This mama pays child support

November 14 |
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Offbeat Mama contributor Sarah Tuttle-Singer (I walked out of my house and left my husband and kids, My son the cross-dresser) recently wrote about her experience as a mother who pays child support to her ex-husband — and not the other way around:

Yeah, I know, it's usually the reverse. Mommy takes the kids, and Daddy sends a check once a month. But in the wake of our marital disaster I was working full time and my ex wasn't. So, in the post-apocalyptic relationship fall-out, he retained primary physical custody — the kids lived with him, and I'd see them a few days a week. This was the case for a variety of reasons, namely that I had no place to live on the kibbutz, and that I was working long hours in Tel Aviv — which, without a car, might as well be worlds away.

The split was traumatic enough for the kids, and yanking them out of their community would have made it worse for everyone. So, we muddled along and it was what it was. I worked a steady job and sent a steady check. He worked freelance and picked the kids up from preschool. It wasn't perfect, but it was good enough.

Because it all comes down to this: even though my ex and I are not together, when it comes to the financial peaks and pitfalls of parenting, we are tethered until the day our kids start supporting us. And if we share physical custody of our kids, then it makes absolute 100% sense to share monetary custody the same way. He has a budget on the kibbutz, and once a month there needs to be enough money in that budget to pay for everything. And in order to make sure we aren't in the red, that budget relies on two paychecks. His and mine. Period. The end.

Head over to Kveller to read the entire piece.

  1. I paid child support to my ex as well. I made less money than he did, but he had primary physical custody at the time so therefore I had to cough up the money. We now have gone to 50/50 so that is no longer necessary, but yeah I was in the minority as well.

  2. I was raised by my Dad – my parents had joint custody, but my Dad was the primary, and really, he raised us two little girls on his own. My mother did pay child support – I'm not sure of the details, but I do remember seasonal shopping trips for school and snow. As parents, you do what you need to do for your kids. As kids, you just need your parents to love and provide for you. I always knew both my parents loved me, it didn't matter who paid for what, and while it was hard at times that they both weren't there for the day to day, honestly, it's allowed me to view them as people and to get to know them in their own rights. Good for you for doing what is best for your kids, and your family. It's a long ever-changing road. Good luck.

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  3. This is so interesting…its nice to hear a different point of view on a topic that you often hear heated discussions about. Thanks!

  4. My ex and I have shared custody of my four year old son since he turned one (my house 4 nights/week and his house 3 nights/week). Even though we share custody, I pay child support to him because I make more than he does (almost double). Where I live, the law basically says that the child is entitled to the same standard of life with each parent, and the parent who makes more is therefore responsible for evening things out. As it should be, I think :)

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    • I would agree that it should be that way.. if only the money was ALWAYS used for the child/children and not for entertainment / luxury for the other parent.

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