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

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  #21  
Old 08-07-2014, 02:51 PM
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Maggie82 Maggie82 is offline
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Originally Posted by DowntroddenDad View Post
I think some section 7 expenses vary by the incomes of the families. In otherwards, what might be extraordinary for a low income family would not be extraordinary for a family with a high income. And cell phones for a 12 year old might fall into that catagory.

If your partner is paying big $$ for child support, then a basic cell phone plan should be considered an expense covered by CS.

I know it is in my case. My three kids all had cell phones and my ex didn't ask for a dime in S7.
Thanks, DowntroddenDad. The parents make close to the same annual income and neither is considered "low income." Plus, Dad pays a decent amount of child support - similar to the monthly payment on a mid-luxury, mid-sized sedan. Dad also pays for his proportionate share of extracurricular activities, child care, and other S.7 expenses.

Considering that child support is meant to help cover "the basic necessities" such as rent, food, clothing, utilities, etc., you'd think a telephone would be considered part of those basic expenses. Right?
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  #22  
Old 08-07-2014, 03:15 PM
Straittohell Straittohell is offline
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I am with the majority, just ignore it. She can try and collect for either a phone or a daycare, a judge would likely deny both since he is twelve. Too old for a daycare, too young for a cell phone.
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  #23  
Old 08-07-2014, 03:44 PM
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I am with the majority, just ignore it. She can try and collect for either a phone or a daycare, a judge would likely deny both since he is twelve. Too old for a daycare, too young for a cell phone.
The problem, Straittohell, is that the Child is currently still enrolled in daycare. Because his 12th birthday falls during the first week of September, he is entitled to remain in daycare until the end of the school year if the parent(s) so chooses. If his birthday occurred prior to September, he would not be able to attend anymore. Weird rule, but that's the way it is. Dad has been arguing that Child should be pulled from daycare and be able to develop some independence and take the school bus like the rest of the kids his age. But Mom does not feel comfortable with the Child being home alone without a phone for an hour after school. (She does not have a home phone.) She is using the threat of keeping the child in daycare for that extra year at $100/week (an expense that has to be shared as per S.7) as a means of getting Dad to agree to pay for a cell phone and split the monthly bills.

Dad feels trapped. He doesn't want to pay for daycare anymore. (He's been paying at least 55% each month for the last 11 years, non stop.) He wants his son to be an independent and confident 12-year-old and for him to be able to make friends in his Mom's neighbourhood (which he currently doesn't have because he has no opportunities to meet anyone) by walking with other neighbourhood kids to and from a bus stop 1 block away. But he also doesn't want to be incurring additional expenses that are technically covered by the child support he pays. So if he tells Mom "no, my share for a telephone is already included in child support," she will keep the Child in daycare. (Yes, even if it will cost her more as well - she's done this before, simply out of spite.) So Dad doesn't want to agree to an expense he technically already provides for... but he also doesn't want to keep his son in daycare longer than he's already been. (I think most kids stop by age 10 at the latest.)
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  #24  
Old 08-07-2014, 04:04 PM
Straittohell Straittohell is offline
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Where is that rule about when someone turns 12 being entitled to daycare coming from, their separation agreement?
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  #25  
Old 08-07-2014, 04:14 PM
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Where is that rule about when someone turns 12 being entitled to daycare coming from, their separation agreement?
It's the daycare's rule. Basically, the child can remain in daycare until the end of the school year during which (s)he turns 12 years of age. Because the child turns 12 in September, he is able to remain in daycare until June 2015. There is nothing about daycare (other than it's a shared expense that each party will pay their share directly to the daycare provider) in the court order.

On a side note, we still have a court date set for end-October (final hearing for Mom's claim that Dad owes her $600 in babysitting provided by Great-Grandma... if you recall my posting about that issue in the past) and our lawyer intends to bring daycare up if Mom doesn't pull the child out by then. He says it's an unreasonable expense for a child that age. Especially a child who has taken a Home Alone Safety course and Babysitter Training course (both paid for in full by Dad). But Dad would still prefer to not have to pay $100/week for the 2 months prior to court.
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  #26  
Old 08-07-2014, 04:33 PM
DowntroddenDad DowntroddenDad is offline
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Originally Posted by Maggie82 View Post
It's the daycare's rule. Basically, the child can remain in daycare until the end of the school year during which (s)he turns 12 years of age. Because the child turns 12 in September, he is able to remain in daycare until June 2015. There is nothing about daycare (other than it's a shared expense that each party will pay their share directly to the daycare provider) in the court order.

On a side note, we still have a court date set for end-October (final hearing for Mom's claim that Dad owes her $600 in babysitting provided by Great-Grandma... if you recall my posting about that issue in the past) and our lawyer intends to bring daycare up if Mom doesn't pull the child out by then. He says it's an unreasonable expense for a child that age. Especially a child who has taken a Home Alone Safety course and Babysitter Training course (both paid for in full by Dad). But Dad would still prefer to not have to pay $100/week for the 2 months prior to court.
You can fight over what is right and fair and never come to an argreement with an unreasonable person.

I would suggest the dad buy a basic cell phone with a low end plan, and give it to the child, pay the expense himself. It will be less expensive than daycare. And it isn't worth arguing at court.
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  #27  
Old 08-07-2014, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DowntroddenDad View Post
You can fight over what is right and fair and never come to an argreement with an unreasonable person.

I would suggest the dad buy a basic cell phone with a low end plan, and give it to the child, pay the expense himself. It will be less expensive than daycare. And it isn't worth arguing at court.
^^^ Yup. It's not a bad thing if the kid has a cheap cell phone (and if Dad buys the phone and determines the plan, he can get something inexpensive and serviceable, rather than a luxury model). It sounds like this phone is becoming an issue because it is associated with irritating and unreasonable attitudes by Mom, not because it's a problem in and of itself, if you see what I mean. Save your energy and court time for battles over things that really matter.
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  #28  
Old 08-07-2014, 04:48 PM
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You can fight over what is right and fair and never come to an argreement with an unreasonable person.
You sound like our lawyer!
He actually (half-jokingly?) told us that if we ever end up in court with her again, to not call him... because he cannot handle dealing with such a "penny-pinching, vindictive and unreasonable child." (Lawyer's words, not mine! And he only deals with her once every few years!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by DowntroddenDad View Post
I would suggest the dad buy a basic cell phone with a low end plan, and give it to the child, pay the expense himself. It will be less expensive than daycare. And it isn't worth arguing at court.
No, it really isn't. And we wish it weren't this way. But as our lawyer advised... if we keep agreeing, she will never stop. Basically if Dad gives an inch, she will take a mile. Even if she's legally not entitled to it. (Yes, in her original court documents, she even stated that Dad pays his "legal obligation" and is not in any arrears, but that she feels the table amount plus S.7 is "not enough" for her to provide Child with the life she feels he deserves.) Therefore, our lawyer is very adamant that clear boundaries need to be set. And we were lucky to set some much-needed boundaries surrounding extracurricular activities at last month's case conference. She was not pleased with the outcome, but Dad agreed to follow her "rules" (pay his share of all retroactive activities she signed Child up for without Dad's consent) if she followed them too (pay her share of all retroactive activities Dad signed the child up for) - she hoped that Dad would be forced to pay and she would get off scot-free. This cell phone thing is just the next money-grabber on her list, since the last one didn't work out.

Last edited by Maggie82; 08-07-2014 at 05:01 PM.
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  #29  
Old 08-07-2014, 06:20 PM
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Not to cast aspersions on your lawyer, whom I don't know, but if s/he is being "very adamant that clear boundaries need to be set", his/her financial interests may be involved. "Setting clear boundaries" with Mom through lawyer letters and court dates = billable hours. The lawyer may not be entirely neutral here. Dad needs to decide on his own, independent of lawyer, whether this cell phone battle is worth the effort it takes to pursue it.
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  #30  
Old 08-07-2014, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by stripes View Post
Not to cast aspersions on your lawyer, whom I don't know, but if s/he is being "very adamant that clear boundaries need to be set", his/her financial interests may be involved. "Setting clear boundaries" with Mom through lawyer letters and court dates = billable hours. The lawyer may not be entirely neutral here. Dad needs to decide on his own, independent of lawyer, whether this cell phone battle is worth the effort it takes to pursue it.
Don't worry Stripes... we have a very good rapport with our lawyer and know for a fact that keeping Dad as a client is not in his financial interest. (We actually feel kinda bad for that.) But I appreciate your concern.

This lawyer has also been to court with us 4 times in 11 years (all initiated by Mom) and knows the dance (and the usual outcome - Mom gets reprimanded and told to back off, Dad gets told to not let Mom's whims get to him and continue being the great father he is). So the case isn't difficult, it's just painstakingly frustrating.
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