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Child support flip-flop question...?

Super Contributor

Child support flip-flop question...?

So, a little over a year ago my ex and I broke up.  We share equal 50/50 custody of our son.  3 days on for her, 4 days off.  4 days on for her, 3 days off.  My income was around $10k-$20k more than hers over the course of the last year, so I agreed to pay her X amount in child support monthly based on my income [being greater than hers].  Nothing was ever court-ordered; it was simply a verbal agreement between us.  I paid the agreed upon amount for 12-13 months.  Recently, she received a massive raise at her job putting her income at roughly $20k more than mine.  It's been a couple of months now and I've of course stopped paying her X per month, but my question is, should I push to have her start paying me?  I honestly don't need it, but I could take whatever that amount is and throw it into a savings account for my son.  I know she saves absolutely nothing toward him, so getting child support from her would more or less force some of her income into savings for him.  I'm just curious about opinions on this... as I'm 50/50 on whether or not I should push for it.  She pushed for it on me, so it only seems "right" that I'd push for it on her considering the change to her income.  Any advice/feedback on this would be cool and appreciated.

Message 1 of 17
16 REPLIES
Valued Member

Re: Child support flip-flop question...?

As a woman who receives child support from her ex, and also as the wife to a man who pays child support to HIS ex, I will tell you to not push for this. The laws side with the woman, especially if she is/will likely be considered the custodial parent. The last thing you want is to rock the boat by asking for child support, because she can claim that she hasn't received anything this whole time, and the state will likely side with her.

My daughter is with her dad 3-4 days a week, yet 20% of his net pay still goes to child support. I'm considered the custodial parent even though technically we share equal custody. Before we officially filed divorce, he paid support directly to me - and once the divorce was final and we had a court order, I had to sign a notarized statement swearing that he'd actually paid child support in the interim. Had I elected not to, he would have faced two years of back child support payments. A bitter or pissed woman might not sign such a form.

When you don't have a court order and payments are not being sent to your ex through the state or via payroll deduction, there's no official proof you've been paying. Your canceled checks do not serve as proof in most jurisdictions.

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Message 2 of 17
Super Contributor

Re: Child support flip-flop question...?

She is not likely to be considered the custodial parent.  She actually moved out of state, away from where my son has lived his entire life, goes to school etc.  I have him for the majority of the school week.  Also if we were to get technical, I've actually had him more days than her over the course of the year even though things are "50/50" simply based on her going away, asking me to cover, etc.  It probably worked out to something like 195-170 days in 2017 in my favor, for example.

 

As for the child support payments, on each check I gave her I specifically wrote in the memo field that it was "for child suport, [month/year]" so her cashing those checks I would think acknowledges the memo field and I'd find it hard to believe that a judge would throw that out the window.  I've never been through the court system though, so what do I know.

 

Anyway, I don't see how the law/state would side with her in this case when she's making a good $20k/yr more than me.  Again, she also moved out of state (away from her son) which I would think would be frowned upon by any court on the planet.

Message 3 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: Child support flip-flop question...?

I don't understand the need to go after her for child support.  Why don't you have a conversation with the mother of your child and explain your feelings?  Open communication is very important.  I could understand if you proposed to lower the amount you provide for her and put the money you save into savings but to try and extract money from her seems a little petty.  It does not matter if she moved away if she is still caring for the child and is an active part of the child's life.

 

It seems like you guys have a decent relationship and are able to co-parent very well.  Why rock the boat just to try and even the score?  Nothing in life is ever truly even as I'm sure you know.  I'm not sure if you had a bad break-up with the mom or not but it seems that way since you seem to have a negative view of her that comes through your post.  I also noticed you stated that you don't need it so why are you thinking of pushing the issue?  The money you save from not paying her the same amount can go into savings.  You don't know what she has saved for the child because you have probably never asked and just assumed.  If you are concerned, maybe you should discuss the need for saving for your son with the money and come to an agreement.

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Message 4 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: Child support flip-flop question...?

And just so you know it doesn't matter if she makes more than you, the non-custodial parent is still obligated to pay the custodial parent.  You did nothing special by agreeing to pay her child support in the beginning because you made more, you would have been obligated anyway.  

 

This is why I encourage people to actually have it court ordered so people aren't allowed to do what you are trying to do.  It's wrong. You shouldn't try to all of a sudden "switch it up." She probably would have gotten more from you had she went to court but agreed to handle it amongst you two, but now you are trying to get back what you paid and that is unfair.  You also seem to hold it against her because she moved out of state, although her moving probably allowed her to get a better job and led to this $20k increase, which then allowed you to lower your child support payments.  You need to look at the big picture and not get hung up on your feelings and your need to even the score.  You sound jealous and petty and I don't say that to be mean or rude.

 

If I were her, I wouldn't trust you.  You may even be thinking of going to court now to establish custody just so you can extract more money and use all of this against her.  A total blindside.

***Gardening 3/29/2018 until 9/25/2018***

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Message 5 of 17
Valued Member

Re: Child support flip-flop question...?

The canceled checks mean nothing without her signing an affadvit saying she did in fact, receive those payments. Child support is a very sensitive issue for most people, so if you decide to open this can of worms...it could all blow up in your face. She could sue for full custody and ignore the visitation agreements. Trust me, it's very easy for a mom to simply ignore a visitation agreement and there's very little you can do about it.

Something else to consider, if the amount you have been giving her every month up until this point doesn't meet state minimums,  the judge would definitely order you to make those amounts up.  Additionally - If you don't need the child support as you stated, do not expect a judge to side with you! The judge will think you are nuts.


There are men out there who pay child support for children who aren't even theirs, so just remember - the law is on the mom's side.
My current husband pays child support, pays for his kids cell phones, pays their health insurance premiums, and sends them additional money when things like school events, recitals etc., come up.  The kids are with us all summer long too, so while we are footing the bill all summer, he is STILL sending tons of money to his ex wife, although the kids aren't even with her. She works in public administration and makes plenty of money, herself. There's nothing he can do about this arrangement, it's the law.

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Message 6 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: Child support flip-flop question...?

I tend to disagree with some are saying when they say the law is on the mom's side.  When it comes to child custody/support I believe that most Judges will do what they consider to be in the best interest of the child.  Everyone's situation is different so it can be tough to compare yours to someone elses.   I assume that since you said you broke up with your ex and didn't say divorce you were not married.   If you had been married as part of the divorce the judge would have legally established custody and child support.  My situation is different from yours but here is what happened to me.

 

My exwife and I seperated and agreed to how much I would pay in child support.  I wrote her a check every payday.   It was almost 9 months after that when we first went to court and the judge made an intrium order for custody and child support.  I did not have to prove I had been paying anything up until that point.   The intrium order was exactly what we had already agreed to do between ourselves.

 

When the divorce was finalized the intrium order was made permanant.

Shortly after the divorce was finalized I lost my job and my income went down significantly as I was now recieving unemployment.  I continued to pay the same amount because I felt it was the right thing to do.   Six months later when my unemployment ran out and I only had a part time job I did go back to court and the judge reduced the child support based upon my new income.

 

I bounced around a couple of jobs and as I made a little more my ex and I agreed I would pay her 20% of my net income as that is what the judge had ordered until my income stabilized.  I always paid more than the dollar amount the judge had ordered when my income was at it's lowest.  Once I had a steady full time job that I planned to stay at I went back to court and had the child support raised .   Actually I think the judge misunderstood what I said about my commission earnings and that the amount set was low so I paid extra when I got my commission.

 

A year ago my DD wanted to come live with me.   So my ex signed off on my request for custoday and stopping child support.  I didn't ask her for any as she is on SSDI.   The judge granted the custoday and child support order just as it was presented to her.

 

IMO....The judge realized that the agreements my ex and I had come to were in the best interest of the child, she saw that as my income changed both up and down I was the one who petitioned the court for the changes, I didn't just do it when it went down and make my ex do it when I made more.

 

So in the end BBS do what is in the best interest of your child and you will be fine. 


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Message 7 of 17
Super Contributor

Re: Child support flip-flop question...?


@A1CreditI don't understand the need to go after her for child support.  Why don't you have a conversation with the mother of your child and explain your feelings?  Open communication is very important.  I could understand if you proposed to lower the amount you provide for her and put the money you save into savings but to try and extract money from her seems a little petty.  It does not matter if she moved away if she is still caring for the child and is an active part of the child's life.

 

It seems like you guys have a decent relationship and are able to co-parent very well.  Why rock the boat just to try and even the score?  Nothing in life is ever truly even as I'm sure you know.  I'm not sure if you had a bad break-up with the mom or not but it seems that way since you seem to have a negative view of her that comes through your post.  I also noticed you stated that you don't need it so why are you thinking of pushing the issue?  The money you save from not paying her the same amount can go into savings.  You don't know what she has saved for the child because you have probably never asked and just assumed.  If you are concerned, maybe you should discuss the need for saving for your son with the money and come to an agreement.


I never said there was a "need to go after" child support from her.  I can assure you she has not saved a single penny for him though, as she's gone from $0 to over 5-figures in CC debt due to spending on herself.  There was never a "need" for her to receive child support from me other than to fund her spending habits [on herself].  My son never saw any of that money.  She doesn't even cook him real meals, barely buys him any clothes or anything like that.  The only reason she asked me for child support when she moved away was because, "you make X more than me, so you have to pay me Y per month."  Using her own logic, wouldn't that mean if she now makes X more than me that she'd expect to pay me Y per month?  Of course not, because we're going to pay the double standard game and bring up how Mom is always > Dad. 

Message 8 of 17
Super Contributor

Re: Child support flip-flop question...?


@A1Credit

And just so you know it doesn't matter if she makes more than you, the non-custodial parent is still obligated to pay the custodial parent.


And as of now, neither of us is the custodial parent.  If there was a custodial parent, though, (if we went to court) I can say with 100% conviction that it would be me.

Message 9 of 17
Super Contributor

Re: Child support flip-flop question...?


@A1Credit

This is why I encourage people to actually have it court ordered so people aren't allowed to do what you are trying to do.  It's wrong. You shouldn't try to all of a sudden "switch it up." She probably would have gotten more from you had she went to court but agreed to handle it amongst you two, but now you are trying to get back what you paid and that is unfair.  You also seem to hold it against her because she moved out of state, although her moving probably allowed her to get a better job and led to this $20k increase, which then allowed you to lower your child support payments.  You need to look at the big picture and not get hung up on your feelings and your need to even the score.  You sound jealous and petty and I don't say that to be mean or rude.

 

If I were her, I wouldn't trust you.  You may even be thinking of going to court now to establish custody just so you can extract more money and use all of this against her.  A total blindside.


You're passing quite a bit of judgement here, so I'd advise you to think before you write.  Perhaps I'll shed some more light for you.  First, she would not have gotten dime more from me had we gone to court, as I figured the amount based on my income and a 50/50 custody split.  The fact that it turned out to not be a 50/50 split would have actually resulted in her getting nothing from me according to my lawyer.  I'm not trying to "get back what I paid" at all, I'm trying to provide for my son as best I can.  Due to paying her X/mo for the last 12+ months, money that could have gone toward my son whether it be providing for him today or saving for his future went to her clothes and sneakers.  And yes, I do hold it against her that she moved out of state, because it's unfair to my 6 year old son to have to commute 1.5 hours on a train once a week to see her, or for him to have to get up at 5:30AM on school days he's with her to commute 2 hours in a car for him to go to school when I live 1/4 mile away from the school and he can sleep until 8AM on school days he's with me.  On school days he's with her he's completely shot and falling asleep by late afternoon; he can't do homework or even enjoy life.  It's unfair to his quality of life.  Judges have the child's best interest in mind.  I think you'd be very hard-pressed to find any judge that would feel such a routine was fair to the child in this case and if it ever came down to it, I have little doubt that I would get him for the entire school week.  It has nothing to do with me being hung up on feelings or trying to even any score... it has 100% to do with the best interest of my son. 

Message 10 of 17