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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 01-28-2009, 05:20 PM
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Default Access Costs Produce Grim Choices

I have a serious issue with the guidelines in that they do not consider "access costs" as part of the specified extraordinary expenses. These expenses are supposed to be those that "are necessary in light of the needs of the child and means of the parent". What could be more necessary than contact with BOTH of their parents on a regular basis? I am all for the person who moves away paying 100% of the access costs, whether they have the children with them or not. But since that would never fly the LEAST the guidelines should provide for is that they be included as "extra" expenses!!! Is it more important for little Johnny to see his dad or go on a camping trip with school???

We are in a situation where the custodial mother left with my husbands 2 kids, and moved accross the country. We pay 100% of the flights for the kids to come visit, once in spring break, and for summer. The ex refuses to share in the expense, which totals around $3600/year. She says she doesn't have to. So now, my husband is forced into the worst and most grim of circumstances - we cannot afford to fly his kids here for spring break. We have topped up our credit cards bringing them here for the last 5 years, and we just can't do it anymore. So now, this is forcing a good and loving father from having contact with his children for one full year!!!

Who decided that the NCP's are responsible for 100% of flights? Whoever came up with this stupid rule doen't care one-iota for the well being of the children involved. And to ONLY have access costs recognized through a claim of undue hardship is ridiculous. His ex doesn't work (maybe part-time now) so we will never have a lower standard of living (on paper anyway) than her. I am really upset about this. The system designed for the children is responsible for alienating kids from their parents because they force the NCP to pay for far too much, and at some point he may face a very grim choices indeed.


Excerpt from the guidelines:
The basic amount of support as established by the tables may be adjusted for specified extraordinary or special expenses, provided they are reasonable and necessary in light of the needs of the children and the means of the parents and the child. In making such adjustment, the income of the recipient parent and the family’s spending pattern before separation will both be taken into account.

The most important specified expenses are:
Child care expenses (net of the tax benefit);
Medical and health-related expenses not covered by insurance plans;
Extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education, or for special programs;
Expenses for post-secondary education; and
Extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.(6)

The Payor is invited to apply to the court for an abatement of child-support if paying the full amount would impose on the payor “undue hardship” and a lesser “standard of living” compared to the recipient (¶10). The CSG suggests that this may be caused by a Payor having an unusually high load of matrimonial debts, high access costs, or support obligations towards another person.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:03 PM
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I have heard horror stories of people applying for "undue hardship" - and they rarely attained any sort of reduction, even after all the costs associated with the filing and assessments necessary for such a case.

I must agree that access costs are high, and that they should be taken into consideration by the courts. Unfortunately, the courts view is such that after a divorce, the parents will live in the same "school zone" as the kids to facilitate access. Sadly, that isn't always the case - due to work, housing costs, family/support groups elsewhere, etc. Or simply due to the fact - as in our case - where the parents were never together and so they have never lived "within vicinity" or within the child's "school zone." What then? Well, in our case, the NCP does all the transportation (500km per month for 2 weekend visits) without a cent of reduction in child support. How is it that people can so easily forget the costs of gas, car maintenance, etc?

I agree that MANY things should be taken into consideration when determining child support. We are a country faaaaar from even semi-adequate child support guidelines. But we need to do the best we can, and fight as much as we can, even if it doesn't get us anywhere. But at least we can say that we tried.

I'm sorry that your husband won't be able to see his kids for a whole year due to the costs of transport. It is for that reason that we have a clause in our court order restricting my stepson's mom from moving further than 150km away from Toronto. Unfortunately, we originally fought for 50km from the city, and her lawyer fought for 250km (where does she think she will move to?) and so the judge settled on 150km. What is most frustrating about it is that we live 50km from the city in one direction, and she has moved 100km in the other direction (with 50km more to spare). That makes a 150km one-way trip to pick-up my stepson... then drop him off two days later! But, it's our reality, and we continue to fight for reductions in child support each time the issue comes up in court. And we will continue to fight for it, until one day... we get it. ;-)
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
I have a serious issue with the guidelines in that they do not consider "access costs" as part of the specified extraordinary expenses. These expenses are supposed to be those that "are necessary in light of the needs of the child and means of the parent". What could be more necessary than contact with BOTH of their parents on a regular basis? I am all for the person who moves away paying 100% of the access costs, whether they have the children with them or not. But since that would never fly the LEAST the guidelines should provide for is that they be included as "extra" expenses!!! Is it more important for little Johnny to see his dad or go on a camping trip with school???

We are in a situation where the custodial mother left with my husbands 2 kids, and moved accross the country. We pay 100% of the flights for the kids to come visit, once in spring break, and for summer. The ex refuses to share in the expense, which totals around $3600/year. She says she doesn't have to. So now, my husband is forced into the worst and most grim of circumstances - we cannot afford to fly his kids here for spring break. We have topped up our credit cards bringing them here for the last 5 years, and we just can't do it anymore. So now, this is forcing a good and loving father from having contact with his children for one full year!!!

Who decided that the NCP's are responsible for 100% of flights? Whoever came up with this stupid rule doen't care one-iota for the well being of the children involved. And to ONLY have access costs recognized through a claim of undue hardship is ridiculous. His ex doesn't work (maybe part-time now) so we will never have a lower standard of living (on paper anyway) than her. I am really upset about this. The system designed for the children is responsible for alienating kids from their parents because they force the NCP to pay for far too much, and at some point he may face a very grim choices indeed.


Excerpt from the guidelines:
The basic amount of support as established by the tables may be adjusted for specified extraordinary or special expenses, provided they are reasonable and necessary in light of the needs of the children and the means of the parents and the child. In making such adjustment, the income of the recipient parent and the family’s spending pattern before separation will both be taken into account.

The most important specified expenses are:
Child care expenses (net of the tax benefit);
Medical and health-related expenses not covered by insurance plans;
Extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education, or for special programs;
Expenses for post-secondary education; and
Extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.(6)

The Payer is invited to apply to the court for an abatement of child-support if paying the full amount would impose on the payer “undue hardship” and a lesser “standard of living” compared to the recipient (¶10). The CSG suggests that this may be caused by a Payer having an unusually high load of matrimonial debts, high access costs, or support obligations towards another person.
I totally agree with you the custodial parent gets to ask for extra expenses but what about the non-custodial parents extra expenses? Also why should a non-custodial parent pay top child support when custodial parent is re-married and already has a second income? Why does she/he need a third income? Does she/he not take any responsibility for raising his/her children? I think that the fact that a custodial parent remarries should be taken into effect, that support should be lowered drastically and the money given should be put in a trust fund for the children to have when they are 21, that way money is not being wasted and used unwisely. It is a shame when one family has 2 good incomes and is doing well and the other family is having financial problems because they have to give too much of their income to the other family. It is all mixed up as far as I am concerned I don't know who made these rules but I am sure it was not a non-custodial parent.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:35 AM
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I am a custodial parent and receive child support. I totally agree with you that access cost should be shared as an extraordinary expense, especially if the custodial parent is the one that moved away. I am a little surprised though that she was able to move so far, my agreement clearly says that I can't move out of the city with the children without the consent of my ex. If he was to agree for me to move, it would be wise from him to request a clause to ensure we split the access cost even if it's not in the guidelines... Not sure what the courts would do if there was litigation over this, but to me, it's common sense.

I disagree however with Ihave2kidsIacannotsee saying the child support should be adjusted when the custodial parent remarries. I don't have a new partner, but if I do one day, I don't think he should be responsible for my children, or pay for them. They already have a father, and whether I remarry or not won't change that. What if my new partner also has child support to pay? Would that be taken into consideration? My ex doesn't have a partner, should he pay more child support when he has a partner? I don't think so, even if he marries a doctor! Bio-parents pay and care for their children. And while new partners are inevitably drawn in the emotinal turmoil of a broken family, they shouldn't be used to lessen the bio-parents responsibility.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:49 AM
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I wholeheartedly agree that both parties should share the costs of facilitating visitation.
If this were the case, any party wishing to move a great distance from the other parent would have to take this into consideration when making the decision.
I thought it was the norm that both parents take part in transportation!
We have a distance of 60kms. between homes. I guess we are lucky that our court order states one parent drops the kids off at the other home and vice versa.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me_too View Post
I disagree however with Ihave2kidsIacannotsee saying the child support should be adjusted when the custodial parent remarries. I don't have a new partner, but if I do one day, I don't think he should be responsible for my children, or pay for them. They already have a father, and whether I remarry or not won't change that. What if my new partner also has child support to pay? Would that be taken into consideration? My ex doesn't have a partner, should he pay more child support when he has a partner? I don't think so, even if he marries a doctor! Bio-parents pay and care for their children. And while new partners are inevitably drawn in the emotinal turmoil of a broken family, they shouldn't be used to lessen the bio-parents responsibility.
Of course you would disagree you would love to have 3 incomes to spend on yourself? I don't understand if you remarry why should your ex give you more money and he gets remarried and has to live on 2 incomes while you get to live on three just because you have the children it is unfair. Notice I did not say the other parent does not pay anything but that it is lowered and that the money goes in a trust fund. What loving parent would not want to do this for their children instead of spending it all on needless items? If a man decides to marry a women that has children he automatically takes on the responsibility of parenting does he not? why is he excused from helping out financially? Sorry but your not thinking from the other side of the coin. If the custodial parents incomes combined is 100,000 and the non-custodial parent only earns 60,000 a year why should he/she be giving away money when he is needing it more then the other parents? What about when the non-custodial parent has more children? does anyone give him some extra income to raise them? No but he still have to pay a huge amount of support and keep his own head above water its not right infact I would go so far as to say it is a travesty of justice that this is allowed to happen.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:44 AM
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Child support was intended to be for the costs of children...but we all know that in some cases not all..... that this is not what these monies are going towards. There are many custodial parents out there that will live the good life be it whether they remain a single custodial parent or get remarried, and yet the non custodial parent is paying and in some cases living below the poverty line themselves due to the money they have to pay for child support and in some cases spousal support. I cannot see why a non custodial parent cannot bring a motion to change into court and bring this issue forward to have these types of costs equally shared by the parents. Due to the fact that the custodial parent moved somewhere that is not easily accessible to the non custodial parent and more so that the non custodial parent did not have any rights to not permit the custodial parent from moving that far away.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:00 PM
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Well I am glad to hear I am not the only one who thinks access costs should be part of "extra" expenses, then who ever moves away will have to consider what their share is going to be. As for my husband, it was access costs in the first place that allowed his ex to move away. She originally moved 4 hours away to attend a course. It was in the middle of BC and in the winter, with his crappy truck with no heat and icy conditions (and couldn't always afford the gas), some weekends he could not drive the 16 hours to get his kids. She used this against him, as a reason to move back to the maritimes, saying he didn't exercise his access, along with an excuse that her family lived there. She moved to another province after less than a year, away from her "family" to attend school again. Anyway, it is kind of ironic that access costs helped put us in this situation where we can no longer afforrd the access costs!

I agree that when the CP remarries, CS should be lowered and put into a fund for the children. It is not right that the CP household gets 2 incomes plus another (tax free) 1/3 or more or ex's income. Then in the NCP home we have 2 incomes minus 1/3 or more of NCP's income. This becomes even less fair when each party has children. Children in CP home have more than they need, children in NCP home have to scrimp and save their whole lives. And not to mention that the when the first kids visit, the NCP household is supporting ALL the children, while the CP home has none of the expenses while the kids are away. If the CP happens to marry a man who also pays CS, it would even out for them, they also would get lowered CS to be put into a fund for kids.

I am finding the whole thing feels like a scam against my husband and my family (We just got another letter from his ex's lawyer in the mail today asking for yet more money and to pay more for "extras". I have been sick to my stomach all day, but that is fodder for yet another post). I think I am going to go throw up now. Either that or divorce the husband who I am in love with and who is the best father I know so that the courts will recognize that our children have a right to be supported by both their parents as well). (Of course I am not going to, don't WANT to, but sad that is the only way I know our kids will be recognized).
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:44 PM
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Hey I totally understand your feelings, my Wife feels sick every time we get something in the mail from court. It is a strain on a relationship at times to put up with this it never ends either always another court case coming up to prepare for more added stress to an already stressful life.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:13 PM
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From where I sit (other than the kitchen table) I see the situation from a very different view.

I am the CP of 4 children who range from ages 9 to 14 and I have had the children 100% of the time.
I am single with just my income to raise them while he and his CL both have full time jobs bringing in two incomes, and over the last 41 months that my ex & I have separated I have had:
  • My van repossessed for non-payment forcing me to find an old rusty chugging vehicle to get to & from work etc with
  • Took a drop of $4.25 per hour in pay just to even have a job
  • Working a second job during the warmer months delivering more than 300 newspapers to bring in what I can to help pay the bills and feed the kids
  • Did everything I could to heal the hurt my children felt as their father continued to move further away from the children (incidentally he is trying to claim the whole access cost issue when the kids & I have not moved the entire time, yet he keeps moving away - and not for job reasons either)
  • Dealt with everything regarding medical and education without his input, as he refuses to partake in these things
  • Dealt with finding things to take the kids minds off the fact that prior to my requesting that the court detail access to him in hopes that he would follow a court order, he made contact with them 6 times in 18 months
  • LIE to my kids on his behalf telling them that he cannot visit them more than 2 days a month because he is working
  • Heal their hurts while he increases the number of children he has by 2 more - one born Oct 2006 and another May 2008
Try buying anything for your kids when you have seen the total sum of $2700 since Aug 2005, the bulk of that only now appearing because FRO is on his case as much as possible. Not to mention the time I have to lose from work to fight him in court as he and his lawyer use every tactic to stall and break all the 'rules' in court in regards to filing and/or serving anything - waiting until the day of court which has passed the timeline laid out in everything I have read for filing and serving. In November 2005 he was able to purchase a 2005 Ford Explorer and in 2007 he traded that in to get a 2007 sports model vehicle.

Not every CP is a greedy money-hungry heartless witch. My children have a human right to be provided for by both parents. We both agreed to having them to begin with, and being separated with his moving out doesn't relieve him of his duty to his children.
Trust me, I get the anger, the frustration, the stress, but remember when you are venting there are CPs on this forum who only want what is right for their children and are fighting for that when you comment and generalize CPs, NCPs, Exes, new spouses etc etc.
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