communication with them. There are always two-sides to every situation, but I can’t believe your new wife understands how you fell…..she must be a real work of art….she will probably throw the book at you in a few years….Karma’s going to be there, peeking over your shoulder waiting for the right time to come out……I only stumbled onto this page because, I, myself am trying to figure out what to do about CS……my husband and I have been seperated for almost 3 years, I have not taken him for CS yet, I felt as though I would give him time to get on his feet, he did start sending me money 3 months ago on his own, but now he hasn’t sent anything in more than 5 weeks, but he acts as if he has sent me CS for years….I don’t want to do the whole court thingie, just thought I could get some advice on here on how to handle this situation…..

  22. 521
    tony says:

    So here is my situation. My numbers are all accurate. When my ex wife and I split and divorced in 2008 we agreed to a fair child support of $150/wk. and I keep her on my insurance along with my son. My son stays with me 3 days and two nights a week, and when I have time from work I take hime more. The agreed upon child support was based on my income of $55,000 and hers of $30,000. We thought this was a fair amount and the court agreed. Now my ex wife has chosen to quit her job and go to school. I make substantially more money now and she thinks I should pay $420/wk. I put my income in the MA child support worksheet and the amount comes to $430/wk. My dilemma is that at that amount the house I am trying to purchase, which is modest at $259,000, is no longer in my reach. Saving for retirement is impossible. What I don’t get is that if I make more money why should I have to pay her more. If what I was paying was enough all this time why does my ability to work hard and long to make a better life for myself force me to improve her life. My sone never goes without, never have I ever denied hime anything. I pay for all his activities and clothes. I take him everywhere. At those numbers I will be forced to tell my fiance that our dream of buying a home and getting married cannot be achieved because my ex wife has chosen to be a slouch and not work. To add insult to injury she lives with her parents and her boyfriend who is unemployed and has been for over 2 years. What do I do? Doing the math Im better off working a 40 hour a week job at $55,000 than I am working 65 hours a week to make $125,000. Between the taxes and child support my net take home will be about the same with much less hours and stress. I really can’t understand how $430 a week is child support and not alimony. Im at my wits end, all the time and work I put into my career to own a home and better my life is going to go to her. I wont be able to retire, or have a savings. I guess Im just so disgusted I dont know what to do

  23. 522
    A Custodial Parent says:

    There is a big difference between can’t pay and won’t pay. My ex-husband of 15 years came home without warning said he didn’t want our family anymore because we did not do a good job loving him and he has found someone else that he loves. He deserted me and our 2 children when I had no income due to the downturn in the real estate market (I was a full time Realtor for 10 years).
    My ex-husband has over 10 years driving experience and had an income of $55,000 plus. He walked away leaving me with a home I can’t pay for, no car, no other place to live, and has vowed that he will do whatever necessary to avoid paying court ordered child support and spousal support which includes being underemployed, manipulating the court systems, and not putting his assets in his name. I was 100% committed to being a good wife, unfortunately my ex-husband did not feel the same way about me and cannot separate his dislike for me from doing what’s in the best interest of our children.
    In the best interest of our 2 children I need the support to provide for my children. I am not sure when the real estate market will turn around. I am seeking a career change to support my children and myself. Everyone that knows me personally knows I am 100% committed to doing what’s best for our children and will not misuse the support. At the end of the day, is it in the best interest of the children to not “assist” the Mother with support? The children’s financial needs can’t be put on hold while the Father lives his life with little to no responsibility….Is that fair to the children?

  24. 523
    MaMu1977 says:

    Here’s my addition to this post. It’s a little story called “How My Uncle’s Doctor Got Shot In The Chest.”

    My uncle’s doctor is a GP. He earns (at this time) $135,000 a year.
    After New Year’s Day, my uncle visited his doctor for his first biannual appointment. When he came home, I questioned him about the results, and he told me that his regular doctor was upstairs in a ward, recovering from a gunshot wound. Here is the doctor’s story.

    In 2009, after 12 years of marriage, his doctor’s wife asked for a divorce.
    In accordance with New York State law, the assets were split. She received the house, he agreed to continue payments on the house (at $25,000/year in mortgage and utilities/upkeep) in lieu of alimony.
    Post-divorce, this was his list of deductions from his $120,000/year salary.

    $120,000 minus $35,000 in taxes equals $85,000 in take home pay.

    $85,000 minus $30,000 in CS equals $55,000 (remember, CS is tabulated from pre-tax income.)

    $55,000 minus $25,000 for (as of now) his family’s home equals ~$30,000 for himself.

    So, after ten years of training and a decade of actual work, a doctor with no visible or noted history of malpractice was earning $2,500/month for his living expenses. It should be noted that this divorce was triggered by his wife’s claim of abandonment through excessive working hours (60+ hours a week), not abuse (which is the reason why he was willing to pay to keep his ex and his kids in the house, and that she didn’t try to claim alimony.)

    Now, to be clear, all of us are (now) residents of New York City. NYC neighbourhood can be rated by the presence of Starbucks in the specific area.
    If the nabe has 2 Starbucks within 5 minutes of each other, the rents are going to be $2,500 or higher, but the neighbourhood will be “safe”.
    If the nabe has 2 Starbucks within 10+ minutes of each other, the rents will top out at around $2,000, but the likelihood of at least 1 shooting a year increases.
    If the nabe has 1 available Starbucks, the rents top out at around $1,5000, but shootings occur at least once every 1-3 months.
    If there are no Starbucks around (let’s say, within a 20-30 minute timespan), the area will either have no available housing (residential houses, ethnic Jewish enclave, etc.), or the rents will be within the $1,000 range and the amount of shootings can be measured in weeks.

    So, he had to find a way to live off of $2,500 (and later, $3,000) a month (as in rent with room for the children, utilities, food, travel and clothes/scrubs) while still being able to afford niceties such as dinners/drinks with the faculty or treats for the kids during his 6 days of custody a month. As the NCP, he doesn’t receive any tax breaks for being a parent. Unlike other countries, he doesnt receive any tax breaks for performing a public duty (despite the fact that he works at a government-run hospital. Plus, he has kids who are “accustomed” to living with a doctor’s salary (which means that claiming to be unable to afford new sneakers or field trip money is a no-go.) So, he moved to a one-Starbucks area in one of the outer boroughs of NYC. Less ban two years after moving away from quiet, “safe” Long Island, he caught a bullet in the chest, aimed and fired by a guy who wanted to kill the “pinche cabron” who pissed on the shooter’s car.

    He’s out of the hospital now. He got himself snipped (no more kids), because he can’t afford to have any slip-ups (broken condom, missed pill, an “oops, my Nuvaring must have slipped out” accident, etc.) He doesn’t date, either, for fear of palimony. When you ask him for the reason, he puts it like this:
    “I pay 33% of my salary in taxes. I spend 40% of my salary on my kids and my ex if I count the things that I buy for them that she can’t afford. If the house that they live in was used to measure my CS cost, I’d be able to afford a nicer apartment in a safer area. Instead, I did the “right” thing and my kids got to spend part of their holidays looking at Daddy’s new hole in his chest. I can’t afford to work any harder, my hospital doesn’t have the money to spare to pay me more money and my CS would be increased if I decided to go into a private practice anyway, so I wouldn’t even get the benefit of the extra pay. Yeah, I *really need* to add even more people to my cost of living. In ten more years, my youngest will be in college and the house will be paid off. I’ll have time and money to spend when those debts are paid.”

  25. 524
    ken says:

    open your eyes, the system is really screwed up. I was laid off from my job. I did the right thing, I thought.. by contacting the CSU and informing them of my lay off. I then petitioned to have my support adjusted to my unemployment wages. Long story short, I was denied support adjustment, I was told it was my fault for getting laid off??? I had to keep paying support of $1,200 monthly according to my last salary. I was only getting 400 a week in unemployment 200 of which was sent to my ex. which still left me 400 in arrears each month. I had to survive on 800 a month to provide for my existing family of two young girls and my wife who was also laid off. Now see if this is fair… My ex wife earns $55,000 a year with insurance while raising a 13 year old son. I have to survive on $1,600 a month, pay support of $1,200, pay 68% percent of any dental, eye and medical costs while raising a family of four.
    My daughters are on state assistance, food stamps, we are in jeopardy of losing our house and car. All I asked of the courts was to help me until I get back on my feet. My wife and I both have Master Degrees in our fields and are struggling to get back into the working force. I thought family court was to protect the interest of the children, apparently not when it’s the father’s family. I did everything by the book, never was late on my obligation of child support. And now I am in arrears and branded a dead beat dad. If you doubt my story I will gladly forward you copies of my court orders and any other documents to back my story. I am not bashing my ex wife, just the system that was to protect both sides.

  26. 525
    jayne says:

    Let’s see. When a judge orders a dad to pay $360.00 a month for a child, who is supposed to be paying for the child’s clothing, phone, computer, music lessons, home, transportation, heat, lights, entertainment, school supplies? MOM THAT IS WHO. Or the government. A man should be held just as responsible for a child as a woman, but the cads in this country run away from all responsibility with the support of the chauvinistic judges.

  27. 526
    Jason says:

    Child support scares me and I’ve seen how it can cripple men financially. The one thing I don’t understand is when men are laid off from their jobs, and/or are forced to take a cut in pay for reasons beyond their control and a judge who refuses to modify their child support order. The court’s argument being that the children still have needs.

    I don’t disagree with that argument. But if the children were living with the father and the father was laid off or had to take a different job for much less pay, the entire family would have to make sacrifices, which may include less going out to dinners, less new shoes, less new toys, no vacation that year, cutting off the cable. It would likely include shopping more economically, even for necessities. But when a man’s earning power is decreased and a judge refuses to lower the obligator’s order, the judge is taking spending decisions away from parents and assuming the role as the financial decision maker for the family. The government has no right to do this, and while you hear stories about dead beat dads all the time, the stories about dead beat moms get swept under the rug and the stories about the good dad who was completely screwed over by the system never seem to get as much attention as the dead beat dads.

    I have 1 kid, I pay child support. Me and my ex-wife share joint custody, but I still pay child support. I also get stuck with the bill for school clothes, school supplies, school pictures, babysitting, dance lessons, piano lessons, etc. I get upset because I have my daughter far more than my ex-wife, I pay out of my pocket for the overwhelming majority of my daughters expenses. But I pay this “tax” for the ability to see my daughter and to have her as much as i want. It’s been hinted that life might become very difficult for me if I rock the boat.

    Now, the obvious thing to do would be to keep track of all my expenses. All of the over nights my daughter has with me. Keep track of all my child support payments. With proof of all of that, I shouldn’t have a single worry, and if I were a woman then I wouldn’t. But as a man, being a responsible parent and carrying your weight and some of your former partner’s isn’t enough to guarantee that the courts will see your side of the issue.

    But with that said, I get to see my daughter all the time so I am happy and the money isn’t that big of a deal. It’s unfair, but my daughter is more important.

    The court system was also a big factor in my decision to get a vasectomy. It was far from the sole reason. But it did contribute. When I think about the possibility of having another child, the idea sounds great. But I see far too many relationships end on a sour note and if I get stuck with another child support payment, it would have a major impact on my (and my daughter’s) lifestyle. I simply can’t afford it. So to protect my house and my daughters college fund, I’m now sterile.

    Thanks United States Court System

  28. 527
    tiffany says:

    I have twins and I get a good child support check. My ex makes good money and based on that is what I get. I think people often forget that child support is paying your half of the child. I think child support should not be based on income but on at least the minimum cost of raising a child. It shouldn’t fall on the mothers shoulders just because she has to. Diapers need to be bought. Food needs to be bought. Clothes need to be bought. These expenses and others do not go away just because the non custodial parent doesn’t make.enough. if he or she can not afford it all now put it on a tab to be paid.over time. My ex won’t buy anything for our kids including Xmas presents, birthday presrnts, or other such items. He says since he pays child support that covers it. He lives about 900 miles away from me and won’t come to see the kids. He blames me for not seeing them saying he can not afford to pay child support and come see them. Yet he can afford trips to south America (2x in 2011). He said since they are only two it is not important to see them now anyway cause they will not remember.

  29. 528
    John Doe says:

    I take home about 2500 a month. My wife takes home about 2800. I don’t want a divorce, but if we were to I would pay approximately 600 a month in support. That leaves me with 1900 to live on. After rent (700), transportation expenses (gas, insurance, and payment:450), and bills (electric 150, water, 30, food, 300) – I would have (1900-1630) 270 left each month while she gets to live on 3400 a month. That is nearly twice my monthly net. IT IS NOT THAT EXPENSIVE TO RAISE KIDS. The current system puts the non-custodial parent in the poor house with no money to save for retirement or even do anything besides work and eat. I am in a good marriage and neither of us want a divorce, but we both agree the current system is wrong.

  30. 529
    Robert says:

    John – If you take half the parenting time with the kids, then your to-be-ex-wife would pay you a (very small) amount of support, since her income is slightly higher.

    If you aren’t doing half the parenting work, then you’re going to have to provide more than half of the economic support. This does not strike me as unjust. Since you’re both working full-time, I assume, the implication is that you should also be both doing roughly equal amounts of parenting now. Why should that change after a divorce?

    It would strike me as unjust if you were a good parent, and wanted half the parenting time, but were denied the opportunity to do that and were instead forced to be a walking wallet. But that isn’t what you’re laying out as the prospective problem; you appear rather to be assuming that you’d be the noncustodial parent, and I’m assuming that you’d be content with that from your presentation, but correct me if I’m wrong.

  31. 530
    Gary says:

    This “blog” is completely wrong. The average payment for child support is NOT $280 and I would love to see the source for this information. I myself pay a little over $700 per month for 1 child that lives in the state of Ohio. Average cost for rent in the state of Ohio is between $350-$450 per month. Now you tell me how I’m NOT paying an outrageous amount for child support. Due to how much I pay, my ex now has no job, is on welfare, and is living comfortably off of my child support payments alone. Tell me how that’s justified?

  32. 531
    Robert says:

    I would love to know someone lives comfortably on $700 a month. By the way, “my experience is above the stated average, therefore the average is bullshit” is evidence that you don’t understand averages, but nothing else.

    As for the requested cite, it is RIGHT BY the quoted information in the original post. The source is the Bureau of Labor.

  33. 532
    Robert says:

    Also, I don’t see what the cost of rent has to do with whether your ordered payment is ridiculous or not. If you make $5 an hour, a support order of $100 a month is a major burden. If you make $5k a day, an order for $10,000 a month is not burdensome at all. It is your income, and the parenting time arrangement. that determines whether a particular order is defensible.

  34. 533
    chingona says:

    I would love to know someone lives comfortably on $700 a month.

    She lives so comfortably on it that she’s also on welfare. Seriously, we pay the babysitter $600 a month just for the one little kid and another $150 a month for the before-school care for the older kid because we can’t get to our jobs on time otherwise. Maybe that has more to do with why his ex doesn’t work than how comfortably she’s living with a kid on $700 a month.

  35. 534
    Jenn says:

    I have enjoyed this post and all the comments. I’m a single mother raising my two kids alone. I have heard over and over how child support is unfair. And how could a kid cost more than “$100″ a month or some other ridiculous BS… I don’t think the men who complain about child support have ANY CLUE what it costs to raise a child. I loved Vicki’s post detailing about the difference of the costs. I have my kids 100% of the time, and that alone costs more than any joint custody sort of thing. I have had to turn down jobs that involved travel. When the kids were younger, daycare was easily 1200/month. .. for years.
    Also I want to add, ANY TIME i hear about a woman saying she agrees child support is too high, it’s because she’s dating someone who owes child support, not because she thinks she’s getting too much. LOL

  36. 535
    chris says:

    1200 dollars a month? wow, I find state licenced daycares in connecticut(one of the highest priced places to live) for 170.00-200.00 per week full time with all meals and snacks included. If you indeed are paying 1200 dollars a month in daycare you need to search around for a better deal because you are being taken advantage of.

  37. 536
    Jenn says:

    1200 was for 2 kids. :) They are older than daycare age now.. this is all in the past. It was aprox 150/week for each kid. My kids are school aged now, 11 & 9.

  38. 537
    Ampersand says:

    Just in case people are curious, this USA Today article includes a table showing average annual childcare costs for each of the fifty states.

  39. 538
    Jenn says:

    Daycare and preschool are not the same thing.

  40. 539
    chingona says:

    chris … $200/wk x 4.5 wk/month = $900/month for just one kid. Which sounds about right, though we’re in a much less expensive state. When we had both kids in daycare, with the older one being cheaper because they can have a higher teacher-to-child ratio, we paid $1,700 a month. Our $600 a month babysitter isn’t licensed. She’s just a woman who takes care of one or two kids at a time in her home. For state-licensed daycare for an almost 2-year-old, we’re not finding anything below $800 a month. Most of them are closer to $1,000.

  41. 540
    chingona says:

    Amp … I thought the numbers seemed really low in your chart. Then I saw that the article is from 2006.

  42. 541
    Jenn says:

    Men, before you start doing that stupid math, saying you are being screwed while she lives the high life, stop and think – would your ex live where she lives if she didn’t have the kids? Would she need as big of a place, or that much family support if it were just her? Every single item on that kids body, who bought it? Who paid for their schools field trip, fund raiser, year book? Who pays for the school lunches? Yeah, those cost too. Did your kid do any sports or get any tutoring? Who paid for that? :). Now I know there are men who do help with incidentals. Those men are golden, but those men tend to be most rational when talking About child support. The ones who complain the loudest are the ones most unaware of the real costs.

  43. 542
    ken says:

    Jenn, listen to the comments. Most guys are not bashing their ex’s, they’re basically saying that the system is screwed up. I’ve been divorced for over 14 years. I always stayed near my daughter, traveling over 5 hours a day to work.
    I never faulted on my support obligations and paid for every extra curricular sport/activity she participated in. She has since graduated from Harvard with honors. I believe 100% that her success is due to my participation in her life. Her mother was abusive and vindictive and used the court system to it’s fullest for her own financial support. I paid for my daughter’s first car, college, cloths, cell phone and much more. I have horror stories regarding how the courts treated me and my present family read # 524 for example. My wife and I would jokingly talk about getting a divorce, so that she and the girls would have a better life financially. She has two children, my ex has one, we calculated that in the end she would have more financially then we have now. How sad is that!!! Everyone needs to stand up against the present system, for this to work for both sides. The way it is now just produces desperate fathers who’s only way to cope, is to lash out verbally and in some cases physically. And it does not adequately support the mothers who really need it.

  44. 543
    Ampersand says:

    Most guys are not bashing their ex’s, [...] [My ex] was abusive and vindictive and used the court system to it’s fullest for her own financial support.

    Ken, are you conscious of the irony of what you just wrote?

    I also disagree that the system is responsible for producing fathers whose only way to cope is to lash out “in some cases physically.” I don’t care how unfair a man’s (or woman’s) child support order is, if he (or she) escalates into violence, that’s the fault of the violent person, not of the family court system.

    I think the system should be reformed to be fairer to both men and women. But no matter how good the system is, as long as non-custodial parents are asked to support their children in any substantial way, there are going to be some NCPs complaining that they pay far too much and the CP is lazy and horrible and does nothing but sit on their butt all day long.

  45. 544
    Jenn says:

    “no matter how good the system is, as long as non-custodial parents are asked to support their children in any substantial way, there are going to be some NCPs complaining that they pay far too much and the CP is lazy and horrible and does nothing but sit on their butt all day long.”

    I agree 100%.

    And forgive me, I am coming from the perspective my ex hasn’t paid a dime in over 2 years. In that time he has seen his kids ONCE. he does not provide insurance. he does NOTHING to support or help his kids. He’s still convinced since I make more than him, I should not get child support. We were married, he wanted the kids. I did not trick him. He reads up on how child support is unfair and gets on those men’s websites and well tell me to read about it online. “everyone” agrees with him. I find it hard to believe that anyone would side with a man who rarely sees his kids, doesn’t pay child ANY support and doesn’t help with a single incidental. I don’t make THAT much. it’s not like I won the lotto. I admit I make more than most single moms, I went to college and have a degree that earns good money, but that doesn’t change the fact that kids cost money.

    He will likely be arrested by the state in the next year. he owes over 20K at this point. Yet he will still argue “everyone” online agrees with him. So men, keep in mind who is twisting your words when you post reform is needed.

  46. 545
    ken says:

    Ken, are you conscious of the irony of what you just wrote?

    Absolutely “&”,
    vi·o·lence   [vahy-uh-luhns]
    noun
    1. swift and intense force: the violence of a storm.
    2. rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment: to die by violence.
    3. an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws: to take over family and civil rights maters by government.
    4. a violent act or proceeding.
    5. rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language: the violence of his hatred.
    Which description of violence were you referring to?? Most likely you assumed spousal or child abuse and not fathers getting upset in court!! Why is it when someone quote’s another’s blog, they try to make a martyr of themselves by assuming the writer meant the worst. There’s that word again “assume”, and everybody knows what that means:-)
    And Jenn…. What “&” is trying to say is “deal with it”, or am I ASSUMING?

  47. 546
    Ampersand says:

    Ken, when you said (emphasis added) that the system “just produces desperate fathers who’s only way to cope, is to lash out verbally and in some cases physically“, what did you mean?

    Are you seriously claiming that “in some cases physically” refers to people getting upset in court? In what way is getting upset in court an example of “physically” lashing out?

  48. 547
    Jenn says:

    And I highly doubt your wife would be better off divorced. I don’t know of anyone who is actually better off financially divorced than married. Mathematically two houses on the same income as one, both will suffer.
    Emotionally – that’s another story!

  49. 548
    ken says:

    Drug test or no child support
    A leftist-feminist web site reports:
    The idea of forcing those who want unemployment benefits or government subsidize like welfare or food stamps to first pass a drug test is nothing new.

    But forcing a custodial parent to pee in a cup to get child support payments? Well, that definitely is.

    Drug testing for child support is the brainchild of Iowa Republican Senator Mark Chelgren, who thinks it’s the next logical step after testing anyone getting public assistance. …

    But Chelgren is a huge fan of parental rights. In fact, he even sponsored “A concurrent resolution urging the members of the Congress of the United States to propose a parental rights amendment to the Constitution of the United States for submission to the states for ratification.”
    I guess the author is suggesting a contradiction here, but there is not. Child support has become part of the welfare system. No self-respecting parent would accept court-ordered child support, unless she was part of the welfare class. The money is not even to be spent on the kids.

    Yes, parents have a right to rear their kids as they see fit. But that should not include the right to use the welfare system to collect money to buy alcohol and recreational drugs.

  50. 549
    ken says:

    Jenn says: I don’t know of anyone who is actually better off financially divorced than married.

    Answer:
    Ron pearlman’s four ex wives, Elin Nordegren, Donald Trump’s ex, Irina Abranovich, Elaine Wynn, just a few…

  51. 550
    ken says:

    To: &

    A disgruntled father in a spousal support case is facing an assault charge after attempting to arrest his judge for “crimes against humanity.”
    Peter Cornakovic, 42, of Burlington, was released on $50,000 bail yesterday after a hearing in Milton court.
    Cornakovic, an accountant who has faced a seven-year legal battle since separating from his wife in 1995, was arrested June 13 after trying to arrest Mr. Justice Terrance O’Connor.

    [Long excerpt deleted by moderator. Link to rest of article.. –Amp]

  52. 551
    Jenn says:

    I’m pretty sure they had more money married.

  53. 552
    ken says:

    Another to &:

    Prosecutors on Friday charged San Francisco’s newly sworn-in sheriff with three misdemeanors, including violence, related to a Family Court Judge.

    Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi faces one count each of verbal violence battery, and dissuading a witness, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said.

    “While I do not relish having to bring charges against a San Francisco elected official, I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the state of California, and as the chief law enforcement official for the city and county of San Francisco, it is my solemn duty to bring criminal charges when the evidence supports such action,” Gascon said.

    “Whether this was the elected sheriff or any other San Francisco resident, this type of behavior is inexcusable, criminal and will be prosecuted,” the district attorney said.

    Gascon said the basis for the charge was that the couple’s son saw the alleged incident occur. Gascon declined to explain the allegation that Mirkarimi influenced a witness.

    Mirkarimi was booked at San Francisco County Jail, said San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Andraychak. He was released on $35,000 bail.

  54. 553
    ken says:

    [There was no content to this post other than a very long article, quoted in full. Anyone who wants to read the article — “Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome” — can follow the link. –Amp]

  55. 554
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Ken – I’m not a moderator here, so I’m not telling you what to do or not to do, I’m just genuinely confused – what in the world do you think you’re achieving by copy & pasting all this stuff here? Do you assume that the readers of this blog do not understand how links work?

  56. 555
    ken says:

    Irina Abranovich was an immigrant from Russia, now she is a multi millionaire, Elin Nordegren was a no name model, now she is a multi millionaire Ron Perlman’s ex’s, all in the same boat. Nuff said..

  57. 556
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Ken – they became multi-millionaires once they got married, not once they got divorced.

  58. 557
    Jenn says:

    “Ken – they became multi-millionaires once they got married, not once they got divorced.”

    Bingo.

    No one ends out “richer” divorced.

  59. 558
    Ampersand says:

    Ken, remember you’re here to have a discussion. not to deliver a lecture to the rest of us.

    1) If you find that the majority of recent comments are written by you, or that you’ve posted three or more comments in a row, then probably you should slow down.

    2) No more comments that consist of nothing but quotes – especially long quotes. As Eytan suggested, use links and brief quotes.

  60. 559
    Jenn says:

    To John doe.

    “I take home about 2500 a month. My wife takes home about 2800. I don’t want a divorce, but if we were to I would pay approximately 600 a month in support. That leaves me with 1900 to live on. After rent (700), transportation expenses (gas, insurance, and payment:450), and bills (electric 150, water, 30, food, 300) – I would have (1900-1630) 270 left each month while she gets to live on 3400 a month. That is nearly twice my monthly net. IT IS NOT THAT EXPENSIVE TO RAISE KIDS. The current system puts the non-custodial parent in the poor house with no money to save for retirement or even do anything besides work and eat. I am in a good marriage and neither of us want a divorce, but we both agree the current system is wrong.”

    If you divorced you’d move out. . Your wife (ex) would now have to pay 700 from tthe 3400, leaving 2700. That would already be 100 behind what she’s normally, and would have no one to share other expenses with either. In a “typical divorce” she’d also be primarily responsible for providing for the kids day to day. I don’t think she’d come out much better than you at all.

  61. 560
    ken says:

    Eytan-
    I prefer the old wooden posts myself, a nice picket fence with good solid wooden posts. These new fancy metal posts and chain LINK fences are so impersonal. Ahh What dark times we live in, and chain LINK fences can only bring more chaos. People will say: “But metal fences are easier to climb and you can see through them!” Yes, yes, but at what cost? Metal fences are bland and vindictive while wooden ones are not and can spread messages even if it’s ‘name+name=forever’

  62. 561
    james says:

    I don’t care how unfair a man’s (or woman’s) child support order is, if he (or she) escalates into violence, that’s the fault of the violent person, not of the family court system.

    I’m not sure. That’s very conservative and authoritatian thinking. The law is backed up with violence “do x or we will take your property / arrest you”. Can’t you see how, particularly if the law is unjust, it’s a bit strange to say that when a person who’s being threated with violence for unjust purposes responds or doesn’t comply that they ‘escalated’ things and it’s their fault? Surely the escalation started when people began throwing around unreasonable threats of violence, and surely the law has a responsibility to be fair?

  63. 562
    chris says:

    tale of two women,
    senereo 1
    first woman, a mother of two, the husband divorces her for fornication and infedelity. The woman takes the husband to court and has his parental rights removed based on a false allegation of molestation. The woman takes the husband to court for a support order. The woman continues to have support order modifications once ever 6 months requesting an increase in support for over seven years. The divorced dad pays his support based on court ordered amounts on time and has no arrearages.

    senereo 2
    second woman, a mother of one, never married to the father of the child. Told the father that she was having an abortion soon after getting pregnant and asked the father for money for the procedure. The father supports the womans decision but the relationship ends. Five years later the woman finds the man and informs him that he has a child, dna tests prove it. She doesn’t want to go to court for support but just wants the father in the childs life. The father goes to court and pays all state arrearages on the first day of court. The court asks the woman if she wants back arrearages for the five years of the childs life amounting to more than 35 thousand dollars, the woman tells the court that she did indeed tell the man that she intended on having an abortion and never told him he had a child, therefore the man should not be held responcible for back support, to which the court officials respond “i can’t believe that someone actually wants to be fair, you know, you are entitled to more than 35 thousand dollars, right?” The woman sticks to her decision and continues to tell the court that she didn’t want any support, she just wanted the father to be present in the childs’ life. The man then sais that he is wanting to pay support, to which the court orders a support payment which the man pays on time.

    what do we think of each senereo, which man is the better man, or which woman is the better woman? Should these situations be recognised by courts as admirable or questionable. Do we find more symphathy for either man?

    What if I told you that the husband in senereo 1 and the man in senereo 2 were the same man. Truth is, the problem isn’t the amount of support. It’s support in general. A real man doesn’t need to be told or forced to take care of his children, however, some men in this world have ruined it for other men. In an ideal world both parents would continue to work together for the best interest of their offspring, unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. When a divorce ocurrs someone normally gets hurt, either the man or the woman depending on the situation. Most times this pain leads the hurt party to try to exact some revenge at any cost, no matter who it hurts including the children. This unfortunate situation leads to some third party moderator that basis all their decisions off of the “normal situation”, again unfortunately, most of the time the situation is everything but normal, leading to some form of precieved unfair decision to one party or the other.
    Basicly what you have is a big problem with no solution, on one hand you have a bunch of scorn women, hurt by the men who either abused them or left them for someone else, who seek a way to hurt the man back. On the other hand you have a bunch of men who have been hurt by a woman who cheated, took his kids, etc, and he wants to get back by not paying support. (i am not saying that is the right course of action.) In either case there is no way to create a system that would appease both sides, that being said there will always be cases where the decision is unfair, and for those people I am truely sorry, and i wish there was something that could be done.

  64. 563
    Ampersand says:

    James, I surely agree that some laws arise to such a level of unjustness that violence in response to them can be justified. A slavery law, for example. I don’t believe that laws requiring parents to support their children rise to that level of injustice.

    Your logic, if we took it seriously, would say that it’s always reasonable for any citizen who believes him or herself to have been mistreated by a court, to attack the judge physically. After all, by your logic, it’s always the state (represented by the judge) who implicitly threw “around unreasonable threats of violence,” and attacking the judge is only the person responding in kind.

    I don’t think it’s possible to have a worthwhile society in which the state doesn’t have a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. That’s a necessary — although not a sufficient — condition for a civilization worth living in.

  65. 564
    Jenn says:

    Chris, regarding scenario 2, no one takes anyone to court to enforce involvement? Courts have no control over involvement. They can grant visitation, but no one can make an absent parent be involved.

  66. 565
    VVV says:

    I don’t like the hypocrisy of the child support system. When men are ordered to pay, the main thing is the children. Men are deadbeats, and draconian measures have to be taken to squeeze the money out of them.

    When women are non-custodial parents … well … look up some of the statistics. If you’re fair about looking them up – and are not just looking for what you want to see – you will note a huge difference in treatment. The default rate of women is almost twice that of men (I think well over 50% vis-a-vis around 29%), and women are ordered to pay far less child support.

    I know the argument is going to come up that women earn less, but: (1) Income is simply not imputed to women. If they don’t work, they (i.e. their new husbands or boyfriends – because they don’t work) pay nothing or a nominal amount. Income is very much imputed to men, and men are also subject to thundering speeches about how they better pick up cans from the road, but they are going to meet a healthy child support payment.

    And kids are NOT the number 1 when it comes to a woman paying the child support, many times the focus is on HER problems.

    I know it’s a cynical comment, but probably the only way to become a bit more human with men is to apply exactly the same standards to women. Across the board. That would prompt a change.

  67. 566
    mythago says:

    Somehow, I don’t think james’ “come see the violence inherent in the system!” argument would be dragged out if we were talking about a woman who killed her ex-husband rather than surrender custody of their children.

  68. 567
    Jenn says:

    Crimes of passion are named that for a reason. Women have passion over people, and I guess Ken is aruging that men have passion over their money.

    I think its all too easy for a NCP who owes child support to think it’s revenge or grudge money. Or their ex is still mad about the details of their divorce.

    My ex thinks that. He thinks I’m angry about our divorce (almost 11 years ago). I am not. I don’t even think about that. I am, however, extremely disappointed in his ability to ever call his kids, pay ANY child support, be any sort of father. Recently, out of the blue, he asked me if I’d consider sharing the kids 50/50 and removing child support. considering that he hasn’t seen the kids in over a year, i said no. He thinks I needed to let go of my anger from him infidelity (which makes no sense. that’s not even a factor in my thoughts). He has shown no track record of being reliable and a parent. why would I agree to that? even when he lived in town, he would “forget” his custody days… daycare would call me to tell me the kids are still there and they are about to close. I reminded hi we currently have “shared custody”. yet he chooses not to exercise it, why would I agree to more time for him?

    He still thinks this is related to his infidelity. why is that? Too often people want their Rights enforced, but don’t want to think about their Responsibility.

  69. 568
    james says:

    Your logic, if we took it seriously, would say that it’s always reasonable for any citizen who believes him or herself to have been mistreated by a court, to attack the judge physically.

    Where did I ever say any violence is justified? All I said the law has a responsibility to be fair and if situations escalate into violence because of unreasonable law that is the fault of the justice system. That’s vs your bizarre and still not defended opinion that we shouldn’t care about fairness, and if unjust decisions by the legal systems end in pointless and avoidable violence that’s none of their responsibility.

  70. 569
    Ampersand says:

    James, I care about fairness. However, there’s this enormous gray area between “thinking people who physically attack judges because they don’t like their child support orders aren’t responsible for their own choices, it’s the system’s fault” and “caring about fairness” which I think we should explore.

  71. 570
    Eytan Zweig says:

    james – one problem I see with what you are saying, in the context of what ken was saying earlier, is that there’s a circularity to the logic – violence as a response to an unfair legal decision is the responsibility of the legal system; but (apparently) one way we tell that a legal decision was unfair is because it provokes violence.

    Under this system, the legal system is responsible for any act of violence against it.

  72. 571
    ken says:

    So…&, what contribution/experience do you bring to this forum, please do tell us of your woes..

  73. 572
    Ampersand says:

    WV, please don’t just tell us to “look it up.” Provide links to legitimate sources, please.

    Ken: No thank you.

  74. 573
    mythago says:

    That is, of course, not actually what you said, james; but it’s good that you confirmed you indeed support the actions of a non-custodial mother who kills her ex-husband and a judge for “unjustly” taking her children from her.

  75. 574
    Elusis says:

    Wait, James, when you refer to violence, are you talking about justification for violence against judges, or ex-wives/partners?

  76. 575
    justamother says:

    Average child support is $280 really? I have 3 teenage sons, my support order is $635 per month. My ex husband sold everything and left the state we live in. Didn’t tell anyone, for that entire year he paid a total of $654, yes that is total. Then he finally got a job and got some of his wages garnished but after about 9 months he got another DUI and now owes just about $10,000 he works under the table doing construction, he lives rent free from a friend. When I call the enforcement office they tell me they can’t get blood from a turnip and can’t get money from someone that is poor. I paid for all of our joint accounts after we got divorced, I pay for the boys insurance and all of their medical costs, I pay for their lunches, and snacks and dinners, I pay for their clothes, I pay for their events, I pay for everything and I get told he is too poor. Granted he doesn’t live a wonderful life but I believe it is all about priorities. Some people are just not willing or not able to make anyone a priority over themselves. Some people spend so much time complaining about how hard life is for themselves they forget they have kids they should be supporting. My ex forgets our kids birthdays and at times their names. Then he will call them on his birthday and yell at them because they didn’t call him. I wish he could understand how hurtful that is for his sons. I wish he could see anything beyond himself.

  77. 576
    Jenn says:

    @Cal, regarding Sue and Jack, and their child.

    “ok so sue and jack both work 40 hours a week, at a quickly estimated wage of lets say $7.50. Quick math sais… 300.00 a week per person before taxes. Ok so. Sue and jack both contribute equally to the marriage and their child, as most couples do, but then for some reason sue and jack split up. ….” and you go on to give a long example of ” Jack is living off 129.00 a week, where as Sue is making 281.00 working the same amount of time at the exact same wage”.

    You aren’t filling in a lot of pieces here. Where is this kid living most of the time, who is driving this kid around, who who’s buying the child’s clothes, food, school supplies, over the counter meds, sports supplies? Its not like Sue is making MORE than before, she’s getting less. she ALSO used to split expenses with someone.

    Ok lets continue with your example…
    Lets say they are living in a two bedroom apartment that costs $600 a month. Prior to divorce they were pulling in, say…. $2000 a month together. They spent 500 on rent. 100 on electricity, 400 on food, 100 on auto insurance, 100 on gas, Each adult spent about 100 on misc personal items, the child needs about 200 a month on personal items (school supplies, sport supplies, field trips, birthday presents for friends, clothes, outgrowing shoes, jackets, ). that left about $300 in discretionary income that was always ate up with other things.

    So lets say one parent has primary custody and is responsible for daily expenses. Lets say its SUE.

    Sue now has a monthly income of… $1000 + (71*4.5)… 300ish.. wow a whole 300 a month. = 1300

    She still needs a 2 bedroom apartment. it’s still $600. (now almost half of her income)
    electricity goes down a little with one less person… 80
    Food will go down a little with 2/3rds the people… 250
    lets say gas is half, but unlike, since the kids still needs to go places. 50
    auto insurance is not even close to half,. lets say 70 for fun.
    child expenses are the same 200.
    Sue cuts back on her personal expenses. 50

    Oh wait, that’s 1300 right away. and leaves No discretionary income. yeah sue is sure living the high life.

    If Jack is anything my ex (when he actually paid support). H will get a nice one bedroom apartment at HALF my rent. it didn’t matter what school district it was in, he moved closer to his work. his gas went down. it had a pool, the kids loved visiting. He ate very cheapy, there was no buying mounds of kid friendly food and snacks every day. his food expenses were cheaper. he actually took a job that had him traveling a bit more, his living expenses went down. .He never paid for school pictures. no children’s tylenol. no swim suits, no kids shoes. he was already providing insurance for the kids, so that was not an added expense.

    He had enough money (and time) to date and make a new life for himself. I did not for YEARS.

    And know, I’m not pretending a one bedroom apartment is the high life… but I had no money or time for years. years and years. the above scenario didn’t even include daycare or after school care, which ate up my income for years. years and years. My numbers are different, but it worked out that every single penny of mine was ate up, I lived off a deficit for years.

    If you read studies of Standard of Living after divorce women are always harder hit. the % varies depends on the study, but not one shows women doing better than men.

  78. 577
    Jenn says:

    I think a lot of NCPs move out of their house thinking that the house they are leaving somehow stays at the same standard of living as when they lived there… (which is IMPOSSIBLE since a big chunk of the of the household income is going with them)… But the NCP only knows the family to live one way… and don’t realize how things have changed at the CPs home too.

  79. 578
    VVV says:

    I realize that these sites are for advocacy (not finding the truth), but there is such a tilt to this thread that I had to point it out.

    Ampersand writes: “Please don’t post about how you have an income of $500 a month and the judge ordered you to pay $2000 a month in child support to your ungrateful lazy ex-spouse who spends all the child support money on dresses she can wear to the track and she earns more than you do anyway and the judge won’t even reply to your motions. Unless I know both you and your ex-spouse, and can verify for myself that she’d tell me the same version of events that you’re telling me, I don’t think anecdotal evidence of that sort is more useful than the federal data.”

    ———

    But I see lots of (I assume) women, custodial parents, doing exactly what Ampersand forbids or at least heavily discourages the men, or non-custodial parents, to do. Namely provide anecdotal evidence.

    Actively providing conditions that hamper one side of the argument is clearly not going to result in a fair picture of the issue. That is also fine – everyone is an advocate for something – but I wanted to point out that this thread is simply one-sided (for anyone really interested in the truth).

  80. 579
    Ampersand says:

    VVV, if you read through this thread, you’ll see that there are MANY examples of NCP fathers who have posted their anecdotes here (as well as women who have done the same). It’s my rule, and I’m entitled to bend it when I think a comment that breaks the rule is interesting in some way.

    That you think I’ve only broken the rule for mothers and/or CPs suggests that you’re not reading nearly as objectively as you think you are. Just read the most recent 20 comments and you’ll find comments from angry fathers.

  81. 580
    ken says:

    Let us not blame our CP’s, NCP’s or ex’s, but the system that governs them….
    -State assistance is available if you can prove that you cannot provide for your family. Except in the case of child support? If you cannot provide for your child under a support order, you go to jail!!!
    -The CSS department is a multibillion dollar a year business with directors making over $100.000 plus perks.
    -It is more important that child support be paid, than interaction with the child. A good father makes sure that payments are on time and in some cases may require sacrifices that would exclude them from their visitational rights. “Quote Judge John Biesel”

  82. 581
    chris says:

    I intend to prove that single persons required by state law to provide child support for one child who makes less than 19.50 an hour is over exherted in child support and in this case support is set too high.
    I will set out to prove that the current support guideline is true and fair, meaning that the current support obligation never sets any individual under the national poverty level.

    I will do this by method of mathematical induction.
    let x be equal to the NCP’s gross wages.
    Let current support obligation for one child in the united states stand at 23% of gross wages.
    Taxes are as follows
    T(f) (federal) equals 17.5%
    T(s) (state) equals 3.5%
    T(ss) (social security) equals 6.2%
    T(m) (medicare) equals 1.45%
    For a combined T(t0tal) of 28%

    let f (federal poverty level) equal 19,000.00

    We will use the equasion x-c-t(total)>f
    p(n) equals n-(23%n)-(28%n)>19,000.00
    P(1) = 1-(.23*1)-(.28*1)>19,000.00
    or .49 19,000.00
    P(k+1)=(k+1)- [.23(k+1)]-[.28(k+1)] > 19,000.00

    proof(MI)
    alg k+1-.23k-.23-.28k-.28>19,000.00
    alg k-.23k-.23-.28k-.28>18,999.00
    alg k-.23k-.28k-.28>18999.23
    alg k-.23k-.28k>18999.51

    p(k) does not imply p(k+1) because P(k+1)=18999.60 does not fullfill P(k) so by PoMI
    therefore P(n) is not true for all numbers n
    let x equal 18.00/hr
    18*40*50(standard work hours by american consensus)
    36000.00 per year
    36000.00-(36000.00*.23)-(36000.00-.28)
    36000.00-8280-10080=17640.00
    17640.00>19000.00
    Q.E.D

  83. 582
    chris says:

    I see a lot of people on here are stating that this current system is fair, I beg to differ.
    Federal regulations have laws in place to assist families that need help, there is an allotment of 24000.00 dollars yearly per family that is avaliable for those living under poverty level. However this only counts for people that earn less than poverty standards. A NCP male or female that makes more than the federal poverty level is not eligible for any of those benefits. This i see as a problem. Having already proven that the current child support enforcement will indeed place people in poverty if they make anything under 19.50 an hour, I make the claim that those individuals that make less than 19.50 and more than 12.00 per hour are forced into poverty with no option of assistance, and this is wrong. where as all CP’s making minimum wage up to 12.00 per hour are entitled to assistance along with CS payments. I find this to be an unfair loophole in the system. This should be changed.

  84. 583
    Jenn says:

    That is an interesting argument. I do not have time to look at the numbers right now. just a few links to start

    per http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/12poverty.shtml#thresholds

    Poverty for one is: $11,170
    2: $15,130 (because it does cost more for more than one person)
    3: $19,090

  85. 584
    Ruchama says:

    Chris, I’m a mathematician, and I just read through your proof twice and still have no idea what you’re doing or trying to say. You’ve either missed or mistyped a whole bunch of symbols, you never define c (though I think you mean for it to be the child support payment), and your inductive step makes no sense. Why are you inducting on the person’s salary? And your base case seems to be .49 > 19000, which, again, makes no sense, since for a proof by induction to work at all, you need your base case to be true. You could state your case far more clearly by just calculating that someone making $36,000 a year would end up below the poverty line according to your calculations. But I disagree with the object of those calculations, too — a child is an expense. You can’t count take-home pay after paying a bunch of bills and say that, since that now-reduced pay is below the poverty line, then the person is living below the poverty line.

  86. 585
    chris says:

    The common consensus on this site is that child support is fair and does not need modification, therefore stating that all individuals ordered to pay support have an equal chance to a normal life with all the normal benefits that such individuals making similar moneys would be entitled to. That being said it is imparitave to prove that this current system has no absolute negative effect on any individual currently paying support. Therefore, all individuals paying support must be at or over the national poverty level line. I say this because CS is not a vallid expence, it is not counted as an expence when applying for housing assistance, food stamps, college tuition reimbursement, and the list goes on.
    Moving on to my next point, any person except those NCP’s that are forced into poverty (those working for between 12.00 and 19.50 an hour) are not given the national benefits of those living in poverty when by my proof are living in poverty. However those NCP’s living on a wage under 12.00 an hour are given an annuam allowance of 24,000.00 a year, thereby placing them over the poverty level at no increase in cs payment, and at a higher income than the 12.00 to 19.50 dollar an hour NCP. We find this fair?
    “I will set out to prove that the current support guideline is true and fair, meaning that the current support obligation never sets any individual under the national poverty level.”

    P(1) = 1-(.23*1)-(.28*1)>19,000.00 you are correct my p(1) doesn’t work
    therefore the statement that support obligation never sets any individual under the national poverty level remains false, therefore verifying my statement.
    p(19.50) results in a true statement. All other mathematical induction is unnessary.

    in responce to 11170, in alaska. nation wide average 19000.

  87. 586
    chris says:

    lets expand this then
    lets say that for any wage x if and only if x is less than 12.00 per hour then (( x * 40 hours * 50 weeks) minus 28% and minus 23%) before plus 24000.00 must be greater than the national average poverty level of 19000.00
    and for any wage x after that (x*40*50) – 28% -23% must be greater than 19000.00
    then we have
    2000x – .28x -.23x +24000.00 > 19000.00
    even if we substitute 0 for x it remains true,
    and
    2000x-.28x-.23x >19000.00
    lets substitute 13.00
    26000.00>19000.00 therefore not entitled to assistance.
    26000.00 – 7280-5980=12740.00
    12740>19000 is not true.
    therefore living in poverty, and any individual living in poverty is entitled assistance, but not in this case because your household gross income is more than the national poverty line average.

    As a matter of face this hole runs from 12.01 to about 19.50 an hour.
    So what does this tell us, in escence this tells us that any person between the wages of 12.00 and 19.00 should quit their job and take a job under 12.00 an hour that way they can make more than the 19.50 an hour person. There holds no benefit to work. This is a problem.

  88. 587
    mythago says:

    Let current support obligation for one child in the united states stand at 23% of gross wages.

    Protip: There are certainly places on the internet where you can sling around proof-y arguments and people will say “Gosh, he must be right because numbers!” This isn’t one of them, as Ruchama points out.

    Child support is also calculated differently by different states.

  89. 588
    Ruchama says:

    P(1) = 1-(.23*1)-(.28*1)>19,000.00 you are correct my p(1) doesn’t work
    therefore the statement that support obligation never sets any individual under the national poverty level remains false, therefore verifying my statement.

    It’s still a pointless statement. No one is going to take someone earning $1 a month and order him to pay 23 cents of it in child support.

  90. 589
    Ruchama says:

    And you still haven’t addressed my argument that the child support is paying for something — you can’t calculate wages – child support = REAL wages, any more than you can subtract any other regular expenses.

  91. 590
    Jenn says:

    With that argument almost all of us are living in poverty. I don’t know anyone who has 19000 after expenses.

  92. 591
    Jenn says:

    I guess a better question would be: do you really think “child support” is greater than the cost of raising a child? In my case the child support isn’t even close to half of the cost of raising a child. My ex used to say he should only have to pay half the costs, I told him that was fine with me… once he realized my daycare costs alone he changed his tune.

    Everyone suffers with divorce – but who should suffer the least, and how do you do that. Who is the least responsible for the mess?

  93. 592
    chris says:

    Let me handle this in some sort of order. Jenn, i never in my postings said you have 19000.00 after expences,it was 19000.00 gross income before taxes and deductions. Pleanty of people in the world make that. As a matter of fact if you make more than 10.00 an hour you are above poverty because 10*40*50= 20000. Think about it this way, why do you think the federal government is pushing for a minimum wage hike to over 9.00 an hour. and here in connecticut they are pushing for 10.25 minimum wage. Because minimum wage doesn’t exceed the poverty line for a single person. It’s really simple economics.
    On to Ruchama, hope i spelled that right. Now my arguement to that statement is such. A person can not controll taxes or child support obligations, they are set in stone and failure to contribute result in jail. That being said a person otherwise can controll ever other expenditure in their lives. For example when a person hits hard times they can shut off their phone or cable, they can eat less, or drive less, however they can not pay less in child support, therefore it is not a true expense. Now on to my next point as i have said before, people that struggle and are living in poverty are allotted 24000.00(micro economics 2012) to assist them with housing and such, and it is calculated as such 1/3 for housing 1/3 for food and 1/3 for other again (micro economics 2012) or 6333 a year for each, or 528 per month for each of those 3 catagories at poverty level. wait, 528 dollars a month for housing. Yes. This is the same way that banks calculate your mortguage level when applying for a home. Now lets say that a NCP makes poverty, but then pays support which isn’t calculated, lets say an average of 23% for one kid, (federal guidlines) some states are different, some say 17% like arizona, some like mass say 20% and yet some like tennessee say up to 50% . so 4370 in support 19000.00-4370 is 14630. Now if we all can agree this person is at poverty level therefore is not eligible for assistance. And we can also agree that he has no controll over the payment of support. so 1/3 brings this ncp to 4877 a year or 406 a month in housing. In that situation the NCP is forced into poverty with no hope of assistance. where as the individual who makes 14630 a year without a CS obligation is allotted 24000.00 a year. So because a person has a child he is undeserving of assistance if he is in poverty?

  94. 593
    Ruchama says:

    A person can not controll taxes or child support obligations, they are set in stone and failure to contribute result in jail. That being said a person otherwise can controll ever other expenditure in their lives. For example when a person hits hard times they can shut off their phone or cable, they can eat less, or drive less, however they can not pay less in child support, therefore it is not a true expense.

    But it’s not like the person would have been paying any less if they were still married. A child costs money, and the parents have to pay that money, whether they’re married or not. You don’t calculate the “real” income for a married couple by subtracting what they need to spend on their kids.

  95. 594
    chris says:

    But it’s not like the person would have been paying any less if they were still married. A child costs money, and the parents have to pay that money, whether they’re married or not. You don’t calculate the “real” income for a married couple by subtracting what they need to spend on their kids.

    When you are married and times are difficult you change your lifestyle to provide for your family, maybe you don’t have designer clothes because you can’t afford them, maybe you eat different foods, like starches and vegtables rather than that T-bone steak. You drink water instead of buying that case of pepsi. You don’t go on vacation that year. Life dictates what you buy, when you have a support obligation and times get rough the ex doesn’t care how hard it is, as long as they have their pepsi, T-bones and designer clothes, which they claim to be in the best interest of the child. Just because when you were married you could afford the 100 dollar nike brand shoes for your kid doesn’t mean you can afford the 100 dollar nike brand shoes after divorce. See when you are married money is combined, when you are divorced it is not. To expect to live in the exact situation as you did when you were married is ridiculous.
    Besides that wasn’t even my point, my point wasn’t about the amount of support, my point was that there was a problem with the system whereas, a person who makes between 12 and 19.50 is not given the same rights as a person who takes home and has to survive on the same monthly income. This in turn makes the person less willing to work and more willing to take a minimum wage job that would entitle him or her to gain access to those benefits that a person living in that same annual pay scale receive. It’s a multiple level problem for all sides, first it forces people out of skilled trade work and into labor jobs, taking away the skilled workers avaliable. second, it makes cs payments lower across the board because those individuals take the lesser paying job making the cs payment less as well, so it hurts the economy, and the CP. But it’s benefitial for the NCP because now he makes over poverty level. Anyone care to argue this?

  96. 595
    chris says:

    I guess a better question would be: do you really think “child support” is greater than the cost of raising a child? In my case the child support isn’t even close to half of the cost of raising a child. My ex used to say he should only have to pay half the costs, I told him that was fine with me… once he realized my daycare costs alone he changed his tune.

    Everyone suffers with divorce – but who should suffer the least, and how do you do that. Who is the least responsible for the mess?

    I don’t believe that the cs costs are higher than the cost of raising a child. I believe that lifestyles have to change after a divorce on both sides. I also believe that a cs payment should be used to determine poverty, and people “ordered” to pay cs should be entitled to the same rights as a person living in the same social standing. I believe if we as a country are willing to contribute to the poor community to assist them then we must do just that, and not make exceptions to the rule to exclude non-custodial parents. Non-custodial parents are people too, what makes them deserve any less benefits than the common criminal down the street making money doing under the table drug sales, and collecting unemployment? Honestly, does anyone really think that this situation is right, should all NCP’s be treated worse than a common criminal?

    I find your last statement very disturbing, who should suffer least? really? No one should suffer period. Do you honestly believe that a ncp should suffer because he or she doesn’t have the child with them?

  97. 596
    chris says:

    Lets move up to a new level.
    (economics 2012) National average poverty level for a family of 4 = 24000.00
    1/3 for housing
    8000.00 per year
    ~667.00 per month
    or ~ 167.00 per person per month
    2 parents 2 kids
    334.00
    1/3 for food
    8000.00 per year
    667.00/month
    167.00/ person per month
    334.00
    1/3 for other
    8000.00 per year
    667.00/ month
    167.oo per person per month
    334.00

    334+334+334=1002.00
    2 parents
    501.00 per month per parent for 2 kids to survive
    therefore
    250.50 per month per parent for 1 kid to survive.

    I hereby change my opinion to I believe that CS in most cases exceeds the cost to raise a child by United States Economics, and National poverty level information.

  98. 597
    ken says:

    Here’s some numbers for you.
    I was laid off last year and had a support order of $1,200 monthly.
    My new unemployment income of $405.00 weekly was garnished by 50% for child support. Which still left me with $400.00 accrued arrears monthly…
    This left me with $202.50 weekly to support my family of four, car payment, mortgage, utilities and food. My wife had a part time teachers job with a salary of $$1,400.00 monthly, out of which she paid for the monthly accrued $400.00. Leaving us a total of $1,800.00
    $245.00 car payment
    $1,600.00 mortgage
    $400.00 utilities
    $800.00 food
    My ex had a job with an income of $65,000 annual plus insurance and child support of $1,200.00 monthly, for a family of two.
    Here’s the kicker.. we were not eligible for state assistance because me and my wife’s combined monthly gross exceeded the allotted limit. I was out of work for a year begging and barrow-ing money from relatives to survive. My children had no insurance, and basically lived on mac&cheese and hot dogs. I have since retuned to work making $10,000 less, but still required to pay support to what my last jobs gross was. My wife and I both have Masters in our fields. The judged would not adjust my support because Quote: I have the education and potential for higher earnings. Go tell that to all the unemployed wall street execs working retail right now. What’s really bad is that these judges have no idea how bad it is out in the real world. SO, PLEASE enlighten me on how this system is fair…… Anybody doubts me give me your email address and I will send you copies of my unemployment records and support order…..

  99. 598
    mythago says:

    For example when a person hits hard times they can shut off their phone or cable, they can eat less, or drive less, however they can not pay less in child support

    Sure they can. They petition the court for a reduction in child support based on their income being reduced. Good luck trying that on your landlord.

  100. 599
    chris says:

    Sure they can. They petition the court for a reduction in child support based on their income being reduced. Good luck trying that on your landlord.

    This is how that works, first you go to the court to get a date 2 months later, then you wait 2 months while going into arrearages slowly, or while paying your full support but your utilities are being shut off and facing eviction, then you get to court to modify, but the judge says that you have the potential to make x dollars and support remains the same, at the same time your ex who is in the court mentions that you no longer have electricity and are about to get evicted and the judge places a hold on your visitation untill you get yourself “together”. Sounds like a winning situation to me.