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3 Bumps

Should Child Support Be Considered "Only his/her Money"? when have other children too?

Let's think hard and put yourself in this situation:
You got married while having a 4 year old child. Your husband knows that your child started calling him "dad" within a year of your two being together. Child has no knowledge of her bio. "dad".
Then fastforward a few years, and now you both have 2 younger kids (preschool and infant) while your child is now entering 5th grade. You both are still struggling financially since he is still working while extremely busy finishing up his degree at vet. school.
Until then, child support from the bio. one is one of the things depended/budgeted on. Until recently, it has been consistent (bio. pays but doesn't want anything to do with child)...AND although, when possible, everyone uses same last name but husband hasn't "legally adopted" child yet since we are barely getting by temporarily and the child support helps greatly.
O.K., so theres the background. Here's the dilemma that I would like a logical perspective from a momma looking on the outside so to speak: Child support has recently been absent at the worst time. Husband got laid off but fortuantely got a certification to allow him to work with a bit more pay but has yet to work until he starts his new semester. We ran out of diapers for youngest two, and I've been planning on buying oldest this supplemental textbook for her upcoming schoolyear. This supplemental textbook is NOT mandatory, but I've been waiting for child support for months to get this book for her.
Anyway, I finally got some support in, and quickly brought necessities like the diapers for the youngins. But we all went to the bookstore to purchase to book and my card got declined. Embarrassed and upset, I told my husband in the car "all because I had to buy diapers".
Well, he was a bit takenaback.
I then said it'll be alright, I'll buy it when he gets his money in from his car (he sold his vehicle but the money will be officially wired later next week). He didn't like that.
He told me that he's fine with his paycheck (and school loans) buying oldest child's things too (I'm assuming because I looked like I blamed buying diapers with not getting oldest her textbook). I told him "yeah, but you are her father". Then he told me something (I forgot exactly) that I replied with "well, you ARE her father you should and also this money (child support) is from HER Bio. dad too".
It made sense when I said it, but he got SO PISSED. Was mean to me later that day and I didn't know why (I had forgotten about it shortly after).
So, then he proceeded to tell me when his money comes in (he sold his vehicle and will get papers completed soon), I'm not getting a single thing.
I asked him what exactly he was mad at, and he told me he was embarrassed card got declined...but I knew that wasn't it. He told me forget it, didn't matter, and just the "things I say".
So, can someone clue me in? I feel bad, but I also don't see exactly what I did wrong. I mean, he DOES treat all our kids equally and also financially gives to all relatively equal, and I ALSO "share" child support; I never considered child support something "only for this child" but the fact I couldn't buy what I've been wanting for the oldest makes me think..Maybe I SHOULD start considering it like that?
Or do you think that will create more problems?
Thanks for any HONEST advice.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:53 PM on Jul. 9, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Answers (26)
  • Kind of conflicting opinion myself on this. Should child support be used to support the child it's meant for? YES. Especially if there are overall financial issues (meaning, she should still have clothes and food being bought with that money, even if there are other problems financially.) BUT as long as she has all her needs met, your other kids belong to you too and you and DH should be "sharing" money.

    It looks like you are purposely favoring your oldest rather than making sure your younger children's needs are met. Diapers are more necessary than a textbook, and technically doesn't your DHs money go towards housing, food, etc for your oldest daughter too?

    He's right to be angry.

    Hope I expressed that all correctly.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:08 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Honestly, I think he got mad that you expect him to fully support all the kids even your from a previous relationship but when it comes to the money, the child support is ONLY for her.
    If he is expected to share in the responsibility, then the money should go to whatever needs paid, not just the child.

    However, child support is to go to ONLY that child and their needs. BUT because of the way you stated it, it was wrong and probably hurt him pretty bad.
    DD's child support goes into her account but if we need something for the family or anything really, we use it. She is still well provided for even when that money isn't used specifically for her.
    Either way, you can say that HIS money has been used for your child's care so why shouldn't her money go to help with other things? Seems selfish to use his money for things that benefit her but not the other way around.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 6:08 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • I agree with the first answer. Good luck.

    Answer by ochsamom at 6:17 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • I'm in a similar situation. My oldest will be in 6th grade this year. But the child support she gets from her bio dad is so little and rarely comes I have no choice but to treat only her to something. My husband knows that child support isn't reliable and we don't even figure it into our budgeting. He earns most of the income but I work a few days a week partially because I feel when there are things needed specifically for my daughter, I should pay for it with money I made, not money he made. Although he will gladly pay, I just feel better that way. This is a serious conversation you and hubby should sit down and have. It was wrong of you for making it seem like if it wasn't for his kid's diapers, then you could afford your child's textbook. He prob feel bad enough about yall's finances anyways. But I understand you may have been embarassed of getting your card declined.

    Answer by keisha613 at 6:20 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Yeah, I see what your saying. I was thinking, at the time, that whether I got child support or not, my husbands responsibility is too ALL his children. It is morally wrong to favor anyone (I've seen this with bio. parents with there children too unfortuantely).
    Although, I might have come on too harsh, but I was upset too. I didn't consider the bio. "dad's" responsibility to work to buy/support anyone else's kids (my youngest ones); but my husband's responsibility IS to provide for ALL his children.
    I felt bad though...I left fora bit to the store afterward, and came home to husband teaching oldest some material covered in the textbook. : /.
    Basically though...the bio. spermdonor would be all kinds of pissed if he thought his money was being spent on other children's diapers (not that I care what he thinks).
    I love my man.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:21 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • In the future, for the sake of saving everyone from wasting time, please don't try to purchase something when you know there is not enough money on the card. Did you think it would magically appear once you swiped the card? Best case, it would have been approved and you would have suffered overdraft charges, which doesn't make your financial situation any better.

    Answer by keisha613 at 6:22 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • I agree with the first post. You have a family, not just one child. The child support is income for everyone. Your husband has every right to be upset.

    Answer by SassySue123 at 6:24 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • Keisha613: Nope, didn't think money would "magically appear". That's a ridiculous, and odd, thing to think. Just sayin.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:30 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • P.S. Keisha:
    Opinions. Not Judgements.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:32 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

  • I don't see a problem with using the money for everyone as long as the child that the support is for gets everything she needs. I would definitely buy diapers as they are a bit more important than the text (at the moment) but try to get her the book soon. I don't think you did anything wrong I think your hubbys feelings got hurt and he lashed out and then felt bad. Just be open with each other, maybe ask how he feels the child support should be spent and make sure you are on the same page. Good luck with everything!!

    Answer by gottalovemal at 6:37 PM on Jul. 9, 2011

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