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Need some financial advice.

myspoonistoobig's picture

Advice, and explanations please. If you leave advice, please explain why you are suggesting the course of action you are.

My husband had some very bad luck with an employment opportunity recently. He left his job for a better job, and the better job fell through.

He's been unemployed for about 2 months now, and has been diligently looking for work.

I've been paying his child support. He hasn't asked, I've just been doing it. I don't want BM to have to do without if I can help it, and I don't want CSS to start hounding us and add to our stress.

But it's hard! It's not a huge amount of money, but it's the equivalent of paying another car payment when I can't afford another car!

I've refinanced my one car and done some creative consolitation to try and help, but I'm not saving any money at all.

This is month 3, that I'm paying for child support, and I thought about cutting it off after this month. I've given a 90 day grace period.

I'm torn. If he still can't find work... should I try to keep paying it, or should I stop taking care of his responsibilities.


I should also add that I'm also paying for travel when SS has visitation. Airfare for DHs portion of the CO. All in all it's about $1500-2000 per trip.

I place a higher priority on visitation than on BM getting more money. (There's a working StepDad in the picture as well). If I pick one over the other, it'll be visitation expenses.


isthisforme123's picture

Stop paying. It is not your responsibility. There is no reason you should delay saving for retirement so that BM doesn't have to do without. Your DH and BM need to feel the consequences of his loss of a job, not you. Also if he gets in arrears on CS he may be able to pay a little back at a time.

stormabruin's picture

If your DH isn't working, he needs to file to have his support adjusted. He should have done that as soon as he lost his job.

If it were me, I would tell him to go file, & I would keep it up the best I could. (I know some will say not to pay it, but it will only put him in arrears that will have to be paid later anyway, which affects your household finances.)

Let him know if he doesn't go file ASAP, you will not continue paying. There are things he can do to help your situation. It's his support. Certainly, you shouldn't be the only one trying to work it out.

myspoonistoobig's picture

No. He did however file a case with the dept of labor in an attempt to get his wages from the guy who hired him last.

He's missing a month and a half of wages.

stormabruin's picture

My DH was laid off 4 times for the better part of 3 years. He was able to collect unemployment, but with the waiting periods & stopping & having to wait to get it started was really stressful.

He's has stable work with his current employer (thank goodness!) but I know how difficult it is to get by when things are so tight.

I mentioned earlier, CS is one thing that we did continue to pay. In our marriage, we consider expenses & income to be "ours" rather than mine/his. I knew that if his support fell behind, he'd have to pay arrears. I figured I would rather keep it current than have BM harrassing us for her paychecks. I also NEVER want to be in debt to her...ever. I figured if it had to be paid now or later, I'd rather not have it pile up.

I also understand that DSCE is a PITA to deal with. Especially when it comes to arrears. We don't go through them. We pay BM via money order each week.

I hope he's able to find something soon! I hate it for you. Sad

myspoonistoobig's picture

Thanks. It's pretty sucky.

If it was easy to fit in I'd have no problem continuing to pay it, but with daycare costing what it does for my own kids, it's just nightmareish.

I'm not just not saving, I'm losing money.

myspoonistoobig's picture

Because if I take them out of daycare I'll have to be on another 9 month long waiting list to get them put back in daycare if he finds work.

Unfreakingreal's picture

Wow, that sucks. Sorry. You're a better woman than me. I would NEVER pay CS to our monkey bitch BM. NEVER. As a matter of fact, one time DH fell in arrears and he owed a few hundred dollars. Not much. I'd mail a check from his account to NYSCS for $20.00 EOW. It took MONTHS to pay it, but I just felt like being a bitch and sending it 20.00 at a time just because. He was sending the current amount due so wasn't falling further behind. He asked me why I was doing it that way, I said "Cause I fucking feel like it."

overworkedmom's picture

I think that you should let BM know that you have been the one paying. Give her notice that you can not continue. Tell your DH to contact DCSE and let them know he lost his job. Contact the courts to get the amount reduced. Follow all the steps so that everyone is prepared.

Rags's picture

Rather than jeopardize your own household finances I would allow DH's CS arrears to accrue and let BM experience similar financial strain to what your household is experiencing.

This is no different than a school loan that goes in to forebearance due to unemployment. Why give BM a financial get out of jail free card when your household is struggling?

When the Skid is in your household you provide for them. BM should do the same.

When DH goes back to work he can resume paying his CS and he can repay his arrears. As the Sparent your income should not be leveraged to support the blended family opposition household.

In our blended family life we were the CP household. My SS's SpermIdiot was obligated to very little CS ($110/mo for a year then $130/mo for 9 years)and he and SpermGrandMa repeatedly attempted to get my income factored in to the CS calculation in an attempt to get their CS reduced. In fact they succeeded even though Sparent income was exempted from CS. However, that rule has a caveat that if the CP household Sparent has a high income the NCP can be given an income credit so as to 'not be punished by contributing to an artificially elevated standard of living for the child'. Not a bit deal since even with the max credit of $1000/mo in income reduction for CS calculation purposes the SpermIdiot's CS was only lowered by $50/mo. After 9 years my DW did finally file for an amendment of CS and CS was raised from the $130/mo to $385. Both the $130/mo and $385/mo awards included the $50/mo CS reduction due to the income credit awarded to him due to my income. The NCP household Sparen's income can not be leveraged for increasing CS.

At least that his how it works in the People's Republic of Oregon where my SS's Custody/Visitaiton/Support Court Order was active.

hereiam's picture

I would really look into what the interest and penalty will be on his CS if he gets in arrears. Yes, it's his responsibility but in the end, it could most certainly affect you.

My husband was once in this position. He ended up getting a job just as he was on his last dollar from his savings account but I knew that I would pay his CS for him if it came to that. I also knew that he would insist on paying me back when he got a job.

It is a hard decision to make if it is causing you financial strain, which is why I say try to find out as much as you can about what it will actually cost for him to go in arrears. It can be very hard to get caught up and some states don't mess around.

A friend's husband had his retirement account raided by the state, without warning. He had been unemployed, got behind, got a job and was doing what he could to catch up but I guess they got tired of waiting. That interest just kept accruing and accruing and he could not keep up.

That's what will happen if your DH gets behind enough that he cannot pay all the arrears at once, it will just keep growing.

Can he apply for a CS modification? It might not make a difference but then again, it might. I would definitely check with CSE and find out if anything can be done.

myspoonistoobig's picture

That first bit, that's what I was thinking too.

Technically, he's already in arrears because it took him a year to get paternity established (BM kept moving to a different enforcement area) and they charged him for the length of SS's existance.

I do worry though that they'll try and get CA to snatch his driver's liscense or throw him in jail. The order is in another state, but still.

DaizyDuke's picture

Does BM know that YOU are paying the child support? There is something that really bothers me about any BM taking the SMs money for child support when the father is not working or unemployed for some reason. Maybe I am too proud but I would NEVER accept CS from my son's father's girlfriend, fiance, wife whatever. NEVER!

Whether I am in the role of BM or the role of SM (I play both) I just don't think it's right for anyone other than a kids parent to be responsible for paying CS.

myspoonistoobig's picture

I don't think so, not yet.

But honestly, it goes through CSS. If she were to ask me to stop on those grounds, knowing the kind of consequences that CSS can hand out if you don't pay, she would sound ridiculous.

Cocoa's picture

if my dh became unemployed through no fault of his own, I would help very temporarily (firm time limit in place from the beginning) IF I could afford it (after providing for my retirement) without our home/family suffering, cause if MY family is suffering, so will bm's! I think you've done MORE than enough.

GoodbyeNormaJean's picture

I would stop paying it immediately. DH needs to tell BM that he isn't working, and that you are the only breadwinner for the house right now, so child support will not resume until he starts working again. If it's the equivilant of a car payment, he can make it flipping burgers if he needs to .

stormabruin's picture

The thing with this though, is that with it going through CSE, BM really has nothing to do with it. Even if she's fine with it, CSE is still obligated to hound & collect or take measures to revoke his driver's license or put him in jail.

ALL of which make have an impact on the household & on SM.

CSE doesn't care how BM feels about it. They have an order to collect money & until a judge says they don't have to, that's their goal.

myspoonistoobig's picture

I think I will just send in significantly less. I believe DH when he says he's looking for work, but his track record isn't brilliant.

Either he will or he won't. I don't think I can risk going more into debt over it.