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The underground child support wars

It's no secret that child support is one of the most heated topics single parents must deal with. It carries with it so much emotional weight that parents often forget that it is actually supposed to be "child" support (i.e. payments to help in the costs of raising a child), instead of just another form of spousal maintenance.

Other frustrated parents misunderstand what court-ordered support actually covers, believing that non-custodial parents should pay for swimming lessons, dance camps and sports leagues (or at least be reimbursed for their half of it).

The reality is that child support is neither of these things. What's worse, many frustrated parents don't see how they put children in the middle of financial battles with their exes. To avoid this problem, parents should be wary of the following:

Making "fun" a competition - This includes buying lavish gifts for the child or taking them on expensive excursions simply to slight the other parent. This type of manipulation could not only set unrealistic expectations for the child in the future, but it also poisons the relationship between the child and the other parent.

Blaming the other parent - If the parent cannot afford swimming lessons, or cannot pay for cheerleading uniforms, it is natural to ask the other parent to chip in. When he or she cannot do so, it may be in bad taste to blame the other parent. Indeed, there are selfish parents who only think that support payment is all they owe, but shifting blame to another parent does not solve anything.

Suffice it to say, child support payments should not be used to further a parent's vendetta against the other parent.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com, Deadbeat Parents? State mandated child support hurts the ones its supposed to help, March 15, 2013

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