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My ex expects me to pay for half of everything although I pay support and have 50/50 custody.
Family & Parenting / 10:16 AM - Thursday December 09, 2010

My ex expects me to pay for half of everything although I pay support and have 50/50 custody.

I have 2 teenage boys and a 10 yr old boy. I already pay my ex a hefty child support monthly payment, health INS, half of medical, half of jr. college, half of extra curricular, cell phones for all three, half of braces for 2 boys, and much much more (clothes, school lunches, car gas, etc.) I also have 50/50 custody. Now that my oldest is driving, She is wanting me to pay half of his car insurance too!!! I'm just wondering what the child support is for, and where should I be drawing the line? I only make $4,000 a month (not a dr or lawyer) and am having a terrible time paying my own bills. She told me she doesn't care what my bills are and is very hard to deal with. She makes a TON more money than I do, but has increased her standard of living and expects me to pay for it. ( I even gave her all my money out of my 401k for a down payment on a new house that she HAD to have, but I warned her she couldn't afford) She also has a live in boyfriend that doesn't pay for any bills. Should I just be paying what the court has ordered me to, which is child support, health INS, and half of medical and dental? It seems the more I try to help, the more she EXPECTS.

Update: December 10, 2010.
Thanks to all who responded. I've tried to tell her these things, but then the insulting emails start coming and i'm a "sorry excuse for a man, "not providing for my kids",etc... I want to give them EVERYTHING, but have reached a financial breaking point. She is buying hot tubs, and I'm behind on my bills! I just want to do the right thing. All the boys wanted to come and live with me, (although they don't have all the luxury) so I took her back to mediation and got the 50/50, but still have to pay CS because the house she chose is more expensive than mine. The house isn't for the boys, it was for HER. They are really with me more than 50/50. It's actually about 70/30 and that's great!  Since I'm already in debt with a loan for the first custody modification, I can't afford to go back again.  THANKS TO ALL!!

- Asked by Male, 46-55

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If I was one of your friends I'd SMACK the SHIT OUTTA you...... PAY WHATS ordered and That's it!! When the kids are with you ....SPEND away on Them!!

- Response by boxer1, A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Self-Employed

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Personally I think you are doing more than enough..your fair share!, just how it should be. The live in boyfriend SHOULD be paying towards the bills,and on the fact he does not, i would tell her to go and jump.Some men dont pay for their children full stop, and make it difficult for a partner to move on. As you do, you should tell her to move on and stop expecting her cake and eating it, its time her partner, gave her the cake ;o)

- Response by zararock72, A Trendsetter, Female, 36-45, London

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I think splitting costs such as car insurance for your child is fair. Just because she makes more money than you doesn't mean she has to pay more than you do. Her live in boyfriend isn't responsible for paying for your children. She has to have a larger living space as she provides a home for your children. You have 3 children to support..Suck it up. rosey

- Response by roseytalks, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Tampa, Who Cares?

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You are being too agreeable and setting a precedent of payments which could hurt you if you go back to court over this. Pay what you are supposed to pay and have the children with you as often as possible, then you could consider going back to court. In the meantime, it is always best to consult with a reputable divorce attorney or one who specializes in custody/child suppport matters. Parents generally pay for what they can afford, not more than that, if they are smart.

- Response by maryea, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Retired

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Legally, you only have to pay what your child support order specifies.

If your ex wants to have this recalculated, she needs to get a lawyer and seek it through the courts, not keep dogging you about it.

Having said that, if you want to give more towards your kids' support, that's your choice. Your ex's income (and certainly not her boyfriend's income) has no bearing on how much you have to contribute.

It's not up to your ex to decide what your portion is .. I would suggest that you revisit this via the legal system so someone impartial can decide what each parent's fair and reasonable contributions are.

- Response by mrscleaver16, A Married Girl, Female, 66 or older

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Stick to what the court has ordered. If you wish to do extra's for your boys in a direct manner, then that is your call (NOT forking over extra cash to her and her new live in--how do you know how that money will really be spent?)I have known too many divorced women with children who just milk it for all it's worth, and do tend to live beyond their means in an effort to attract the next live in.

- Response by A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Medical / Dental

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If you think its getting unfair, make it strictly business which will drive her wild, but cover your ass and maybe make your life easier in the process. Ask for receipts, for everything and add it up to what you paid (what the court ordered) and what she bought. If something isn't court ordered that you truly don't believe that you can afford or shouldn't pay for, just say no. If she threatens to take you to court, gladly accept if you think you will walk out with a deal that is more fair for both of you.

- Response by attenuation, A Thinker, Female, 22-25, Cincinnati, Financial / Banking

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Go see a lawyer and see if the settlement is unjust, and if it is, go back to court and get it right...

Or....

Suck it up and pay your dues, and be a father to your kids....

- Response by richard77, A Jock, Male, Who Cares?, Self-Employed

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Around here, if there's 50/50 custody no one pays Support. The thing is you have to pay for them half the time when they are with you and she has to pay half the time and that takes care of support issues. Insurance is half.

But the half of their phones and lunches and all that, no way. You don't have to pay for her upkeep or give YOUR 401K for a house she wants. She is responsible for them as much as you are and if she couldn't afford the house she should've found a smaller or older home for a solution.

Pay what the court ordered. Support is to cover half of their clothes, lunches, etc.

You're doing your main job and that's being with the boys 50% of the time. The 2 Teens can get a job if they are over 16 and I assume one is if he's in College. So they can pay the other half of their own expenses for gas, insurance, lunch, clothes and if Mom wants to baby them to death and pay for the other half, so be it.

There's nothing she can legally do to you if you stop paying more than the Court ordered. Like one guy said, MAN UP! You have kids--they are not anchors around a neck to drown you from having a life too. You don't have to be destitute to pay for them!

- Response by thottienc, A Career Woman, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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Since the kids are with you half of the time, and you are paying out of pocket for their expense, why not ask her for child support. Turn the tables on her.

- Response by jjcabin, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 36-45, Washington, DC, Technical

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Pay exactly what the court ordered, not a penny more, This will put power in your hands

- Response by duggers, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older

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Child support is based on what you and the other parent can EACH afford to pay. As income goes down, so should c/s, and as income goes up, so should c/s payments. You need an attorney to modify your support order, now.

ALSO, if you increase your timeshare, of if the boys are old enough to CHOOSE to live with you, your c/s can go down... The more time you spend, it is presumed that you are spending money on their care and support. So, if you instead want to convince them to spend more time with you AND you get the order changed to reflect that, she can actually end up paying you.

Go talk to an attorney about what you can and cannot do - under law and under your divorce decree/judgment.



- Response by A Career Man, Male, 36-45

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You know that phrase "You give a mouse a cookie, the mouse will return for another one.." I know it's difficult to try to stay afloat (financially), while paying child support, along w/ other court ordered services. It sounds like she has a terrible attitude, and I wouldn't give her another thing, above and beyond what she requires! JMO

- Response by suzyscorp, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Who Cares?

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There should be a chart that your lawyer went off in determining how much child support you should pay. Perhaps a refresher is needed for that in regards to your ex.

As far as her standard of living. May need to check with your state laws. But in my state, it is only required to pay the standard of living that was in effect during the marriage.

Hope this helps.

- Response by A Career Woman, Female, Who Cares?

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Women (bitches) like this love exes like you...they know they can manipulate the crap out of you and use guilt to get what they want and you fall hard for it every time. Have your agreement reviewed and if deemed equitable pay what the court has ordered and not a dime more for anything else...and look your ex wife in the eye and tell her if she can't afford _______________ then it looks like she needs to make some sacrifices or financial adjustment else where in her budget to make _______________ it happen.

My husband's ex is the same way which is why I can't share finances with him. I refuse to support his exes lifestyle....so get a handle on it or it can spill over in to your next relationship which is not fair to a potentially new partner.

- Response by A Career Woman, Female, 36-45, Executive

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I don't get this. if you each have 50/50 custody, why is either of you paying any child support? I thought the whole point of joint custody is that the kids get to spend time with each parent, and, as long as it's 50/50, each parent supports the kids half the time. As long as things like health insurance and medical bills are being split fairly, why do you have to give her any money at all???

If I were you I'd see a lawyer and see if you could get your support readjusted.

You made a mistake buying her the house. She sounds pretty spoiled and I don't understand why she is so mean to you, unless you cheated on her - in which case she is still holding that grudge and I can understand it. But, my advice to you, regardless of why the marriage split up - it's split up and you owe HER nothing.

YOu do owe your children something, but it sounds like you are giving them the most important thing - time with you. I would sit down and explain to them the hard facts (no bad mouthing their Mom, just stick to numbers and facts) IF you decide to sue her to reduce your custody, just so your kids understand why you are doing this.

As far as things like car insurance for your eldest - why doesn't he have a job to pay for his own insurance? When my husband was a boy, when he got his first car, his dad bought him the car but he had to keep a job to pay for his own insurance and gas. That was the deal, and it taught him responsibility. I've also had friends who, when they got their first car, their parents matched what they paid to buy it, and then split the insurance costs, etc.

I would talk to your eldest son about this and also tell your ex that you think it would be best for your son to learn to be a responsible man and pay for his own insurance.

At any rate, regardless of what else you do, given what you have told us - I would not be paying more than my court ordered child support, and I would be suing to reduce that amount.

- Response by curvysmartgirl, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Dallas, Artist / Musician / Writer

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Just say 'no'. If the kid HAS to drive, he should earn enough to at least help with the insurance.

- Response by stillagoodguy1, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Celebrity

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If you pay child support...

That covers a lot of things.

Look it up via a reputable site regarding your particular states guidelines and it will tell you exactly what child support is supposed to cover.

Print it and give her a copy.

I'm honestly not sure about car insurance, but child support does cover A LOT of expenses.

That should be the End of Argument. Period. =-)

- Response by cutypy5840, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Medical / Dental

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if that is what you agreed to in the divorce case.
now for kickers, who is going to be paying for the cars for these teens?
she should have to pay half for HER house.

- Response by mobysdick, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 46-55, Who Cares?

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Dude. I had to contribute something towards my insurance/driving at that time.
First get your boy to work and make money. Get him to go to driving school and prove that he is capable of driving safely.
Sorry as much as I have driven since I was 16, I was also held responsible.
Honestly. Your kids don't need cell phones. That's just ridiculous personally.

- Response by hockeykid666, A Guy Critical, Male, 26-28, Toronto, Student

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