Child Support Payments: How Much is Too Much?

child support collectionBy Julie Garrison

In the State of  California, a noncustodial dad making $3,000 a month may have to pay nearly half of what he makes in court-ordered support for his three children.  In other states, the scenario is similar.

The payment amount is based on each parent’s income and the amount of time he or she spends with the children. Other factors taken into consideration are the needs of each child including health insurance, special needs, daycare and education. The income and needs of the custodial parent are factored into the calculations in addition to the paying parent’s ability to pay and the children’s standard of living before the parents separated and divorced.

When the amount of child support a dad must pay, however, amounts to a monthly windfall for the custodial parent, it discourages shared parenting. The more the noncustodial dad sees the children, the less money the Court generally requires him to pay. This is why, in today’s scenario, aiming for equally shared parenting time is better for the children.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

When a dad must work two or three jobs and incur substantial overtime simply to pay his child support order, action should be taken to alleviate that dad’s burden of providing for his kids. This can become increasingly arduous for him if he has remarried, and he and his new wife now provide for new children as well.

Another consideration arises if an ex-wife has remarried. In this instance, she is usually being at least partially supported financially by her new spouse. If her ex-husband’s child support is particularly burdensome, he may consider petitioning the Court for lowered child support payments.

There are a few steps a father can take to have his child support re-examined and possibly lowered.

Discuss: He can discuss the matter with his ex-wife and see if she would be agreeable to lowering his monthly child support payments. If the ex-wife agrees, they will need to have this change approved by a judge in order to make it enforceable and to protect that dad in the future.

Seek Modification: If the ex-wife does not agree to receiving lower child support payments, the dad must then ask the Court for a hearing to have the existing child support order modified. At this hearing, the judge will determine whether or not the amount of support may be lowered and whether it will be temporary or permanent.

Retain: A dad faced with overly burdensome child support should seriously consider retaining an attorney for assistance. The best type of attorney he can retain is a family law lawyer who specializes in fathers’ rights. There may be strategies that this attorney can use to better prove a dad’s case in court.

No dad should be forced to pay more child support than he is realistically able to afford. The Court is not in the business of forcing dads to work two or three jobs and excessive overtime hours simply to support his children. This is unfair to dads and can be detrimental to the children of divorced parents.

Julie Garrison has been writing articles and short stories for the past 10 years and has appeared in several magazines and e-zines.

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67 comments on “Child Support Payments: How Much is Too Much?

    I am a 100% disabled veteran with 2 other children. My ex wife gets all of my check.
    After interest and support for the 1 child I have with my ex, I’m left to raise my 2 children on $60 while my ex wife gets to collect $3740.

    I’m about to be homeless, I’ve had so many surgeries reconstructing my face and back I can’t get a job.

    I’m going to kill myself this weekend so my children and wife won’t have to be homeless. There’s no way to live like this.

    My boyfriend pays almost 1200 a month for his two kids, we also have a kid together on the way, I don’t wanna put him on child support because we live together but when child support is already taken out we only have enough for rent and bills, it’s hard to even get food on the table sometimes, it’s crazy how his ex gets 600 each to take care of there kid while I would be left with whatever is remain to take care of mines, and I’m tired of hearing bitter nasty baby mamas saying why shouldn’t he take of his kids, because nobody is saying that! It should be equal if your able to get 600 for your kid every month why should I , why should I have to take this to court in order to get it, child support system is messed up , they don’t look into the mother saying she doesn’t have a job when she does but if a father say that he doesn’t, trust me they’ll find out he does

    “The Court is not in the business of forcing dads to work two or three jobs and excessive overtime hours simply to support his children. This is unfair to dads…” What I don’t understand is why it is not ok for dad’s, but ok for custodial moms? Especially if you opt to never see your kids. If you have the bandwidth to day and make or stepparent new kids, you should have the bandwidth to provide for the ones you already made. If he had stayed married, would not most of his check have gone toward provision for his children and family? So we have to leave dad extra funds and time now for dating and spreading himself thin, by choice, you know, having ‘a life’ while mom does not? The reality is…this is life. And this sort of thinking is breeding a generation of men who look at divorce as a way out of your choices and a way to get away from and ‘-start over’ with a brand new slate when mom doesn’t have that option usually, whether finances are sufficient or not. This comes from culture’s attempt to monetize motherhood or the exhausting role of custodial parenting, regardless of the custodial parent’s gender. And once dad realize he has an easy out, more of them become repeat divorcees. Because, hey why not? You deserve a second chance and a fresh start even when other lives who will have to suffer are involved.

    Furthermore, seeking counsel is a luxury many can’t afford. If you can afford an attorney, you can afford your child support payments. Working for a law firm that does family law, I can say with a straight face if you can take payments from a man that doesn’t want to pay his support, you should take a long moment in introspection if you truly have a conscience.

    You’ll serve less jail time if you just…. The mother. Or you will be money slave with a chance of paying child support till you die. Also don’t miss alotta payments that’s jail time anyways. Did i mention alimony.

    You do the math.

    I am paying over $19,000 year in child support including insurance for one child. This is equal to 60% of my net income. I have tried to get my child support reduced, but the Texas judges have decided that I need to pay out of my savings instead….Really??? According to Texas law, the child support is supposed to be based on the earnings, but instead they are saying that since I have savings, I should just keep “weathering the storm” as the judge put it, until my pay increases. I am co-owner of a small business that has had a huge loss of sales and make 1/4 what I made at the time of divorce, but the system does not care. Nevermind the fact that my ex-wife cheated on me with her now fiance and drives $75,000 cars while only earning $40,000/year. My advice to men…give away all of your savings to a trusted family member at the time of divorce or you will pay it to your ex-wife as child support if your income drops.

    The bast way to get this people we have to get together all the father’s and dad’s what there please let’s get together and fix this infire rules they have plz spread the word so we all get together im from California I now every state have different rules.but it’s all get treated like the same way.judgers and child support services they not gonna listen to us till we all get together.mothers are taking advantage off father to pay as long as they keep asking money from child support body we’ll gonna listen to our rights.we have to have father hood cos kids they need fathers .let’s get together and to something for our fathers right . PLEASE SPREAD THiS email address is and my phone number is 5106959155 let’s help each other father’s need justice.

    The bast way to get this people we have to get together all the father’s and dad’s what there please let’s get together and fix this infire rules they have plz spread the word so we all get together im from California I now every state have different rules.but it’s all get treated like the same way.judgers and child support services they not gonna listen to us till we all get together.mothers are taking advantage off father to pay as long as they keep asking money from child support body we’ll gonna listen to our rights.we have to have father hood cos kids they need fathers .let’s get together and to something for our fathers right . PLEASE SPREAD THiS email address is and my phone number is 5106959155 let’s help each other father’s need justice

    I live in cook county Illinois of Chicago where if a woman doesn’t have a job a man is forced to pay where the the mothers don’t have to pay anything including maintenance and child support they go after the fathers that actually can take care of there kids instead of mothers that can’t take care of there kids that have drug problems and put there kids in danger men have to prove themselves but woman can make false lies on the fathers that love there kids when woman just want them for the money not because they can care for the kids it’s always dead beat dad laws not deadbeat moms laws Illinois is a mom state the judges are crooks and don’t want problems with woman and there financial threats so they give in

    So im 27 years old i have a 3 year old daughter. Me and her mother dont live together anymore and havent for a couple of months now. Durring our time together I would give her 200 -300 a month for her own spending and pay for her car payment which is 280 and her insurance which is 180 as well as her cell phone bill which is 80 along with my daughters day care which is 115 a week. Now that were not together she is still expecting me to pay the same amount to her when she doesnt even work nor has she in the past year. I dont think its fair for me to have to pay her bills and my daughters day care while she gets to sit at home and do nothing from 9 to 6 while my daughter is at day care. Shes threatening me with child support if i dont continue to give her money every week and continue to pay day care so she can be at home all day instead of having a job to supplement her bills and my daughters needs. My daughter spends the weekends with me as well. The way i see it if the other person has the time and ability to worl and chooses not to because everything is being paid for them i really dont see that fair for me. I bought myself a new sports car as well and have an extra expense that i needed because my old car was on its last breathe and becoming unreliable to get to and from work. Now im the bad guy because i got a car and am telling my daughters mother that she cant keep making me give her money and pay for everything just because she has my daughter. She lives with her parents by choice. I honestly dont know what to do if she does put child support on me if it means that i have to forfiet 25% of my hard earned income. If anythinf she owes me money i feel. Both parents should be reqired to have jobs especially if the child is in daycare 5 days a week 8 hours a day. Neither party should be liable for either patys car payment or insirance or phone bill?

    If your ex feels entitled so will go after it, you will end up paying her attorney fees half of the daycare fees and 25% of your gross income until that kid is 18. If she works or no it don’t matter man. Good luck man I am In the same boat but my kids are much older I have 2 kids. Here is a tip don’t have anymore kids with any other chicks.


    No you don’t

    Your rent or house payment has nothing to do with supporting your kid. If you had no kids you still got rent to pay.

    Afternoon, so my delema is , I pay my ex child support every week for the last 15 years. My daughter is in her second year of collage and she lives on campus. I pay child support maintain a 100,00o life insurance policy for her ,I supply her medical insurance , i give her money for clothes for her books for sorority dues. After all this last year I was also sending her money every week for pocket money and outside food. This year I realized that I pay her mom child support and the child doesn’t live at home eat food sleep use light gas or electric in there house why should I send my daughter money every week . Is it me or that insane. I tried to be reasonable with my daughter and ex wife and they truly feel I should send my daughter money as much as it hurts me I said no .. I truly don’t care that she is remarried and has two other kids and lives beyond her means , but does anybody think I’m wrong for this.. I mean shit these people also want my blood I’m thinking about going to court and make then send my daughter the money directly..

    My story is I was married to a narcissistic woman just with me to provide. She secretly put money into her own account every time I was paid. Had nothing in savings all the money was spent. Who spends 4-500 a week at the grocery store fir a family of 4? If your taking 300 cash back I guess you do.

    Anyways I divorced her she had to start working. She makes 14hr full time and I make 23hr full time. We had 2 kids that remain with mom they are 14 and 15. 28% of my net take home goes to her inchild support. Bear in mind 100% of all was taken care of on my income for 13 years so my ex Jessica could enjoy her dream of being a stay at home mom. The court don’t care about the past. I’m better off than some out there but at least now I get to use or access 72% of my salary we’re i had none before other than filling up my gas tank.

    I’m looking forward to them getting each to 18 so I can access my full income. It’s making my home savings take much longer. I’m happy now though I’ve done things she kept me back from such as buying a new model sports car with cash!! When it’s all said and done I’m way better off financially without her I’m able to save the same I pay in child support but I rent a room and have minimial bills no debt!

    Take care,

    My state’s ‘child support’ guidelines have several text passages which state that the judge must consider the noncustodial parent’s ability to pay child support, but the child support guidelines do not have a NET income self-support reserve to give judges and local prosecutors guidance in determining a noncustodial parent’s ability to pay child support.

    When I brought this to the judge’s attention, I was told that because Federal law allows up to 65-percent of a noncustodial parent’s net income to be garnished as child support, that the court used this figure when determining a noncustodial parent’s ability to pay child support.

    Taking taxes into account, this means that noncustodial parents will be left with about one-fourth of their gross income. Unless you make roughly 60k a year or better, you’re going to be working two job, getting paid under the table, and/or living in your car to survive.

    And, if you have children from more than one relationship, you are really screwed.

    The system is not fair and no matter what we say here on this website is going to change anything. I have been divorced from my kids mother for 10 years and I had custody of all four of our boys since the divorce. This Jan 2018 two of my kids (a 17y/o & 15y/o) went to live with their mom because they didn’t like the rules in my house. At her house they can smoke marijuana and drink beer. Although she is remarried, she was somehow able to collect state aid and now the courts are forcing me to pay $2,400 a month for two kids because my retirement, disability, and housing allowance from school equal to $7k a month. The crazy thing is that 1 of the kids the court is making me pay child support for lives with me. How on earth is this fair? So now me and my youngest son (Her Child Too) will be homeless or living in below standard housing so she can get child support to feed my 15 y/o and her husbands kids. She never paid a dime while I had all the kids?

    It don’t matter how much time you spend with your kids as the non custodial parent. It’s about her income and yours bottom line. I don’t get to see my 2 teen kids nor do I want to because my ex wife has brain washed them into alienating me from their lives even when we lived together as roommates! The all hermit on the internet every waking hour of the day (addictions) my ex taught them this behavior. I have not seen my kids or ex in about a year and I pay 27% of my net income as child support which is 801 a month. She makes about 2400 gross I make 3766 gross a month if I seen them every day or never again it’s still 801 a month until 18 I can not wait!!!!! Besides i rent a room I have no place to keep kids or money to do anything until this is over with , and yes the 500 a month I save is condensed a bill to me! So I’m living on less than half my salary I have a new sports car with a payment of 200 a cell bill insurance and food it’s pretty tight but 6-7k in savings a year vs my ex who can’t save anything,. I come out the winner in the end it’s about me not her. I’m happy now without her and it’s cheaper to leave her 801 a month for only 5 years where when I was with her she got 10o% of my income and never saved anything I could see. Also my ex would overdraft to watch amazon videos 3o-50 $ worth while the house payment is 30 + days past due!

    My advice to any young men is dont get married for any reason and don’t have kids this will only set you back financially in you life. Don’t have joint accounts or anything , I recommend not shacking up with anyone either!

    This is such a shame and not fair system for dads starting over with a woman who spends valuable time with his kids and her own. His ex says she will do nothing to help out unless it benefits her. She is remarried and they live like wealthy people taking 2-3 vacations a year out of state and their income is way higher than ours

    Of my Daughter dad on the military and gets 2400 a month and my daughter has autism and is on medical how much child support would she received from her dad

    I have been paying half my pay in CS for 15 years now. I can’t save for retirement, go on vacations, buy a car, bring my kids to see their grandparents out of state, and a whole host of other things. I owe some back support and am paying hundreds a month to reduce it, but that doesn’t stop the state – CA – from ruining my credit, putting a lien on my house and randomly emptying out my checking account.

    One problem not mentioned here are the financial incentives in the Child Support Performance and Incentive Act that reward states for increasing the gross amount of child support ordered rather than seeking to increase the percentage of parents sharing the responsibility for providing for their children’s needs.

    These kickbacks (I’m sorry-incentive payments) create financial incentives for states to both award sole custody with the lower earning parent and to restrict the non-custodial parents access to their children. Taking both of these actions increases the gross amount of child support collected, which then increases the …incentive payments that states receive for collecting child support.

    We won’t get started on the unintended consequences of the Bradley Amendment (42 US Code 666-somehow appropriate) or states choosing to ignore 42 US Code 654(21)(a) and charge more interest on child support arrears than this Federal statute allows in order to increase their …incentive payments.

    Hello, I make roughly 2500 a month 800 goes to child support and 560 goes to child care. Is there any programs that helps fathers obtain homes or living situations that would allow my children to come and stay when I do have them? My funds are drained and running out of time before I’m out of a home. 50/50 isn’t granted yet a very steep climb to it.

    I make 40K a year. My X wife exaggerated and made up lies. Was awarded 90% custody. I started hanging out with my friends neighbor which only pissed her off more. Back in court i was in. She makes without overtime 70K a year. Her mom mooched of us for years and is also basically living off my child support money as well. Im paying $1500 a month. I also have a recently turned 18 yo son that still needs help. Although he is understanding theres not much i can do. I had to move in w my parents and i pay them 400 a month. Which leaves me about 500 a month for food, personal items, gas and car insurance. Mind you im driving a 20 yo car that a close friend gave me. While she drives a luxury car.

    I have been working overtime to be able to afford living anywhere near the community my children live in. I also have had to pay for a loan on joint debt until recently that sapped an additional $800/month from me on a settlement that never seems to come. When I started this process KS allowed for second jobs and overtime to be excluded if it wasn’t mandatory and it wasn’t relied on by the intact family. They have since changed the language in the last couple of years, and now I am receiving a modification that includes my overtime. I will be bound to work that overtime to pay my support or have my checks reduced to a few hundred dollars. All this to be limited in my time with my kids to nearly nothing. To have bedrooms for them that never get used. To have them reach out to me and tell me how broke their mother is. Child support as defined by the laws we currently have are evil. They make second class citizens of the NCP, and they provide incentives for the CP to constantly fight to legally limit the NCP’s time. My kids are going through their teen years without a father because CS is all that matters. I will have to increase my hours or take on another job, that will also be subject to another child support increase to get along. I will have to work close 60% more overtime to make up for what I will lose in CS.

    So I’m currently paying child support for my daughter, no problem…however, I just recently got a motion in the mail that her mom is now trying to get me to pay 50% of everything in addition to the support I’m already paying… my daughter is on my insurance by the way, is this possible?

    Im a dad that has full complete custody of my 3 children. In 10yrs I have rececived one payment of $17.00. When we first seperated I did not have custody of my children and my ex at the time always demanded money even though my children were with me 5days a week. After the divorce and custody hearing I was awarded full custody and child support. One check in 10yrs. She was alsi ordered to file an amended tax return but didnt. After all these years nothing has been done. If it were me I would be in jail. But deadbeat mom..noothing happens.

    chicks feel entitled , family court allows entitlement there is the problem.

    so you as the dad just suck it up like a man, as you said if the tables were flipped you would be in jail as arrearage piles up.

    When is anyone going to revise the child support lawsWe are from Texas. My Husband pays 1700 a month for his 3 kids. We have 2 kids of our own. Ex wife doesn’t work, his kids are overweight(obese and at risk for diabetes), gets food stamps and every type of government assistance imaginable. Wow! If my husband wouldn’t work then she and the kids would be homeless. He pays all her bills as he is her only income. She poisons their minds about my husband and I and they have even made false claims to the police.

    I understand where you are coming from! My ex is getting me for 1600 a month and I have a 15 year old son that I’m supposed to support off of 1100 a month! How is that possible? She doesn’t work and I never see my kids with new stuff! The judge put a income of 115k on me that I made in 2015! In 2016 I only made 67k and when I asked for a modification he clearly stated it’s not the kids fault you don’t work two jobs anymore! How is this fair?!?! Us fathers really need to get together and say enough is enough! This should not be happening!

    I’m not a father, but i’m a non custodial parent. We are getting screwed and I am totally with you on banding together for change.

    I’m a father with full legal and physical custody awarded in Santa Clara County. the mother was using drugs and I took her to court to protect our child. The mother was pregnant with a second during this process which she said the child was NOT mine to a judge and me. The mother went on state aid and they aggressively started looking for the father. I DNA test to be the father. Santa Clara County took me to child support court to recoup money for aid mother was receiving. Slightly less than half my net income 45% goes to pay for our younger childs support. The numbers the courts uses don’t compute for the old son I have…. I’m being put into a position I may have to give back the older boy to the mother because of financials by the system whoses experts deemed I should be caring for our children. So messed. I asked the judge if she could deviate from the standard state equation for child support because it wasn’t fair for the child i was providing for – she got mad at me.

    You tube Amen Osiris how to beat a child support case will blow your mind bro Rick W is a retired police officer who beat his case no lawyers are gonna help get that out your mind you have to do it all
    With the help of the Constitution of America

    Can you help us with information of how to help.My husband has 3 children from a previous marriage. I have and 8yr old son of my own. He pays 1,000 a month CC and now because of insurance in Arizona to provide them insurance goes from 333.00 to over 1,000. He makes 45,000 gross. That is a little over 2,000 a month. I am a school teacher making 45,000 gross . My health insurance for my son and myself is over 700.00 and he is ADHD. His medication is not covered by my insurance. Over 565.00 month. My husband ex wife says she will do nothing unless it benefits her. She is remarried and they have nice house and go on trips out of state 2-3times a year. We have his kids every other weekend.Can you please give us some solid advice?

    I tired of the nin truths of arricles about men and divorce. How us a man whos payinig 55 percent of his check for child support and not able to see hus children and most of all afford an attorney with living with inly 25 per cent to live on!! Its impossible!!!

    I have my court day tomorrow and I don’t have a lawyer because I don’t afford a lawyer and I have 2 kids
    I have no family members here they all in another country and now since am a single dad and make 2000 more a year her lawyer try the get child support

    302 vs 63. That is how many days a year I get with my 2 children. The more I make the more I pay. I pay almost 50% of what I make in child support. If I work harder to make more money will I gain more time with my kids? So, then what is the point? The system is wrong, in general men get messed over in family courts. The logic of child support would not work with any other item. Who would pays 50% of there income for a car the share with an ex spouse and only get to use the car 63 days out of the year. But since it is children logic isn’t applied an and some man hater sticks it to men as we caused all the problems right.

    I don’t care about the money just the time with my kids. There should be some chart that the more you pay the more access you gain.

    You are absolutly right. Good, loving fathers are getting screwed in New Yorkas well; most likley all over the country. Unfortunatly it is going to take a huge campaign to make change; and were so busy working to meke these payments who will do it? My ex makes thousands of dollars more than me and, our child spends more hours during a week than me and has even told his therapist and lawyer that he would like to not only spend more time at home (my residence) but also be able to engage in recreational activities that I cant afford but she can afford due to the unfair child support. We need to find somone willing to head the fight for our cause.

    The system definitely needs to be changed. I’m a mother who pays her ex. We have 50/50. He is constantly asking for more money. Sadly it isn’t used on our child but to purchase cigarettes and alcohol to entertain his friends. He is also unemployed, again, for the umpteenth time in 10 years (2 times so far this year). When we divorced he picked the most expensive apartment complex to move to, citing that he couldn’t keep our house because he couldn’t afford the mortgage… His rent is more than the mortgage??!!! He tells out daughter not to eat his food because he’s broke. She is in high school and often comes to my home when it’s his time just so she can have something to eat. Recently his heat was turned off for non payment and instead of being a responsible adult and paying it he went out of town for the weekend to party with friends. I think the system needs the parent receiving support show that it is being used to actually support the child/ren. Thankfully I’m one day closer to no longer having to pay this loser another dime. Good luck to all of you!

    You obviously have never been divorced. Seriously comments like this are pointless. Every state uses a calculator. If one parent makes more, the amount they pay is based on what the calculator says. Next time please google or educate yourself, while I understand your question is valid, this system has been in place for a very long time. It’s not something new.

    It’s called “imputed wages”. Even if there is 50/50, they look at what both parents make and then pull money from the higher income…..

    who cares what the money is spent on, Child support should be considered as claimable income that way the moms have to pay taxes on that just like the dads do in most divorce cases. Then the gov can get more tax $$

    These fathers and mothers need to stop worrying about the support of there child in away that they want income tax paying citizens to take care of the family they chose get over the support thing and be a father are mother of what you chose

    Hey I’m not saying not pay child support but think about this. A father or mother is paying support on time but still has financial responsibilits… So say the n c p decides to make up what child support takes working extra hours. Bam hit with increase why? If there were not working ot they would be considered up to date. Support your children has less to do with the money and more with the time with the he child. for the parent who refuse to pay the they should get all the punishment but the n c p having to work 2-3 jobs to keep a roof over there head also has not time to even spend with there child so who looses out.

    NCPs need to organize. The current laws are base on the antiquated assumtions that men earn more than women, the separation was the cause of the father or NCP, and that the the child spends more time with the Cp than the NCP. These things are not true in my case and, im sure, in the cases of many NCP (loving fathers). But I still pay more than I can afford, accepting a zero quality of life other than when my child is home, but still not able to afford the afford experiences/recreation equel to the experiences/recreation afforded by the CP with adding her own wealth to what I am forced to pay in support which equals more than what it takes to keep my childs true home, pay for internet/tv and feed him . I struggle to keep the home to where he came to when he was born and consideres his home as the CP can afford to change residences at her whim. We need a politian ready to address this unfairness.

    that’s crazy it should be 50/50 my soon to be ex-wife has higher level of education and is lazy can’t maintain employment I had to pull my children out of private school due to child support order of $2,o28 a month she lies to the state so I’m arrearages this so frustrating working I work overtime to survive I’ve contacted the state and they don’t care

    I’m a wife of a wonderful man who has had everything taken from him (custody, 40% of his paycheck to the tune of $1500/month, and his ability to see his children due to a career in the military). I personally work three jobs to cover the expenses (we have daycare, student loans, and a mortgage) and don’t see my own baby four entire days/week. All the while his ex and her new husband don’t work. At all. Admittedly they both live off of our child support yet still ask for money for dance lessons, swim lessons, etc. They are very kind to let us visit anytime we want but it is expensive to travel and we always end up worse. I shouldn’t lose time with my baby because they work the system. They are both in school. Should I wait until they graduate and get jobs before getting a lawyer or should we seek help now? I’ve been working multiple jobs for two years now to keep up and quite frankly I’m exhausted and won’t be able to pay for double daycare with our second baby (coming soon).

    I live in California and have been paying over $2000 a month since 2002. it was up to $2600 at one point. currently it is $2300 and more than half my take home pay. I had a stretch of a year or so when I was unemployed, but other than that – steady employment in the tech industry as an IT consult or IT Manager. Although the state is VERY efficient in collecting payments, I have manged to get $22,000 in arrears. I am afraid to travel to visit my youngest for fear of being arrested. Every time I go to court -which is as least once a year since 2002 – I lose something, be it visitation or money. Though I’ve paid over $300,000 in support to date, I am still treated like a deadbeat dad. I close to 3 of my kids and see them often, but the court has deemed my timeshare as 20%. My ex ensures that remains, regardless of my pleas for relief. The accounting for arrears is all messed up I’m sure, spread across three states, with no one agency wanting to take responsibility. I can’t afford a lawyer, but I’m trying to get an audit done. so far no one will do it. South Carolina is the WORST – people there just do not care. I can call them four times and get four different answers..god. All I can do is laugh at this point. I’ll be repaying child support from my Social Security check……

    I am a woman with no criminal history and no substance abuse issues and I pay $861 / month to an ex from an independantly wealthy family that makes $8000+/month. I take home about $2000/ month if I work 50 +hrs /week. My living expenses are roughly $1500/month. (I have no other debt) I lost in court because I couldn’t find a lawyer ( “conflict of interest” my ex contacted every single law office within 200 miles) and I couldn’t afford one anyway. I was a student Student/stay at home mom before we got divorced. I cannot afford health insurance, when I do get my kids on the weekends I cannot afford to do anything with them if I want to be able to afford gas and groceries. In the summers I have them every other week and cannot afford child care. Luckily my oldest is babysitting age. I cannot save money to afford an attorney because there is no money to save. There is no help because I “make too much money” . My job as a commercial roofer is extremely demanding and I am physically drained every day. I am literally killing my body because of state laws and there is NOTHING! I can do to change it. It’s wrong and nobody is willing to change this for all of us. They just make us feel like deadbeats if we complian and assume we are criminals, drug users, or abusers (especially being a WOMAN that doesn’t have custody) No I just have less money than my ex,was too nice and got screwed.

    I am a wife to a father that pays too much in child support, not only that but every father I know in this situation is getting screwed over because these mothers feel entitled to this money. They know they can work the system to their advantage and because of their selfishness and greed all the fathers live lesser quality of life, more child support and less time with their kids. This system is insane! My sister has a 2 year old their relationship didn’t work out from the time he was 1 week old. She didn’t ask for one dime and still to this day the father hasn’t paid any amount of money. She doesn’t want him to so its never been brought to court. She makes it just fine. It doesn’t take 5-800 dollars a month on top of your own income to raise a child it just doesn’t. Its non taxable so they don’t claim it as income on returns, they get the child credit, insurance is usually paid by the father, or any cost that isn’t covered by insurance as well as a pitty party from the rest of the single mothers. I don’t understand how the father can basically be 100% financially responsible for their child plus more but expected to not be in their life. All you good fathers need a break you need to stand together and get it changed. I’m not saying have no financial responsibility I’m saying make it fair. Stop giving the mothers a better life just because the father is successful. Thats what the women give up when you decide to leave the father of your child.

    I agree it’s not fair and these fathers need to fight for the right to have a comfortable life without risking being homeless.

    How much extra should a father pay out besides child support and health insurance. My ex- daughter in law wants my son to pay half of school clothes, half on counseling, half on any co- pay, half on uniform and soccer fee. I just don’t remember asking for all of this when all I got was child support and health insurance, have things changed. She even wanted info. On my sons new girlfriend like DOB, where she works and so on. What’s up with that!

    My ex pays 1/2 what he owes us each month at his choosing. And I have to disagree. My sons preschool is 1,000/mo (we toured 12 and they were all that cost) his insurance alone is $500 and factor in his clothes, food, cost of living and toys and diapers and well you can do math. So yes…a single mother does need that money. I make great money and still need my ex’s help. Do I want his help. No. Does my son deserve and is entitled to what is fair and his. Absolutely. So please never thing the cost of a child is easy to mange alone as one single parent. It impacts the child mostly. I can live in a crappy apartment but my child needs to be safe so yes I live in a nicer apartment then I alone would. Children are expensive. End of story. And a GOOD mother feels entitled to that money because it’s for her child. And I promise you, she pays more still even after child support.

    I’m in the process of going back to court trying to establish overnights. After getting swindled the first time around by my lawyer who tryed to compromise a deal instead of fighting for overnights. I ended up paying 577$ a month…Currently I’m working as an apprentice for an electrical company and after everything boiled over in mediation. I’m ordered to pay 860$ a month….that’s forty percent of what I take home…I’m gonna be tapped out after this month after having to afford backed daycare costs…my son is 1 and a half, I have no overnights and no compromise from his mother I’m being dragged through the ringer and currently am trying to find a place to live in a very expensive and growing city. 40% of my take home pay is what it all works out to and basically free daycare for the mother…At what point do I even have an option to do anything other than work like a slave…Its extremely frustrating to try and budget to live let alone receive equal rights as a father through affording a lawyer..I’m at my wits end what option do I have? I make to much money to receive assistance and don’t have enough to provide shelter and care without working a second job or cutting out my parenting time..-_-

    My husband has been paying 45% after taxes for 11 years based on an income of a long lost job. He cannot afford a lawyer to change it and because we live in Vermont and she has the kids in Florida, there is NO WAY that a lawyer even wants to take his case. We are told that the woman must take the initiative to change the child support even if my husband were to petition the court to at least look into a change. And best yet is that his divorce papers say that he has to pay until the kids turn 19. He was ripped off and she won’t even budge and demands even more money monthly. We ignore those pleas. She just bought a new car and thinks nothing when she can’t get the kids on flights to get here. She cost us over 400 bucks one year and over 200 the next. She can’t figure out why we don’t trust her. She said that ” they just closed the gates on us.” Hello, get to the airport at the correct time. Good luck men.

    Technology Man
    There is no question the child support system needs to be reviewed and perhaps federalized for consistent standards and guidelines that take considerable more data into the child support equation than just the non-custodial parents income.

    State like Colorado are heading in the right directions at least seeking income of both custodial and non-custodial parents as part of the general equation.

    In my state of Texas, by and large, it is formula driven of the non-custodial parent’s income regardless of much else. Furthermore enforcement of collections is still somewhat biased based on gender.

    That said, I do agree with Julie, overcoming these current laws and biases sadly requires a skillful attorney. These issues are possible to correct on a case by case basis, but not easily.

    The entire system and child support reform is greatly needed.

    In Pennsylvania, its supposed to be combined net income, yet I’m the only one that works, and they are using my GROSS income. Plus, thwres a disclaimer in the guidelines: ” the domestic relations office can make adjustments as seen fit”. So you are screwed either way. I spoke to my state reps office ans was told they personally know guys that turned down promotions and o.t. because the support amount would go up. I asked about a tax credit for child support. I was told the state would lose too much revenue. What a scam!!!

    over payment on child support
    In the state of Nebraska, if the custodial parent makes 10% more money than the father does, the state will reevaluate it, but there is no guarantee it will be lowered. In my case, the mother makes 45,000-50,000 per year, not including over time, but yet I still have to pay 300 a month in support. My other baby momma, won’t get a higher paying job, but she really doesn’t have the mental capacity to get one either. Although, she let’s her mother abuse my daughter, I have brought this up to the county attorney, haven’t heard back yet. A father who pays child support shouldn’t have to get a second or third job just to survive. But the father also runs the risk of over paying child support when they take money out of that second or third job!!!

    I have over paid several thousand dollars due to the stalling tactics of my ex-wife’s lawyer. One son was graduated from college and another was in the Marines, but my wages were still being garnished for $510.50 a week. Tried to get it back. What a joke!

    Shared custody with a 50/50 schedule is a major problem in the CSSA guidelines given the time spent with the parent, deemed “non-custodial” simply because they are the primary income provider, is not factored into the calculations. This is not a new revelation. The amount, determined by CSSA guidelines, required to raise the kids should be shared not only on income earning percentage but percentage of parenting time. We all understand that the guidelines are designed to protect the non income earning parent from being left with the complete financial burden of raising the kids. Unfortunately, using the system to take a majority of the combined income while sharing the expenses and parenting time is a negative result of the guideline is too common and limits or reduces the amount of parenting time available for the primary income earner.

    My recent case suggests at least in Illinois, the fact my ex wife is remarried, and her new husband makes more money than I do, does not matter regarding child support. My attorney basically said the judge is pretty much going to go by state formulas.

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