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What does Child Support Cover?

Just curious; I have two children with my ex husband, they are 11 & 13. He pays $500 a month in child support. We (DH, really) carries their insurance and buy everything for them, I have never asked for additional money for anything, not a dime. (We've been divorced for 9 years). He sees them every other weekend.

My oldest needs braces. It will be about $4000 after dental insurance. I asked my ex if he would split the cost, and that the orthodontist would take payments, his share would be $75 a month. He told me that he wouldn't, the child support he pays should cover it.

I'm not going to take him to court or anything about it, it would cost me more in legal fees and I hate the thought of my kids getting caught in the middle. I was just wondering what you all thought? I'm pretty annoyed, the minimal amount he pays doesn't even cover the kids insurance. He acts like he's doing me a big favor every time he writes the child support check. Jerk.

I'll get my sons braces because he needs them, and my DH will pay for them just like he does everything else (I'm a SAHM). I won't tell my son that his dad is a cheap jerk, even though I'd love to. It's pathetic.


Asked by Scuba at 10:47 PM on Feb. 4, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 34 (64,138 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • I would think of it this way. If it cost you $2000 to get him to pay the $2000 for the braces, you are braking even. As a bonus, you have taught him a lesson: don't screw with me or I will make it hurt worse in the long run.

    I just had to do this to my ex. He was preventing me from moving 20 minutes away because it crossed state lines. I told him that if he make it hard for me, that I would hurt his pocket book in the long run. He made it hard for me so I took him back for more child support. I never had any intention of doing that because I don't need the money, it goes into DD's savings for when she gets older. When we split, we agreed on a set amount which was less than what he should have payed. Since he made me fork out money for attorney costs, he now has to pay additional every week for the next 15 years. Lesson learned? We will see.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 11:17 PM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • Calmly show him a copy of the divorce decree where it states he must pay half of out of pocket medical. That is not included in child support. It's stated in the papers. This is how mine reads also. CS is for everyday care of the children. That is why out of pocket medical is split 50/50 in most divorce papers. CS does not cover it. If he still refuses, threaten to take him to court. Not that you actually have to but maybe that will wake his lazy ass up.

    Answer by Astraea_79 at 11:02 PM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • If he is in contempt, many times you can make him pay your legal fees as well.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 10:56 PM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • Good point jade. He would be the one in contempt of the divorce decree. Maybe Google the laws in your state to see what you come up with. For $2000 I would go to court lol. Ugh men.

    Answer by Astraea_79 at 11:05 PM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • Okay, the mistake was asking. I would have shown him the bill and stated 'Your half comes to $2000. You can make arrangements w/the ortho about how you plan to pay it.'

    Another alternative(and the one I went with because I was having these kinds of problems with the ex) is to open a case with child support inforcement. Then you just take the bill to them and they add it to what he owes. When he has a problem he has to take it up with them. AND!!! They'll put him on tax intercept to get you the money. It was one of the best things I've ever done. It's saved me *so* much trouble. Wish I'd done it sooner.

    Answer by desert_diva at 11:21 PM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • You should also check your papers and see if it assigns an interest rate to back support. The ex may reconsider if you explain that you'll have to open a case with CSE and he'll be paying a lot extra if you have to go that route. Didn't work with mine, but ya' never know.

    Answer by desert_diva at 11:27 PM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • Look into your divorce papers. Child support is for caring for the children...clothes, sitter, food, shelter...

    As for medical, my papers stipulate that I pay the medical and he must pay 50% of any bills not covered by insurance. Like it there is a copay out of pocket, he has to pay half. In your case, If my DD were to get braces, he would have to pay half of what the insurance didn't cover.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 10:50 PM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • many think child support should cover it all but it doesn't....that sucks.

    Answer by hill2 at 10:49 PM on Feb. 4, 2011

  • I am in the exact same boat, we have been divorced for 9 years also.My 13 yr old needs braces and I know my 12 year old will be next. in our divorce papers it states he should pay half of anything not covered by insurance. I asked him and he said he will see if he can, so as of now I put the down payment on the braces and will probably have to make the monthly payments. I could take him to court, but it seems like a lot of trouble. I have never bad mouthed him to our children, but I would sure love to. He technically should pay for half, but i'm no one to talk.


    Answer by mommom2000 at 2:44 PM on Feb. 5, 2011

  • I'd show him the court order where it says he is supposed to pay half of medical in addition to child support. Good luck. Sounds like my ex, and like you I usually end up just paying for whatever it is myself instead of going through the costs and time involved in going to court over it. His child support does not even begin to cover half of the costs of raising a child, and he hardly ever even pays that.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 12:06 PM on Feb. 7, 2011