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  #1  
Old 10-30-2008, 05:03 PM
got2bkid got2bkid is offline
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Default Problems faced by "second" families?

I am doing some research on the scope of problems faced by second families in Canada, emotionally and financially, due to child support obligations to the first family.

DO you have problems with paying basic bills due to CS or extra-expenses?
Do you have stress and fights over this money?
Does it negatively affect your relationship with your spouse?
What about the relationship with step-kids?
If there are "second" children, do the "first" and "second" kids get along?
Do you feel second family concerns are "heard" in the court system?
Do you feel you cannot afford to have children of your own due to obligations to the first kids?
Do you feel all the kids are treated fairly and equally?
What changes do you want to see to ensure that 1st and 2nd children are treated equally by the law?

I would like to gather input from all viewpoints. If you are NOT experiencing any problems I would like to hear from that side too.

Thank you.
  #2  
Old 10-31-2008, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
DO you have problems with paying basic bills due to CS or extra-expenses?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
Do you have stress and fights over this money?
Stress yes, fights no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
Does it negatively affect your relationship with your spouse?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
What about the relationship with step-kids?
If there are "second" children, do the "first" and "second" kids get along?
They get along wonderfully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
Do you feel second family concerns are "heard" in the court system?
Absolutely NOT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
Do you feel you cannot afford to have children of your own due to obligations to the first kids?
We chose not to have children together due to issues with the first, both financially and emotionally. Mostly emotionally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
Do you feel all the kids are treated fairly and equally?
In the FL system, absolutely not. The second family does not equate, not is it ever even remotely considered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
What changes do you want to see to ensure that 1st and 2nd children are treated equally by the law?
I would like to see similar laws as the Australians have, where children from the first, second or one hundredth, are all equally factored into the CS equations. And that the custodial parents MUST sustain employment of some significance, and directly help with the costs associated to the children, like the extra and the basics. So the CS can be more in line with what married couples contribute directly to their children. And SS is ONLY interim to establish/gain meaningful employment. At which time it would terminate, or equally terminate if/when a new relationship of significance is entered into.
  #3  
Old 10-31-2008, 07:31 AM
privateone privateone is offline
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Sadly this is very timely for me.....I'll answer within the questions. My second partner informed me yesterday, that she has had enough of my X's interference in our lives, and what this has cost her emotionally and financially. She wants to split, and wants her money out of our house, CS, and SS. She told me this 2 hours after my disastrous case conf....I can't blame her, she didn't sign up for this. Before long I'm going to be a father of 4, with two mothers, not a cent to my name, no where to live, etc etc.

DO you have problems with paying basic bills due to CS or extra-expenses?
YES! due to CS and SS, I'm falling further and further into debt, and was even fired from my last job due to garnishment of my salary.

Do you have stress and fights over this money?
YES! My second partner didn't sign up for this, and it's costing her in a huge way.

Does it negatively affect your relationship with your spouse?
YES! It's a daily discussion on what is happening.

What about the relationship with step-kids?
Really good, but due to crap coming from X's lawyer about parenting skills, it has caused some break down of the relationship.

If there are "second" children, do the "first" and "second" kids get along?
They get along thick as thieves, and adore each other, including being very protective.

Do you feel second family concerns are "heard" in the court system?
NO! They are second class citizens. They couldn't care less what this is doing.

Do you feel you cannot afford to have children of your own due to obligations to the first kids?
It's feeling that way, but we already have them.

Do you feel all the kids are treated fairly and equally?
No, the don't see to care about the 2nd children and their quality.

What changes do you want to see to ensure that 1st and 2nd children are treated equally by the law?
As soon as new children arrive, the money has to be auto split across each of them to ensure the same quality of life right through to university.

Last edited by privateone; 10-31-2008 at 07:35 AM. Reason: spelling
  #4  
Old 10-31-2008, 11:04 AM
Sara08 Sara08 is offline
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1. Yes, we modify what lifestyle we live dramatically so the 'first' family gets their court ordered support.
2. Stress, yes, daily
3. Yes, stress when there is no possible relief to the situation is never a good thing. My husbands hands, and money, are tied, he has no option to offer different solutions for more equality for ALL of his children. He has tried to offer possibilities, and was laughed at (both by mediator and ex)
4. Our situation is difficult because the relationship with the step child has never been encouraged and the natural bonding between us has caused MAJOR tension for the child. I love him as my own, and treat him as I treat my bio kids, but he fears the affection because it could make his mom upset. We are finding safe ground to foster a trust, and things are going.......
5.The kids get along great, they are all still young, and they love every moment they have together.
6. My 'second' family has no rights or recgonition within the family court system. Period.
7. I have no regrets over our having kids. Can we afford them, my husband and I have well paying jobs and just barely scrape by. My husband feels strongly that all of his kids should be treated equally, not above or below each other.
8. We are focusing on needs vs. wants. And extra-cirricular activities for my bio kids are gifts from other family members as we just don't have the money. While we do not allow the resentment show in front of the kids, I don't see why my kids have to do without while one gets a big piece of the money pie. This is difficult for me. Emotionally, we do our best to keep this stable, equal and fair on our time together. Financially, there is not even a close comparison.
9. Changes? Where to begin. Australia has a good idea. Financial contributions from the reciepient, compensation for expenses incurred on access time for the payor, ALL children to be taken into account as needing EQUAL financial support. I would like to see the law reflect that fathers would like to have a meaningful relationship with their kids and not be just a paycheck.
I will do what I can to support these changes to take place. They are long overdue.
  #5  
Old 11-06-2008, 07:40 PM
got2bkid got2bkid is offline
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To Privateone,
I am so sorry to hear of your problems. I can only hope for your sake that your second wife, seeing how unfair the guideines are to NCP's and their "second" families, takes it easier on you. I think there are probably alot of second relationships that fail because of the stresses and pressures that the guidelines put on new families. Isn't is sad that a system designed to help children of divorce is inadvertantly creating MORE children of divorce by not acknowedging the rights of second families to exist in the first place. Good luck to you.
  #6  
Old 11-06-2008, 10:22 PM
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I am answering as a stepmom, in a relationship with the love of my life who, due to carelessness during a one night stand in college, is now supporting a "romp-child" (as love-child doesn't really suit the situation).

Do you have problems with paying basic bills due to CS or extra-expenses? Yes. We've had to move back with our parents because lawyer fees drained us completely. All we've saved up towards a downpayment for a place of our own is slowly drizzling away now that my fiance lost his job, yet is still paying child support because FRO is draining the account dry, as we wait for our court date in over a month to get some relief during this time of unemployment.

Do you have stress and fights over this money?
Almost daily. But we try not to think too much about it. The law says he has to pay 12% of his monthly salary, so there's nothing that can be done about that! But when we do fight... it's huge!

Does it negatively affect your relationship with your spouse?
It is the ONLY negative aspect of our relationship... and it's a big one!

What about the relationship with step-kids?
My relationship with my stepson is wonderful. I love him and treat him as he were my own (despite the occasional resentment which both his father and I feel at times) and have been a part of his life since before he was even born. (My fiance and I were dating when he found out he could possibly be the father of an unborn child.)

If there are "second" children, do the "first" and "second" kids get along?
I'm sure when that day comes (and I had hoped it would have come by now, and would have if it weren't for the financial obligations of stepfamily life) they will get along great. Children are so innocent and pass no judgments.

Do you feel second family concerns are "heard" in the court system?
Absolutely NOT! Though we are trying to insert a clause in my fiance's current court order stating that his life insurance policy will be divided evenly amongst all his children. (Right now, it states that my stepson is to be the sole beneficiary of my soon-to-be-husband's life insurance.) I'll let you know how that goes!

Do you feel you cannot afford to have children of your own due to obligations to the first kids?
I think I've answered this somewhere above already... and YES! Most definitely!

Do you feel all the kids are treated fairly and equally?
It is my intention for all kids to be treated equally and fairly, at least in our home.

What changes do you want to see to ensure that 1st and 2nd children are treated equally by the law?
Anything remotely similar to Australia's law would be wonderful! (I used the Australian CS estimator and in Australia, based on the income that my fiance's CS is based on, he would only be paying a third of what he pays here!)

***

Every time I bring this argument up, it never goes well (no kidding!) However, my fiance never fails to reassure me that any children we will have together will undoubtedly have a much better life than his "romp-child." The way he sees it, our children will be living in a double-income household, where both parents have well paying jobs, while my stepson will be living in a single-income household with a mother with, at best, an average paying job. Granted, she will be receiving child support... but as my fiance says, at 12% of his monthly salary, it doesn't come close to the remaining 88% that we will have to our disposition. Amazingly, his rationale about all this always makes me feel a lot better! ;-)
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:44 PM
#1StepMom #1StepMom is offline
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I just had to go and read the entire Australian Child Support Parent Guide. (http://www.csa.gov.au/ParentsAndCare...ents_Guide.pdf)

Some excerpts:

The child support formula
Every family is unique, and the child support formula is flexible and takes into account many different family circumstances. It ensures a balanced and flexible way of working out child support payments.
The key components of the formula are that:
• the costs of raising children, based on
independent research, are the basis of
the formula
• both parents’ incomes are taken into
account and considered equally
• the same self-support amount is
deducted from each parent’s income
before child support is worked out
• the level of care each parent provides is
taken into account
• children from first and subsequent
families are treated in a similar way.

Second families
If you have children (either natural or adopted) who live with you, an amount for their support may be deducted from your income when calculating your child support.
These children are called relevant dependent children.
The amount deducted—called the relevant dependent child amount—is based on the cost of your children in your second or subsequent family, using the same cost of children table used for your child support children. So, all children are treated similarly.
The relevant dependent child amount is worked out using only the child support parent’s income.
Because parents’ incomes are treated equally under the formula, either parent can have children from a new family recognised in this way.
Your new partner’s income is not taken into account when we work out your child support payments.

***
Wooooow!
  #8  
Old 11-06-2008, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FL_Needs_To_Change View Post
Yes.

I would like to see similar laws as the Australians have, where children from the first, second or one hundredth, are all equally factored into the CS equations. And that the custodial parents MUST sustain employment of some significance, and directly help with the costs associated to the children, like the extra and the basics. So the CS can be more in line with what married couples contribute directly to their children. And SS is ONLY interim to establish/gain meaningful employment. At which time it would terminate, or equally terminate if/when a new relationship of significance is entered into.
I'll say!!!
  #9  
Old 11-13-2008, 12:35 PM
MommaFish MommaFish is offline
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Quote:
DO you have problems with paying basic bills due to CS or extra-expenses?
Do you have stress and fights over this money?
I have not gone to court, and there is no significant money changing hands as our salaries are roughly equivalent and we have roughly 50/50 custody. Money, in terms of CS is not a significant stress on my current relationship. I pay $400 a year in CS and I pay half of everything (with the father, that is) -- daycare, clothing, etc.. My partner does not pay for kid-related expenses, except that the food obviously is common.

Quote:
Does it negatively affect your relationship with your spouse?
My ex, and his presence in our lives is a huge stress on my relationship. Ex and I are moderately amicable, but at times he doesn't respect that I just don't want to have much to do with him, and that I don't want him calling and dropping in whenever he feels like it. Since we are mostly friendly, to try and limit his contact would cause problems (the mediator didn't want to include in our Custody Schedule agreement limited phone hours because this would demonstrate an attitude of conflict on my part, but he regularly calls me after 11 p.m). Telling him outright to stop does nothing. My partner would like me to be a lot tougher, firmer and nasty to my ex in order to set limits. I do things my way, and we argue about how I should handle the ex.

Quote:
What about the relationship with step-kids?
If there are "second" children, do the "first" and "second" kids get along?
There are no second kids -- yet. My partner has no kids. We are planning to get started on that ASAP. It is something I am deeply worried about. The age difference will be significant. My kids are 6 and 9. But I'm mostly worried about how they will feel. They have expressed that they don't want a brother or sister. I don't want them to feel they are less important.

Definitely my partner and my kids getting to know and get along well was stressful. If at any point I felt that I would end our relationship, it was during our arguments about how to parent them. My partner has come a long way in learning about kids and how to deal with mine in particular. Step parenting is a huge stress. Being the bio mom in the middle of it is also not easy.

Quote:
Do you feel you cannot afford to have children of your own due to obligations to the first kids?
No, I will try to have another child with my new partner. But the whole experience with my ex has jaded me somewhat, and I am much much more wary about the consequences of tying my life to someone in that way. Certainly having kids already has limited us in other ways. It changes what you can do because you constantly need your ex's approval. I'm sure if he could tell me I wasn't allowed to have any more kids "for the best interests" of our kids, he would.

Quote:
Do you feel second family concerns are "heard" in the court system?
Do you feel all the kids are treated fairly and equally?
What changes do you want to see to ensure that 1st and 2nd children are treated equally by the law?
I haven't had experience with any of this.
  #10  
Old 01-17-2009, 11:03 PM
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1. Yes, we have problems paying basic bills because of CS, about one-third of our household income disapears before we even see it even though four out of six of his children live with us.
2. We've been married ten years and finally learning not to get too stressed out. We don't fight. I think it has brought us closer, "fighting" the battle together. I respect that it is his issue, he deals with his ex, decides if there is reason to return to court etc. I do the research, help him understand laws, paperwork, etc as I am the more organized one.
3. No. If (or she) gets to one of us, we 'tag' out: when I get mad I let him know that I can't handle talking with her, or meeting to pick up kids or anything and so he sheilds me from it all for a while and I do the same for him.
4. Our relationship is strong. They know we are their for them no matter what. They know that we won't make them feel badly if they want to hang out with friends instead of visit. They know that if they say something hurtfull in an argument we forgive readilly. They know that every time the school calls the CAS and they aren't allowed to go home I'll be there before the bell.
5. The 'first' and 'second' kids get along great, probably better than if they grew up in perfectly intact home. My children SOOO look up to their older brothers.
6. It really depends on the people you talk to. We are finally having some success having our concerns heard, but you REALLY have to filter what you hear (because so many people will tell you that it's impossible, you should give up, accept whatever crap you are offered, settle on her terms) and push for the answers that your looking for. Don't be afraid to respectfully stand up in court and point out the laws for the judge, ask out loud, not just on paper, for what is right. It is hard to be heard, but if we all keep asking for what is right, I think things are going to start changing soon. I mean, fivr years ago not many people had even heard of mens rights, or fathers rights. Now it at least rings a bell with most.
7. I know that it does take money to raise a child, but it doesn't take a lot to do a great job. It just takes more creativity.
8. We work hard to treat all the kids the same, but I do make a point of giving my step sons a bit of extra one on one time with their dad when they visit. They need that. I know that their bio-mom seems to try to out do everything, so I suppose you could say their 'spoiled' at home. Sometimes that causes the old problem of "mom would let me" or "mom would buy it" but we are consistant. The courts do not treat them fairly. One judge told me that as long as me and my husband are married our ability to support our own childrenis unimportant. Not to mention the way some people look at you like you are "the other woman" (and in my case it was my husband's ex who did the cheating, leaving, troublemaking) and your children are the "illigitimates" (stepsons were born in a common law relationship. My children were born to leagally married parents who have now been married almost a decade.) The worst part is that some people have the nerve to ponder wether or not we should have had the RIGHT to have our 'second' children, here in this free country.
I like the idea of "deviding the pie into smaller peices", despite the controversy. I could with that if the tables were turned. Each person has the right to live their own life, make their own decissions. Everyone needs to seek out a bit of happiness.
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