The Men’s Room: Hooked by Child Support
Child Support: Courts Really Don’t Care How Ex-Spouses Spend your Money
“The Hook” in hooked up! Child custody lawyers hear it all the time, “I hate my son’s mom — she’s a liar, cheat and a thief.” We get to hear all the ugly tales of how two people “hooked up” for a night, and now it’s a lifetime commitment of parenting with a woman you didn’t really know, and don’t really like.
“She takes the child support I pay and gets her hair and nails done, and my kid is going without new shoes.” Yup, it’s an old story. Mom only wants the money you pay, for herself. Sometimes.
Raising a child is expensive, and most child support doesn’t really cover all the high costs of child rearing. But, once a man has “hooked up” with a woman, and she’s pregnant, he’s on “the hook” for child support, and how she uses it, is her choice. There is a valid reason for this.
The courts do not want to be in the business of micromanaging the financial affairs of the families that are in front of them. It’s bad enough that the court has to determine who makes how much money, and what the amounts of child support should be. It would bring the courts to a grinding halt, if every angry parent who pays child support had the opportunity to second guess the spending habits of their ex.
No court will make her account for how she spends it. It’s only in the rare cases, like in Kirk Kerkorian’s child support battle, where the lifestyle of the mom, influences how much money dad pays. In Kerkorian’s case, mom was trying to get as much as possible from the billionaire and claiming that the child had to have hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in support, which was absurd when she was a toddler.
As a father, men have a role to play in their children’s lives, and the courts recognize it, and it goes beyond just paying child support. Men as dads should be a positive force in their child’s life. But some moms think of dads as living ATMs, and there is really only one way to fight this, a father needs to have as much custodial time as possible if he wants to reduce the amount of child support he will have to pay.
The sad facts are that, once a man has made a woman pregnant, he has a responsibility to the child, not necessarily the mom. He has to account for, and be able to prove all the payments he’s made, she doesn’t have to account for how she spends it.
THREE TIPS FOR PAYING CHILD SUPPORT
1. Pay by Check.
Checks are important because they give you a permanent record of what has been paid. Cash, and Money Orders are easily forgotten about, lost, and don’t have a paper trail. Keep your old, cancelled checks until you have signed release from the mom that you have paid all your child support, and I mean all.
2. Be Clear in your Agreement What You Pay for.
The court will make you pay support because it goes for things like food, utilities, clothes, but you need to be clear on what you must pay for “In Addition” to the child support.
3. Accept that You Must Pay It.
You don’t have a choice over how it is spent, it’s is Mom’s to do with as she needs. You’re better off just making sure you pay it on time, keep a record and forget about it. If your kid needs something, and mom’s not buying it, man up and do it yourself without