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Should fathers get credit for purchases in lieu of monetary child support?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Why dads can't be given credit for providing supplies for the children instead of direct financial support?

I am meeting far more men who are willing to give support that way, so that they have more of a say-so over how the money to support the children is spent. When I was a single mom, groceries & clothing & payments made directly to the school to assist in the costs of extracirricular activities would have been greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 17
I think they should, sadly there are way too many custodial parents who mis-spend money meant for their kids. But I would also be worried about it being used wrongly by the child support paying parent who might buy x knowing the family really needs y
post #3 of 17
I think they should as well. I've heard or read of too many parents using the money for everything but the child's needs or welfare. If the parent paying support buys a winter coat or boots, it should be deducted off what he/she owes, etc. I do believe one would need to keep receipts though because they are human after all and could well be prone to cheating.

I also think this method should be used for people on welfare - don't give them the money - give them food stamps. In my younger days living downtown Toronto in a poor district, I saw many welfare recipients cash the cheque, give the husband his booze money and the mother then taking what was left to the grocery to pick up potato chips, pop and other junk that would be gone in 24-48 hours.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I think they should as well. I've heard or read of too many parents using the money for everything but the child's needs or welfare. If the parent paying support buys a winter coat or boots, it should be deducted off what he/she owes, etc. I do believe one would need to keep receipts though because they are human after all and could well be prone to cheating.

I also think this method should be used for people on welfare - don't give them the money - give them food stamps. In my younger days living downtown Toronto in a poor district, I saw many welfare recipients cash the cheque, give the husband his booze money and the mother then taking what was left to the grocery to pick up potato chips, pop and other junk that would be gone in 24-48 hours.
Sounds like a good idea as long as there is a way to verify what is actually bought.

Yosemite here no one gets a check on welfare. Food stamps are on a debit card and can only be used on food items. You can get TANF which is a check. But you can only get those for a very short amount of time.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping View Post
Sounds like a good idea as long as there is a way to verify what is actually bought.

Yosemite here no one gets a check on welfare. Food stamps are on a debit card and can only be used on food items. You can get TANF which is a check. But you can only get those for a very short amount of time.
It may be that way here now as well since it's been many years since I was young and lived downtown and saw this happen.
post #6 of 17
I think that is a better idea... as too many fathers ( and some mothers) have split custody ( ie they have the kids 40-60% of the time) and are ORDERED to PAY SUPPORT to the other parent... IN horrendous amounts( ie what many pay in rent or mortgage)
post #7 of 17
They would still pay the same in this case, just take off the amount from the child support cash payment
post #8 of 17
I would agree IF everything was documented as to what went where. But it has to be only for food, clothing or school activities. NOT for toys, etc.
post #9 of 17
Another question to add, should the custodial parent have to document what they spend the money they are given on, to ensure it is going on the children like it should?
post #10 of 17
I'm not sure whether I agree or not. On the one hand, it could keep the parent with custody from misusing the money. On the other, the parent paying the support could be the one doing the misusing or could use it as a kind of bribe for the child. Say Johnny really wants a new X-Box, but mom doesn't get it for him because they can't afford a new winter coat, much less an X-Box. So dad buys it for him and deducts the cost of it from his child support payments. I think either way things are pretty open to abuse.
post #11 of 17
No if its specified and documented (with sales slips) for clothes or food or school items, then the parent couldn't buy an X-Box and take off the money.

Its a good idea, but most parents would not want to keep track of things (either side)
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
Another question to add, should the custodial parent have to document what they spend the money they are given on, to ensure it is going on the children like it should?
That might work, too. I have known several people who used the support to buy clothes & get their hair colored professionally. Although one of the women told me that one has to dress nice to catch a decent guy; it worked for her, she married a wonderful construction-business owner who raised her kids like they were his own - the kids are now off in college & my friend is still happily married - he treats his wife like I treat my cats - like real treasure!
post #13 of 17
Still if it was a choice between colouring her hair and he children eating, which would she choose, and unfortunately the choice tends to be booze/drugs or their kids for the people that this would be enforced for
post #14 of 17
There are some days I really get tired of this argument. I am sure there are custodial parents out their that use the support money they get on things that are not related to the child but I am willing to bet there are a lot more parents like I am that put the money towards the household.

I also get tired of the "prove you spent it on the child" crap. The money I got, which was a whopping $256 a month for two children, went into the pot with the money I earned working 40 hours a week and then all bills were paid from the pot. I did not get the support check and then go to the store and make sure I bought each child thirty two dollars worth of food or clothing.

I feel if the non-custodial parent buys something the child needs then more power to them but I do not feel they should be able to take that off of support payments nor get some kind of refund, like a kick back for being a "nice" guy/gal.

You seem to forget that these are their children. They both created them and they are both responsible for them and buying things they need is part of being a parent. I damn well know I spent a lot more on my children for their needs than what half of the support I was getting covered. Why? because I love them and I want to make sure they are properly cared for.

How many would argue if I could not afford to buy Johnny new shoes because we were barley scrapping by even with support and working and the non-custodial parent comes by and they can afford them and they do buy them. What then? Should that money be deducted from support further plunging the custodial parent into financial burden.

It is just like the same old argument that if the custodial parents has a live in girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/whatever then their income should be added into the support arrangements but then there is the same argument that if the non-custodial parents has a live in girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband/whatever then the same should ring true and support should go up since there is more money coming into the house.

The fact at the end of the day is that two people created the child and two people should be responsible, period. If the non-custodial parent has the money to buy the child something they need then buy it. It should not be a point system. "look at me I am such a good parent I even bought something that I didn't have to", now reimburse me for it!

I raised two kids basically by myself. He only saw them four days a month and a week in the summer. That has dwindled to maybe once every two months. My son is now an adult and my daughter is seventeen, so I have a year to go with still getting support payments for her and I want to tell you I can't wait until they are over with. The final link will be broken.

So I guess my anwer is no. The non-custodial parent, whether it be the mother or the father, should not get a kick back for buying items their child needs.

If the non-custodial parent gets "credit" for buying something the child needs then should the custodial parent get "extras" if they spend more than what the state says it costs to raise a child between the two of them?

Say the state says it costs $600 a month. One parent pays $300 and the other pays $300 and the custodial parent can "prove" they payed an extra $50 more for something the child needs, then should that parent get an additional $25 from the non-custodial parent? They should pay half, right? the other parent should get credit too.

I mean fair is fair. Right?
post #15 of 17
And that is exactly the point why they don't reduce monthly payments from child support. There are far fewer peole taking advantage of the payment than those that scrape by to live.

My brother paid child support for years. More than half of his salary went to his ex-wife and if he had not remarried, he couldn't have afforded to live on his own. His ex's income was twice that of his. Yet his boys constantly asked for him to buy clothing, school supplies, and things that were basic necessities. He picked up his son from school one winter day and he didn't own a winter coat. Guess who bought it? He was angry about it (the ex spent most of her money at the bar) and did try to get their incomes balanced, but her lawyer always won the argument. She even sued him for support after one of his sons came to live with him permanently. She couldn't afford her bar tab.

There are simply no easy answers to this problem. It's nearly impossible to prove misuse of child custody payments. My brother tried for years.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
And that is exactly the point why they don't reduce monthly payments from child support. There are far fewer peole taking advantage of the payment than those that scrape by to live.

My brother paid child support for years. More than half of his salary went to his ex-wife and if he had not remarried, he couldn't have afforded to live on his own. His ex's income was twice that of his. Yet his boys constantly asked for him to buy clothing, school supplies, and things that were basic necessities. He picked up his son from school one winter day and he didn't own a winter coat. Guess who bought it? He was angry about it (the ex spent most of her money at the bar) and did try to get their incomes balanced, but her lawyer always won the argument. She even sued him for support after one of his sons came to live with him permanently. She couldn't afford her bar tab.

There are simply no easy answers to this problem. It's nearly impossible to prove misuse of child custody payments. My brother tried for years.
And it is horror stories like your brothers that really make it rough on the custodial parents that do follow the rules and really just want what is best for the children.

I have never taken advantage of my ex or tried to extort more money from him but we still had times that "after taking with his friends" accused me of cheating him.

Our divorce degree stated he was to pay for medical coverage. At his job it was more expensive than at mine so I held the coverage and he was suppose to pay me every month. 90% of the time I had to hound him for it like a credit collection agency. I was trying to do him a favor so it would be less expensive for him and it became a hassle for me. At one point after "taking with his friends" he thought that the money he was paying for the medical coverage was paying my coverage as well.

I had to show him my pay stub to show the medical deductions and he was paying half and even then he was getting a break as he should have been paying two thirds. He admitted he was wrong and had egg on his face but it made me angry that he thought I was cheating him.

It is because of the small percentage of custodial parents that abuse the system and use support payments for their own extra activites that give the rest of us a bad name.

It angers me and it is also the reason I respond to threads like this one every chance I get to explain that not all custodial parents are money grubbing witches.

There are times I feel bad because there are a lot of parents that are getting nothing in the way of support and it makes me feel fortunate that I get anything at all. I should not have to feel that way.

I have eleven more months of support coming for my daughter and I again I can't wait until it is over. It will be a part of my life I can leave in the past.
post #17 of 17
Ahh the joys of single parenting -- what an adventure I have to look forward to for the next 18 years!

To answer the OP, NO the non-custodial parent should not be credited; many valid arguements for this have already been put forward, so I'll not beat a dead horse. It's simply a case of a few bad apples spoiling the bushel.

Here in MT, if the custodial parent is on public assistance and a support order is being enforced, the state takes their share of the support to reimburse their coffers for the cost of assistance, and the custodial parent gets whatever's left over (in a nutshell, not totally clear on the particulars of their formulae). Good incentive, to my mind, for that parent to get on with making a better life and getting OFF welfare, so they have more sayso in how to use the support money.

I for one, as a custodial parent, do not have the time or the inclination to account for how I use MY money to support OUR child, nor should I have to; I am certain it would far outweigh any amt of support ordered to me by the court, which would likely result in an increase in the support awarded, not a decrease.

In an ideal world yes, both parents would be in it for the good of the child. But for every parent who misuses support money for their own luxuries before seeing to their child's needs, there is a parent who is ducking paying any support in the first place by any means necessary. It's a two-way street. And the best way to avoid any fraud in the first place is for the parents to behave as ADULTS and see to the best interest of the child they both created. I know plenty of two-parent households that blow it on that count.

Rant over.
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