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I have this ISTJ xh I am forced to deal with. I need help paying for French horn lessons for our daughter.

x is refusing to help.

Please bear in mind the fact that I gross $26K/year compared to his $90K. I pay about $600/month for tuition, chess, and transportation for son. Doofus pays about $900. D goes to a public school. Different children with different needs.

I have emailed x and he has replied giving me his refusal to help with lessons. I have enclosed the initial email, his reply, and my proposed reply to him.

Tell me what you think of my proposed reply......

My initial email requesting help

G did meet the requirements I set down for private horn lessons. She practiced much harder last 6 weeks. And she practiced some while
she was at home over the holidays.

Private lessons - at school, 1 day a week, during her band class time, are $15/week. Are you willing to help pay for these as they will
supplement her classwork?
------------------------------------------------
His response:

After talking with G about her lessons compaired to N karate I feel that if you did her lessons would be fair.

If I had all the money in the world is one thing but I do not. Ns karate lessons, in total, is about $115 per month.

I know that Gillians lessons are far less and even half of that is even less but I feel that if you could do her lessions would be fairer to all.

-------------------------------------------
My proposed response:

It is not economically feasible for me to do so. I did not ask in the past for help with ballet, dance, guitar, or other items. I received no assistance with soccer or softball until you offered. Nate's tuition and bus is over 27% of my gross income, not including Aftercare and chess. We split that. I don't receive help in paying for Nate's bus and that is approximately equal to karate.

These lessons affect Gillian's performance academically. You are not having to pay tuition for her.

Is $7.50 per week too much.

If it is, I may not be able to keep her in the lessons. Or I will need to tell her that I can afford a lesson every 2 weeks.

<small>[ January 24, 2004, 10:50 PM: Message edited by: cinderella ]</small>

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Remember I'm better at stirring up trouble than fixing things --- but...

Doofus,

Respectfully requesting your assistence is far cheaper than a court battle to obtain more child support, since you can obviously afford to pay more. However, if you choose to remain oblivious to the needs of our child, I shall be forced to spend what money I do have for special lessons on legal fees to obtain more of your precious pocket change.

Of course, it's always a pleasure seeing you, so I'll just be enjoying that pleasure more frequently along with the magistrate.

Thanks for your time and cooperation.

Yada Yada Du hey

I realize it's a threat - but you are paying far more than your share here --- he needs to put out some cash....

Now the disclaimer - mine isn't even forking over the child support - so I don't have a clue how to convince one to pay more than that...

Blessings,

Jan

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I think you should start out assuming he is negotiating in good faith, because it is always easier to go from that position to a harder line than in the reverse. It doesn't sound to me as if he has flat out refused to pay for the lessons, just says he thinks it is "fairer" if you pay for them.

So maybe something charming and pleasant about how if you yourself had all the money in the world you wouldn't be asking, and isn't it amazing how expensive kids can be. Then explain your budget constraints and ask how much he can pay toward the lessons (much more postive than "if".) Close with something about how nice it would be to settle this without having to involve the courts again (veiled threats can be amazingly effective.)

<small>[ January 17, 2004, 05:34 AM: Message edited by: elspeth ]</small>

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I disagree about stating her financial position, he doesn't care.

I'd calculate all extra curriculars based on the differential in salary. Total family income is $116k of which mom's is 22%. Mom should pay 22% of all activities, dad 77%.
What's this about you paying all of after school care? What kind of lawyer did you have.
We split this according to income % above.
Start a new way of doing things before you are in bankruptcy.

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Just to throw a monkey wrench into this, only to provoke discussion, not argument...

What about the POJA? Yeah, you are not married, but shouldn't you still seek a POJA if you are wanting him to pay for something, or to help pay for something?

Seriously, I know in my family, my grandmother went through this with her second husband. (She never divorced but did outlive three husbands.) His exW told his children that he didn't support them, but would cash the child support checks at a local bar. In fact, when one of the children was an adult, he confronted him with the failure to support and they drug out the box of cancelled checks showing what he spent and of course on the back was the location each check was cashed.

Now, Cinderella, I'm not saying you are doing this here by any stretch of the imagination, but you have to admit that it is quite possible for him to feel that these things are more than just for his children, and if he has no say in what activities the children are choosing, then he may resent having to pay for them.

So why not a POJA, if not about the activities, then an amount that is devoted to such extra curricular activities.

Isn't that fair to all parties, instead of just coming to him with, hey we want to start water polo, so we need... and I want you to pay for 88% of it or whatever.

Even if someone makes a lot more money, they often tend to pay more in taxes etc. Not to mention, if he doesn't have custody, he probably cannot deduct the child on his taxes, yet provides significant financial support. Maybe the two of you have an arrangement where you take turns claiming the child, I don't know, but I just wanted to share this from the perspective of the soon to be exH who makes a lot more than my wife, whose wife decided that she doesn't want to be my wife anymore, but still feels she has the right to be in my wallet.

I feel that if she cannot afford to care for my daughter, then perhaps she shouldn't seek custody, but ask for visitation.

What makes her more qualified, in fact, she works 6 days a week now to support her decision to leave the marriage. Doesn't seem like she has much time left to be mom.

I can work from home quite a bit now...

Tony

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Cinders,

He makes $90k/yr and is balking at $15/week for music lessons for your child? He must feel like he is already getting fleeced. But if he only contributes $900/month currently, that doesn't quite add up.

See if you can get him to commit for just one month and take it from there. Unless he is living too extravagantly, he is not going to notice $15/week.

Be sure G. thanks him for his kindness after the first lesson.

Mike

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by mike_married:
<strong> Cinders,

He makes $90k/yr and is balking at $15/week for music lessons for your child? He must feel like he is already getting fleeced. But if he only contributes $900/month currently, that doesn't quite add up.

See if you can get him to commit for just one month and take it from there. Unless he is living too extravagantly, he is not going to notice $15/week.

Be sure G. thanks him for his kindness after the first lesson.

Mike </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Mike,

You and I know you can't just look at income. How much debt is there, etc.

If he makes 90K/year, I'm guessing he probably loses 40% of that to the tax man unless he has some deductions. Who claims the kids etc.

Of course deductions mean the money is being spent, so if he had 20K in mortgage interest, it might save him $6K in taxes, but still costs him $14K, etc...

That's why I get so burnt up sometimes by folks who say he makes X times more than I do...

Seems the people have spoken and say it is fair to tax higher incomes at higher percentages so he may have less of his hard earned money as a percentage. I know I feel this is unfair, to tax me more, and at a higher rate, just because I make more money.

Why not tax me at a lower rate, since the cost of the government supporting me for basic services is probably the same as supporting someone else. Of course, I drive more, so I'm happy to pay more fuel taxes, that's fair.

But to tax someone more on their income just because they make more, isn't fair.

Sorry for the rant... now back to your regular topic before you get hi-jacked by me.

Tony

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Java,

We are talking about $15/week here that Cinders is asking her ex to invest in their child's education. The chances of someone making $90k/yr even noticing that amount of money coming from their account each week is miniscule.

I'll disagree with you on your belief that people making more money should be taxed at a lower rate. I paid around $95k last year in federal taxes alone, and I'm very happy to do that, and contribute more to charity.

I'm lucky to be living and working in a country where my hard work is rewarded, and I don't mind paying a large chunk of what I earn for the privilege. Yeah, it's a privilege.

Any money I "save" this year on Bush's asinine tax strategy is going straight to local youth programs.

Cinders... good luck.

Mike

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Ok,

So before we get off in the weeds about income and taxes, let's look at the question of a POJA for these sorts of things.

So what if it is a big or a small part of his income, what is his say in these matters?

Tony

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POJA: No spouse does anything the other spouse does not enthusiastically agree with, and in the case of not knowing errors on the side of doing nothing.

I’m not sure it is always wise to follow POJA when you are not married. POJA assumes the other person wants what is best for both parties. When two people are put asunder as in divorce, they are no longer one and the same, what’s good for one is often at odds with what’s good for another.

That said, there is no reason why Cinders can’t negotiate with her husband so they both get what they can live with.

I actually think Cinders letter isn’t bad, but I’m very new to this game. I also think the threat of going back to court is a good one. It is not unreasonable to expect children of a man making that kind of money to have private lessons in an instrument.

What if you asked their father to outline what skill and growth opportunities he expects his children to take advantage of, and how much he’s willing to contribute to them. If you could get a base figure, and allow him a veto power it may help. A three-week summer study to trip to Europe may be out of the question as far as he is concerned, but maybe a week of music day camp would be in order.

It’s hard because sometimes men and women get into power struggles. And for someone like me who is getting divorced because of fundamentally different values, I have to expect STBX and I will disagree most of the time on what is worth spending money on, and how much we spend, what the children will do and what they won’t do.

Sorry for the ramble. Sorry I don’t have a clue. But, I’m going to watch and learn from you experience, C.

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I agree with elspeth, without the budget constaints and vailed threats.

Tell him how important it is to her and that you may not be able to do it without his help you are only looking for what is fair to DD.

Excuses and threats will not get you to POJA. Try the pleasant path first.

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Cinderella - I am going through the same thing - my ex has decided that he would not contribute to extra activities - though it was approved by the court over a year ago that he would pay half of dance, flute, tutor.. Never happened - he did pay half of the costumes - and half of camp but that is it - all the while calling me a controlling money grubbing b*tch - so now when he doesn't want to sit down and go over it - and thinks that he is total in the right because they don't want to see him - he wants to talk to his attorney - ok well he doesn't have one - so my attorney is waiting for his to call - but in the meantime - I have figured out -- he owes me over 1000.00 for the last year or so - and he would have to pay me like 1400.00 a year - and actually have the child support recalculated because his overtime was never included - - when if he had just kept his mouth shut - he would only be paying me $400 extra - but no he has to stress me out all the more - so I guess what I am trying to say is - you have to decide whether the 15$ a week is really worth all of the aggravation that the fighting back and forth is gonna cause you and or your children - I wasn't sure that $400.00 was for me - but when I sat down and figured all of the other stuff - and his pompous attitude - and him still putting the blame on me for everything when he in fact has done it all - I have decided that yup to me it is worth it - it is worth going to court - it is worth hiring a lawyer so I don't have to talk to him anymore - and he gets all of his facts correct.,....

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Your royal majesty,

First, let me say that I somewhat agree with Java that you can't really compare "income to income" because no matter who does it, one of the ex-spouses always thinks the other ex-spouse is making "hand over fist" and has no expenses. In real life, we both know, though, that his earning potential is higher than yours, and you custody. It has been my experience that the ex who has custody spends A LOT of their expendible income on things for the kids (like new $90 shoes, lessons, clothes, etc.) that is stuff that is not always obvious to the non-custodial parent. The ex without custody usually pays whatever the CS dollar amount is, pays for a few extras here and there, and thinks they are being more than fair and reasonable. My guess is that the ex without the kids just doesn't usually realize all the little costs that are involved in raising children. (BTW, Java, just for your benefit, it can just as easily be a WW who leaves her kids for the other, and the H is the one who realizes all the little expenses).

Anyway, your highness, I suspect that doofus is just clueless about all the little things you pay for. When I read his response, what he's saying is: "I pay for N's karate lessons, which are $115/mo--why don't you pay for G's lessons which are only $60/mo?" Seriously, he probably thinks he's being quite generous letting you pay for the HALF PRICE lessons! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />

In your own loving and royal way, why don't you just reply to him using your best facts and figures and logic? "I understand that G's lessons would be half the price of N's karate; however, as a parent-team we gave her the challenge to practice more and (hit this goal), and she did it. I am not financially able to absorb the entire cost of our joint challenge since I already pay for bus, tuition, and chess, and that is the limit of what my income can afford. Can we please split this cost 50/50 and each reward our D for attaining her goal?"


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Let me QUANTIFY this: Doofus makes $90K a year. He pays $900 a month for one child, right?
Are you saying that his TOTAL child support is only 10 fricking percent??!
That's BS.
If so, then it's time for a RE-CALCULATION for child support.
I had 20 percent for one child and 27 percent for 2 children.
Just a thought..
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I think CJ's solution is the best. I know my x, who pays me cs, always griped about paying for anything extra like camps and such. SHe always felt that she had no say in the matter and I was just signing them up for stuff.

It seemed to go better when I explained to her, that I was only doing things that we had always done in the past.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by MadMaXX69:
<strong> Let me QUANTIFY this: Doofus makes $90K a year. He pays $900 a month for one child, right?
Are you saying that his TOTAL child support is only 10 fricking percent??!
That's BS.
If so, then it's time for a RE-CALCULATION for child support.
I had 20 percent for one child and 27 percent for 2 children.
Just a thought..
Harold </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Harold,

Depends on the state, I'm in Illinois and I would pay 20% of after tax income (Yes after tax) and I would be paying a bit more than that $900/month you see there.

Kinda gives you an idea of what kind of bite taxes take out of my check, only to become worse if I cannot deduct my daughter as a dependant.

I don't know how other states do it, but here in IL it is 20% net, not 20% of gross.

FWIW,

Tony

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by FaithfulWife:
<strong> Your royal majesty,

First, let me say that I somewhat agree with Java that you can't really compare "income to income" because no matter who does it, one of the ex-spouses always thinks the other ex-spouse is making "hand over fist" and has no expenses. In real life, we both know, though, that his earning potential is higher than yours, and you custody. It has been my experience that the ex who has custody spends A LOT of their expendible income on things for the kids (like new $90 shoes, lessons, clothes, etc.) that is stuff that is not always obvious to the non-custodial parent. The ex without custody usually pays whatever the CS dollar amount is, pays for a few extras here and there, and thinks they are being more than fair and reasonable. My guess is that the ex without the kids just doesn't usually realize all the little costs that are involved in raising children. (BTW, Java, just for your benefit, it can just as easily be a WW who leaves her kids for the other, and the H is the one who realizes all the little expenses).

Anyway, your highness, I suspect that doofus is just clueless about all the little things you pay for. When I read his response, what he's saying is: "I pay for N's karate lessons, which are $115/mo--why don't you pay for G's lessons which are only $60/mo?" Seriously, he probably thinks he's being quite generous letting you pay for the HALF PRICE lessons! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />

In your own loving and royal way, why don't you just reply to him using your best facts and figures and logic? "I understand that G's lessons would be half the price of N's karate; however, as a parent-team we gave her the challenge to practice more and (hit this goal), and she did it. I am not financially able to absorb the entire cost of our joint challenge since I already pay for bus, tuition, and chess, and that is the limit of what my income can afford. Can we please split this cost 50/50 and each reward our D for attaining her goal?"


CJ </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">You have to understand java... There is no way I'd pay for $90 shoes unless a doctor prescribed them. Kids just wear them out too quickly, and I'm not brand snobby by any stretch of the imagination. But then, I make good money and drive a 10 year old car I paid cash for, last year.

So if my WW spends all of her money on brand name merchandise and says I'm not contributing enough is that really true. What if I believe the Wal*Mart clothes are all she really needs, and not GapKids.

I guess I have heartburn with either making a unilateral decision.

So I'm a bad father because I believe Wal*Mart clothes are sufficient? Extreme example I understand, and I still hold out hope that WW and I resolve such issues as husband and wife instead of in a courtroom.

Tony

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by javaSansContour:
<strong> You have to understand java... There is no way I'd pay for $90 shoes unless a doctor prescribed them. Kids just wear them out too quickly, and I'm not brand snobby by any stretch of the imagination. But then, I make good money and drive a 10 year old car I paid cash for, last year.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Java, you sound like me. heehee. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="images/icons/tongue.gif" />

First, just so you know, my kids are 14yo and 17yo (pray for me!), so it's a little different than younger children. Second, they each have little jobs and can earn their own money. My 17yo SON prefers $90 shoes to PayLess brand, so I chip in the amount a PayLess pair would cost, and he covers the rest. Also, he wears them for about 2 years, so that the actual investment is $45/year and to him, that's worth it.

Like you, I own my car--1996 Ford Taurus, the perfect "mom taxi". <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> However, unlike you, I don't make "good money". I just find it a better investment to own and not have the debt.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"><strong> So if my WW spends all of her money on brand name merchandise and says I'm not contributing enough is that really true. What if I believe the Wal*Mart clothes are all she really needs, and not GapKids... So I'm a bad father because I believe Wal*Mart clothes are sufficient? </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Well, Tony, different people reach different arrangements. Some parents may believe that they want to provide GapKids for their children and are willing to work hard to do so. Others believe that WalMart is fine and does the job perfectly well. In my arrangement, I provide the kids with the WalMart level, and my exH gets them the brand name stuff if he believes they need them. If the KIDS want the brand name stuff, then THEY pay for it. But I don't think "brand name vs WalMart" is the issue here with the Princess and her doofus.

In this instance, their daughter was told, "If you do this, this, and this, we will get you these lessons" and the child did what she needed to do to earn the lessons, and now dad is not willing to contribute to the lessons.

Personally, I think there are two parts to his response: 1) he just does not "get" all the little expenses that the Princess pays for merely because the children are in her household, and 2) he may figure that the lessons are cheap so she can afford them. My point was not about whether or not to buy $90 shoes--it was that $90 expenses just pop up all the time that the non-custodial parent is not aware of...like school trips, bake sales, buying a specific book for literature class, birthday parties, etc. IMHO, child support contributes toward food, shelter, and necessities of life--and sometimes the extra expenses are just that: EXTRA.

BTW, are you still on-call??


CJ

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by FaithfulWife:
<strong> [QUOTE]

BTW, are you still on-call??


CJ </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">72 more hours of on-call. Like I said somewhere, this is an 8 day week of on-call because of MLK day.

Of course WW didn't want to swap weekends, so the first time I've had my daughter in two weeks and I've been on call. I was out until 9:30PM last night (that was my early night this week, Monday was until 4AM Tuesday AM), and the only reason I'm on the comptuer now is because I may be going out again...

Since my on-call rotation is a 5 week rotation, there will be the occassional weekend where I have both custody and on-call unless I can get a co-worker to switch out with me.

When I get more time, I'll see who promised the lessons if the child did something, as I don't recall, and don't have the mental headroom right now to process anything else.

Tony

<small>[ January 17, 2004, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: javaSansContour ]</small>

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I would agree that there is no POJA. When you are divorced, one stands over the other. The dominant person oversees the recessive partner (personality, finances, etc). Your X is standing on the belief that he thinks he is doing all that he should. Nothing is going to change the mind of a self-centered man. He really is not looking into the interest of the child, just the $$ that is going out the door.

My X doesn't see that I pay for all the toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. for 4 kids here, 3 are adults. (17,20,21,25). He pays me childsupport for only 1 child, and that is not getting it. I make no money for I am on medical because of his injuring my shoulder with his ballistic behavior. When I ask him to pay for something of the kids, he frowns and gives me a why comment?

Yes, he has his own business, so there is no way that the lawyer could get his finding of money that he really makes. Yes, he makes good money, and I ($0).

All you could state in a letter is put everything own, say this is for the childrens education, interest, becoming a well rounded adult. You could state that facts, that groceries, paper products, clothing, etc. and put approximately costs of the itemized areas.

If he really cared, he would just say, yes I will help. And with the figures say, I will give X amount of dollars to support the childs future. But I see this man as only looking out for his selfish needs, and nothing else. Good luck. But the crux of it is, you need to put it all on paper, and if need to, take him back to court.

Also, there is in some states, that the X is responsible for paying for the childs college. I just found this out in one of my counseling sessions. The one that makes the larger income. Something that you could talk to someone about. Good luck Hon.

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