Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Child Support Does Not Cover All The Child's Expenses

Dear Tazi:

I like to consider myself a good father - I support my kids - but I am really starting to resent paying child support only to see it go to luxuries for their mothers. I have two children with ex-girlfriends, and pay $300/month to each of them for a total of $600/month in child support. I pay on time every week ($75/week to each) and have never missed a payment, even if it means going without for myself.

I would really like to buy a new iPhone; I think it would be a good investment as I am trying to launch my own side business as a disc jockey, and a DJ without the latest swag is going to get left in the dust by the competition. My problem is, I can't afford a new iPhone - not with the size of my monthly child support payments. My problem is, BOTH of my ex-girlfriends (the mothers of my kids) have iPhones! I feel like the child support I pay should be going to support my kids, not their mothers' iPhones; and if their mothers can afford the cost of iPhones on their own, than why am I paying so much child support? Shouldn't they be using some of that money to pay the cost of raising the kids? I am seriously considering going to court to ask for a reduction in child support, but want an impartial opinion first.


Dear iBroke:

There is a big difference between being a good father and simply offering court mandated child support, but I will not go there today; I will stick to the issue at hand. It appears that you do not understand how child support works: it's purpose is to cover your fair share of raising your child, and $300 does not appear to come close to covering 50% of a child's monthly expenses. I spoke to a few single/divorced mothers, and here is a conservative breakdown of monthly expenses:

1. Housing. A child is required to have their own bedroom, which means higher rent. the cost-differential between a 1-bedroom and a 2-bedroom apartment is an average of $200. A 50% share of that would be $100, or 1/3 of your monthly child-support payment.

2. Food. A child needs a nutritionally balanced diet, and food is not cheap. Giving a conservative estimate, it costs around $10/day to feed a child. Assuming you have the children for visitation, this leaves their mothers responsible for the food bill approximately 20 days a month - that's 60 meals + snacks - coming to a total of $200/month for food. A 50% share of that would be another $100, or another 1/3 of your monthly child support.

This leaves $100 left over to pay for:

3. Transportation
4. Increased utility expenses
5. Clothing
6. Incidentals (from baby aspirin to medical co-pays and life insurance)
7. Entertainment/Sports Leagues/Scouts/Etc.

If $100 is enough to cover these expenses in the world where you live, single mothers everywhere would like to know where it is so that they can move there!

It sounds to me that the mothers of your two children are making sacrifices in their own lives - or simply have higher paychecks than you - that allow them to afford the luxury of an iPhone, because the child support you pay each month does not come close to covering even half the expense of raising a child. Unless you have proof positive that your children are being neglected/going without so that their mothers can afford their iPhones, I would suggest you leave well enough alone and stay out of the court system - because you may find yourself counter-sued for higher child support payments.

-- Tazi

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

1 comment:

  1. as a single mom who works very hard go tazi go tazi!!!!