I decided to write today on a subject that I have heard a lot of debate and controversy over lately. Especially in my job. I have been doing pro bono work for an attorney who is trying to finish up her divorce/family law cases and focus on other things. And in my past legal career this same issue came up time and time again…Support of the children of a divorce.
All international and national child support regulations recognize that every parent has an obligation to support his or her child. Therefore, both parents are required to share the responsibility for their child(ren)’s expenses.
Support monies collected are expected to be used for the child’s basic expenses, including food, shelter, clothing and educational needs. They are not meant to function as “spending money” for the child.
Over the last 25 years I have heard parents who receive support (mostly women) say that the other parent never pays for anything. When I point out that they are receiving support, their response is usually the same….”but that doesn’t count.” Well, yes, it does. When questioned further, I usually find the complaining parent is upset because he or she believes that the parent paying support should continue to dig further into their pockets (to the point of financial hardship or even bankruptcy) to continue to pay for the things that they want to buy for the children. Sorry, it just does not work that way.
As stated earlier, support is ordered to pay for food, shelter, clothing and EDUCATIONAL NEEDS. So when a mom says to a father who pays child support faithfully…”you have paid $0.00 towards your children’s educational needs this year.” Her statement is a lie. In fact, the very money he gives her for the support of their children should go towards paying for educational expenses. In addition, many fathers spend additional money out of their own pocket buying things such as mandatory school supplies, specialized supplies for a specific class, and other expenses necessary for school.
Many divorced mothers want to continue control their family financially, so it becomes difficult when father takes control of his financial life and doesn’t necessarily agree with mom’s terms. The bottom line is, if you are receiving child support, your children’s father IS paying for his children’s expenses. And saying otherwise is a lie. And if your children’s father is paying for additional things such as clothing, school supplies, extra classes or specialized classes, etc., be thankful he is willing to do so. Many fathers call it a day once that child support check is written.