Things get tricky after a divorce, especially when children are involved. Some couples can put aside their anger and resentment, reaching a reasonable agreement that’s best for the children.
Others need courts to provide an impartial decision on who should pay what. Even when that happens, one partner can feel like they got the short end of the stick, and continue fighting tooth and nail for a different outcome.
One woman came to Reddit seeking advice on her child support arrangement. Her ex wanted to pay less, but she refused.
Who do you agree with?
Kids Need Dental Work
The Original Poster (OP) explained that she has two kids with her ex-husband, Dave, six and eight-year-old boys.
They used the court system upon getting divorced to determine payments, and the ex was ordered to pay an undisclosed but, in OP’s words, “extremely low child support.” The ex must pay 75% of any medical or dental bills to make up for the lower child support payments.
As it turned out, the older boy needed dental work. Despite claiming he would before the procedure, the ex refused to pay, leaving OP on the hook to pay for the whole thing.
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Ex Tries to Hand Off His Responsibility
Op says her ex-husband decided he didn’t have to pay anymore because they both entered new relationships.
“Dave claims that my boyfriend “Eric” should be financially responsible for my kids. His argument is that Eric is in the military and doesn’t live with HIS son, so any money Eric gives to his kid should really go to mine.
“He asked me to lower child support since I have a boyfriend who I’ve been with for about a year. Dave claims that my boyfriend “Eric” should be financially responsible for my kids,” explained OP.
Dave thinks that Eric is a second income stream for OP, meaning he should pay less child support.
Ex Has Another Baby on the Way
Dave is also in a new relationship, and his new partner is pregnant. He thinks OP should also consider this and lower the child support payments.
“Dave is saying that it’s expensive to have a baby, and his girlfriend will be on maternity, so she won’t be making money,” said OP.
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Is OP Wrong?
The ex keeps saying OP is a jealous, money-grubbing jerk and that she won’t lower the payments because she’s upset he’s so happy with his new partner.
OP insists that asking or expecting her new partner to support her children isn’t fair.
“That’s now how parenting works,” she explained, adding that her partner is not responsible for kids that aren’t his. “ I don’t see Eric as a second stream of income, he’s my partner,” she stated.
Op went to the popular subreddit where people ask if they are jerks or not to determine if she was in the wrong for refusing to lower the child support payment and make her new partner financially responsible for the kids.
Users mostly agreed with her.
“I don’t care if your BF is Elon Musk – Dave needs to man up and take care of his child,” stated one user, highlighting that the financial status of the new partner has no bearing on whether the ex should pay child support.
“Your kids aren’t footballs to be passed off to the next guy when most convenient. You make ‘em, you stay responsible for ‘em,” replied another.
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Take Him Back to Court
Many Redditors said she should take him back to court over this.
“Take him back to court, and because he won’t pay for the other expenses, see if the child support can be increased to automatically cover these expenses,” advised one.
OP agreed in the comments, saying, “I do see this as having to go back to court. I think it’s gonna suck for my kids to go through something like this again, but I ultimately think that if he truly believes what he pays for his two kids is too much (it’s not), a judge can definitely make that decision.”
Parents Need to Take Responsibility for Their Kids
Most users agreed that Dave is ultimately responsible for his kids, regardless if there’s another partner in the picture. It doesn’t matter that he’s having another baby; the existing kids are still entitled to financial support from both parents.
Do you agree with Reddit that OP is correct to demand the payments and take her ex back to court if he refuses to pay?
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.