Need some advice please....

@wahmoftwo (1298)
United States
May 30, 2007 8:22am CST
My husband is a SD to my 10 year old daughter from a previous relationship. We have been together since she was two and married since she was three. My hubby and I have a five year old son together. Here is what is going on. My ex-husband pays $200/ month in child support. It was set in 1998 when we divorced and I have never asked for it to be reviewed. I have asked for no medical expenses this whole time with the exception of her braces. He hasn't actually paid on those though he says he will. This is a big deal because she has allergies and asthma and doctor visits are pretty regular including a specialist. She also, of course, has mecication that has to be bought monthly. My husband carries her insurance at my request since he has been more stable holding a job and his insurance is pretty good. She is given a good life. Nice clothes, sports, music lessons, vacations, etc. I have always avoided asking for any money because I don't want our daughter to feel like a burden to anyone. Our divorce states nothing about child tax credits. She lives with me and my lawyer, the IRS, and H&R Block tell me that I am legally entitled to claim her every year. We have had a big dispute over this. We have both claimed her two years. I have filed papers with my attourney to get the court to give me a decree stating that I am to claim her and he says I will win. What do I tell my daughter when she asks why Daddy is mad at me? Am I asking too much? I know she shouldn't know about this stuff but she usually seems to find out this stuff when she is with them (or some relative will speak out of turn). I hope she doesn't but like I say she usually does. Thanks for reading all this. Your opinions are valuable to me.
4 people like this
12 responses
@wachit14 (3601)
• United States
31 May 07
Anyone who bears the burden of raising a child from a financial aspect certainly should be entitled to claim that child as an exemption. Technically, you and your husband support her and her father gives you two hundred dollars a month in child support which he can probably deduct some way on his own taxes, but you, as the custodial parent, should be able to take your child as an exemption. I realize that this is not what you are asking, but you need not feel guilty about what you are doing. So, when your daughter does ask why you and her father are disagreeing right now, explain to her that you and her dad have some legal issues that you are trying to iron out, but that it in no way has anything to do with her. Assure her that it will be straightened out shortly and that it will not impact her relationship with either one of you. Good luck.
• Philippines
7 Jun 07
this is how i look at it, too. the child's father will just simply claim deductions because he is extending some financial support for the child but not claim the child to be his for tax claims purposes.
@4cuteboys (4103)
• United States
31 May 07
You are not asking too much! In my divorce decree it states that my ex and I each claim one of the children every year and when there is only 1 we alternate years. This is providing he is up to date on child support. He also makes a big deal out of claiming them, he thinks he should claim both, and this irritates me, however he pays well over what the court order says, so I go ahead and let him claim both. I dont think you are asking too much. 200 a month is very little and if you break that down it comes to $6.66 a day and I am sure most people can't even feed a puppy on that much. So he is getting a bargain as it is. If you are already going back to court, why not ask for the child support to be refigured? And I would also have him start paying half of any out of pocket medical including the braces. Maybe you can file another motion to have the braces money paid. I dont know what you can say to your daughter other than trying to explain it as simply as possible without making dad look like the bad guy even though he might be. You will win in court. I am sorry that you are going through all of this though, take care.
1 person likes this
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
31 May 07
Sounds like we think a lot alike. I have always said that if he paid the regular $300 or $400 per month like a lot of guys I wouldn't fuss about him claiming her every other year even though I know a lot of guys wind up not paying anything. Also, I pay for the other extras that he is technically obligated to just to avoid the fuss. I really need that tax credit though. It helps take up the slack for the other stuff. Thanks for the support.
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
31 May 07
Also, I don't have the child support refigured because of the hard feelings I know it would cause. I can support her with the $200/month and the tax credit for now. If I couldn't I would have it adjusted.
• Philippines
30 May 07
I'm sure your daughter will understand if you tell her the is real story. Why does he want to claim the tax credit? In the first place you're daughter lives with you. but perhaps for you to settle this problem so your daugther would not be affected you and your ex should talk this carefully. Try to comeup with an agreement. After all you are doing all this for your daughter right?
1 person likes this
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
30 May 07
We have tried believe me. His sister handles the majority of his finances and she has evidently told him that he is entitled to claim her. He belives her over me of course and doesn't have the common sense to check things out for himself. Also it is common now for many spouses to alternate years. It is in thier divorce that they do so.
• Philippines
31 May 07
really huh, kind of frustating to have a selfish ex-husband. if talking didn't work i hope that the legal way would help you settle your problem.
• United States
31 May 07
I understand your dilemma and my parents were divorced when I was 9. There was a constant financial struggle and when my father would work "under the table", my mother received no child support. Once we would find out where he was working and report it to the courts, he would move on to avoid paying. Atleast your ex is owning up to his end of the deal. The amount my father was court-ordered to pay piled up month after month, and eventually it got to the point that my mother and I decided to "erase" the debt on more than one occassion so that his license would not be suspended - not sure the reasoning behind our decision, I was too young. I lived with my mother full-time and every year she would claim me on her tax return in order to receive the child tax credit. The money she would receive would go for my school clothes, supplies, and anything else that I needed. When your daughter asks you why Daddy is mad at you, follow your heart. You know your daughter better than anyone and you will know how to word things so that she understands and you can express to her the best that she is in NO WAY a burden. Two hundred dollars a month doesn't go very far, especially with children, and no, you are not asking for too much. The money you receive for the child tax credit makes up for what you didn't ask for during the custody hearing. It takes two to make a child, but it takes love first and then money to raise a child in a healthy and happy home, whether it is considered a "broken" home or not. Follow your attorney's advice and your daughter is ten years old, she should be able to understand the things going on around her, to a certain extent. My mother always tried to shelter me from the battles her and my father had, but no matter what, I always knew. I don't know how due to the fact that no one ever talked about it around me, I just knew, and I wish my mother would have come to me and explained everything instead of assuming that I knew nothing - I deserved to know why my dad wasn't coming around, calling, or speaking to my mom...that made me feel like more of a burden than the money issues did. I hope this helps.
1 person likes this
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
31 May 07
Thanks. My parents divorced when I was eight and fought about money quite a bit. I remember thinking if my Dad really loved me he's pay what he was supposed to. I felt like a burden and that is why I worry she will feel that way too. I see women that are like vultures going after every penny. It is the ex's responsibility to support the child, not me. I don't want to be like that. On the other hand I feel like I am pulling more than my own end of the financial AND time/responsibility part. However, I don't want to give up my time/responsibility end.
• United States
31 May 07
I'm in agreement with the kitty above on this. He pays a mere $2400 a year in supposrt on that child he 'claims' This would barely even be considered a tax credit for charitable donations. He's trying to get all the tax benefits of being a responsible father, but without having to perform any of the necessary roles. The child lives with you. Go to court an have the child finalized as claimable by you solely before he finds a way to do it, unless you want the government giving him a tax break while he barely supports his child. Fifty bucks a week, is about what you'd pay for a good fridge, not a child. IF this was simply a case of him not paying enough child support, i'd possibly not be siding with you. However, it's a case of him trying to get something he doesn't deserve and pretty much have the government pay for his child support. That's something I don't condone.
1 person likes this
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
31 May 07
Just for my curiosity what is your issue with asking for more child support? My lawyer wanted me to but I told him I didn't want to take up that issue for now. When she hits high school and expenses really go up I might. For now she is provided for and I don't want to cause trouble if I don't have to. Thanks for the support. I appreciate it :)
@sunshinecup (7882)
30 May 07
First of all, you and your child need to understand, your daughter as all children has a right to be cared for by both parents. This isn't because she is a burden or Mommy is being mean, it’s about both adults doing the right thing here. So you should have the child support adjusted as well as him paying for 50% of the cost after insurance. This is for her benefit, not yours. Secondly, I wouldn't go into details with her, but explain the adults that are, are not being right. She just needs to know, Daddy is mad at Mommy and that is OK. We all get angry with people some time in life, it will pass. This is something not for a child to be put in the middle of. Daddy still loves her and that’s all that matters. Last, don't let "those people" drag you down to their level. They seem like they are trying to influence the child against one of you and that is wrong. A child loves both parents and they are and should be entitled to do so. You stay your course and keep doing the right thing for the benefit of your daughter by not playing this "he did or said" game. She will appreciate it years down the road when she looks back at who said & did what, she will see you were the one that kept her best interest at heart.
1 person likes this
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
30 May 07
I have thought about this the same way you do. I was a child in a divorce situation and my Mom went after every penny. It made me feel like a burden. That is why I said that. I don't want that for her. I would rather her do with less material things and be ok emotionally. She doesn't do without anything. If we couldn't pay the bills or something I would have the support adjusted. Thanks for the advice. I know $200 isn't a lot of money when it comes to supporting a child for a month but everyone acts like I have it made because he does pay that regularly. Thanks for the reasurance I'm not being unreasonable.
• United States
31 May 07
Tell her you both want to claim her on taxes. Do not use the word burden. Just be honest. He should be paying more money anyway.
1 person likes this
• Canada
31 May 07
Inlaws like to side with their own. They probably tell your girl things just to fuel the fire. The father should have to help pay for his childs well being. He help make the baby didn't he? It is hard on a child to go through divorce even years into it....just like you. Stand you ground and have the court step in if need be. If you must, take the bills and such out and sit down and tell your daughter everything. Since she knows things anyway, having the truth out on the table might show her she isn't a burden. Just let her know things in this world are not cheap and her health and well being are your concerns.
1 person likes this
@onabreak2 (1162)
• United States
30 May 07
Your child should not have to be involved in adult things. That is unfair to her. I would tell your ex and his family that they are never to speak about adult issues around her. They sound like they are pretty ignorant to bring up things like that in front of her. If she askes I would tell her she doesnt need to worry about things like that .
1 person likes this
@imnutz (288)
• United States
30 May 07
First off, it sounds like a bad situation and I hope your daughter is okay. In my opinion, I would recommend you sit down with your daughter and talk to her about the entire situation. I am really surprised at what a 10 year old comprehends. You do not need to go into all the details, just make it simple. Try not to be too harsh about the father and keep it as neutral as you can. Also, based on your limited facts, you have the right to claim the deduction unless your divorce decree says otherwise. Hope this helps.
1 person likes this
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
30 May 07
It sounds to me like you are doing everything right and your ex is probably an ex for very good reason by the sound of it. How dare he try to claim her as a tax credit when all he pays in $200 a month to support her. I think that even if you haven't asked for more this guy who gave your daughter life should voluntarily cough up more money for her support. He should work a second job if need be to give the girl anything and everything she needs. You and she are lucky you found a real man to make the both of you happy.
• Philippines
7 Jun 07
you have all the right to claim her for your own. since she is living with you all these years, obviously you have been covering for all her needs. don't worry anymore about what talks will come out becuase of this action that you are taking. just go ahead. what is right will always be right. and what is wrong will always be wrong.