3
   

child support uses

 
 
z06king
 
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 11:07 am
I got remarried last June. Prior to marriage we discussed how we wanted to pool our money and use the "one bucket" approach. I bring home about $7000/mo after tax and she receives $2000/mo in child support. We also decided to all move into my 8 bedroom home (her's was a 3 bedroom town home). I have 4 kids that are with me about 70% of the time. She has 3 kids 100% of the time. She worked 3-4 evenings a week and we decided she would stay at home to be with her kids more. It's a long story on how I ended up with a large home, but with 7 kids and a large home that fits our family there is little discretionary income. In a way it's been a blessing because everyone has their own bedroom. I was a few months away from finishing my basement when we met. I was going to rent out my basement for about $1500/month. I even went through the process to obtain a permit from the city to rent it out and 2 couples already wanting to move in.

After about 5-6 months of marriage we pooled our income together but I kept getting the "vibe" that the $2000 child support for her kids was ONLY for things like their groceries, extracurricular activities, and occasional medical expenses. With this point of view their is a surplus from the $2000 for her kids. My point of view is that the family also has expenses including the mortgage, car expenses, utilities, etc. I view these items as needs for every single person in the family. Our family expenses total about $8000/mo on average. I like to use the "extra" to pay off debt. We've also recently had some unexpected expenses including a used car for her oldest that is getting his license in a couple months and I had a heart attack (medical bills) about 3 months ago. I brought up how I was feeling hoping that I was wrong and was shocked to hear that my "vibe" was accurate and worse than I thought. She told me it was crazy that the child support should go to the mortgage and utilities because those were already mine prior to the marriage. She said it was like charging her minor kids rent.

I genuinely felt like we were on the same page and that I was actually helping them. Her youngest didn't even have his own bed prior to the marriage and now they all have a bedroom and a larger more comfortable house. Now I feel like I'm painted as a bad guy because I'm "charging her kids rent" (her language - not mine). To be fair I tend to take things personal, but this attitude has been very hurtful. I also feel emasculated and insulted by my new wife. It's affected my sleep and most aspects of my life. I've been going to marriage counseling by myself (she tried once and it went horrible). In my previous marriage I never once had a fight over money. I know that is odd, but we both had far more than we had in our childhood so we were always content and had all our wants and needs. I'm not necessarily looking for praise; Although, I will admit that genuine appreciation would be wonderful. Instead I want to to not feel like I'm viewed as a bad guy for thinking that the child support could help with all family expenses.

Anyway, I've talked to my counselor, a couple friends, and a coworker about the matter and they all think the attitude of my new wife is absurd; However, I know these people are biased toward me. My counselor and coworker even suggested to cut my losses and divorce. That is not an option for me and is upsetting they even said that. Other than this issue we are very compatible. I really want to know if I'm in the wrong and want an objective opinion on the matter.
 
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 02:56 pm
Your wife should understand that anywhere else she would be living, that support $$ would be added to her own income to meet housing costs. She would have housing costs to pay.

Now, she does not work outside of the home, but caring for all the kids, the house, laundry, shopping, etc. IS contributing to the cause, but not in a cash way. Still, there is a VALUE to her work in the home.

The child support she receives should be contributing some kind of amount to the living costs ( mortgage/utilities).

Is she contributing to the big "pot" needed to run the household in ANY way, financially - groceries for all, phone, entertainment, clothes?

What kind of a figure did you have in mind for a cash contribution to household expenses? Perhaps some of the kids could share a bedroom and you could rent out that extra space you fixed up for that purpose.

Sounds like this isn't the only problem in your relationship. Does your wife see how upset you are and stressed financially? Maybe you needed an accountant, not a marriage counselor.
z06king
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 05:49 pm
@PUNKEY,
Thanks for your thoughts and the point that there is value in her work in the home.

She does care for all the kids, but I do the vast majority of the caring for my 4 kids. To be fair her 3 kids require more attention than my 4. I work from home so I'm able to contribute more than a "normal" dad. I arrange play dates, car pool, do all of their laundry, shopping, coordinate all their chores, I do a little more than half the cooking for the family, and I clean (toilets and all Smile). I contribute in the home just as much as she does.

She contributes almost nothing financially other than the child support. She has made $50 here and there selling crafts. Honestly, that doesn't bother me. My own mother was a home maker for most of my childhood. By far my biggest issue is that I don't want to be painted as a bad guy for thinking that the child support could help with living costs such as mortgage, utilities, etc. She says I'm charging her kids rent in a manner that feels like she is mocking me. We don't need to break the share of the mortgage and utilities to a per person cost, but if we did it would be far more than the child support. The fact is that I'm contributing to everyone. I'm happy to do it, but I don't want to be treated and told that I'm not.

She should see how stressed/upset I am. I'm only 40, had a heart attack only a few months ago (after this stress hit me), and I'm working non-stop (when my kids aren't with me). The financial stress is bad, but the personal stress of being viewed this way is literally killing me and I find myself withdrawing emotionally. I already went through a painful divorce a few years ago after a 17 year marriage (my wife repeatedly cheated on me). I've expressed my stress but it always comes back to these expenses (mortgage and utilities) as being my problem before we got married and still my problem.
neptuneblue
 
  2  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 06:10 pm
@z06king,
You do realize the she gets CS from her x to help pay for HIS children, not necessarily yours? And she is legally obligated to use that money for the best interest of HIS kids?

When you say she contributes the CS for food for her kids, does that mean she provided groceries for the household? Or does she only feed hers while yours are left to fend for themselves?

How old are all of the kids?

Have you thought about asking for a flat fee from her to cover the basic needs like shelter, heat, electric, water, garbage, car payments, insurance and taxes?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 07:14 pm
@z06king,
z06king wrote:
her's was a 3 bedroom town home


how did she pay for this home? rental/mortgage?

did the two of you compare your budgets before marriage? was there pre-marital financial counselling?

it seems like you need to (at the very least) attend financial counselling together

the reality is that the child support is for the children, not for all members of your joined family. it is usually not even to be used for the benefit of the mother. you may need to go hardcore with the financial counsellling and request a copy of the child support legal docs
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 07:15 pm
@z06king,
z06king wrote:
She said it was like charging her minor kids rent.


who paid for their housing before your marriage?

It doesn't seem like pooling your funds makes a lot of sense in your current situation.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 08:36 pm
@z06king,
Your new wife is being unreasonable.

Under a one bucket approach Child Support would definitely go into that one bucket. Child support is income to her. After all, you are responsible for spending money on your own kids, and this money is going into the "one bucket".

For money meant for her kids to be separate but money meant for your kids to be shared is ridiculous (and unfair to your kids).

She either needs to accept that all money goes into the "one bucket"... or you need to renegotiate the finances (maybe keep them separate). Otherwise she is leaching off of you.

0 Replies
 
z06king
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 11:13 pm
@neptuneblue,
Yes, and thanks for emphasizing this. Her kids are 15, 11, 6 and mine are 13, 10, 7, 7.

I'm not wanting the CS for me or my kids, but I'm wanting help making ends meet. She says the utilities only minimally changed (not true). I would be fine with separating finances but she says her kids are minors and shouldn't have to pay for shelter, car payments, etc. Really, she only sees this money as direct expenses (food, extracurricular, and medical). She's even spoke of getting a job so she can take her kids on vacation (Disney Land). I'm guessing that means the me and my kids will cut back on expenses while the others make no behavioral changes. I may revisit the flat fee, but she will not agree that shelter is something they should pay for.
z06king
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Feb, 2019 11:15 pm
@ehBeth,
She paid with CS and alimony. Her part time job showed about $1500 for 3-4 months of working last year. Really she was spending more than she was earning and eating through savings.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2019 06:37 am
@z06king,
Quote:
I would be fine with separating finances but she says her kids are minors and shouldn't have to pay for shelter, car payments, etc.


This is ridiculous. A parent is responsible for paying for the rent for their minor children. Yes, there is a cost for housing for minor children and no, she can't make this cost disappear.

I have to have a bigger house to have an extra room for my daughter. I pay for this extra expense out of my own money.

Your wife is being unreasonable.

What's reasonable? You share all the income (including income for the kids) and you share all the expenses (including the expenses for the kids).
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  0  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2019 07:07 am
@z06king,
z06king wrote:
Although, I will admit that genuine appreciation would be wonderful.


This, in a nutshell, is going to take attitude adjustments on both of your parts. There's truth in what's happened for both of you. She's right and you are right. So, where do you go from here? You say you're not looking to divorce over it. Then, sir, if that's what you want, to make this work, then you're going to have to change. She does too, but I'll get to that.

I think both of you have to quit looking at Child Support as "income." It's not, or taxes would be assessed on it. It is an ex-spouse's contribution to help raise his/her children in having a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and food in their bellies. The custodian of that money has to use it wisely to ensure the children are taken care of.

Here's where re-marriage complicates the usage of CS. From your posting, she provides for ALL of the groceries to feed seven kids and two adults. I have to imagine that's quite expensive. I'll bet you're always running out of something, milk, bread, apples for lunches, it's always something. I know, been there, done that. But it doesn't seems like you appreciate that. At all. So take another look. She pays for other expenses too. In essence, money is taken from HER x and given to you and your kids. When it's laid out in THOSE terms, it's not exactly fair, either.

Quote:
She worked 3-4 evenings a week and we decided she would stay at home to be with her kids more.
It sounds like you have buyer's remorse on that one. If money is the issue and it isn't stretching as far as it should, she needs to be working. Of course, that comes with it's own set of problems but it does solve the money problem. At that time you agreed to be the sole supporter of the household. Things have changed and now your health depends on her help.

The thing is, she HAS been helping. It's just not good enough any more. So, you're asking her to dip into the Child Support to ease financial woes. And she's balking at that. It's a stalemate now, finite money coming in with ballooning expenses. How do you fix that? You know. More money needs to be brought it OR lessen some of the expenses.

So, I ask you, in all seriousness, why DO you have an EIGHT BEDROOM house? You had a game plan, somehow it went by the wayside. Maybe it's time to revisit renting out the basement. Kids having their own bedroom is nice but...they CAN survive by sharing some space.

You do realize that almost 80% of second marriages fail. Usually it's one of two things or both: money and kids. That's why your counselor suggested cutting your losses now. Although it's painful, that IS the reality. if you don't want that happening, then both of you need to change the path you're going down.

maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2019 07:38 am
@neptuneblue,
Quote:
From your posting, she provides for ALL of the groceries to feed seven kids and two adults.


Where did you get this idea? It is clear from his posts that they are splitting the expenses 50/50. The wife in this case is not paying for anything. What she wants is half her husband's money (including money set aside for his kids), but she wants to keep all of her money for herself. The idea that a mother is not responsible for the housing expenses of her children is ridiculous... in any financial arrangement other than "one bucket" a parent pays the rent for their children. When single parents share rent... the children count as an extra bedroom.

Look at it this way... the child support money is allocated to pay for the housing costs of the children. The mom has found a way to cheat the system... she doesn't have to pay the rent, and she gets to pocket the extra money for herself. You are paying for the housing... she gets the money.

The fair way to do this is to put this money into the household expenses which are being used to support the children anyway.

His wife is using him. Either put all money in one bucket... or separate finances and expenses (including housing costs).




0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2019 07:42 am
@neptuneblue,
Neptune,

If the genders were reversed, and this was a woman complaining that her husband didn't want to put money for his children toward the shared expenses of the household, would you take the husband's side?

This seems like another gender thing. Your argument is not logical.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  3  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2019 07:51 am
Bottom line is: more cash income is needed to meet your stated $8,000 expenses, plus savings for an emergency fund.

Even without her, you are under water . The rental was supposed to save YOU - even before she came into your life. (Admit it, you were tight, even before all this additional costs of the new wife and the kids)

Options:
She goes back to work.
She contributes $1500 of the $2,000 CS to the household fund.
The kids bunk up together and you rent out the space in the basement.

Still, even if she handed over the entire $2,000, your budget is very tight.

May I ask the amount of your mortgage?

(PS - the car issue for the kid should have been worked out between her and her ex. - IMHO)



maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2019 08:20 am
@PUNKEY,
Quote:
Bottom line is: more cash income is needed to meet your stated $8,000 expenses, plus savings for an emergency fund.

Even without her, you are under water . The rental was supposed to save YOU - even before she came into your life. (Admit it, you were tight, even before all this additional costs of the new wife and the kids)


Why do you people have to be so nasty?

1) $7,000 a month take home after taxes is a good salary. In all likelihood his financial problems are being caused by his marriage.
2) Rent is legitimate income... it isn't something to "save you" any more than any other income. It is a stable way to make income that is part of a sound financial plan.
3) More people in a family means more expenses. The assumption that has expenses haven't risen significantly since being married is ridiculous.

Under the plans Punky and Neptune seem to be suggesting...

- The husband pays 100% of the household expenses... the wife contributes almost northing. She is claiming half of his income for herself and her family. This is in spite of the fact that she drastically increases the cost of living for her husband (more people means more housing costs, more food costs, more heating costs, gas... kids cost money).

- The wife lives expense free... she does not work, she pays no rent. Her kids day to day expenses come from her new husband so she can go to Disney Land.

This is an awfully good deal for the wife. The only logical thing for her to do is to contribute the child support.

The wife is getting everything and contributing nothing.



0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2019 02:37 pm
Where did you get the idea that I think the wife should not contribute to the housing costs with the child support?

Where did you get the idea that asking him to be realistic about his finances (before the marriage) is being “nasty.”?

I’d like to see his “ fixed expenditures.”
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2019 03:27 pm
@z06king,
She needs to contribute at LEAST what she was paying in rent/utilities toward the household expenses. I wouldn't suggest she contribute to the mortgage as you don't want this woman to have any hold on your house.

Bunk her kids into 2 rooms. Yours are there part-time, they can share as well.

The income to the family overall needs to increase - go forward with renting out space.

Arrange for financial counselling and work with a lawyer to ensure your house remains yours - unless she is contributing to the mortgage and other expenses on an equal basis.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sat 9 Feb, 2019 03:28 pm
@z06king,
z06king wrote:
She worked 3-4 evenings a week and we decided she would stay at home to be with her kids more.


this needs to be reviewed - she needs to bring in income. If you're home in any case, there is no need for her to be home 100% of the time. Crafting income isn't going to be enough.
0 Replies
 
z06king
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2019 05:26 pm
@PUNKEY,
You are right... It was tight. I was/am recovering from a divorce where my ex took half of all assets. That isn't my new wife's problem; However, I am contributing a home that costs money. The mortgage is about $3200/month. Would have been about 1600/mo but my ex took my previous home that I had paid off not to mention other assets (401K and other stocks and mutual funds). I figured the smarter move would be to not do anything drastic and rent out the basement (would cover about half the mortgage). If that plan didn't work (I strong believe it would have) I could have sold and downsized later. Plus selling the home would result in 10% seller fees that I'm not interested in loosing. Honestly, I felt renting the basement was the smartest approach for now. Turns out I married someone with 3 kids, the house fit perfectly, and I was deceived in being told the CS would go into the one bucket to contribute significantly to all household expenses (including shelter). With all funds pooled together it's doable. With her only paying their share of the groceries, medical, and extracurricular activities and pocketing the rest it's not doable for me.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Feb, 2019 11:01 pm
@ehBeth,
She received alimony and child support before they got married. I don't know why they didn't work this out before they got married. You don't receive spousal support from your ex if you marry another man.

I divorced my first husband when I was about 28, I never asked for alimony and child support was ridiculous ($25.00 per week). At that time daycare ran $40 a week. But, I was only 28, I knew I had time to recover financially. If I would have been in my late 40's or 50's the divorce would have been decided more equitably........
0 Replies
 
 

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