I am lucky in that I have two well taken care of, healthy children. Neither of the children live with me instead they reside with their mothers. I must also be a somewhat stupid individual as I found out through a personal survey of single mothers that I know, I am one of the few that pays child support, or at least one that is up to date in his payments.
While I have no issue with paying child support, I do have issue with the supposed “neediness” of the children’s mothers when it comes to said support.
More so, even having to hear them utter the words “Do you have any idea how hard it is to make ends meet”…drives my blood pressure through the roof.
My son is 21 years old and I have been paying child support to his mother since 2000. I pay to his mother for his support $379 per month plus half of any extracurricular activities such as his hockey and major dental. I will admit in her defense she is reasonable about what she asks for in regards to the “extracurricular”. As of today I have given her child support payments to the tune of $55000.
About six months ago my son started talking about the possibility of moving in with me. When he mentioned this to his mother her response was that “she couldn’t afford for that to happen” AND “the only reason that your dad is willing to have you live with him is so he can stop paying child support”. “With your dad it is all about the money, not about you son, and besides I NEED that money”
In subsequent discussions with her she told me the same, her feelings that this was a ploy on my behalf to cease paying her. I reminded her that if he came to live with me, not only would I not be paying her but she would be paying me child support. She said that would never happen. She told me that without that money she would have to move to a smaller place and that our son could in no way ever come back. I believe that she played out the same sob-story for him because he never broached the subject again.
Now my ex wife makes good money, $60K, lives in a nice 3 bedroom apartment (her choice), has a paid up late model car and really no specific expenses (debts) outside of that. Her current boyfriend lives in Colorado and she flies to see him 4-5 times a year. If my child support payments are in the neighborhood of $4500 per year, I can see why she “needs” this money. I am not saying that she should not do whatever she wishes with her life, but I have had to make tremendous sacrifices over the years because of the amount of money I pay out in support. I just question if the support actually gets used for its intended purpose in the best way possible…for the child’s benefit.
My daughter is 9 years old and I have been paying child support to her mother since 2005. She has a different mother than my son. Her case is a bit different because she is younger and requires daycare so the mother can work. To her mother I give $870 per month. At the present time she has no specific extracurricular activities but does have a clothing allowance clause for an additional $500 per year over and above all other payments. To date I have paid $73,000 in support for her.
The $891 per month is broken down as such: $435 per month in child support, $400 per month for half of the daycare, $26 per month for an RESP (registered Education Savings Plan) and $30 per month for life insurance for me in case of my demise so that the payments will not cease.
My daughter’s mother makes $35K, lives in a humble 2 bedroom home that we bought together and I transferred fully into her name at time of separation. Before moving out I finished the basement (at my expense) so she could rent it to assist in payments. She presently rents the basement for $950 per month.
I have issue with her mother as she is constantly calling me and stating that “things are tight” and she wants an increase in support. My argument against this is as follows:
Her mom smokes and drinks. One pack a day minimum and one large bottle of red wine 2x a week to the tune of $425 per month. Once again I don’t specifically care how the mother uses the child support money in the big picture BUT I don’t want to hear the fridge is empty when mom is not curtailing any of her vices to compensate.
Because of her income she has the ability to get subsidized daycare. This would drop the daycare from $800 per month to $40. It should be noted although I pay $400 towards the daycare; the mother pays the other half. She would also save a lot of money by going the subsidy route. Her reason for not doing it is that it “would look bad”.
When our daughter starts going to full day schooling the daycare drops to around $350 per month of which I will pay half. Her mother actually asked me the other day if I would consider continuing to pay the higher daycare so that our daughter can attend a private school. WTF?
I reside in Canada and I am not sure of how the child support laws differ in other countries but my situation is this:
The government has a scale of minimum support payments. The payments are based on the supporting parent’s income and the number of children they have to support. A person making $50K would pay $435 per month for one child and $635 for two children (assuming the same mother). In my case I have to pay two singles or $870 per month ($435 x 2) plus $400 a month for 1/2 the young one’s daycare ($1270 per month total). The child support is indexed as well; it increases every year to compensate for inflation. I have never increased my support to either child that is why I pay less than this year’s stated minimum and why the mothers get on my back about it.
The child support payments terminate depending on different scenarios of the child’s status but basically when they are 18 and not going to school or when they are 23 if they are still in school. Assuming this scenario for my daughter, I am looking at another $80K over the next 14 years (not including clothing, extras or indexing).
My child support payments are not tax deductible (they are not considered an expense) so I pay out of my net pay, but on the receiving end they are not considered income, so the mother does not claim it as such.
Why do I occasionally get miffed by the whole situation? Because it doesn’t seem to matter what I do, even if I do what is right…it is never enough. I live with a woman now that has three of her three children living with us and her ex (the children’s father) pays zero in support. Actually the laws in this country are so obscure that if I left her after living together for one year I am responsible for supporting her children as well! If you are a single mother in Canada and you can’t figure out why no one wants a serious relationship with you…this fact might be part of the reason.
Lastly I would like to put the numbers on the table:
Taking into consideration the various government supplements and credits that are available to single mothers, the child support that I pay and the extra income that my daughter’s mother makes through renting, the net monthly available monies are as follows. My net income shows what I have left after paying child support:
Mother A: $4175 per month
Mother B: $4483 per month
Myself: $1750 per month
I am not complaining about paying child support, I am just making the facts available to anyone that is interested. If you are having sex with a woman and there is a possibility that she might get pregnant and you may not be in the picture in the future…this information is important. If you are a man and are thinking of leaving your family for whatever reason, you may wish to reconsider; that being said if your wife decides to leave YOU, the same rules apply.
Have a nice life!