Child Support. You either love it or you hate it.
Even if you are on the receiving end of child support, it can be confusing, unreliable and conflictual.
There are some cases in which child support works perfectly allowing parents to fairly balance the load between care and finances.
But for many ex-couples, navigating child support is a mine-field leaving both parents feeling as if they got the short straw. And this does not create a good structure from which to co-parent successfully.
Of course, child support is an absolute necessity for most single parents at some point and reaching out for support when you need it is essential when raising children. Yet, once you’re back on your feet financially, could it be that receiving child support is causing more friction than freedom in your world … and doing away with it could be a positive and empowering move?
To get you thinking, here are eight reasons why child support might not be right for you.
8 Reasons why receiving Child Support might not be right for you
IT CAN PLAY HAVOC WITH YOUR FINANCIAL PLANNING
Any financial planner will tell you that the ultimate goal is financial independence, a place where you are in complete control of your money.
If you are relying on another person (possibly one that doesn’t like you very much) for all or part of your income, you could be putting yourself and your children at financial risk. Other than waiting for the money to hit your account you have no control over child support.
What will happen if your ex loses his job, decides to go travelling, becomes unwell or remarries? Your payments will stop or change and there is nothing you can do about it.
It is much better to have a reliable source of income that you have control over, such as employment, a business/sideline … or anything that is possible for you at this stage in your life.
IT CAN F-CK UP YOUR COPARENTING RELATIONSHIP
Child support and the extensive issues that surround it are so in-depth and difficult that they can drive a wedge between many co-parenting couples, and the people most affected are your children.
Is it really worth it?
Does child support compromise your co-parenting relationship? And would a co-parenting relationship without child support be less contentious and happier for your children?
CHILD SUPPORT CAN PREVENT YOU FURTHERING YOUR CAREER
If you have an income source from another person, you might decide not to work or to further your career. As a mum, this is completely understandable. We all want as much quality time as possible with our children, especially when they are young.
However, if you’re in a position to get back to work, even part-time, then do it!
Working will not only provide an income but it gives you a sense of value and can even improve your social life. Maybe you could consider a job in school hours, utilise after school clubs, work while your kids are with dad, but don’t sit back and let your career nose-dive.
Having a year or two off-work can challenge your career, having ten years off work could completely ruin it.
IT COULD MAKE FOR BLEAK FUTURE
Think of the future. Your kids may be little now and think you’re the best thing on earth, wanting to be with you 24/7. That doesn’t last forever.
Envisage a future when your children are off doing their own thing and you no longer receive child support payments.
The leap to get back on the career ladder may be a big one.
IT CAN COME BACK AND BITE YOU IN THE ARSE
Remember, child support works both ways.
It could be that you are receiving child support payments which allow you to head back to college and retrain for your dream career. But once you are back on the career ladder you might start earning more than your ex, meaning you pay him.
If you take child support off the table, you are both free to earn what you wish and keep all your money.
IT COULD BRING DOWN THE ECONOMY?
Dramatic maybe, but think of it this way …
Your ex has a good job, and he gets offered a promotion. Instead of accepting and reaching for the champagne he declines it because if he earns more, he has to pay more child support. Whilst at the same time, you get offered a great job, something you would love to do. But the champagne stays in the fridge because if you start earning (or earn more) it will decrease your child support payments.
So, we have two capable people who could potentially make positive contributions to the workforce but they don’t because they are disincentivized by the terrors of child support. Not good for the economy, and not good for you either.
REASONS WHY CHILD SUPPORT SHOULDN’T BE THE FIRST STOP IN A BREAK-UP (CONT.)
CHILD SUPPORT CAN BE A WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY
Child support is not straight-forward. It involves care arrangements and estimated earnings, all of which can be ever-changing.
How long have you spent tapping figures into the online calculator? Or waited on hold to talk to a member of staff from Child Support?
It’s a waste of time and energy that you could put into something way more positive, like looking for work, setting-up a business or sticking pins in your eyes … anything is better than manifesting negative energy on child support.
IT CAN STOP YOU REACHING TRUE INDEPENDENCE
Depending on your personal situation, child support might be a necessity. And it is support that you are absolutely entitled to.
But wouldn’t it be wonderful to get a place where you didn’t need to rely on your ex (or anyone) for anything?
By aiming for this, you will be become stronger and more independent. You will discover hidden strengths that help you reach your goals and to thrive as a single mum. Knowing you did it without child support will make the success all the sweeter and yourself so much prouder.