Are Moms of Grown Kids Still Entitled to Back Child Support?

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A woman waited years for her ex-husband -- the one who left her with two daughters and one on the way in 1976 -- to pay all of the child support he owed her over the years. Last week, with all three of her daughters grown, she finally got the $93,000 her ex was hiding in an account, $60,000 of which was interest he accrued after taking so long to pay.

When asked what she planned to do with the money, Kathi Smith-Petersen said she is going to share it with her daughters. Share it? Isn't the whole point of child support is that it's for the children?

The reporters asking the questions seemed to think that was terribly magnanimous and loving of her, which is true. But it's also just the right thing to do. The fact is, child support is for the kids, not for the mom. And whether it's collected at the time the kids are little or when they're 80, that money isn't hers. It belongs to the kids, period.

And maybe it should have been given to them instead.

There really does seem to be this notion out there that child support is somehow for the parent. This is why some orders, especially for celebrities, are so obscenely high.

It makes no sense for a child support order to exceed the cost of raising any child. This whole notion of the child living to the standard of both parents is slightly absurd and only encourages women to try to get pregnant by rich men. Why not? It would pay for their entire life!

Smith-Peterson obviously deserved the money she got and she is doing the right thing with it by sharing it with her daughters who are the ones left behind. Leaving a wife is one thing, but leaving your children is another.

Sometimes it seems like the two are too closely intertwined in our culture. There is nothing wrong with a man leaving the mother of his children if he doesn't love her, but financially abandoning his children and hiding accounts is pretty low. Those kids deserve every penny of that money for being dealt a terrible hand in terms of their father. But the money is theirs, not their mother's.

Do you think it's weird that she is being applauded for sharing money that wasn't hers to begin with?


Image via AMagill/Flickr

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Randelle Pfost

It is money that should be spent on a child's needs and education, and if the mother covered those costs for all of those years, then she deserves most, if not all of it.

Lovab... LovableNeurotic

I agree with the previous reply. She had to cover everything her ex should have paid for but DIDN'T this is essentially her reimbursement.  I'm glad she's decided to share it with the daughter, while she doesn't have too (and should have to) it is the right thing to do :)

usmom3 usmom3

Child support is supposed to help pay for the things the child needs like a house, food, clothes, utilities, Medical coverage etc.etc.etc.     With out that money for all those years the mother payed for 100% of it herself so I think yes she should get at least the amount that will reimburse her for those things for all of those years that she payed for on her own!

Courtney Paige Neale

totally agree with Randelle Pfost!! And I bet this womans daughters would too!!!!

smtxc... smtxcowgirl

I wish my husband's child support would go straight to his 3 children from his previous marriage.  They're all grown now, all 3 are married, 2 even have children.  But no, it's going to his ex-wife and Lord knows what she's doing with it.  All I know is his kids could use that money a hell of a lot more then his ex could.  

sunny... sunnybunny5us

No, those expenses have already been paid. Why would you expect to be reimbursed for taking care of your own children? That should be a given. If you live with a man you should have tyhe benefit of his income, if you don't have to put up with that man you shouldn't get anything from him. The kids - yes they should get whatever their father gives them. It belongs to them not their mother.

Terri... TerriAnne2606

She paid the expense while waiting for the money all those years.  So, she should get some reimbursement from him since she's already paid. 

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

Because having children is a PARTNERSHIP. When one parent flakes, the other one suffers in trying to raise the children. The mother obviously paid for the children in all aspects and the crap for brains father failed them. The money goes to the mother to do with as she sees fit in raising the children. It's not as if the other parent is deceased and that hardship is dealt with as a family- the other parent just sucks.

Kaide... KaidensMama1107

That makes absolutely no sense this women paid for all 3 of her.children until they were able to take care.of themselves..she deserves to get half of the money she spent back! It takes two to make a baby. She had to have made quite a bit of sacrifices over the years..she raised them she cared for them and she spent het hard earned money on them she deserves it!

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