My ex and I had a turbulent relationship throughout our time together. When she told me she was pregnant, I was initially disappointed, but my perspective shifted because this was going to be my firstborn. Despite our relationship not working out, we moved on from each other when our son was just five months old. Nevertheless, I never neglected my responsibilities as a father—never.
I provided her with money every month, going beyond what I believed were his basic needs so she could buy toys and other items for him. Upon discovering that I was dating someone new, she promptly took me to court and put me on child support out of revenge. I never objected, and, in fact, she ended up receiving less child support than I was voluntarily providing. Karma.
Our son is now 9 years old, and the Christmas holiday is approaching. He’s been vocal about wanting the latest Playstation and iPhone. However, I don’t plan on buying him either of those because he already has a functioning Playstation and iPhone. My Christmas gift plan is more practical: a new coat, clothes, and a couple of pairs of tennis shoes.
My ex has been outspoken about what she believes I should do with my money concerning our son. I’ve made it clear to her that, as long as I’m paying child support, anything beyond that is purely out of goodwill. In my view, child support should cover all of his basic needs and even some of his wants. If she can’t manage to get him Christmas gifts with the money I provide, then I believe it’s a matter of her mishandling the funds.
Am I being inconsiderate by not buying my son the game and phone he wants for Christmas, even though I pay a significant amount monthly for court-ordered child support?
The Center gets to the heart of the lifestyle, parenting, relationships, and finance conversations impacting the culture. Convene here to express and share personal and poignant points of view that arise in everyday life.
Send us your queries to Letters@AtlantaBlackStar.com and let our readers offer some perspectives on how to navigate these conversations.