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>> My first question:

What is included in child support and what isn't? For example, the children's mother wants money for summer camp, bicycles, musical instruments, stuff like that. How do you handle "extra's" for the kids? <<

Good question...
Child support includes ONLY the basics needed for life- food, clothing, shelter, medical care, etc. I used to help the ex with camp, etc until she sued me for additional support. Now she actually gets less than what she got before suing me. While I still do extras for my boys, it is MY choice as to what the extras I pay for are used for, and the kids know that *I* am the one paying for them. Before I blindly helped with the extras. I guess in an attempt to make me look bad, she told my boys that *SHE* was the one paying for all the extras and made no mention that I was paying for half or better. Well, actually she went so far as to tell the boys that she was the ONLY one supporting them. I proved that wrong by actually showing them my paycheck stub showing that support was automatically being taken from my check, and exactly just how much was going towards their support. So, be sure you let your children know where the extras are really coming from or your children will feel that you are a cheap, inconsiderate, ... (well you get the idea). Bicycles, instruments, etc. that YOU pay for or help to pay for should be given to the children at YOUR residence if possible so they know that you contributed towards them. It took a long time for my children to realize what their mother had been doing, but what she had done took away several years of closeness I could have had with my children. I hope this helps...

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