sweetthing's picture

What is child support supposed to cover?

Just curious. Does anyone know? Is it supposed to include activities that the parent recieving child support signs the children up?

Just having a moment of financial anxiety of worrying about paying for half the ortho, the huge increase in our health insurance premium ( we went with better plan) and new baby on the way and all the extras that seem to pop up.

Oldest is getting bigger & per BM is now wearing size 10 ( is that a hint that we need to buy more clothes, his 8's seem to fit fine) She is supposed to provide clothing for visits, but sent too small crap last summer for both boys so I just started buying our own and she knows this. I made him try on every pair of pants at our house and there are 4 pairs of jeans that looked & fit just fine.

She just signed SS up for baseball & registration was $100.00. I am sure the $50.00 will appear on our tab with daycare this month.

I feel like I am being miserly, but I just want to know what child support is supposed to cover? BTW the decree does not say we have to pay for activities, but DH doesn't want the kids to think he doesn't care about them.

MamaTracy's picture


This is what I was told by the Attorney General's Office that did the paperwork on my SS...

CS is the NCP's portion of the expenses of the child, including housing, food, clothing and so on. Unless the order specifies that he is to pay for additional stuff (school gear, extracurriculars, etc), he is under no obligation to provide extra money when she asks.

So it seems to me that is is up to Dad if he wants to help pay for things...it's not like she (BM) can demand it if it's not in the paperwork...

JanetsPlanet's picture

Your right

Our child support has been over for some time, but seeing this I wanted to respond. We paid child support every month and it was up to the mother to pay all expenses out of that. If she wanted to enroll him in stuff, great but it was her dime. Everything went through the court and how she received her check. Not a good idea imo to even start the process of letting bm ask and receive money. That was probably the mistake to begin with.

Elizabeth's picture

Actually, I disagree

We have just been hit for CS, and our lawyer told us (in MO) that CS is to cover living expenses. Extras that are not covered by CS and must be negotiated include medical expenses and activity fees.

New Stepmom's picture

Child Support

My DH's papers state that he is responsible for child care and extracurricular activites. Since she carries them on her insurance, he is to pay co-payments and prescriptions when they have to go to the doctor.

I really do not like this agreement and wish I had been in the picture when it was being developed. It doesn't cover long term, like what happens when the girls are too old for after school care and summer camp? Will he have to start writing her a check? And how much should he give her? The same amount that he paid the daycare each month? I also do not like that it states he is responsible for all activites the girls are involved in - it should say "within reason". You know she has them involved in something everyday just so she can get all the money she can out of him.

She has tried on three different occasions to get more money out of him, but three different lawyers pretty much told her she was crazy. Based on the amount of overnight visits he has, plus the expenses he already pays, they told him if she tried to fight it, she would probably end up getting less money and she was better to just leave it alone. She told this in confidence to one of her friends, who happens to be friends with my hubby's best friend - so that got right through the grapevine really quick. She has no idea that we know this.

I wish my husband would just revisit the situation and get a lawyer and nail down a solid dollar amount of what he should pay and just start doing that, versus this amount of money that can vary from month to month. I like consistency!

smurfy1smile's picture

check your county

I live in MN and through the court web site you can download forms to modify child support without a lawyer. You present your facts - income, debts, etc and then you serve the other party and they have the opportunity to do the same. The fee is pretty nominal but you can file in forma paperus (spelling may be wrong) and get the fee reduced or eliminated due to your income. The forms are pretty easy to understand and include instructions.

In MN, the parent paying child support pays a portion of the child care based on the average yearly cost (minus the child care tax deduction) and it is added to the child support amount along with any part of medical insurance they are required to pay. The non-reimbursed medical expences are split by a percentage between the parents and the parent who is be reimbursed bills the other parent either quarterly or yearly depending on how much is owed.

Hope this helps!

sweetthing's picture


She doesn't demand she just ads it to our tab. Monthly we get a bill for daycare expenses. She knows DH feels guilty because he was the one who initiated the divorce and he would NEVER say no. He did tell her no more than two activities per year as they kids need time to be kids.

They had seperated before & were going to start the process & then DH's dad had a heart attack & had surgery. They both wanted it but he was the one who moved forward. His family made him feel like a heel, because they love her. He was told repeatedly he was making a mistake & they supported her not him. Becasue they put on a good front no one knew they were both miserable. If you asked her today she would tell you she is happier too. She has a very nice BF & seems quite happy with him.

I think it's my own control issues that make it hard for me. I's hard for me ( and for DH)to have someone else calling the shots for us. I love my ss & know how much he LOVES baseball. ( I hate having to be around the other baseball parents... now these people are a piece of work and a whole other story.)

Thanks for the info... I think my hormones are running rampid today. Smiling

Candice's picture

In our parenting plan

it states that all my dh is responsible for is cs, and that covers household, food, clothing, school lunches...the normal functions of life. It states in ours that while my dh is not obligated to pay any percentage of extra curricular acitivities, he is encouraged to do so b/c it benefits the child. Our state feels that cs should not be used to cover a portion of sporting/music events.

With that said, we guarded ourselves and we determined that we will pay for sports we enroll ss in, and she pays for sports she enrolls him in. Our bm doesn't take the time out of her life to actually raise her kids, so she out of being spiteful, would say she is enrolling ss in sports he isn't even interested in, just to spend dh's money.

I'm not sure what your situation is financially, but please keep in mind that sports are very important to kids. I know it's aggravating to see your dh constantly shelling out money, making your lives on a budget, but the $50.00 isn't for her, it's for ss. If you feel better about it, pay the little league directly, and they can refund her the money. Sometimes paying bm's extra money is the real burning issue, rather that the cost itself.

But the answer to your question is, in some instances parenting plans cannot require non-cus. parents to pay for sports.


Anonymous's picture

child support

I receive child support from my ex husband, and he says that the money he gives me for our boys is suppose to be used for only them. Not to be put in our checking account. What is your take on this|? V.O.

Anonymous 12345's picture

put it in your account

Child support is for the taking care of the kids. Rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, insurance, etc are part of taking care of the kids and your household. Child support is meant to attempt to keep the kids in the lifestyle they would have if their parents were together under the same roof.

If you don't put it in your account where are you supposed to put it? Does he want an accounting of where the money goes? If so, do not give him one - it is none of his business. Plus you can't ask him where he spends his money so he should not be able to dictate where you spend yours - earned or child support.

PHX's picture

I disagree. Child support

I disagree. Child support is the children's money period and not the ex-spouses. If they put it in their personal account so be it, but the money belongs to the kids. If the ex truly needs it to provide food, shelter, etc... great use it for that. If they don't it should go for future expenses ie. college, car, etc... and not for the ex's personal desires.

Krzytru's picture

Child Support is NOT the

Child Support is NOT the child's money! It is the the parents money to help take care of the child!

john's picture

child support

I am divorced with one daughter and pay support in the state of Georgia. What I was told is that it doesn't really matter what account it goes in to, but it should go towards the well being of the boys only. not getting nails done, not paying rent,not paying electric bills, cell phone bills etc. but food, clothing, school needs, school lunches, anything that will benefit the boys only. I have this trouble with my ex....she thinks I need to pay support plus everything else. She has the skills to work a full time job and needs to, and was awarded no support for her self..John

Taurusgal's picture

The Way I feel is that if a

The Way I feel is that if a man is paying child support he shouldn't have to pay for anything else because basically the child support money is what it is support for the child see some of these women need a reality check all they want is money they could care less about anything else and most of the time the child support is going towards their expenses I know this for a fact my husband is dealing with it right now were his ex-girlfriend told him and another man that her child was theirs and for 12 years this lie went on this lie she created because she slept around and only for a DNA test to prove that my husband was the father not to mention that she even let the child live with this other man and call him dad and robbed my husband of 10 years of this child's life and now she wants child support when she's unfit a drug addict and a drunk never worked a day in her life had 4 other children one died in her custody no stable home he's been coming to our house every weekend so far me and my husband have 3 other children together and he is a great dad never ran away from his responsibilities and the ex-girlfriend knows that she's just so bitter behind them not being together it's ridiculous she knows he's a good guy and a good father and she just lost out so her only way of getting back at him is to go and put him on child support when neither one of them knew for sure that the child was his no DNA test had ever been done until now and it's very sad because the child doesn't even call him dad because she had him calling another man dad for so long just sad.

Shopaholic's picture

Should say in child support paper work and parenting plan

this should all be stated in child support paper work and parenting plan. I am going through the exact same crap right now with BM trying to sign SS up for activities and I just finally said "no, not going to happen" it is too expensive for us right now and SS is not pulling good enough grades. Also we have not received a child support payment for about a year and 1/2 but I heard she got a job recently so hopefully the dough should be rolling in soon! Yea!

Anonymous's picture

child support

I'm distraught and just need to hear other opinions. we just went back to court to get cs reassessed since our oldest turned 18. No big deal this is just part of the process. i was not to uptight about it. but in my state they now take into consideration the income of both primary and alternate parents. they also add into factor who pays the health insurance premium and then they take into consideration the amount of time children are with each parent. well my ex did not get the reduction that he wanted because he does not exercise is visitation rights. he is sooo mad that i was able to show the judge how much time he has spent with the children in last seven years. he told my other children 11 and 15 that i told the judge they do not go to his house every other weekend so he has to pay more in child support. so he is demanding the kids start coming to his house more. so now the kids are mad at me because i ruined their fun, instead of seeing their dad they often spent time with their friends instead. so everyone is mad at me. my kids think i try to take money from their dad. in 7 years i never asked for an increase. i never asked him to help with sports, church or school activities or clothing. i just expect cs. my kids have played in many activities baseball softball soccer, gymnastics, dance cheerleading basketball, football etc. i have never once asked for, neither has he ever offered to help with uniforms, registration, trophies, working concession stands, booster clubs, fundraisers, brought kids to and from practice or games. as a matter of fact he has told the kids they should not put activities before spending time with him. my kids are so upset but my word means nothing to them. they stick up for him and i am mud. i try to defend myself but they don't care to hear my point of view. and i am tired of trying to defend myself to my kids.

shandee's picture

Why weren't your kids

seeing their dad? Because he didn't want to or they didn't want to a little of both? Even if kids don't want to go the parents are always more important than friends & "fun time" unless they are being hurt by the other parent. I know its hard and everyone wants to believe they are the favorite parent but kids need to learn both sides of the fence it gives them skills as they become adults how to parent , how to successfully deal with ppl they don't always agree with or want to deal with. What if everytime a child didn't want to deal with the other parent for whatever reason... pick anything, and they are allowed to ignore the situation rather than deal with it, what happens when they get in the real world , work place and can't effectively handle situations that aren't really desireable.Sometimes the things we do as parents are hard, but faith make things possible , not easy!!! As for defending yourself to your kids you shouldn't have to , aren't you in charge? Well I take that back we like to feel like we are but we aren't always unfortunately. I can't defend myself to my kids anymore its pointless. Just make a few good points to them and go on, they will get eventually.
I wish you luck with this maybe your kids shouldn't do so much if their dad isn't involved,then they will be on him to get involved? In our state it clearly says consideration should be given to the childs desired activities but parenting time comes first he is not obligated to take them to anything on his time,but he has to explain to the kids why he doesn't want to . This was very effective for me, I told the dad you don't have to bring them but i'm not going to make them sit on the sidelines on my wkends because you don't want to be invovled , so if they can't make it on your time you explain that to them i'm not . And he lied to my daughter about why he didn't taked her to a game and she caught him in the lie, now talk yourself out of that. Do you get what i'm saying?

Persephone's picture

I respectfully disagree

with your ex. If he has missed all these years and now that they are involved with extracurriculars. It is up to him to take time for the kids. If you were still together these kids would be doing what they are doing--- outside activities and a social life. He telling the kids that he has to pay more because he doesn't spend enough time with them is him looking the victim and the kids will feel sorry for him. (Read my posts on PAS). Does 'dad' take time out of his life to spectate or volunteer at these activities--no. What has he done to involve himself in his kids lives? Your kids may be angry with you, until... they miss an important activity to hang out with dad. Are you really sticking up for yourself or them?

This pushes my buttons!! My ex had done the same thing. He tried reducing CS when our dgtr turned 18. I said go ahead 29% of what you made 10 years ago is less than 25% of what you make now--$200.00 more a month. He is an EOWend never attends school confrences, doesn't ask to see report cards, no plays, concerts, sports, recitals... you name it. He is my babysitter EOWend. EXCEPT. When the oldest got a job, boyfriend, dances.. he cried poor me-- and claimed that I withheld her. Right.. What was he doing at 15-16-17-18???

Now my two youngest have a social life and activities and he said the same thing... I told him if you didn't learn from the first one.. you need to find other ways to be involved in their life.. they are growing up and moving on.. hell I do not see them as often as I used to. He is trying.. if the girls have a dance on Friday, he will pick them up after the dance or in the morning. The girls used to miss their friends birthday parties and cried... I now let them go to the parties. But the girls have to ask their dad and make the arrangements. (I found if I stay out of it they foster communication and he doesn't feel like it is me "withholding")He has no problem switching weekends for fishing and hunting.. the kids should not miss out on their teenage years.

Don't beat yourself up.. the kids will know who has raised them and who they can depend upon. When they are older they will see that he tried to save money and it blew up in his face.. hey they may even resent him for not playing an more active role in their life and now in order to save money it messes up the kids social life. OR maybe they will ask him to volunteer for this and that and you may actually get a break!!!!

Anonymous's picture

My stepdaughters mom wants more $

My husband pays $500.oo a month in child support for his 1 daughter who is 11 years old. The mother is always asking us for money for her extra activities. She asked us last week to pay $125.00 for a volleyball camp which is $250.00. Im upset because she has told the child that she can only go if her dad pays for half of the camp. I do not think we should have to pay for half the camp, when she has refused to let us have joint custody even though we have her every other weekend. Is'nt that what child support is supposed to be for.
Somebody please give me some suggestions on what I should do.

Michele's picture

Hi, I had to write because I

Hi, I had to write because I am also in the same boat. But, I am a mother who pays child support for two kids (was 3, oldest turned 18) and my ex and/or his wife are always telling my kids things like, since we bought the school clothes, your mom has to buy the school supplies! And even with paying cs, I have also over the years boughten, clothes, shoes, coats, school supplies, gas for their cars, repairs to cars, wow you name it! Because their father who gets the cs is more of a DEADBEAT then I am! Makes me mad the cs laws.

ccmso12's picture

What is important is to put

What is important is to put yourself in the BM's shoes when you think she is making an unreasonable request.
Ask yourself: Would your husband only give you 500.00 per month out of his paycheck in which to put towards all the bills and expenses of your family??? Would that take care of "his half"???

I think paying half of his daughters camp expense is perfectly resonable if you are in a position to do so. . .its about the child not the BM. What I would reccomend is to set a limit with the BM as to what you can afford as the sports expenses only increase as the child advances . . .and **GASP** heaven help us if the child turns out to be really good LOL> $$$ And to discuss with her that you guys do not mind assisting with the additional sports/interests of your SD, but to discuss it and agree to it aheadof time because theremay be times when you can not afford it.

Aside from that I am glad my 1st husband and I never entered into a CS agreement. I work 12 hour shifts as a Trauma Nurse in the ER so we decided I would take our daughter Friday/Saturday/Sunday and He would take her MOnday-Thursday because I didnt see the point in having her on days she would have to be in daycare (she was 4 then now 11). I get her school supplies, I put heron my insurance because its better, and I buy her school clothes because I want my daughter to have what I can afford to give her. He remarried, changed religeons, his new wife and him have had 3 kids and she stays home because she thinks its sin to work as a women. I understand they have no money but they do love my dear daughter also. She is now also an elite athlete who started out in riding lessons at age 5, but now is a pro child rider on the hunter/jumper circuit. Her training runs around 3,000 a month and annually my husband and I run around 60,000$/per year. I wound never expect her father and his family to contribute and I dont hold it against them.

madmom's picture

I am a single mom and my ex

I am a single mom and my ex ran out on us and left me to take care of my child all by myself. He pays $400 a month, I'm really not sure what that is supposed to cover. My son's Lunch Account is $60 a month (big boy), Medical insurance is $200 a month, hair cuts is $20 a month, he goes to the mall once a week so you tell me if $120 is going to last four weeks at the mall. Now I never even said anything about rent, food, electric, car, gas, doctor's co pays for health and dentist of course that is my expense. But what about his clothes school/church, his shoes church/school. I make more money than his father but just because I do does not mean I have to take on more responsibility. We both made this child so we both should take care of him equally. So there is no way I want his little money to do anything for myself that is the reason why I have a job so that I can do things for myself. It is a lot easier for someone elase looking in to say that you don't feel that it is not fair to pay half, but if you live with this situation first hand and try to do that stuff all by yourself I promise you it will not be easy. Not every baby mother wants the money for her self. Now a days these kids want iPods, iPhones, iPads, the latest clothes and shoes it cost a lot. It would not be fair to just give the kids cheapo stuff just because we are supposed to just get them what the child support gives us.

Anonymous's picture

Take a step back

Wow, I do not believe that most BMs are the witches some of you are making them out to be. NEWSFLASH, child support is not only for items purchased for the children, like clothing, toys, or extracurriculars. Child support is meant to help the child maintain the level of living as if the parents had stayed together. This means a bm has every right to use the child support to help pay for rent, utilities, car payments, insurance, food, and any other normal household expense necessary to maintain a HOME for the child. Most children also enjoy extracurriculars and I feel it's only right the pay or help defray these costs if it is NOT addressed in the support order. You 2nd wives would be singing another tune if you find yourself the EX in the future.

mom2stepson's picture

wow...well we don't have the

wow...well we don't have the best relationship with my SS mom but we all remain civil with each other...this includes the stepfather as well...my husband was never married to her and had the child for the first 4 years...now we pay her $400 per month..we pay for his health and dental insurance...half of all medical bills and we pay for summer daycare/camp that he spends at our house...during this time we don't pay anything to BM...we also have him for spring break week, thanksgiving week, one week of winter vacation and every 2nr or 3rd weekend depending on everyone schedule (they live almost 3 hours away)...after reading all of your stories I am quite comfortable with ours...we also buy all clothes and shoes and half of any sports...my biggest fear is being taken to court because they were never married but we do keep receipts for everything (even haircuts that he always gets at our house)...hopefully this will always work as is because I am quite happy with the arrangement after reading all of your stories!

mckenzie0806's picture

I understand your side but,

in a state where cs is determined by how much time the kids spend with a child and the amount of money each parent makes, why should we have to pay the BM more bc she REFUSES to get a job?? Thats not maintainence for the child, that is the BM being a fat lazy cow.

Sorry, I shouldnt have said that but it felt gooood.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt..Abe Lincoln

mckenzie0806's picture

Not only that but in our state

if you have a child in your home that doesnt receive support you get a credit for that too. So she gets preggo right after they divorce, give the little boy my DH's last name and she gets a credit for it bc she wont go after cs from the REAL dad!! I just dont understand sometimes...

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt..Abe Lincoln

twoteendaughter's picture

Yes I have to say that works my nerves

Not only does BM get my hard earned $ but she has twice as much material things as I do. I guess she can afford it because we pay her bills. I find it so unfair. What do you think would happen to DH if he didn't work? Well we all know. Why is there such a double standard and why can't BM be an independant women like most of us. I could not imagine living life waiting for someone elses check. Or maybe BM's are just smart since they are not working in the summer and have a perfect tan because they don't a worry in the world!!!!!!! I just want to say your welcome to my BM even though I am only hated.

SM2005's picture

Hey, Anonymous--Newsflash,

Hey, Anonymous--Newsflash, most of us probably are 2nd wives! In my case, I am and I have 2 BD, 2SD, and 1SS. I deal with my EX and his new wife and my DH's EX and ExGF. I do not have a problem with the CS that the EX receives. I get the CS from my EX. I do not call him for anything else. We both work to support our families. I have a problem with an EX that doesn't work and calls every week wanting more money. We have even paid for the extracurricular activities just to find out that the kids weren't in them for two months! She sends three outfits for a month visit. The latest is how much were we going to give her to buy Christmas presents for the kids! But, you are correct in the fact that the CS is to be used for the housing, utilities, and transportation.

Anonymous08's picture

Where does the CS go....

I am a 3x a charm: I have a SS and SD from 2 different ex's. The SD is involved in alot of activities. The ex #2 thinks that we should pay of 1/2 of everything prom dresses, hair cut, nails done, band trips. We did pay for 1/2 the band trips as they were out of state and gave her $100 spending money. Only to find out her mother went as a chaperone and still made her buy her meals with the $$ we gave her. We always put gas in her car even though we bought the car as her credit was to bad for insurance and was facing foreclosure (of course she blames her ex #3). I feel like we are having to pay for her mistakes and she knows we will clean up her mess when it comes to the daughter doing without. My SS is now a dad with 2 kids and 28 yrs old, he has seen what his dad has went through and says he will never divorce as he doesnt want to go through that type of abuse. I know better than get between a man & his daughter, but I get tired of being used.

Michele's picture

why should cs go for the

why should cs go for the custodial parents to pay rent and electric, etc bills?? The non custodial parent also has bills! plus paying child support, plus feeding them when they are with us, plus buying them things! Why should we pay for the adults bills. They would have to pay them either way if the kids were there or not just like we do. They are adults! they don't help us pay our bills when the kids are there for the summer, weekends, holidays etc!!!

smurfy1smile's picture


I get CS for two of my kids. One BD is involved but only very part-time. Has her EOW but usually only takes half of that. The other BD is not involved at all. The third lives with me and her BD so we both take care of her and the other 2. I use my CS for household bills cause the kids got to eat, have clothes, lunch money, school supplies, spending money, etc. Neither BD does anything financial for the kids other that CS. They do not attend conferences, school concerts, drs appts, etc. Both adults in my household work. I work part-time from home so I can be home for all the kids and take them to activities, drs, dentist, take care of them when they are sick - the other parents won't help when I am ill.

CS is to attempt to keep the kids in the lifestyle they would have had if their parents were together.

Suck it up buttercup - I don't know your story so it's hard for me to understand your irritation about CS.