Child Support Payments Query

Lexcen

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I’m looking for just some general information on how much it costs on average per month to support an Indonesian girl between the ages of 1-6 yrs, 7-13 yrs & 14-16 yrs. The child lives with her mother in indonesia in a very low income area of Bogor city. She goes to the local school in her area & lives with the mothers family. I am the supporting father from Australia. We have never been married. There has been no communication on her behalf about an amount that I should send each month. I have been doing the right thing & sending what I think is right. But its hard to find some information on the internet since indonesia doesn’t have any sort of child support assistance. The only general Information I have seen is these figures. 1-6 yrs $230 (IDR 2,300,100). 7-13 yrs $450 (IDR 4,500,600). 14-16 yrs $570 (IDR 4,200,700)
A fellow Indonesian work colleague of mine has said that this is way too high & I should be sending a lot less.
Can someone please help me out with some general helpful information on how to work this out or someone to talk to or some sites to visit.
I appreciate anyone’s feedback.
 

IndoTom

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The amount you provide may determine your child's living standard for food, housing, education, clothing, etc. Below is a general guideline of the social classes and their monthly wages in Indonesia. Simply pick the class you want your child to experience and provide half that amount.

The dirt poor class such as a maid that makes about $100 - $200. They generally live in a communal family house with the parents, their grown kids and the grand kids that all pool their money to survive. General low class labor (construction worker, sales clerk, security) make about $200 - $400. Lower middle class office workers make about $400 - $500. Middle class college educated office workers make between $500 - $1200. Upper middle class make between $1200 - $3000. Above this level you are doing very good!
 

Jaime C

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The figures do seem high for 7 years old and up.

If going to public school and living with family, costs for a kid are pretty low.

How old is your daughter now? If you have been paying this for many years, it might be a little late to drastically reduce it. Likely you are supporting the entire family with the 7 year old and up rates.

We sent money to my inlaws, that supported 4 adults in Bekasi when we first got engaged 9 years ago or so. 1.5-2 juta was the monthly amount. They owned their own house.
 

snpark

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Depends on your own finances of course. If you can afford to provide a decent standard of living for your own blood then send it. It's obviously not Europe or LA so she doesn't need $20,000 a month like Rob Kardashian etc.

But if you can afford it, then 10jt or $1,000 a month would change and improve their lives considerable.

Stipulate that the priority is the children first. Education, healthy food, clothes etc before iPhones etc for the ex.

Morally remember they are your own flesh and blood and since it is 3 of them and not just one that was a result of a one night fling I would assume there was a relationship involved. So no bitter feelings etc.

I would say $1,000 for 3 kids would be a decent amount given the circumstances and situation and location.

They are your future also remember. (Not meaning to sound preachy) Your legacy.
 

Saffer

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It depends on what you're comfortable with, potentially supporting an entire family as stated above or focusing on giving your child the best that you can afford for her benefit and future.
If the latter then I'm sure you could pay for decent schooling directly to the institution, same with medical insurance and extracurricular activities. That way you ensure that it goes directly to the kid and not anyone else. Whatever you decide, make sure there is a paper trail and proof of all payments made.
In my case, before I got custody of my daughter the child support payments were paid directly to the mother who used a sizable chunk for shoes, handbags, and entertainment. The courts do not care how the custodial parent dispenses the money, so long as the child has school, food and shelter.
 

snpark

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Yes of course you can also agree to pay the school directly instead, like send e.g $200 per month per kid and pay the school directly also (as an example)
 

jstar

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I assume you ask for three age brackets and there is only one child, right? (@snpark !) Why is up to 18 or 21 not included (university)?

The numbers from @IndoTom are not bad although the Satpam etc. don't earn that much. Now to raise a child here is definitely not in the range of those salaries. I think I have to agree with your Indonesian colleague and @Jaime C that the numbers seem quite high.

And @snpark brings up a good point; there is no way you know where the money goes. If it's that high the chances are you do support an extended family and the nice little things of life as cell phone use.

So one way or the other, I would try to make sure there is an account opened for the child. (Perhaps take half of the amounts you mentioned and put it into the account.) The family doesn't have to be aware of that.

And that the money you send really goes to clothes, food, toys and education? The only way to be sure is to work with receipts but my guess is you don't want that. So perhaps instead of sending only money, you could send items? It's not difficult to order things online (Tokopedia, Bukalapak, even AliExpress) and to have it delivered there. I guess the mother could communicate what they need if you really find it hard to come up with ideas.
 
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snpark

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Yes my bad, only 1 girl. Sorry
In which case I would say maybe 5jt and pay her school yourself?
 

Lexcen

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The figures do seem high for 7 years old and up.

If going to public school and living with family, costs for a kid are pretty low.

How old is your daughter now? If you have been paying this for many years, it might be a little late to drastically reduce it. Likely you are supporting the entire family with the 7 year old and up rates.

We sent money to my inlaws, that supported 4 adults in Bekasi when we first got engaged 9 years ago or so. 1.5-2 juta was the monthly amount. They owned their own house.
The figures do seem high for 7 years old and up.

If going to public school and living with family, costs for a kid are pretty low.

How old is your daughter now? If you have been paying this for many years, it might be a little late to drastically reduce it. Likely you are supporting the entire family with the 7 year old and up rates.

We sent money to my inlaws, that supported 4 adults in Bekasi when we first got engaged 9 years ago or so. 1.5-2 juta was the monthly amount. They owned their own house.
Hi Jaime C. Thanks for your comments & information. My girl is 6 yrs old at the moment & will be 7 yrs next year. Yes, that’s the other reason why I’m asking, because I’m not interested in supporting the entire family. I have being paying my half for the last 5 years
 

Lexcen

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Thank you so much to all that have commented. I really appreciate your helpful information. I do keep a paper trail but its only my bank statement after i have sent the money to my ex’s bank account. That’s the number 1 concern for me, “I never know where the money goes” but i presume she is a responsible mother & spends its on the child for food, clothes, etc.... I’m not interested in supporting my ex’s extended family also. My girl is 6 yrs old at the moment & will be 7 yrs old next year.
 

waarmstrong

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We are supporting a nephew who's mother passed away and who's father is a dick. He, a boy in his late teens, lives with another sister to whom we provide 2 juta/mo plus extra as needed for medical and school costs including transport. He is about to enroll in culinary school.

You might want to take more of an interest in the well being of your child, beyond soothing your conscience with a bit of money. Of course that would necessitate communicating with the mother (and your daughter) to agree upon a plan and financial arrangement to give the child an opportunity for a successful, happy life.
 

IndoTom

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The numbers from @IndoTom are not bad although the Satpam etc. don't earn that much.
It's difficult to be completely accurate with the lower class incomes because there is a lot of "tipping" that occurs that suppliment the official salary of a worker such as a security guard or maid. Sadly if I was to write a more lenghty salary / wage description, there would be many more low income classes that could be defined. In Indonesia the concentration of wealth is very accute. The typical housing areas are very cowded with many people living in a small 2-3 room shack. While the rich have many hollywood size mansions that are abandoned.

As for @Lexcen concern about not supporting the ex's family, that's best handled by giving the proper support payments according to the child's family social class. Don't expect your child to have all the best of things while the family eats noodles and sleeps on the floor.
 

Jaime C

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Hi Jaime C. Thanks for your comments & information. My girl is 6 yrs old at the moment & will be 7 yrs next year. Yes, that’s the other reason why I’m asking, because I’m not interested in supporting the entire family. I have being paying my half for the last 5 years
Where did you get all your support numbers for the different ages?

Unless there are proven bills, then I would stick with your current payment. Costs for public school are very low.

Do you visit your daughter? I hope so.
 

Helpful Herbert

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"Don't expect your child to have all the best of things while the family eats noodles and sleeps on the floor. "

Exactly. Your daughter would be having the same standard of living as the family she lives with. If you provide enough money to lift up the whole family's standard of living, she would probably benefit from that. You will have no way of knowing what exactly the money is spent on unless you go and observe with your own eyes.
 

jukung11

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Yes, that’s the other reason why I’m asking, because I’m not interested in supporting the entire family.
You will be a little and that is a good thing. At your daughter's age she needs a person around. If her mother works, then an extended family member will need to care for your daughter.
5 juta a month is not enough for a whole extended family to live a solid middle class western lifestyle, which I assume you want to provide for just your child. The short answer is your numbers are above the bare minimum to raise a child in Indonesia, but would provide an ok life for a single parent and child. Most Indonesian parents that go to work abroad in western high income countries send more.
For perspective, the average remittance for an Indonesian overseas domestic worker to send back to Indonesia from middle east and Asian countries is 4 juta. Inflation is higher in Indonesia too, specifically around Jakarta. The minimum wage in bogor is almost 4 juta now. Your Indonesian friend may have left a long time ago and may not have kept up with inflation or may not be from the greater Jakarta area.

The best way to ensure your funds are going towards the care of your daughter is to be involved. Providing 2 juta or 10 juta makes no difference if you can't make sure it goes to her care.

Since others have brought up education, it is a reminder that the Indonesian public education system is one of the lowest rated in the developed world. You should consider pushing for a private school. It does not have to be an expensive one like an international school. I have seen them in the range of 500,000 idr to 1,000,000 idr per month, depending upon quality and age.

the child lives with her mother in indonesia in a very low income area of Bogor city.
Another benefit of giving more vs. less, is that being raised in a very low income environment, people can develop class tells that can identify them from a lower class. I know I have my own tells that I am blind to. Unlike Australia, Indonesia is a high power distance society. The environment your daughter is raised in can determine how she fits in to Indonesian society. Lifting up your child's caregivers out of that level, will help your child in the long run too.

You clearly care, so best of luck with raising your daughter.
 

jstar

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^ I see one flaw in your basic assumption; the support of mother AND child, replacing a complete income. The colleague did not say these numbers were too high for being a salary, they were talking about raising a child. So then we talk food, clothes, schooling etc.

I fully disagree that the child will automatically get a better life if you pump money in the extended family. Often funds are used in futile attempts to start a new shop/warung/.... business or unnecessary transportation. (I've seen it many times when domestic staff -unexpectedly- received larger sums.)
 

Balifrog

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With 25 y experience in various countries in SEA, I have to strongly disagree with anybody who dreams thats sending the monthly minimum wage to "raise" his child, is the right way. It is dreaming or a self satisfactory illusion.
Its not about money but about principles. Sorry to be blunt but I have seen it dozens of times all over Thailand, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, ....
And BTW, I have 3 kids with an ex Asian wife. All westernized and properly educated without any involvement of the family.
 

snpark

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With 25 y experience in various countries in SEA, I have to strongly disagree with anybody who dreams thats sending the monthly minimum wage to "raise" his child, is the right way. It is dreaming or a self satisfactory illusion.
Its not about money but about principles. Sorry to be blunt but I have seen it dozens of times all over Thailand, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, ....
And BTW, I have 3 kids with an ex Asian wife. All westernized and properly educated without any involvement of the family.
So what is your point then? I missed something. Don't send money?
 

Balifrog

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So what is your point then? I missed something. Don't send money?
No, I didn't say "dont send".
Amount : You send to cover the cost of the kid, clothing, school fee, food, books and pens. Not to feed the whole family. As such, sending an amount that is the local wage for and adult is over the top IMO.
Controls : How do you control how the money is spend, and the progress of the kid ? 100% trust ?
 

snpark

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No, I didn't say "dont send".
Amount : You send to cover the cost of the kid, clothing, school fee, food, books and pens. Not to feed the whole family. As such, sending an amount that is the local wage for and adult is over the top IMO.
Controls : How do you control how the money is spend, and the progress of the kid ? 100% trust ?
As discussed most agreed you have to trust the mother a little bit but you can pay school etc yourself directly and hope the mother does her best for her own daughter also and raises her to her best abilities.
Of course unless you are personally there then you cannot be 100% sure but if he wants sole custody the OP should apply
But under his circumstances the best he can do is send enough money to make a difference and he can pay some things himself directly if he doesn't trust the mother
 

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