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Lea01's picture

Bio-mom is putting Child Maintenance money before her own son.
He is 9 years old , he stays 3 days with his dad and 3 days with his mom and one day with his grandparents on his moms side.
The son himself has asked to stop staying at his granparents as he feels too old for staying and has asked to spend that one day alternating weekly between both parents.

Nothing is done through court and wont for a while as both of these parents are in serious debts. ( They're not divorced yet )

Looking for advice on how you would approach this matter outside of court. The dad has been telling his son to talk to his mom and ask for reasons but I myself don't think its great to get the child involved



twoviewpoints's picture

IMO, a child of age eight does not have a say and no, should not be sent by Dad to fight with Mom over what the kid wants.

I highly doubt Dad would be too pleased if suddenly the kid decided he'd rather stay five nights a week with Mom and only two with Dad and none with Grandma. If so, do you believe Dad would be sitting there saying 'oh, ok, that's great'.

Being the parents are still in the divorce stage and there is yet a CO, I assume these things are still being worked out in a mediation type setting? If so, that is exactly where any discussion belongs to be. Between the parents and through negotiating give and take mutual agreements.

ETA... I saw eight in previous blog, but I see the kid is now nine. I still believe her is too young to be being pitted between Mom and Dad. This is an issue that should be totally left up to the two parents and the parents and the court.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I don't really know how they are going to approach this except through court. Dad could/should talk to Mom, but if she isn't agreeable, court is the only recourse. Ultimately, Mom could just give her son to her parents on her time, and Dad could keep son on his. Really, the only thing that would change is Dad gets two extra days a month.

And maybe tat is how Dad should approach it with Mom: Have an equitable split in time where it's 3/3/1 alternating, and on the alternating day, Dad and Mom can decide who kid stays with. Kid still sees grandparents, Mom still gets the day free if she chooses, Dad gets more time, and kid gets less time with grandparents. Everyone "wins". Plus, an extra 2 days a month isn't going to impact child maintenance much, unless Mom would get zero since they would have an even 50/50 split. In that case, since BM is only losing 2 days (I assume the days were her parents still "count" as hers) to get to 50/50, she can't be getting that much maintenance to begin with.

I think it would be good for Son to tell Mom he wishes to spend less time with his grandparents and have Dad present the plan after Mom has a chance to hear the kid out. If Mom is unagreeable, though, court is really the only option.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

I'm assuming due to what we know of societies standards that BD might be paying BM child support because currently the time the kid is with BM's parents would be considered BM's time making her the primary care giver by only 2 days a month. If dad goes to court and legally gets those days yes BM could still do what she wants on her days but then there should be no child support for either since they would have equal time. As it stands though BM gets 4 out of 7 days so she would get some child support.

I could be wrong but that's my assumption.

twoviewpoints's picture

The OP already stated in a previous post that child support is based on each parent's income and number of overnights.

Regardless of if they equal exact overnights each per year, income per parent may still require child support. I'm not familiar with support laws in OP's country. CS is going to depend on their laws/guidelines for OP's area. Equal overnights aka 50/50 even here does not automatically assure no CS exchange.

OP might be able to look for an online worksheet with calculator for her area.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

Thank you. I was unaware that was the circumstances for where OP lives. UGH I hate that crap. Though I also hate that where I live you can have the children 49% of the time and you'd still pay the full amount of child support as if you never saw the children.

Personally I think at 50/50 there should be no child support. If you can't provide for the children then that's on you. I understand there are extremes but even then. The children don't need equal homes to benefit from equal parenting time.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Even at 50/50, she could get CS if it's based on income equalization. Additionally, if she only gets him 2 extra days a month, she can't be getting that much CS, or at least I would imagine. My DH pays roughly $40/day that he doesn't have kids, if you break his CS down by how much he pays per day they are with BM. Assuming it's something similar, she'd lose $80 for the month. That's not going to go very far, and should be pretty easily made up.

It can't be about the money unless OP lives somewhere where it's a percentage of income no matter what unless there is 50/50 and then no one pays anything. I don't know many places like that.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

To some people $80 is a lot of money. Where I live it's the difference between a 1 bedroom and a 2 bedroom easily. It also sounds like its enough in OP's case for BM to fight allowing BD to have those two extra days and losing what tiny bit of extra money she would get.

I also think there's more too this then just money. I'm reaching a bit an I apologize but neither parent wants to rock the boat for whatever reason. Maybe your partner doesn't want the kids those extra days for whatever reason. I may be going up the wrong tree but if they are in the process of divorce it's not anything extra to legally request those days but for some reason BD is leaving it up to BM.

lieutenant_dad's picture

My point about the $80 is that BM should be able to make it up on her own. If $80 breaks her budget, then maybe she shouldn't be the one with majority custody (assuming that BD wants the time, that is). I'd probably feel differently if her losing 2 days = $500 loss, but then again, it's her responsibility to provide on her time. BD shouldn't be forced out of 50/50 because BM can't afford being a mother without CS.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

I fully agree with you.

I don't agree with one parent getting to be a stay at home parent while the other funds it WHEN the other wants custody and is willing to actually do the work.

For some families that may be what they decide is best but of course we here all about the stay at home BM living off child support and the government while withholding the kid from a father that actually works.

I don't understand how (typically) one parent is expected to provide for two homes. BM get's to sit pretty in her 3 bedroom home, fenced in yard, great neighborhood with BD paying half of her rent so when the kids come to his place they are crammed into a tiny 2 bedroom (if your lucky) home in a questionable apartment complex. BD can't be at special events because he's working two jobs and barely able to scrap by seeing them the every other weekend he is allowed.

When I met my SO it opened my eyes to just how complex the system is. SO lived in a one bedroom and the kids slept in the living room the one night every two weeks BM would allow him to have them. He gave her half of his check out of personal obligation before the divorce and CS even started. HE was NEVER a dead beat father. I hated how little he had and could do with the kids because of all he gave her to support his children then she would bad mouth him for not being able to watch them during the week because he was working. I never told him he should support the kids but he was going so far that he wasn't even eating many days so he could make sure there was food for them the few times he got to see them.

I understand children need supported but none of our current systems really work because they aren't personalized and yeah it would be WAY too much on the court to really take every single one by a case by case bases. As such the system gets abused and in the long run it's children who pay. Maybe they live a great life with mom but their relationship with dad suffers and I think that does a lot of harm.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

The child has expressed their thoughts on the matter and now it should be left to the adults. This isn't just on BM for wanting money. It's also on BD for not doing anything. Both are leaving it as is while the child isn't happy. Either someone steps up and changes it so the kid is with the parents or at least dad that day or they need to be a untied front and tell the child no. As it stands it appears that grandparents night is a actually BM's time and she's using grandparent as a babysitter which is her right but she's using it to keep majority physical custody and get child support.

You said they aren't divorced yet. This is a prefect thing to put into the custody order. Since the standard already shows that BM isn't spending time with the kid BD could easily fight to be given that day every other week like the child want's anyways. That should stop child support which I consider a bonus when dad is already pretty much equal in his parenting time to mom. Mom might still leave the kid at grandparents that day but dad could actually have the child if he wants to exercise that right as an equal parent.

Thumper's picture

Make a decision, your the adult and IF bm has a temper tantrum take it to court.

...HEY bm next week starts the new overnight schedule. Son is with me xyz and son is with BM xyz.

Not sure what this has to do with child support.

PLEASE do this child a favor and DO NOT expect the child to be your mediator. UGHHH

Poor kid

DaizyDuke's picture

It would be one thing if mom was sending him to grandparents the 3 nights that he is with her.. but we're talking 1 night.. I don't see the issue here. And giving a 9 year old the power to determine where he wants to go, when he wants to go is really not a good idea. What if he decides he doesn't really want to go to school next month or he doesn't want go to the dentist next week? unless the grandparents are being abusive or neglectful, I don't see what the big deal is. He should be spending time with them while he can.

Sweet T's picture

A 9 year old should not be making the decisions. If both adult parties were ok with the grandparents having that time I would leave it. My son would love to get to see my mom and dad or his paternal grandparents on a regular basis.

Acratopotes's picture

SS is 9, he does not want to stay with his Grand parents one day a week, then he should talk to his Mum about it and leave DH out of it.
If mum says no, then SS have to accept it, she's the adult, but it's up to him to talk to his mother,

If SO is going to deal with this it will be war, BM might listen to her son and talk to Dad and together they can decide