From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center via My Soulful Life
The subject of child support can become very volatile. There are several different trains of thought and opinions concerning the how’s, why’s and who’s involved in the situation. If the adults involved take their eyes off the prize, which is the children, and become immersed in one upping each other, it can become an ugly situation.
I happen to be far past the child support era of my life. And I thank God for that, but I see, read and hear the same arguments that were expressed when I was in the middle of the muck and mire of the child support system of these United States.
Let me preference this article by affirming that I realize there are many parents who make their child support payments on time, consistently, and without issue. Further, there are parents who have mastered the art of co-parenting so well, that they share extra expenses such as purchasing a car, or unexpected medical issues, or any of the other myriad of unexpected expenses that arise when one is raising children. These couples do not argue over finances. They have placed the well-being of their children at the forefront of their existence. This is the perfect scenario but unfortunately, not the only scenario.
From a personal viewpoint, when my ex-husband and I divorced, he had recently retired from the military and was deciding what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. As a coupe we were living well financially. He was 39 years old and receiving a retirement check monthly. Allegedly, he decided not to begin his second career until the child support case was settled in an effort to beat the system and to decrease the amount of child support to which our daughter was entitled. It worked and I never fought him for an increase, not even when my daughter went to college. I have worked all of my life and knew I could take care of our daughter. Maybe not as well as WE could have, but I would do what I had to do.
In hindsight I realize that although my ex was coming from an emotional place…so was I. My decision to leave him totally alone (no fight) and to take on all of the responsibility for our daughter came from a stubborn place and was not in the best interest of our daughter. Two selfish parents making decisions based on emotion and not intellect. Not a good combination.
The child support issue can become even more complex when one of the parents involved starts a new relationship. In a lot of cases, we now introduce the bitter partner who resents the monies taken from their budget to send to the children of the previous relationship. Many times this third party becomes involved in a situation that has absolutely nothing to do with them. For some reason he/she believes the custodial parent is taking something away from his/her new relationship/family. Somehow he/she feels it is unfair for the custodial parent to have nice things or take vacations or buy a new car. From his/her viewpoint any luxury the custodial parent may acquire is due to the child support their new partner is paying. The fact that the other parent is working as well, is not considered. Again, this is emotional and the parent involved with this person should remove their new partner from the subject of their child support obligations. However, that rarely occurs. My advice to the person coming into a situation where child support is required is think twice before attaching your dreams to the star of someone involved with this type of situation. If you do not respect a man who takes of his children, then you should not be with that man. Enter a third party reaction to the child support situation.