Child Support In The Budget

Leslie and her husband are in a dispute over child support. Leslie's husband wants to put her child support in their pool of household money. Leslie keeps the money separate. Who's right?

QUESTION: Leslie in Tennessee and her husband are in a dispute over child support. Leslie receives child support for her two oldest children, and he wants to put it in their pool of household money. Leslie keeps the money in a separate account. Who’s right? Dave sides with Leslie’s husband.

ANSWER: You’re wrong. You’re the mama bear protecting your cubs. Here’s the deal. Those bills put a roof over your kids’ heads. They cause heat to be in your kids’ bedrooms and food in their bellies. Your husband should be willing to take care of those kids as if they were his.

I would have it at the top line along with your income and his income or whoever’s income there is, and your job as parents is to be a blessing to your kids. That’s feed them, clothe them, educate them—those kinds of things. As long as those things are happening and we’re dealing with a functional marriage where he is loving on your kids properly, then I think the money ought to be mixed and just be part of the family. If that’s not happening, we have issues other than money issues.

I don’t blame you for having your mama bear claws out. You got burned before some way or another. What you’re doing is human nature. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s actually from a noble calling. But I’m saying relationally, if this guy is a good guy and he’s doing the right stuff, then we ought to pile it up in one pile and the family takes care of the kids, takes care of the family, and the kids are not getting cheated then. It’s okay for that to bother you a little bit. That makes you a good mom. It’s okay for you to watch this situation like a hawk and make sure your kids are being cared for. I don’t mind any of that. I’m more concerned on my answer with your marriage, which is the best gift you can give your kids.