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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-18-2010, 01:09 PM
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What can we do to change this situation, short of going to court?

Every summer we take my husbands kids for 4 - 6 weeks. Financially, it puts us in the red for the next 6 months. Why?

We pay the mother child support, even though the kids are here. (-900/month)

We pay for the airfare accross the country (-1470/month)

We are still paying off braces and other "extra-ordinary costs" (-250/month)

Then we are paying for the kids costs while they are here, and because it is summer "vacation" to them, they want to do things, like go to movies, shopping, camping, etc. which costs alot more than when they are just in school every day, I estimate our summer costs are an extra (-600/month)

So, the total, for 2 children, is (-3220/month)

When my husband's take home is only 3100/month, and we also have bills and a household to run, I'd like to know how this is justifed by the Canadian Child Support Guidelines?

I think we should RECIEVE child support for the month+ the kids are here and not have to pay. Plus she still gets the CCTB while they are here, shouldn't we get that too?

I also think, since the mother moved the kids away, she should have to pay ALL of the airfare. This has been going on for 8 years (2 visits/year), yet the guidelines don't acount for these situations and access costs are only considered in "undue hardship" cases, of which we don't qualify because the ex wife only works part-time.

The CCSG's need to be changed to recognize that NCP's have COSTS associated with their children too, and recieve credit for these costs somehow.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
When my husband's take home is only 3100/month, and we also have bills and a household to run, I'd like to know how this is justifed by the Canadian Child Support Guidelines?
The guidelines are based off of a yearly amount, and do not consider any periods where you have the kids. There is reasoning behind it, in that the ex still has to maintain her a suitable residence for the kids to return.

Quote:
I think we should RECIEVE child support for the month+ the kids are here and not have to pay. Plus she still gets the CCTB while they are here, shouldn't we get that too?
Again, that is not how child support works. Child support is based off of a yearly percentage of overnights with the kids. He has at best 11.5% of the overnights per year. Therefore he has to pay child support as the percentage where there is a setoff amount of 40%.

Quote:
I also think, since the mother moved the kids away, she should have to pay ALL of the airfare. This has been going on for 8 years (2 visits/year), yet the guidelines don't acount for these situations and access costs are only considered in "undue hardship" cases, of which we don't qualify because the ex wife only works part-time.
The point where this should have been argued was when she moved, not now. First, when she notified him of her intention to move, he should have responded back that he does not consent to the move or any change in the current custody agreement. Then she would have had to take him to court to get consent or negotiated some agreement that provided for his parenting time. It would have been at this point either in court or in negotiations that he request that she pay for all costs for transporting the kids or he be able to reduce his child support by a proportional amount to cover the expenses of the childrens transportation.

You now have 8 years of status quo, which will reduce your chances of having a court order that she cover the costs.

Quote:
The CCSG's need to be changed to recognize that NCP's have COSTS associated with their children too, and recieve credit for these costs somehow.
I agree. Personally my biggest beef is that I do not get to right-off my proportional share of DD at tax time. I pay child support, which is my contribution to the upbringing of the child. Yet she gets to claim my DD as a 100% dependant at tax time, when the reality is we've each made our proportional contribution. So in effect my contribution is being treated differently and IMO is discriminatory as the charter provides that:

(1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability

You have NCP's which IMO can be indentified as a class of citizenry, who are having their monetory contribution to their children treated differently then a CP's contribution. It is legalized discrimination.


Edit - I just re-read your post, and I must have missed the point about the extra $600 you are claiming for entertaining the kids. Sorry, but you married a man with kids. The CP will also have to pay for entertainment and stuff, just like you. And given that you only have them for maybe 1/2 the summer, the CP will have similar expectations and bills also.

As for braces, you husband is required to pay his proportional share for all extra-ordinary expenses. So the ex will also have a similar expense.

Sorry, but the reality is kids are expensive. He has them at best 6 weeks out of 52, so the ex will have similar expenses, just for the remaining 46.

Last edited by HammerDad; 08-18-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:03 PM
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Technically your increased expenses only total 2070 extra for those 4-6 weeks. (Airfare + entertainment). Groceries would be neglible, unless your already eating Ramen noodles and Bologna, increasing the portion size on the meals isn't going to make a sizable difference for 4-6 weeks, especially if you plan ahead.

The rest you are ALREADY paying. They are part of your fixed expenses and do not change. The time to argue the access costs should have been when she tried to move them away. THAT you screwed up on, and after 8 years it's a little difficult to just change it. Perhaps you could save a little by booking the tickets earlier in the year or shopping around for deals?

What you should be doing is saving a bit off the old income tax return, OR putting aside 100-200/month those months they children aren't there. If you saved a little bit each month, by the time summer access rolled in...you'd have enough to help either pay the costs entirely, or at least offset them a bit.

With the increase in costs that is causing you trouble, you need to be better organized than the average bear. Hell, if your hubby's work doesn't offer an RRSP plan, you can arrange with a bank to withdraw 50/paycheck from the bank account and deposit it to an RRSP....since the kids don't arrive until summer, you get the tax credit for it, then make a withdrawal from it to cover the expenses (which won' take effect until the NEXT tax year, which is plenty of time to rebuild the funds in it to offset the cost).

Rinse and repeat.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:29 PM
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I am guessing you men are custodial parents by your replies.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:50 PM
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Hardly see what our custody status has to do with it....but yes, I'm a custodial parent who receives 0 in support, covers the full amount of....everything....and has fought tooth and nail for my kids. My ex takes them for 5 hours a week by her own choice, and contributes nothing to their care.

That doesn't change the fact that there are, or rather were, ways around your predicament. Your hubby screwed up when he allowed the move and didn't challenge it, so there isn't much to be done. My ex tried to move my kids away, I successfully forced their return. It's very easy to do, and if he made that mistake, then unfortunately it's a little late to do anything about it now.

Your hubby can TRY to negotiate access costs with the ex, but if he's successfully covered things for 8 years now, he has little chance legally outside of getting her cooperation.

Your best bet by far (assuming here that she won't work with you) is to make the best of it and simply find ways of doing things that will lessen the burden on your finances.

If you take $50 a paycheck and toss it into an RRSP, that's 100/month...if his work will do it via auto deduction, he won't even pay taxes on it until he withdraws the funds. It'll help with his income tax come April, and he won't have to make withdrawals until June/July-ish (whenever you have the kids). Increased income tax refund + 1000-1200/year via savings and most of your problem goes away.

If $100/month is going to totally break you financially, you are living well outside your means and I would suggest a financial adviser or counselor.

The rest of your vent has no bearing on the issue at hand...you are paying the other expenses regardless of whether the children are with you or not, so that doesn't change. The ONLY expenses that you incur that you would not otherwise, is the travel expenses and the entertainment expenses. Fixed expenses vs. variable expenses.

You may pay a little more for groceries, but that's easily offset by planning meals out in advance. The costs in feeding 2 people vs. 4 is minimal, especially when one considers of that $600 in entertainment...how much is eating out?

In all honesty despite incurring 2000/year extra to exercise 11% access for the full year...you are actually BETTER off you would be if you had them 50% of the time. The costs for having them 50% of the time would far outweigh what he pays now in support/access costs.

He pays table amounts of support, he pays a proportional share of "extras" such as braces. Sorry but that's the law. You married a man with kids, he has an obligation to support them.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:08 PM
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Yes true, I don't mind paying for the kids, it just doesn't seem right that we still pay her CS when they are here, and then have to pay 100% for them again (and we keep a room for them too, all year, it's just used less often, but this is their home too, and a bigger car so we can all go places together).

If it only costs us $600/month extra when they are here, and that includes entertainment AND food, then I know that the CS we send her covers ALL their expenses, and then some. So really she has NO child costs, and only pays 20% of "extras", which she can take out of the $300/month or so she has left over from CS.

I really think the laws should reflect the costs NCP's have as well, we keep homes for them too, and feed them and entertain them when they are with us. And as HammerDad said (obviously he is not the CP) the tax laws really hurt. Especially hurts as the kids have 2 step-siblings, so looking after all 4 kids, and paying airfare and expenses when they are here, on top of our regular monthly payments, mean that all 4 kids get less when they are here.

I know many CP's don't ask for CS when the kids are at their dads for the summer, as they realize the unfairness of the situation.

But as you say, I guess we have to live with it. We can try the RRSP route, but I still think the whole "she has to pay for a house so keep sending money even when the kids aren't there" thing is a lot of crap. If they can't afford a house unless they get CS, I have to ask "why the H@LL not?" Would they live on the streets if they didn't have kids?
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
If it only costs us $600/month extra when they are here, and that includes entertainment AND food, then I know that the CS we send her covers ALL their expenses, and then some. So really she has NO child costs, and only pays 20% of "extras", which she can take out of the $300/month or so she has left over from CS.
So you buy the children all new clothes and pay for school expenses etc while the children are with you during the 4-6 weeks over the summer? I would imagine mom uses the child support money to pay for those and other expenses involved in having the children there 24/7 for most of the year, I highly doubt you're supplying a whole new wardrobe etc for the children to visit for the summer.

Quote:
I know many CP's don't ask for CS when the kids are at their dads for the summer, as they realize the unfairness of the situation.

I don't believe I know ANYONE who changes their child support orders for the summers, especially when FRO is involved.
Quote:
Then we are paying for the kids costs while they are here, and because it is summer "vacation" to them, they want to do things, like go to movies, shopping, camping, etc. which costs alot more than when they are just in school every day, I estimate our summer costs are an extra (-600/month)
Have either of you ever heard of the word 'no'? If you can't afford it then don't do it and then whine that you're spending money you don't have on it. There are LOTS of ways to spend qulaity time with the kids that don't involve spending a tonne of money on movies, shopping etc where the entire point of the activity is spending the time WITH the kids rather than just spending money ON the kids.

You've created a situation of expectation after 8 years and not doing anything to change it before now. The kids and their mom are well trained now and it sounds like, so are the both of you.

I guarantee it's costing mom more than you are paying to raise those kids outside of the 4 - 6 weeks a year they're with you. Perhaps the two of you need to reconsider how you're spending/saving your money both when the kids are with you and not.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:52 PM
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Did you even read my post? We only spent 600 for the entire month for 2 teenagers including food and entertainment which we mostly do hikes and picnics etc.

If it costs us only 600/month for food and extras, then it shouldn't cost her 900/month (our contribution) plus 700/month (CCTB contribution) plus 450/month (what would be her "share" if she followed the guidelines).

The REAL question is - why does it, "cost" her $2050/month for two kids, when WE can do it for 600/month? And why does the gov't endorse this practice, of neglecting the NCP's have costs too?

I don't agree with CP's spending the CS and the CCTB for a nice vacation for every summer, at our and the taxpayers expenses. It seems to be a case of, the NCP pays for the kids when they are at moms, and pays for the kids when they are with him. Strange how many people can defend this logic.

These are the REAL question you should be asking is why CP's can't raise the kids on and extra 600/month like we can?
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:06 PM
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Because they have them 24/7 all the rest of the time which includes a lot more than simply the food and entertainment you foot the bill for for the short time they're there with you. Housing costs for the kids would be more for the parent that has them the majority of the time than the parent who doesn't and those costs still exist when they're visiting you. It's not like the mortgage or rent goes down because they're at your place.

If the kids went on a trip with friends for 4-6 weeks would you expect that your husband would stop paying child support for that time since they wouldn't be at their mother's house? Do you stop paying your housing expenses when you go away? Your reasoning is quite flawed.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:12 PM
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No, we make them sleep outside when they are here and we tow them behind our car when we go places, as our car is too small to fit them, and we make them eat grass of course we don't have those expenses, how silly of me to think we also keep a HOME for them!

Hint - if it costs us 600/month to feed, clothe (yes, we bought them stuff and do things when they are here), it shouldn't cost her any more.

Hint number 2 - if 600/month is the total cost , and BOTH parents are supposed to be financially responsible for their kids (and women claim equality to men), that would be 300/month in CS (each).
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