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September 27, 2021

Divorce decree: Both parents responsible for child's financial welfare

75 per cent of children of divorce live with their mother and more than a third of them ended up in households with incomes below the poverty line, according to recent U.S. data. And the Canadian numbers really aren't much better.

D What's sad about this statistic is that children didn't ask to be put in this situation, says Lee Block, a post-divorce consultant and author of The Post-Divorce Chronicles.

Hers is a controversial take: Instead of focusing on where the money is being spent each month, focus on the lifestyle of your children. Is it fair for them to go without because the child support is not enough, she asks. 

Block believes that child support should cover the cost of the children living under that roof, but not necessarily the roof over their heads. And it has nothing to do with access.

"If I had to pay support, I would not want the added stress of my ex having to worry about being evicted because the rent can’t be paid on time," she writes.  "After all, is that good for the children?"

Because you're no longer married, it is equally both parents responsibility to financially take care of your children, no matter who the bigger bread winner is.

No matter how often the children are with you, you need to contribute at least equal to the amount of support that your ex is contributing towards the children.

Her central message: Nothing in life is free and we all have to work hard to make ends meet. "Being divorced doesn't make you handicapped; it just makes you no longer married, she points out."

Are you divorced? Does this sound fair? Is this how things work in your house?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...