I remember one October going with my best girlfriend to meet her ex-husband. The purpose of the meeting was to pick up the children but also for him to hand over to her a very late child support payment. After the kids transferred cars, he handed her an envelope and drove off. She was shocked that he paid but her hopes of getting some financial aid was dashed when she opened the envelope only to find half of a $20 bill.
Although financial matters can be touchy, especialy among fighting couples going through a divorce, it is imperative you get things through the court for your children’s sake. Your kids will need food, clothing, school items, doctor appointments, housing, and so on. I was so fortunate in that my kids dad paid through the courts, on time every time but I know this is not always the case.
In addition to the standard court filings, you need to have an attorney petition for child support on your behalf. Remember, child support is the law and your child’s right. While some divorced couples can work things out, it may be necessary for you to go into battle. One misconception often heard of on the paying spouse’s side is that the money is only for clothing, daycare, and school. The truth is that child support is designed to help with the monthly rent or mortgage, utility bills, food, and other cost of living expenses.
Once child support has been set up through the courts, even if your ex-spouse is paying every month, making it legal takes burden and stress off both parties so the kids can simply enjoy life. Finally, I strongly suggest that you keep the amount of child support from your children. After all, they do not understand the full picture so if they hear a certain dollar amount, it may seem as if the parent is not spending much money on them. Most often, the less the children know about the divorce proceedings and child support the better for everyone.