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Pischke Helps Cheapskate Divorced Dads Sabotage Needed Child Support Update Bill

The Commission on Child Support proposed House Bill 1032 as its regular, federally expected update of child support guidelines. The commission meets every four years; proponents said the guidelines presented were intended to address changes in the cost of living over the last eight years. HB 1032 also included a useful revision of the definition of full-time employment for primary income which would have spared parents working side jobs some payment obligations (not to mention clarifying that teaching is full-time work).

Rep. Tom Pischke, House floor debate, 2017.01.18. Screen cap from SDDP.
Rep. Tom Pischke, House floor debate, 2017.01.18. Screen cap from SDDP.uded

Yet a bunch of skinflint non-custodial dads led by Rep. Tom Pischke (R-25/Dell Rapids) managed to confuse enough legislators to kill HB 1032 in the House on January 18. In his floor remarks (starting at timestamp 20:20 in SDPB’s video), Rep. Pischke indicted the Commission on Child Support as a bunch of lawyers. He accused commission chair Judge Joni Cutler, a former legislator, of “outspoken bias against shared parenting and non-custodial dads.” He threw a torrent of numbers to justify his basic complaint that HB 1032 would require non-custodial parents to work more and pay more to support their kids.

Rep. Mike Stevens (R-18/Yankton), another of those darned lawyers, pointed out that the child support guidelines allow parents whose income goes down to file a petition to reduce their obligations. But 35 legislators, including both of my District 3 Reps, Drew Dennert and Dan Kaiser, were bamboozled into voting down more support for children. The final floor vote was 31–35.

Keep in mind, this is a Legislature that makes support for children such an absolute that it will pass restrictions on abortion that make women second-class citizens. But asked to update the financial requirements the state imposes on parents of born children to satisfy the obligations they couldn’t bring themselves to support as married, cohabitating parents, a slim majority of House members voted for a handful of angry men who don’t want to provide another $50 a month to support their kids.

Men, man up, and quit your griping. If you can’t make real shared parenting work (it’s called marriage) and put your children’s interests ahead of your own, 50 more dollars a month is a small price to pay for the state’s intervention on behalf of your children.

Legislature, let’s rectify this error. Show you support kids by bringing HB 1032 back. Rep. Dennert, Rep. Kaiser, vote to reconsider HB 1032. If you can’t do that, then let’s find someone to file a new bill this week (Friday is the deadline for new bills!) that follows up on the commission’s recommendation for fixing the problematic definition of full-time employment and provides updated dollar figures to keep children of divorced parents properly fed, clothed and cared for.


  1. Darin Larson 2017-01-30

    What happened to the party of personal responsibility? Are the costs for the custodial parent not going up with inflation? How do you defend not meeting your financial obligations for supporting your kids?

    At the same time Mr. Pischke is trying to keep his child support obligations from increasing with inflation, he is pushing for more rights for non-custodial parents in his bill SB72.

  2. Brandi 2017-01-30

    The opposition to this bill is so convoluted and off-topic. In most cases, non-custodial parents can pay less than they would have to if all income was calculated. This simply says that if a parent meets the minimum full-time job requirements, no part-time income will be calculated. It clarifies full-time so that child support referees like Forrest Allred can’t come to the conclusion that a job like teaching or nursing or farming is not full-time because it doesn’t equal 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. It does not favor one parent over the other. The custodial parent doesn’t necessarily benefit. The Child Support Commission should be trusted by our legislature. This bill should’ve passed. Hopefully we can convince our reps to re-introduce it with a better understanding of both the bill and SD Child Support Statute. Clearly, there are legislators that haven’t taken the time to inform themselves about current child support statutes, based on Rep. May’s questions.

  3. Casey Wilson 2017-01-30

    Wow unbelievable…moms pay child support too.. Non custodial parents have nearly the exact same expenses as custodial parents. Or perhaps the lunatic who wrote this don’t think fathers should see their children if they split with the mother.

    There are so many gender stereotypes in this article. You honestly should be ashamed of yourself.

    So much for equal rights and probably why liberals like you are the laughing stock of the country. Peace. Keep it up slow learner

  4. Mark Urban 2017-01-30

    I find no reason to respond in such a way. Labeling all fathers as deadbeats is like saying that all mothers are freeloaders. It is simply not true. Most of the people representing this bill just want time with their children. While it is true, we don’t want to pay more child support. That has more to do with not wanting to support an ex. Most of us gladly pay for our children. If you would do a bit of research, then you would realize that support actually goes up when fathers have more time with their children. By the way, this issue impacts a lot of women. There are plenty of mothers who have been forced out of their children’s lives. South Dakota Shared Parenting is a group committed to equal parenting from both parents. That goes for an equal financial obligation as well.

  5. Matt 2017-01-30

    Why is anyone crying about this? We should be moving to shared parenting and NO child support as the default.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-01-30

    “Deadbeat”? I didn’t use that label. But Casey likes labels like “lunatic” and “slow learner”.

    It’s not crazy to think that supporting my child should be a default assumption of law and morality. I was not slow to learn that obligation. And what this has to do with “liberals”, I have no idea. Casey’s just throwing insults to cover up a weak and selfish case.

    Do your jobs, dads. (Sure, and moms, too. Casey, how many moms testified against HB 1032?)

    I’d argue more, but I’m out working to make money to make sure my daughter gets food, clothing, shelter, and books. More later.

  7. Charlie 2017-01-30

    Democrats and liberals need to move beyond the same old stereotypes about those who have their children taken away and then are expected to pay someone else to raise them. The world has changed and children need both parents following divorce. Both parents can equally share the children and move on with their own work lives. Isn’t that one of the things that feminism was all about?

  8. Barb 2017-01-30

    Cory do you even live in South Dakota? If you do not, you really should be concerned with the laws of where you live. I have two sons who are paying child support and in no way are either “cheapskates”. I find your article offensive.

  9. Brandi 2017-01-30

    @ Mark Urban. In regard to your comment “support actually goes up when fathers have more time with their children”, part of the child support statute in SD allows for an abatement if a non-custodial parent has his or her children a certain number of days each month (it used to be ten days; I haven’t looked it up lately to see if that’s still the case). Meaning, more days spent with the child could actually amount to the non-custodial parent paying less.
    On another note, this bill would exempt any income above full-time that either parent makes, so it could result in a non-custodial parent paying less if he or she has additional income from a part-time job or seasonal work or something like that. Based on the testimony and other comments I’ve seen, I believe this bill is being grossly misunderstood and misinterpreted.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2017-01-30

    Cory didn’t label any father that isn’t paying his fair share of child support ‘deadbeat dads’, but I will.

    When these deadbeat dads don’t pay their fair share or don’t pay any child support at all, the state will often have to step-in with state resources like EBT, housing, Medicaid etc.

    So, when these dads are reluctant to pay for their child’s welfare the good citizens of South Dakota, through their taxes, pay to take care of it for them.

    It would be interesting to see how much the state pays for these deadbeat dads.

  11. Michael B 2017-01-30


    Non custodial parents are NOT deadbeats, skinflints or cheapskates. They are just doing the best that they can.

    After a divorce, it is difficult to pay all of the obligations that used to have two incomes to take care of things plus pay out additional funds for child support.

    Divorce is not always a personal choice. People change and grow apart. Ylou can either deal with it or be miserable. I prefer the idea of moving on.

    Shared parenting is the ideal standard but that does not always work. One parent might move because of a new relationship or a new job and then the judge decides what is best for the child.

    I have been both the noncustodial parent and now the custodial parent. Neither is easy.

    You might want to investigate how many dollars in federal funding comes from each dollar of child support collected by the state.

  12. Donna Deinert 2017-01-30

    Cory, it is you that is uneducated. $50 more dollars a month means a noncustodial father might not be able to give his child a birthday gift or pay fees to a movie with his child when they visit together. We live in SD, money is tight for everyone. Inflation increases for both parents of children. For you to say the things you did about divorced dad is a form of bullying. We would never minimalize our students in our schools like you have done to divorced noncustodials. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on you. YOU, SIR, are a bully.

  13. Jacob Limmer 2017-01-30

    Cory, this is so incredibly disappointing. The next time you are in Brookings please find 30 minutes to talk to me. I’ll show you what my financial obligations are and explain how incredibly biased custody law is. I am honestly shocked to see this from you. Blanket accusations of being ‘skinflints’ and ‘cheapskates’ and implications of immorality and failure to make a relationship work?? Your post drips with sexism. “Man up?” Who says that? Bizarre, my friend, bizarre. There is a legitimate argument to be made that says child support guidelines should be increased in correlation with other metrics such as cost of living. Make that one. In the meantime, I’ll be working so that I can afford the $1000+ 14 hour one way trip to see my kids since I failed to make true co-parenting work and clearly deserve this.

  14. Chris 2017-01-30

    Really? It makes no sense for me to pay almost 600 a month for a child I have around one third of the time. I had to move in with my parents because I can’t afford a house payment with that large of an amount. I did the math and 150 goes to day care, 100 is the full amount of insurance for her. So you tell me why I have to pay an extra 350 a month! Pretty sad our laws put me out of a home and having to live with my mom!!

  15. Sandra Stadheim 2017-01-30

    Wow very biased article. There are grandparents and fathers that are alienated from their children and grandchildren and yet the state does nothing to the mothers when they violate court orders . Dads usually don’t have the kind of money ir takes to keep fighting. Maybe the mother divorced the father . It takes two people to remain married. You automatically assume it was the fathers fault. This article is so offending to me and extremely prejudice against fathers.

  16. MK 2017-01-30

    I am really disappointed in this post for a number of reasons. First, as another comment pointed out, there are quite a few gender stereotypes in this post. You have used an elementary explanation to over-simplify a complicated situation. I am a step-mom to two boys. My husband divorced his ex-wife not because he “couldn’t make marriage work,” but because of repeated betrayal by his ex. His ex had a trust fund she could use to hire an attorney and demand full physical custody of the boys. My husband made the difficult decision to leave the marital home, and had to start out on his own, so he did not have money to hire an attorney. The court defaults to full custody for mothers in this state, so my husband went from being with his boys every day to seeing them four days a month. There is new evidence that shows that cutting one parent out of a child’s life in this fashion is extremely damaging to children of divorce. Yes, I am an advocate of shared parenting being the presumption in custody cases (SB 72), because I hope that I can help spare other children and parents the pain of a diminished relationship, simply because that is the way it has always been done. With a few obvious exceptions, I am astounded that anyone can truly believe that cutting one parent out of a child’s life can be in the best interest of the child. As for child support, we happily pay well over $1,000 every month, on time, without fail. We also cover the full cost of medical insurance, and half of all medical expenses each year. We certainly do not “gripe” about paying this, and in fact, pay a lot more than that with what we gladly purchase when the boys are with us (four days a month). Our opposition to HB1032 came because of the vague wording of the bill, and how it might affect non-custodial parents who are not as financially well off as us. Even the current child support obligation is very skewed to the custodial parent. The SD DSS website describes that child support is designed to ensure children are adequately cared for, and that there is not a disparity in the care they can receive in either home. The current obligation calculations do not always reflect that mission. The non-custodial parent can be made to pay a substantial portion of his or her income, even if the custodial parent makes significantly more money per month than the non-custodial parent does. Take a look at the online child support obligation calculator on the SD DSS website: The minimum amount you can enter for either parent is $1,499, and the maximum is $20,000. So, if you have two children, and the non-custodial parent makes $1,499 per month, and the custodial parent makes $20,000 per month, the non-custodial parent is required to pay $190 per month in child support to the parent making $20,000 per month. Obviously this is an extreme example, but doesn’t it seem odd that with such a huge disparity in income, a non-custodial parent would still be required to pay almost 13% of their meager income to someone making so much per month? The concerns are very real for non-custodial parents who live on the margins. We cannot forget that non-custodial parents have the same living expenses as custodial parents. Many are paying a large percentage of their incomes in support, which makes it difficult for them to get by each month, and they live in fear of getting behind on their child support payments. If they do get behind, they can have driver and professional licenses suspended, which can make earning a living even more difficult. Additionally, many non-custodial parents who struggle financially are unable to access some forms of public assistance, as they cannot deduct child support payments from their income, whereas custodial parents do not have to include child support payments in their income when applying for social services, or when filing federal income taxes. It just seems like if we are going to make changes to the current child support system, we should make changes that truly have the best interests of all parties in mind. This is a difficult situation all the way around, but you certainly don’t help things by insinuating that all non-custodial parents are somehow flawed because they didn’t stay in a marriage, or they resent paying child support, or in some way are refusing to support their children. As I said before, this is a complicated issue, and there is no one-size fits all approach. Taking the time to actually listen to both sides of the debate, and make an informed decision would be much more helpful than casting stones at people.

  17. Craig 2017-01-30

    I’m a proponent of parents taking responsibility for their kids, and because it costs more to raise a child than it did 8 years ago, it makes sense that the child support rates should increase to compensate.

    That said, I do question why the focus is upon only the fathers. Cory wrote “Yet a bunch of skinflint non-custodial dads led by Rep. Tom Pischke…” does that mean Pischke is himself a non-custodial parent or merely that he is representing that group? Because frankly I find it a conflict of interest for him to be speaking about or voting upon a bill which he has a personal financial interest in.

    Also Cory, it seems a tad harsh to claim real shared parenting is marriage. There are a lot of parents who aren’t married by no choice of their own. Sometimes the relationship ended because the other party wished it to end. Sometimes it ended due to emotional or physical abuse. Sometimes it ended due to infidelity etc. We shouldn’t look down upon any parent who is doing his or her best to be involved in his or her child’s life. Whether they are married is not the issue. Whether they are a strong supportive parent should be.

    @ Matt – no child support is often the case if both parents share custody and both make roughly the same income. Where child support comes into play is when one parent may make considerably more income than the other. If the parents were in a marriage, they would share those costs but also share all income. When those parents are no longer in a relationship, the costs are shared proportionally. Thus if a father makes $30k a year but the mother makes $75k a year, she will pay support in order to balance the expense. I don’t find this unreasonable, but I understand there are those extreme cases where one spouse is essentially paying the other vast amounts which allows that other spouse to refrain from working. That is the scenario we should work to eliminate, but shared parenting and shared financial responsibility is a good thing IMO.

  18. Roger Elgersma 2017-01-30

    raising the amount by the inflation is totally right.
    But when I went to the legislature for a seriously weak shared parenting bill, Rep. Stevens was the only one on either committee to be against it. That means he sees men as not parents at all but just as a money bucket for mom and the lawyers to tap into. Anything Stevens is for is questionable. He simply does not look at the problem of kids losing their Dads and is responsible in his own practice for the problems.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-01-30

    You bet, Sandra: biased toward the best interests of the kids.

    I’ve had a couple of people now throw the words “liberal” and “Democrat” around, as if this is somehow a partisan issue. Funny thing is, I’m not the one asking for big government to step in and reduce my personal responsibility for my child.

    I never knew that taking care of your children was such a controversial issue.

    Craig, I can only speak to Pischke and the men I’ve heard making the noise. I don’t make enough to pay my own bills, let alone pay child support, woe is me! Boo-hoo. If there are divorced moms also asking for the state to excuse them from paying their fair share of child support, that doesn’t change the main point of the post, which is that the state needs to update the standards in the interest of the children. I don’t want the state involved in family affairs any more than absolutely necessary, but if parents can’t work out an arrangement that serves the needs of their children, then the state needs to step in, keep its financial standards updated with sensible legislation like HB 1032.

    Here’s how it works in my house: if my wife and I aren’t making enough money to pay for our child’s needs and my bicycle parts, either I need to work more hours or I need to go without bicycle parts. The state doesn’t have to set some minimum amount for my wife and me to spend on feeding and clothing out child. We just figure out and make the necessary sacrifices. If parents can’t figure that out for themselves, then I don’t want hear them kvetching about the solution the state has to work out for them.

    HB 1023 sets fair standards for everybody. If some exceptional cases fall through cracks of this child support schedule, the concerned parties can take it to proper authorities, and if they have a case, the authorities will adjust fairly.

    But put the children first.

  20. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-01-30

    Jacob, I think the sponsors of the bill made that rational case. The folks who voted against weren’t listening, because they got some biased arguments from folks who don’t like paying more for their kids. My sympathy is limited on this issue.

    Look, for example, at Chris’s complaint. He’s mad that he has to pay full child support because he only sees his child a third of the time. The child doesn’t eat only one third of the time. Wherever the child is, whoever has the child, the child needs support. Chris needs to pay $600 because his child needs $600 worth of food, clothing, etc. If a parent can’t see that—if a parent thinks the amount he or she should pay to support his or her child depends on how much time he or she gets to spend with the child—then that parent needs new priorities.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-01-30

    And please, let’s not try to distract from the main question of parental duties by (a) questioning whether I live in South Dakota (I bleed the blue of the South Dakota flag and have all my life) or (b) pretending to fly a gender critique. I won’t waste my breath defending my credentials on gender equity in marriage or any public issue, but understand that you don’t want to go there, because you will lose badly. Just focus on the policy discussion, and leave your false impressions and personal insults out of it.

    I stand by every word I said. Representative Pischke needs to reset his priorities to align with the pro-child, pro-family, pro-responsibility values of his own party.

  22. Jen 2017-01-30

    I’m a divorced Mother of 3 and a step-Mother of 2 (yes, 5 total) that is 100% fully supportive of SB72; which says that in custody issues the starting point is shared custody. If either parent disagrees with shared custody they must prove that the other is unfit. I’m also 100% against HB1032. “Most” parents in this state want to spend time with their kids and spend money to support their kids.

    I’m not sure why it’s hard to explain that the majority of parents in this state are great, fit, supportive parents. And yet, our custody and child support laws are written for the minority of parents that are not great, unfit, and unsupportive.

    I would argue the people benefiting from increases in child support and conflict in custody cases are the lawyers (hello $5,000 retainers!) and the state government. (Did you know the state receives federal money kick backs based on the $$ of child support it collects? So, more child support, more kick backs.)

  23. Robin Friday 2017-01-30

    If you and your spouse can’t make it work and decided not to live together and to divorce, then it was your decision, and you know going in that the kids are going to suffer less time with one spouse or the other. It’s not the kids’ fault. They’re still half yours, So quit complaining about having to support the kids because you don’t get to see them as much. It’s not their fault, it’s yours.

  24. bearcreekbat 2017-01-30

    One point that most folks can agree on is that child support should be aimed at providing the best environment you can for the child. Psychologists might tell us that a child who has a custodian that feels financially secure is better off than a child living with a custodian who is struggling to meet necessary expenses. To simplify, a child is happier with a happy mom and dad or mom or dad.

    This helps explain why funds that help the mom (assuming she is the custodian) are necessary for the mental heath and physical security of the child. The point is – if someone wants child support payments to help the child, they can be assured that if mom uses the payments for a non-child expense, mom will be happy and the child will benefit emotionally from a happy mom.

    And if denial of adequate support for mom makes her unhappy, a child will certainly sense that emotion and also be upset, worried and insecure.

    So if you like your kid and want your support to help the kid, pay as much support as you can afford, even if it makes mom happy, and you will help maintain an environment where your child is more likely to be happy and prosper.

  25. Ben Jones 2017-01-30

    Tom is following through on the issues he based his campaign on. Kudos to him for doing so and those questioning his reasons oughtta be ashamed. You don’t know his life, you don’t know his morals. He is doing his goddamn job and doing what he said he was going to do. I think it’s refreshing to see a politician following through on his campaign agenda, and you people are labeling him. Anybody who jumps on the side of the underdog (ncp) more power to him, I hope he opens some eyes to the biased nature of this state.

  26. Casey Wilson 2017-01-30

    Cory, you are massively undereducated on this issue. Big government is this issue. Noncustodial parents do not pay support to the custodial parent, they pay it to the state of South Dakota, who then tracks it and receives federal funds for the amount collected. So the state has an interest to raise child support and it’s disguised as being good for the kids. The simple fact is the less time a noncustodial parent sees his or her child the more he or she pays in child support. Thus the state of SD also has an interest in minimizing one parent. Look of Social Security Title Iv ? It’s all there

  27. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-01-31

    Ben’s comment is illogical. Trump is following through on the issues he based his campaign on, but there’s every reason to give him questions and not kudos. Ditto for Pischke on this issue. I don’t need to know Pischke’s life or morals (sounds a lot like Annette Bosworth’s non sequitur defense of her patent errors that we just needed to know her “story”) to know that his objection to HB 1032 was incorrect.

  28. Jacob Limmer 2017-01-31

    You’re making a knee jerk argument that increased support from the non-custodial parent is automatically good for the children. While that sounds nice and tight in a dramatic blog post, it doesn’t reflect the reality for many families. Broke dads aren’t good dads. Dads living in substandard conditions and driving unreliable vehicles and being unable to provide activities aren’t being their best selves. That certainly isn’t automatically better for the kids. Your self-righteous opinions on marriage don’t help your argument either. Casually shrugging off the concerns of non-custodial parents as an , you should have thought of that before you ruined your marriage, argument undermines any point you may be trying to make. And quite frankly, I don’t care what your self proclaimed record on gender equity is because I read and reread that post and I’m embarrassed for you.

  29. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-01-31

    Massively undereducated, Casey? Horsehockey. Have you read the Commission on Child Support’s report explaining the recommendations in HB 1032?

    The Commission appears not to offer any knee-jerk conclusions or self-righteous opinions, just a rigorous economic analysis, plus an effort to actually alleviate the obligations on poverty-level parents.

    Jacob is right that my credentials on gender equality are irrelevant to the merits of HB 1032. People’s opinions about me don’t change the merits of adjusting the obligations table for cost of living, lowering the burden on poverty-level parents, and redefining the full-time equivalent calculation to lower the burden on teachers and others with primary income and secondary jobs. Pischke missed all those points; he’s just speaking up for cranky, selfish people who don’t want their payment to go up and get spooked by any change in the law without looking at the actual mechanism, the actual justification therefor, and the actual results.

  30. Steve P 2017-01-31

    You miss the point of the federal money the state gets. Why don’t you comment on that? In the cases of non-custodial dads/moms and moms/dads that go through the department of social services there is always a referee and if you know these you see constantly how they use outside the calculator anyway. Plus they add more burden on the non-custodial in insurance and benefits also. Plus, the money is automatically garnished AND the collecting parent pays NO income tax of any kind and the parent paying gets no breaks so that money is gone out of their income and the referees don’t base on take home pay. Get the facts first.

    I’m sure you won’t post this either but at least you’ll read it.

  31. Craig 2017-01-31

    There are a lot of whiners here who apparently have no idea what it costs to raise a child. Let’s look at Chris’ comment for starters:

    >>> “It makes no sense for me to pay almost 600 a month for a child I have around one third of the time.”

    Chris, how much time you have with your child has nothing to do with the financial obligation to raise that child. If you wish to spend more time with your child, go the judge and fight for shared custody. Then you may be able to reduce the amount of support you pay… but keep in mind this might require you to actually be an engaged parent, so you may not think it is a worthwhile tradeoff to sacrifice your free time to save a few bucks on your support payments. (yes that is sarcasm)

    >>> “I had to move in with my parents because I can’t afford a house payment with that large of an amount. I did the math and 150 goes to day care, 100 is the full amount of insurance for her. So you tell me why I have to pay an extra 350 a month!”

    150 a month for daycare? Really Chris? That is roughly one week of daycare cost at a larger facility in Sioux Falls. A home daycare would be less expensive but you would still easily pay $400 a month for daycare, and most providers don’t give discounts for part time because they can’t give up a spot for a kid who is only there a few days a week.

    Aside from daycare an insurance you mention no other costs. So I presume your child doesn’t eat? Does your child not require any medications which have co-pays? No co-pays for doctors visits? No need for toothpaste, toilet paper or soap? Does your child never require new clothing? Does your child never use water nor require electricity? What about the costs associating with the mother needing a larger home or 2-bedroom apartment? Does the kid need a winter coat? Does the child ever get involved in any activities? Do you think the kid might enjoy an ice cream cone after a hectic day? What about the idea that the kid might benefit from a dental cleaning every now and then. I presume you never bother to cut the kid’s hair since that would be expensive, and I suppose there is no sense in paying for any books for the kid since he can easily just learn the important stuff from his dad. What about if your kid is invited to a birthday party – should they just not go because there is no money for a gift? Or maybe there is never any additional expense involved in shuffling the child to and from daycare or preschool or doctor’s appointments – because gas and new tires and car seats are free for parents?

    Seriously man – do you have ANY idea what it costs to actually raise a child?

    >>> “Pretty sad our laws put me out of a home and having to live with my mom!!”

    Chris, based upon your inability to see the big picture, you living in your mom’s basement was likely inevitable. However, in order to prevent you from having to repeat this horrible nightmare where you are expected to actually provide for the children you father, I’d suggest you travel to your nearest Planned Parenthood and pick up some condoms. They offer them free of charge. Seriously.

    Some may think I’m being too hard on Chris, but not once did he mention that he loved his child or that he wished to provide for his child. He didn’t say he wanted to spend more time with the kid or that he was willing to make some personal sacrifices in order to ensure a better life for his child. No, for Chris and those like him it is always about the money. It is always too much, the other parent is always greedy, and they are always taken advantage of.

    I raised a child as a single dad with 50/50 custody and I can tell you flat out that I paid every cent of daycare even though I could have argued that it should be split. I paid every cent of healthcare. I continue to pay for school lunches, I pay for at least half of the clothing, I pay activity fees, I pay for food, I buy books and toys and pay for dental exams and doctor’s visits. I do this not because I have to. I do this because it is the right thing to do. In fact the Mother and I have never argued about the costs because even though we aren’t a couple any longer, we are still mature enough to know what it means to co-parent. Sure I know I pay a lot more towards my child’s financial needs than some arbitrary state calculator would suggest I should, but this isn’t about the money. It is about the child. It is about being a dad.

    Chris should try it sometime.

  32. Steve P 2017-01-31

    Craig for father/martyr of the year!

  33. Craig 2017-01-31

    Yes Steve – meanwhile you are worried about the collecting parent not paying income tax on the money that is going towards the financial support of the child and the fact that the paying parent doesn’t get a tax deduction.


  34. Wayne Pauli 2017-01-31

    Quite the thread here. I have known Tom and his ex for many years. I do not know what happened to their marriage, it is none of my business. They were good kids, in love, and I still look forward to seeing them even though now it is in separate instances. Their kids are well cared for. They are great kids with super nurturing.

    I am not surprised by this bill as Tom ran for the legislature on one topic. Unfortunately there is so much more that needs to be done in our State.

    Am I an expert in this situation? No, but I have a daughter and son-in-
    Law that parent a blended family. They raise their kids and try to keep the other respective parent in the lives of their five sons. Is it easy? Not at all. Is it important? Oh my yes!

    Is it expensive? Try raising 5 teenage sons. Does the other parent pay their share? Not a chance. But I Love my grandson’s, they are awesome, talented young men that someday will be a Dad themselves.

    I can only hope they take after my daughter and my son-in-law when it comes to caring for their kids and living up to their parental responsibilities.

    Oh and by the way…$600 a month is a joke with regard to raising a child. Whoever posted that comment is a terrible father. Why do you want to cheat your own flesh and blood? Is it just spite for you ex? I hope I do not know you.

  35. Donald Pay 2017-01-31

    Give a child a choice between $600 per month and her Daddy, she’s going to choose Daddy. And having Daddy around is in her best interest. Period.

    It’s all very simple. Unless the Dad or the Mom is abusive, it’s in the best interest of the child to have that Dad and that Mom in her life. Shared parenting ought to be the default position. Both the state and the couple had better be in the business of making that happen first, and work out the money stuff as best they can.

  36. Casey Wilson 2017-02-01

    Craig…you received credit for daycare when child support is configured. The custodial parent is also to contribute for child support, the amount paid by the non custodial parent is the offset. If the child spend ANY amount of time with the noncustodial parent, that parent needs housing, a bed, clothing, etc. With the exception of food all expenses will be the same in both households if the child is expected to be with both parents any significant time, but that is not considered in figuring support. How is it in best interest of the child to have a great room home and everything else with mom, and when they go to see dad one third of the time, they sleep on the couch? If you can’t see the problem with that, I feel bad for you. And Craig if you were a 50/50 father, you are not a single parent, you are a single person.

  37. Casey Wilson 2017-02-01

    And Cory, did you look ate the tables within the bill. Lowering support for low income noncustodial parents, is great. However when people making middle incomes in South Dakota, they raised support up to 7%. Shockingly the only raised the levels on high income earners 2%. The child support commission is handpicked by DSS and the state bar. It’s the same group of people that wish to minimize fathers in our state and think it’s great to steal children from native families in 30 second hearings. They want money and could care less how they get it. Joni Cutler, the only judge on the commission fought against ANY change to allow noncustodial parents a greater chance at having more time with their kids in the legislature. The fact she is on the commission and not even allowed to hear custody cases is alarming to say the least

  38. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-02-01

    Yes, Casey, I did look at the tables. You try mightily to avoid real debate by protraying anyone who disagrees with you as biased and uninformed. I’m no more biased than you, and I have the facts.

    Your numbers are biased. For folks making up to $20K, the average increase is between 2.72% and 3.31%. The median increase in that income range is between 2.12% and 2.49%. In that range, fewer than one in seven brackets see an increase greater than 7%… and if your cost of living hasn’t increased more than 7% over the last eight years, I want to know where you get your groceries and your mortgage.

    The rest of your boo-hoo-bias cries against public servants has nothing to do with the facts of the bill. It jsut shows you’re mad at Cutler for not supporting your personal political agenda on a different issue, not performing a rigorous analysis of the economic facts represented in the bill itself. Argue the numbers, not the people.

  39. Casey Wilson 2017-02-01

    Why not just increase everyone 2%? Why increase only a middle income 7% and lower the amount back down for high earners? As a democrat, I would think you would see that as unfair. I think most other portions of the bill are fine, but unfortunately, DSS does not come to the table much for compromise. Especially when they have a biased commission report to help them try to hoodwink the legislature.

  40. Jenny 2017-02-01

    Craig makes some good points, and so does Cory. The fathers commenting here make good points too.
    In MN I have heard that the judges today are a lot better in listening to the father’s side than they were thirty years ago. Joint physical custody is what both sides want to aim for.
    In SD, it sounds like the judges still favor the moms in listening to theses stories and that is too bad.
    Everyone has a different price tag on what it takes to raise children but remember in the end what a child really wants is a loving caring parent that is there for them. Security, safety and love.

  41. jerry 2017-02-01

    It seems that the real complaint is that the custodial parent gets the money. The payee is pissed that the custodial parent might be sharing his/her bed with someone else. All of this in the equation should tell all one thing, why get married in the first place? If you just go commando, you can father or mother as many of the little rascals as you want and let the state pick up the bill. If the child wants to know who the daddy is, show them a picture of Trump and Daugaard as they will be plastered all over the walls soon enough, then tell them it was a complicated relationship, but it is what it is.

    Either admit that you are full of the beans or do the best you can to take care of that little bundle of joy. You must have seen something in that partner’s eye that caught your attention enough to have a child or children. No one is telling you that you have to relive those days of love and adventure, they are just telling you to do your damn job while showing your love and adventure to your kid or kids. You both can claim the little bundles for tax credits as well
    If the parties are interested in doing the best they can for the kids, they can make things work so that all can be in harmony. It not only takes a village to raise them, it takes dedication from those willing to let go of the unpleasant past, tough as it may be. Remember, If you cannot pay, don’t play.

  42. Craig 2017-02-01

    Casey: “Craig…you received credit for daycare when child support is configured.”

    That might be true for people who rely upon the state to determine how their child is supported. I’m not one of those people. I’ve never had to go through the state because I wasn’t trying to minimize my obligations. When parents are mature about the situation and aren’t only concerned about fighting for money they just take care of it. I realize not all parents are like this, but more should be.

    >>> Casey: “If the child spend ANY amount of time with the noncustodial parent, that parent needs housing, a bed, clothing, etc. With the exception of food all expenses will be the same in both households if the child is expected to be with both parents any significant time, but that is not considered in figuring support. <<<

    There are fixed expenses and fluctuating expenses. If a parent has a child 2/3rds of the time, it stands to reason they are responsible for more diapers, more cleaning products, more clothing, more food, more utilities, more gasoline, etc. Yes both parents still need a bed, yes both still need a place for the child to sleep, but I've seen many non-custodial parents who treat their time with the child as a sleepover and act as if the custodial parent is the child's "home". In some cases non-custodial parents only have the children a few evenings or one day on the weekend and the child doesn't even spend the night. In those cases the custodial parent has significant more expense, and the support should reflect that.

    I'm sure there are cases where one parent's financial obligations aren't in line with actual expenses. However on a whole the support system does its job properly and ensures the child is taken care of and that no one parent is taken advantage of. Is it perfect? No… and since some parents will lie and falsify documentation in support of wanting more or less child support, it never will be perfect.

    I just find it odd how we always hear complaints about the money and how courts have been unfair while these same people aren't complaining about the amount of TIME they spend with their children. If I was paying $1400 a month and only seeing my child 25% of the time, I wouldn't complain about the $1400 – I'd complain about the 25%!

    Regardless one has to admit cost of living continues to rise. Therefore if we are against raising the amount of support for a child, it suggests we either are refusing to acknowledge rising costs, or we believe the rates were too high to begin with. I suspect in most cases people just have a gross misunderstanding of what it actually costs to raise a child.

  43. Casey Wilson 2017-02-01

    Craig…you honestly don’t have a choice to NOT do it through the state any longer. THATS BECAUSE OF THE FEDERAL INCENTIVES. Your posts reveal a lot of self righteousness. You were a 50/50 parent because the other parent agreed to it most likely or was a nearly unfit parent. Only reasons until recently judges give equal custody to fathers in this state

  44. Brandi 2017-02-01

    @ Casey Wilson and @ Jen: You both mention “Federal incentives” and “kickbacks” the state receives for collecting child support. Do you have a source for this information? I’ve received child support for 16 years and have never seen where the state received any portion of that.
    It has been my understanding that the state’s interest in collecting child support through DSS rather than between parents themselves would be to ensure the payments are made so the children’s needs are being met.

  45. Casey Wilson 2017-02-01

    @ Brandi…sure….is there any law to ensure the kids needs are being met with child support through the state? Have you had anyone check where you are spending child support money?

    On the question of kickbacks….what do you think funds DSS and Division of child support. If you look up Sosial Security Title IV D you will find what you are looking for. Of course the state or the Feds will not tell you exactly how much this is because the conflicts of interest would be Enormous. It is essentially minimizing one parent for profit. All disguised as the best interest of the child. I am fully aware, there are deadbeat parents who have no onterest in seeing their kids or paying for them but creating policy assuming all parents that ways is just as bad. Here is a quick documentary on the child support issue. Thanks.

  46. Brandi 2017-02-01

    @ Casey: Actually, yes, there is a law in place to make sure kids’ needs are being met. It’s why child protection services exists. It’s why child neglect is illegal. If my children were going without food, clothes, shelter, etc. then it would be clear that I was not spending my child support money on them, and CPS would be involved. However, it would be nearly impossible to track how child support is spent and what is a justified expense for each individual case. Let’s say I use all of my support on groceries, school lunch bills, and out of pocket healthcare. Let’s say another parent uses his or her child support on the mortgage payment and car insurance. Another spends the support on entry fees for a traveling basketball tournament, piano lessons, and a car payment. All of these expenses support the child. How could a policy accurately designate how the custodial parent must spend the money when each situation is uniquely different?
    I did watch the video link, and like I said in a response to you on another thread, even when looking at the video creator’s website and book, I don’t see any references for sources of these facts. Until I see vetted sources that prove the facts you’re suggesting, it is my firm belief that the state’s interest in collecting child support is to ensure both parents are providing for the needs of the child. One of the ways in which this is done is to re-evaluate the formula every few years to account for rises in cost of living, and in this case, clarify the full-time employment issue. It only makes sense that when a cost of living adjustment is made, all child support cases are brought into compliance.

  47. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-02-01

    Boy Casey, you keep trying to make this a partisan issue. It’s not. My being a Democrat has no bearing on the merits of the bill the House killed and that Senator Rusch has now reintroduced as SB 141.

    You keep shouting “Bias!” but you haven’t shown any evidence that any of the data or conclusions the Child Support Commission presented in support of HB 1032/SB 141 are biased.

    Now I’m certainly interested in the percentages and the progressivity of this measure. I’m running that analysis and will offer it in a later post. But was that progressivity issue part of the argument Pischke used to confuse the House into voting against HB 1032? Are you saying that if I run the numbers, find unfairness and offer a new table that provides more progressive increases but still increases for everyone above the poverty line, you’ll say, “O.K., now I support the proposal?”

    And we still haven’t gotten to any good reason for opposing Sections 2–4. Those sections seem to address the various concerns fired here, offering relief to many parents. What specifically is so darned bad about updating a bill to reflect cost of living increases that we all agree have happened?

  48. Craig 2017-02-01

    “You were a 50/50 parent because the other parent agreed to it most likely or was a nearly unfit parent. Only reasons until recently judges give equal custody to fathers in this state”

    I should tell this to one of my female family members. The father of her child won primary custody while she is considered the non-custodial parent. They didn’t agree upon custody and although she had their child the bulk of the time prior to court proceedings it still didn’t work out her way.

    I bet she would be really impressed to learn she is classified as an unfit parent in your eyes.

  49. Casey Wilson 2017-02-01

    Cory , actually I’m not opposed to any parts of the bill other than the table. The problem with DSS Are shady and crooked and in a state that doesn’t really focus on transparency that much it is probably worse here than most places. A 2% increase across the board and lowering it for people below the poverty line is fine. But a 7% increase in one of the income ranges that affects a very large number of noncustodial parents in South Dakota is alarming. This is the shady stuff I’m talking about. The judiciary and DSS work together like this all the time. I have seen you write on the 32nd hearings where native children are taken from their parents without even being able to testify on their own behalf. I have sat in court cases and seen judges tell a father that he does not care what the law says he will force his daughter in the same home as a registered sex offender. The same judge when a father is denied parenting time does nothing. I don’t mean to convolute the issues but many of them are tied together. Put some real unbiased people on the Child Support commission. what’s the real people in charge of looking at the custody issues. Don’t put lawyers and judges in charge of these things. It is putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

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