A lot of speculation in this thread about how people THINK 'the system' works. Unless you have actually had the 'pleasure' of being on the receiving
end of the Family Court system you don't know what you're talking about. First, it's important to understand that the Federal Guidelines are just
that --- guidelines. Every state has their own interpretation and every Family Court judge can play fast-and-loose to suit their own prejudices. I
spent 19yrs in the Family Court system for one of the country's more notoriously unfair states. If you care to you can search ATS and get a
blow-by-blow description of my last FC encounter.
Some facts, when my ex and I split she was earning about $50k working part-time. My two kids were both under 4. Once we were in FC she was suddenly
only making $16k/yr (the 'allowance' amount). You see, the FC in all their immense wisdom believes that the custodial parent should be able to set
aside $16k of their earnings for personal betterment. Anything above that gets factored into the child support equation. In 19yrs she made $16k
every year. My kids didn't get so much as an allowance from their mother. Whenever they needed anything they were told to 'talk to your father'. So
in addition to my paying child support, I paid for their health and dental insurance, any and every expense that came up and I drove to get and return
them every weekend (6hrs each weekend).
Whenever my ex decided she wanted something (like a new sun porch) she'd drag me into court to get more child support. The first words out of the
judge's mouth EVERY time was, 'what does Mother want?". She was rarely required to provide a financial statement (I was EVERY time) and those she did
provide she lied on. During one court case I was able to demand financial records which clearly, unequivocally showed that she was working only
30hrs/mo and based on her own documentation should be earning $85/k annually. Court couldn't care less.
When it was time for my youngest to enter college my ex refused to help in any way --- even co-sign a loan. Despite the fact that the economy and my
business of 10+ years was collapsing I was able to get financing for her freshman year including room, board, tuition, the whole 9yds. Despite the
fact that the guidelines CLEARLY state that educational expenses that include living shall be considered child support, not my judge. My ex wanted
child support even though my daughter hadn't lived at home, didn't even have a key, and was living year round at school. Family Court was happy to
oblige. Oh, and to Big Daddy that is all that for paying $450 a month in support....I was paying almost $700 PER WEEK plus insurance, plus every
little thing. My ex made over two-times in child support what she allegedly earned through her 'employment'.
I love my kids. I've always made sure they wanted for nothing. I've always been there for them and they know it. My issue with the whole child
support system is that there is significant inequity in the system. My ex and I should have had EQUAL responsibility for their financial support. NO
WAY should she have been able to use their child support money to build a barn, paddock, sun porch, etc. She wants that stuff? Great, work for it.
There was NO financial accountability toward her. Also, I spent a fair amount of time in Family Court. Keep in mind, I've always PAID my support
plus some. Still, every person in the FC system treated me like a felon. Every guy was looked at as a deadbeat. I've met numerous fathers in my
same situation so I'm not some rare exception. As I sat in court waiting to be called I'd have the opportunity to see countless 'baby mommies'
showing-up to 'get paid'. Newly manicured, nice clothes, fresh hairdo and a lawyer by their side.
Bottom line, despite what you want to believe there is NO equity in the system. Mothers are free to use the system as their personal enforcers with
little if any personal accountability. Also, child support is untaxed income to the recipient. However, I cannot take my child support payments as a
deduction. I couldn't even take the dependent deductions since she was the custodial parent. Talk about a screw-job.
edit on 22-5-2013 by
jtma508 because: add'l comments