Extras Beyond CS

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Extras Beyond CS
5
Mon, 03-05-2012 - 4:20pm

I ran across a situation in an advice column about a mom wanting her ex to help pay for costs that go beyond normal child support:

Dear Annie: Six years ago, I divorced my alcoholic, workaholic husband and became a single parent. My ex has regular visitation, but I am the one who handles all the sick days, school conferences, injuries, etc. He never bothers. Shortly after the divorce, I had to take a job at a much lower salary. There were times when I wondered how we would eat and stay warm.
When my ex married his third wife, he decided my son didn't need a bedroom at his place. His wife's kids have three of the four bedrooms in their home, and my son sleeps on the couch when he visits.

Our son is an amazing boy. He recently was accepted into a prestigious magnet school for gifted kids. The problem is, although his tuition is paid for, there is a bill for room and board. When I brought this up with my ex, I was treated to a lecture about how the father of one of his wife's children doesn't pay child support, so he has been supporting him since she quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom. This is his excuse for not helping with our son's schooling.

Annie, am I wrong to think he should be thinking first of his own child? Mind you, he still takes beachfront vacations with his wife and her kids. Why am I the one who makes all the sacrifices? He pays regular child support, and I am grateful, but it doesn't cover everything. Our son is extremely gifted, and I fear his gift won't be nurtured in the local public high school, which has a terrible reputation. Even my ex agrees.

I finally got a raise, and I worry that my ex will try to have his support payments reduced. I have applied for financial aid for the school bill. Am I wrong to ask my ex for help, or am I just being a bitter ex-wife?
Worn-Out Mom

You can read Annie's response at this link: http://www.omaha.com/article/20120304/LIVING/703049999/1679

What do you think about the situation?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Mon, 03-05-2012 - 4:31pm
I saw that. And yes, I think he's putting his child last. That said, short of taking him to court to help out, she has little recourse. You can't force a parent to be a good parent. You can't force a parent to put their child first.

So, as a parent, you suck it up and make it happen for your child. In most cases, your child will see that and appreciate the sacrifices you make.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2009
Mon, 03-05-2012 - 4:48pm

IMO BOTH parents should agree on something BEFORE EITHER parent signs them up for something... if neither parent agrees, then the parent who WANTS to sign them up for it should pay for it, if you don't like that outcome, get a court order. As sad as it is, this happens alot, MY uncle did this to HIS daughter, she is a briliant woman and a wonderful parent, and she still to this day loves BOTH her parents. What happens is the stress coming from the ex makes the parent start distancing himself emotionally from his own kid... and then a situation like this arises... it is sad and shouldn't happen...

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Mon, 03-05-2012 - 5:13pm
If a parent distances him or herself from their child(ten), that is 100% on that parent. We are each responsible for our own actions.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2011
Mon, 03-05-2012 - 9:47pm

Dad's only legal obligation is to pay his COed child support.

Dad may be a nugget for not caring enough about his child to want to contribute something, but Dad's finances are his buisness outside of the childsupport and I don't think it fair to legally hold him responsible for the costs of the private education.

- Luhverly Mom to DS5 Smom to DSD6 & DSD4 Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2009
Tue, 03-06-2012 - 10:04am

ESPECIALLY since he didn't agree to it