I'm a card-carrying member of the Second Wives Club, and so I understand what it means to write the child support check to the first wife and be a little mad about it to question why one little child needs such large sums of cash when he has a perfectly able-bodied mother to care for him.
Now that I have two children of my own, I think a little differently about such things understand the enormous sums it takes to provide for a child. The mortgage/rent. The heat and light and water bills. The groceries. The clothing. The school tuition. The extracurriculars. The car and gas to get the kids to said extracurriculars. Child care. The list goes on.
For sure, kids ain't cheap.
This, of course, shouldn't be a revelation to anyone who takes two seconds to think about it. But last week, folks all across the Hip Hop world were calling LaShon Dixon, the mother of Clifford T.I. Harris's 7- and 9-year-old sons, all kinds of trifling for demanding and getting an increase in child support payments from her rapper/baby daddy. Let fans of radio stations like Atlanta's V-103 or blogs like Black Celebrity Kids tell it, and Dixon is a lazy, good-for-nothing, greedy heiffa who needs to get a job and stop trying to use her ex's riches to live high on the hog.
How much did she get to warrant such bashing, you ask?
According to The Associated Press, $5,000 per month, plus medical expenses. For both kids. Up from $3,000 per month. And minus school tuition and half the cost of their extracurricular activities.
That's $2,500 per month, per kid not all that much more than what my husband, who is not a high-profile rapper, movie star, music producer, or world-touring musician, was paying from his everyday, real regular journalist paycheck when he was writing child support checks.
Now, I won't presume to know what's in T.I.'s bank account (and his current girlfriend blogs that T.I. is extremely generous off the books), but I'm pretty sure he's got a lot more in his than Nick and I ever had in ours. And maybe just maybe we should hold off on questioning why a woman raising two kids on her own would have a problem with getting a measly $5,000 per month in child support from her sons' super-rich dad, particularly with the lack of jobs and an ever-increasing economy in which average, everyday people are struggling to pay mortgages and car notes and tuition and grocery bills, let alone make a nice life for their children.
I find it ironic that nobody really made all that much of a fuss when Russell Simmons agreed to pay his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons $40,000 per month PER MONTH! to raise their children, a sum that doesn't include the $60,000 car he has to purchase for her every three years to shuttle around their two girls, Ming and Aoki.
The point of child support is so that the kids will have the same or similar lifestyle as they would if their mother and father were together.
By that standard, Kimora's child support payments make perfect sense.
Not so much.
What I wish folks would remember is that the point isn't so much about whether T.I.'s ex should go and get a job. The point is how would those children be living if she were still with their father? My guess is that Dixon wouldn't be trying to figure out how to pay the mortgage, the tuition, and the soccer fees on $5000.
Maybe this is what we should be debating you know, saving the evil, greedy, lazy single mom talk for another day, another somebody.
I'm just saying.
“And maybeâ€”just maybeâ€”we should hold off on questioning why a woman raising two kids on her own would have a problem with getting a measly $5,000 per month in child support from her sons super-rich dad, particularly with the lack of jobs and an ever-increasing economy in which average, everyday people are struggling to pay mortgages and car notes and tuition and grocery bills, let alone make a nice life for their children.”
I guess as long as BOTH parents are pulling their own weight to do right by their children then that is all that counts.
As long as the money is being used the way it’s supposed to be and not for the newest designer handbag, clotes…..
great post Denene, we tend to side with the celebrity at times without even knowing the other. Every celebrity side kick, mother or whatever you wanna call it is not a money grubbing witch. This woman may have a life of her own, she may work or have aspirations that won’t allow her to handle the bills completely and may need the help. You never know what to do unless you’re in that situation. Amen!
That doesn’t sound very steep for a celebrity such as T.I.
What gets me–and excuse me for sounding really old right now–but all these young people do in their music is talk about what they have, what they’re driving, what they’re copping. Strippers and “making it rain” are glorified. At the same time, they want a woman to love them unconditionally and deal with infidelity or else they’re a gold digger. You get what you put out there.
MyBrownBaby follower Chicky*Baby was having trouble posting, so she emailed her comment to me. Here goes:
I am a single mother with 2 kids and I have no problem with a mother wanting support from the father what I do have a problem with is the fact that certain women go looking for rich men and as soon as there are 2 lines on the preg test they want to yell JACKPOT. I know that it takes a good deal of money to raise a child but the mother should not use the cs as her only income.
I definitely agree with Chicky*Baby. I know that taking care of children costs money. I practically raised my little sister, and, now, I am, instead of the the father of my sister’s children, sending money to help support her children. Helping to pay the bills when they’re due when a little more than my usual allotment every month is needed to make ends meet. I get it…but if the woman isn’t working and has no intention of doing so? (Not saying that the mother of T.I.’s children isn’t working because I haven’t followed their story.) No way! Uh-uh…I’m sorry. We’re all grown here. I think all of us understand, even if we didn’t when we were younger, that we would one day have to pay our rent, utilities, car payments, and have enough to take care of odds and ends and food. I will add here, that I understand that the father is responsible for helping in that regard as well as it relates to the child.
I think what angers some of us is that when some women become pregnant they act as if the man is supposed to take care of them and provide for them; when, in my oppinion, his responsibility lies with helping her ensure the health, safety and growth (in all aspects) of his children. She is still responsible for taking care of herself. I suppose I’ve seen this scenario so much that it just sours me to this whole idea. And this is coming from someone who’s seen the single mothers in her family struggle without the help of the father (and ultimately succeed) and sympathizes with them.
Maybe we should stop having children and stay to ourselves. That way, each person will be entitled to what they can earn for themselves.
Better yet, require everyone to obtain a license before having children. That way, we could go through financial histories, credit reports etc.
We have to do something about over population.
$5,000.00 a month for two children is a pittance. He may be generous off the books, but is it fair to the children for them to go home to a less than shiny life while daddy and lives it up. She must have a busted lawyer because she deserves much more. Child support is based on the income of the parent paying it. I am a first and only wife, but if my husband had to pay out for a child before out relationship I would be willing. I wouldn't want them to live in much lower standard of living than us.
When the children grow up they will reflect back on their lives with mommy & daddy, and it won't look good for T.I. if he isn't taking care of their day to day living expenses in a respectable manner.
Thats 60,000 dollars a year. Hardly a pittance, especially if it excludes medical bills. Even if the baby mama pulling a minimum wage job she’s still makig 80,000 dollars a year..for two kids. Thats upper middle class. Also just because T.I may make a lot of money doesn’t mean he spends a lot of money. For example, he may make millions a year but if the lifestyle of the family is that of a family making a lot less..the kids would not get a large sum of money every month. Not if he’s living warren buffett style. I don’t know T.I and I’m not a fan but we don’t know the whole story and I wouldn’t pretend to know more than a judge.
If he is paying her mortgage, car payment, private school, extracurricular activities expenses what more is it left for her to pay? I’m a divorced Mom of two and if the child support doesn’t cover it I do the rest without asking for more. Her children are old enough that she doesn’t have to pay daycare; so she can get a job where her hours would be during the children’s school hours. As a Mother she should want to carry her weight.
As a mother who only gets child support for one of her 2 children I say she should take him to the bank. T.I. makes more than enough money to make sure his two oldest children have the same quality of life as the one that lives in the house with him. If the judge granted, so be it!