Credit: Facebook

In eighth grade I remember one of my friends telling me her mom would give her the child support check her dad sent each month to spend anyway she pleased. When I went home and ran that suggestion by my mom she promptly shut me down and reminded me of all the things she spent money on caring for me that weren’t covered by that little check from my father and I never brought it up again.

That convo was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the suggestion above for an EBT-like child support debit card. While part of me isn’t wholly put off by the idea of the card only being able to be used for food and clothes, the entire notion of this card screams “idea put together by someone who has never actually raised a child in their own home.”

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 2.43.31 PM

Credit: EPPICard

Food and clothing are not the only things it takes to raise a child. Kids need a roof over their heads, health insurance, gas must be put in a car to take them to school and to extra curricular activities for which they likely need uniforms, or they need a public transportation card of some sort, random school supply needs pop up all the time, some need braces or glasses. And lets not act like even if a mother only used this card for food and clothing there still wouldn’t be questions about the cost of those clothes, why certain brands were bought, or a certain quantity. Plus the idea that a 13-year-old or even an 18-year-old could be responsible enough to use hundreds of dollars of monthly support on necessities and not trips to the mall just so the mother can’t allegedly “profit” off of the father of her child is ludicrous.

What this boils down to is you’ll never be able to completely quantify every expense related to child-rearing. Courts attempt to with their child support orders and experts even come up with figures on what it costs to raise a child from 0-18, but there will always be variables. Very few women are living like “Basketball Wives” and having their entire livelihood funded by exes (check the figures for your individual states). In fact what I bet most men would find, if such a meticulous process was instilled, is that they don’t pay nearly enough, especially if you consider the cost of private schools and the seemingly antiquated notion of putting a child through college rather than treating them like a temporary expense and cutting them off at 18 because the courts say you can. If people spent less time trying to trick the system or “perfect” it in their favor and more time buying condoms and choosing better partners, ideas like this and the archetype of the child support queen would fall by the wayside.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • _a_

    I actually agree with it. If I was a man paying child support I would need to know that the money is being put toward my child.

    • Jae Bee

      What if the money is being used as reimbursement for monies that the custodial parent already put out for the child? So, if the custodial parent’s already paid for food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, etc and had to neglect buying things for themselves in order to do so why can’t they use the child support on things they may need/want?

    • _a_

      Um…no. The money that the custodial parent has to spend out of their pocket is ON THEM. Why should the non-custodial parent have to pay to support themselves, their child, AND someone that they are no longer with? Why should someone be reimbursed for doing what they are supposed to do? The bottom line line is the non-custodial parents money should be for THEIR child and for no one else. If the custodial parent is too broke to maintain a household on their own then he/she needs to get another job or work more hours.

    • Ang

      The non-custodial parent is also supposed to take care of their child regardless of where the child lives. Anyone who genuinely cares about their child’s well-being is not going to complain about contributing to every expense that comes with raising their child. Anyone who has time to nickel and dime their child support check needs to spend more time with their child.

    • Jae Bee

      If the custodial parent is spending whatever money they earn on their child I see no problem with child support being used as reimbursement. Both parents “are supposed to” contribute 50/50 to the well being/raising of their child, but it is often the custodial parent who bares the brunt of the child rearing expenses and the non-custodial parents gets off fairly easy in comparison. The majority of parents who receive child support are not using the payments to live a life of luxury—they’re using the little money they receive to try to make ends meet and are working to support themselves and their child. If you’re gonna nickel and dime how custodial parents spend money then we need to nickel and dime non-custodial parents and every extraneous expense they have that doesn’t go directly toward their child.

    • Ang

      Not just reimbursement, but what about all the miscellaneous expenses that come with raising kids? You shouldn’t get out of paying for those expenses just because you are a part time parent. I question the character of men who make a big deal about every little expense they are asked to contribute to their child. It shows they don’t have their child enough to know how many unexpected things come up with kids. If your child needs $60 for their science fair project, $100 for an extra curricular activity uniform or a $90 graphing calculator for an advanced math class why should the non-custodial parent get out of contributing to those expenses just because the child doesn’t live with him? People are so backwards thinking when it comes to raising kids nowadays. People have no concept of what a family is and how it is supposed to work. Regardless of who your child lives with, you are responsible for every aspect of their life until they reach adulthood.

  • K_

    i think it depends on how its set up it if this were to actually become a thing. as stated its hard to quantify exactly what is and is not considered appropriate to spend money on for a child.

    I think a good starting point, at least to determine how it can be used is what would you be paying for anyway if you didn’t have child? and go from there. For example, while i COMPLETELY AGREE that kids need a roof over their heads and electricity, the custodial parent would have been paying for those things anyway. But see this is where is gets into too much quantifying and complication. if the custodial parent had no child lets say they’d be in a 1 bedroom for 1000 but with a child would need a 2 bedroom at 1300 so the child support towards rent would be 300 but see this is just too messy already and i’m just throwing ideas off the top of my head.

    Also, Ive seen child support checks for as little as $32 so theres that. Many non custodial’s aren’t even paying enough to even begin to dictate where that little ol bit of $ goes.

    I just don’t think child support should be just for clothes and shoes as some think, there are way too many other necessities a child needs. last thoughts, a 13 year old should not be in control of $, maybe 17 during that last year of support.

    • RaiseTheBar

      “Child SUPPORT” is certainly more than the feeding and clothing ($$$$) of a Child and is an Insult to Mothers and Fathers who PARENT to reduce it to that level.

      At 13yrs I did have some degree of FINANCIAL savviness and I would welcome my 13yr old daughter and/or son learn Financial Life Coping Skills by having her/his own $32.00 monthly Budgeting Tooling in the form of a purchasing card. The Child’s level of understanding, the Amount of Money and the cans and cannots of purchasing are key determining factors.

      It would be more work for the Courts, but if the mother/father cannot amicably work the details of co-parenting, then the Courts have to intercede on behalf of the child(ren).

  • BillipPhailey

    Light bill, shelter, professional clothes so that you can work and provide the bulk of the childcare, car so you can take the kid to school.

    Triflin’ deadbeats spend so much time thinking up ways to not take care of their children; time that could have been spent looking for a urologist to perform a vasectomy.