As American as Apple Pie: child support litigation regarding children age 34, 39, and 42

An all-American story from MarketWatch:

My children’s father recently pledged to pay $10,000 of $20,677 in child-support arrears. … he said divide it between our three adult children. Our adult children are 42, 39, and 34 years old. … If I actually receive these funds as arrears, I plan on giving about half to my children and keeping the rest

The advice columnist:

You obviously kept on the case to ensure the father of your children made recompense, and I applaud you for never giving up on that. … Children only need one good parent to love and support them, and I am sure they have benefited from having you.

Splitting the support 50/50 is generous, perhaps more than generous, even if you were not still helping out your children. This money is designed to compensate YOU. The fact that your ex does not want the money to go to you suggests that he is too big for his breeches, even after all these years. This is YOUR money. … You clearly made many sacrifices in your life to raise three children. YOU deserve every last red cent.

The above dispute was under Texas family law.

Note that the situation can be similar in the utopia to our north:

Canada’s child support system seems to sow discord among Canadians. We interviewed a professor at one of Canada’s top universities. She said that it irked her that her partner paid four times as much in child support to his ex-wife as she was paid for full-time employment as a PhD researcher and teacher. We interviewed a man in his 20s who said that the system via which adult child support was paid to a parent has caused friction between himself and his mother. “I was graduated from college, working, and living in my own apartment,” he recalled. “She was getting $750 per month in child support from my dad for me. I would ask her why it shouldn’t be paid to me.” What was she doing with the money? “She retired from her job in the software industry and was doing a lot of international vacation travel.”

But I am not sure that the Canadians can keep the fight going when the “child” is 42!

8 thoughts on “As American as Apple Pie: child support litigation regarding children age 34, 39, and 42

  1. Obviously children don’t need support into (and beyond) their 30s, but the government doesn’t want to incentivize parents trying to “run out the clock” on their obligations either by not paying them.

  2. Mike’s point is about running out the clock, Phil. That is a good point. What you are linking is not relevant to what he is saying.

  3. These cases are exception, but they illustrate a common misconception about child-support. The recipient parent is never required to spend the money on the children.

    • @Tom Concerning how child support money is spent, isn’t it morally wrong to impose your moral views on the adult receiving the no-strings-attached check?

    • @Nancy: All moral systems impose their views and require adherents to follow them. That’s what makes them work. This is not a moral system.

  4. Just as American as commenting about an article without reading it, I guess?

    “Our adult children are 42, 39, and 34 years old. I received a rare child-support payment from my ex when my children were young. Hence, the arrears.”

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