Discussing Child Support with your Ex


It is a fact that once a couple has a child or children, whether or not they stay together for the long haul becomes irrelevant. Becoming a parent to a child forever irrevocably connects you to the person you have had the child with, whether you like it or not. While a partnership, relationship, or even a marriage, can be broken easily, having children binds you together right up to the end, one way or another through your kids even if you get divorced. So if you have been in a seemingly bad marriage and think that a divorce means that you will never have to see or deal with your soon to be ex ever again, I hate to burst your bubble, but you are highly mistaken.

Until the time that your children become independent adults, and sometimes even after that, you will have to interact with your ex regularly, even after your divorce for the sake of your kids. Divorced couples must realize that their children are innocent victims in the entire process of divorce. It is through no fault of the children if you and your spouse decide to end or terminate your relationship with each other.

Therefore it is absolutely imperative that both parents put their grievances with each other aside and ensure that you are completely selfless when it comes to matters regarding your children, both before and after the divorce, come what may. Both parents have to be civil and mature enough to understand that both of you have to take the emotional and financial responsibility for your child, and the rights of these children must not be overlooked at any cost by either one of you, doesn’t matter how adverse the circumstances are.

Once arrangements for child custody have been sorted out by the divorcing parents, they must also sit together and discuss the financial aspects for the maintenance of their child together, which is Child Support. It is advisable that the parents come to an agreement amongst themselves rather than seeking external help because they are uniquely tuned to understand their own circumstances better than anybody else. Make sure you have clarified any misconceptions about child support that you may have, and then enter the discussion.

Firstly and ideally, all the expenses will have to be deliberated and agreed upon by both the parents mutually. Because if you cannot finalize it yourselves as parents for the good of your own children then you will be left with no choice but to seek external help or a legal recourse. It is worth mentioning here again that the legal proceedings can be avoided but it largely depends on the mental aptitude and maturity of both the parents.

Secondly, in majority of the cases, normally the maintenance expenses are borne by the parent who does not have the child custody. Therefore, it must be taken as a gesture by the parent to show his or her gratitude towards the other parent who is taking care of his or her child rather than consider it as something of an obligation or a favour for your ex. Similarly, the one who has the child in their custody, should be grateful to the other parent who is providing for the expense of the child despite not having child custody and must not think of it as a way to fix his or her ex.

Here are some important considerations about child support

  • A very important point that we need to consider while finalizing child support is that the expenses or finances being claimed by the Custodian parent cannot be unreasonable like for instance 1000$ for entertainment expense per week. It certainly doesn’t have to be an extravagant amount for luxuries. Generally child support includes basic food, clothing, education and other basic allowances.
  • Parents who don’t have child custody, need to understand that they might have to pay a little bit more than what they used to pay when the child was living with them, the reason being that they are not living with them anymore. This is because generally when you are living as a family you tend to share everything which results in sharing of costs which in turn means the expenses are divided, but here we are dedicating the expenses or the resources to an individual and not a unit or a family.
  • The amount agreed upon for maintenance has to be fair, and both the parents must be flexible and realistic when it comes to deciding the amount for expenses. Be logical in determining the cost of child. for instance if four people are living in a house including the divorced mother who happens to be the custodian also for the child then the rental share of the child is only one fourth and not more than that. Similarly, if a parent without custody can afford private education for his or her child but chose to opt for state sponsored education then that again won’t be justified.
  • It is a good idea for the custodian parent to keep a record of receipts so that everything is documented and can be furnished in black and white if and when the need arises.
  • Both parents must realize that the whole objective of Child Support is not only to ensure the well-being of the child but also to safeguard his or her future.
  • Divorced parents must realize that the children are observant. They are not stupid. They will see the actions of both their parents and then will form their opinion about both of them and certainly all parents want that their children always remember them in a good way.

The ideal way to finalize your Child Support agreement is to do it in a written form, where both parents draw clear lines to determine who is responsible for what. To begin this exercise you must first convince and acknowledge that despite all your grievances, biases or hatred that you may or may not have towards your ex, that your ex-spouse is indeed an equal parent in their role as father or mother to your child.

This is an effective and efficient way to ensure you’re your child is taken care of in the best possible manner both mentally and financially. If child support matters are not clearly outlined and done in a proper manner, then it will be a disaster not only for the child, but also for you, for your ex, and for any new spouse or family you may have in the future, as they will all be subjected to the mental stress and the burden that comes along with it.