Is it a good idea to put yourself on child support?

Is it a good idea to put yourself on child support? Yes, if you don’t want your daughter to become a stripper.

Financial realities.

Before we get to that, there are some financial realities to consider.

  1. Separated parents often run into financial or health problems and need state services. If that happens, the government is going to come after you for support. Even if it doesn’t, the other parent could decide at any time she wants a support order. When you are hit with a support order, you could end up with retroactive support and no credit for the support you provided informally — not to mention the attorney fees you will have to pay.
  2. On the other hand, with a child support order, your payments will be fixed and locked in for a few years and your expenses will be stable other than unexpected medical bills. Moreover, if you all are friendly about it, you could negotiate a lower amount than what you would wind up with in court.

It could end up costing way more to avoid support than it would to set it up voluntarily.

Relationship realities.

Next, let’s consider the less obvious impact of a support order on your child.

People have a limited field of view when it comes to support. For paying individuals, one parent is getting money taken out of his check every month and the other is buying new shoes. For the government, it’s all wrapped up in satisfying duties and obligations for the benefit of the child.

However, from a relationship standpoint, child support is more than dollars and cents. If Dad is having child support withheld from his paycheck every month, that’s going to free up Mom’s headspace from begging you for money and free yours from thinking of ways to turn her down. That freed headspace is now going to be available for your brains to use their energy in more profitable ways, including improving your relationship with the other parent and your daughter. Moreover, those financial uncertainties that were trickling down to your daughter are going to be gone, freeing up her headspace for better uses of her mental energy. In addition, she’s not going to feel like she is in the middle so much, which is going to help her self esteem so that she doesn’t grow up to become a stripper.

Get help.

The important thing is to understand that there are resources out there today that you should be taking advantage of. Professional financial planners and career coaches can help you to make best use of the resources you have and to advance your career in a way that will make you feel more fulfilled — whether it’s internally within your current company or externally with a new one.

Good luck!