Most women would say what men want is sex without obligation, but what men really want is control.
Control is what is behind the battle cry of “child support should go on a card that only buys baby stuff!” I have heard this and seen it repeated on Social Media more time than I can count.
And everyone has an opinion on this one… take for example this statement from a gentleman who while in his sixties still becomes very “animated” when the discussion of child support comes up in any conversation. He has insisted to me that he is “poster boy” for paying his child support and boasts of paying more that was owed. He also got quite angry during our conversation stating, “I have no idea how a dime of that money was spent!”
He says this is the “number 1 problem with child support payments.”
“One of the biggest deterrents that a man faces in paying child support is: how is the money used? Fathers, for the most part, want to take care of their children but the hate and vicious fighting that comes from a divorce between the spouses has a direct impact on the children. Most fathers would have no problem providing money for the support of their children if they knew for a fact it wasn’t being wasted on manicures, pedicures, Botox, teeth whitening and colon cleansing for the former wife. A system to track the monetary benefits provided by the father would be a sure cure to the excuses most men generate in not paying child support. The question is how a father can know for sure the money he is providing for his children is not being squandered for frivolous benefits by his former wife. It seems with the technology we have today the best solution would be a child support debit card. The father would place the required amount of money in an account that can only be accessed using the card. The father would have access to view the activities of the card 24-7. Obviously, a charge at a bar at 0215 am is not an expense necessary for the children. In order to make a concept like this work, it needs some teeth. Any spouse that would be caught using the child support for personal benefit would be in contempt of court. Obviously, the court would have to mandate the necessary guidelines for the use of the card. This would not only give the non-custodial parent a tracking of the child support money but would eliminate the biggest excuse that spouses have in not paying child support. The documentation of the expenses would also give the courts a record of all expenses in the event there needs to be an increase or decrease in the child support amount based on use of the card and the recorded expenses within.”
Read the gentleman’s statement again, NINE times in this statement he references how the money is used, knowing for a fact how the money is spent, tracking the spending, access to the account 24-7 and court punishment if it appears the wife has used a penny on “frivolous benefits” and use of the tracking to get payments decreased!
After I stopped laughing we continued to talk and I asked him, “what about when the kids come home from school and they need $15 bucks for the field trip turned in tomorrow, plus another $5 for lunch while on the field trip? The parent at home with the kids must come up with either a cash or check to send to the school the next AM or the kid doesn’t get to go on the trip. You can’t pay for that with a “card”. And what about the mortgage, rent or light bill? A portion of child support is to assist the custodial parent with these expenses, and you can’t put a portion of these bills on a “card”.
He yelled at me, “Well that is what HER money is for!”
I responded that even in this day and electronic age, there are still time we need CASH on hand. The field trip for instance, not everything a child needs comes from Wal-Mart with a receipt.
However, in this gentleman’s world, single parents, especially of the female variety are not to be trusted with cash.
What is behind this attitude?
Why does this man insist that the mother of his children would waste money on herself and not feed his kids? “Colon cleansing”? I know thousands of women who are also mothers and not ONE of them would even think about colon cleansing, rather than dinner and school supplies, or any other “spa” treatment for that matter.
It’s about control.
Once control of the relationship has been lost, often, the only way left for control is control of money. And that is why divorces become bitter, children are turned into pawns and money is weaponized.
I have spoken with several single parents who think that accounting for every dime spent is “worth it” to keep the child support payments coming in. However, an LMH counselor in Texas told me, “making sure the other parent does not have disposable income to spend on herself is abusive. If mom uses $30 of “child support money” to go get a pedicure after she spend $300 of “her” money on school supplies before the child support hit her account, if that helps to relax so she can then focus on being present with the children 100%, that pedicure still benefits the children.” I agree, who the “dollar” originally belonged to does not matter.
Sometimes you just can’t win. A mother in Texas told me that when and her husband separated, she “knew” she would be accused of spending the child support money on herself because her soon to be ex husband was a high wage earner who also collected large commission checks. So, she got an accounting ledger, meticulously documented every expense and kept receipts in an envelope in the ledger. She showed it to her ex and told him he was welcome to ask her for it and examine it at any time. They even verbally agreed to put any “leftover” money in the kid’s savings so once it was “car time” there would be money already in place for that. She had a four-year-old cell phone and her service provider at the time was offering a free iPhone if you signed a new contract agreement. She needed an upgraded phone to ensure she could always call the children. The first time she dropped the kids off for visitation and her ex saw the new iPhone he immediately stated, “So that is what you spent the child support check on!” and proceeded to blast her on social media for being “wasteful and selfish”. Her soon to be ex sister in law responded to the social media blasting by stating, “I always knew you were a gold-digging whore”
All over a free cell phone…
What most people do not realize or want to acknowledge is that just as there are laws in place regarding payment of child support, there are also laws in place to cover misappropriation of child support funds. In some states you get one shot a misdemeanor charge before it’s elevated to a felony offence. If only the laws were as harsh for non payment of the support…
Also, most states have a debit card system of payment in place already that child support payments get posted on for the receiving parent.
It’s time to give up on trying to control your ex-spouse at your kid’s expense.
With the current IV-D arrears at $118 Billion dollars it’s past time to stop the complaining about how the funds can be tracked and start paying the support.