Some of you may recall that I’m a father of two. Separated for near two years and nearing divorce, finally. The kids live with their mom but I see them every other day and under the circumstances can’t complain about my access to them. But, combine that with being out of work for an extended period of time, it hasn’t been an easy couple of years.
I’ve provide child support payments from day one without legal action or argument. To determine the amount I used the calculation provided by the local child support guideline. The same one the courts use. I provided this support even while I was out of work until I simply ran out of money. I mean completely drained. I was barely able to make my rent, utilities and food for the four months I was unable to pay child support. Never the less, I agreed to re-pay that obligation once I returned to work. Which I have and I am.
In the mean time, my ex has made her usual and classic poor financial decisions which have put her under significant financial strain as well. Despite the fact that her live in boyfriend pays for her rent and clearly many other expenses including vacations. Now I don’t know what their financial arrangements are, nor do I want to know. I do not ask. None of my business.
But on an all too regular basis I get accused of not supporting “the children” to the full extent of my capability. Her argument seems to be consistant and unchanging:
a) I will always make more money than she will.
b) My financial obligation should be greater than that recommended by the child services model because the kids need it
c) She’s graciously never asked me for spousal support. (Generous of her seeing as she’s the one who had the affair and ended the marriage.)
Still, knowing that the children are my highest priority and my weakest spot, she never misses an opportunity to tell me that I’m not giving her enough money for their support. Of course, my attorney is consistantly saying that I’m already paying more than the courts would award (I guess there is wiggle room in the calculation) and her attorney is not demanding more.
In truth, I could tighten my belt and give more. I’m just not sure that it would all go towards the children and their welfare. I prefer to spend money above and beyond what I give every month on them directly. That is, I buy them shoes and clothes and toys, etc. I pay for birthday parties and half of all afterschool activities. Plus share in medical expenses, etc… etc… etc…
Seems that’s not enough for my ex. I’m still a bad father in her books.
Now this may be more of a whinge than a question, but am I right to stick to my approach or should I consider giving her more because I can afford to give more?