When you get divorced and you have children, you go through the state to determine, based on income and parental visits mostly, what the amount of child support will be. The problem is, it never takes into account all the extra stuff that moms (if they are the primary live-in parent) have to pay for.
In my situation, with 4 children, here are all the things that child support does not cover that the dad never helped with (because apparently he thinks providing for them never means there is ever anything extra that comes along). Many of these are what happens when your kids become high school age and drivers.
- School fees
- Sports fees
- Cell Phones
- Extra medical expenses (medicine, bandages, and all the visits to the doctor or hospital.)
- Car insurance – yeah, this is the big one that no one tells you about. First, your income over the years probably hasn’t increased as much as the parent who had no child responsibilities because you had to take time away for the children everytime they needed you. Second, when they start to drive, because they live with you, your insurance rates will skyrocket. Why is this placed on the live-in parent with no responsibility for the other? With 3 boys, I have gone through 10 years now of car insurance that would have paid for me to drive a luxury car if they had lived with their dad. And at the same time, I lost child support as they turned 18.
- College and after 18 expenses – no, children don’t typically move out at 18 anymore. So while the dad gets to walk away, I am stuck with college expenses, living expenses, higher insurance expenses, etc to help the kids with their goals. Yes, of course anyone could kick them out, but most moms are not going to. So we get screwed financially with the burden of still helping out, still paying higher for car insurance while they are living at home, and not getting anymore help.
Then, as the single parent providing for all of the care of the children, my time investment in the children was 99% compared to his 1% over the years. This prevents us moms from having time for ourselves, furthering business or careers, while the dads have all the time in the world after work to go and do whatever they want. They are not woken up at 3am from a sick child, or have to leave work to pick up a child from school when they are sick. Or have to take time to go to the dentist, doctor, etc to care for the children. No, in my situation, I did everything, lost income and business advancements in the process, and then lost out big when the kids turned 16, then 18, and still at 21 and in college.
No, it’s not fair on single moms (or live in parent) when kids become older teens and young adults. We carry so much responsibility and then come out in the end broke while the dad never had a care in the world, never had to sorry about extra expenses for things mentioned above, and walked away with no debt.