February saw the finalization of my child support case with the Ex. Did it go ALL my way? No. Did it go his way? No. Was it ridiculous? Oh yes.
See after being the sole support of our oldest son without financial help from his father for three years, I got fed up and took him to court. ONLY asking the court to make official the custody that had changed in 4 years PER THE REQUEST OF THE EX. And then asking for Child Support for said custody. Instead of complying The Ex argues it… to which we offer him full custody… to which he refuses. He argues ALL this other BS in court documents about my lifestyle, Sex God, the kids grades, my bad parenting… but not once offers to go back to the original custody arrangement. And drags the whole process out almost a year… incurring lawyer fees on his end and my end.
And for what? What reasoning did he have? If I’m such a terrible parent why doesn’t he take full custody? (Because I’m not, and his living arrangements [the GF] wouldn’t like that, and kids would hate it) His reasoning is he doesn’t want to pay me ANY child support and thinks bringing up my lifestyle will somehow eliminate the need to financially support our children when I’m doing the majority of the raising. Awwww….. poor, poor man doesn’t want to help support his children. (ok… to HIS mind, I can manage it on my own without dipping in to his pocket… but the attempt to do that in the last 3 years has proven to me, I cannot. He refuses to see that even when its obvious to the law.)
In the end.. I didn’t get what I should have received ($1,380 per month). I let them dicker me down to allowing Conor an extra night at his Dad’s (I will never forget the unhappy look on his face when I told him that… which passed as he got used to it.. but I won’t forget it.) and the lower amount of $1,206 per month. And then the judge cut in HALF the back child support my Ex should have paid me ($10,000) and made his payments $100 a month.
That all happened early in February… the love month. haha. And on that same day their father had the kids for dinner. And did he handle this with grace? No. He vented to the kids, in our local public park with take out for their dinner (no veggies) and outed me and Sex God to all three boys. Luke was so upset he ran home shaking and gasping that Dad was saying horrible lies to him. So I calmly (and individually as all 3 came home from the dinner at different times) separated the truth from the lies and admitted much to my kids.
And ya know what? They were fine with it. With all of it. Now I didn’t go into heavy details but I honestly answered any questions they had and told mine and Sex God’s side of the facts. And I also told them they do NOT need to defend me to their father. He shouldn’t put them in the middle of ANY disagreement that is technically between my Ex and I. Of course, he was furious when he had to write me an even bigger child support check than the temporary one he’d been ordered to.. so he wrote a lovely threatening/blackmail letter to go with it. (Now I have in writing, the person he is.) My answer to his threats is…. No. You have no claims. I will shout to the rooftops myself the secrets you think to expose before I’ll ever give in to blackmail from a man like you.
Luke now refuses to go to dinner with his father. No doubt, his father has “calmed down” from the frustration of having to pay me 1/3rd of what he makes to support his 3 children of which he has 20% combined custody, but since Luke is turning 18 in 7 months and the child support will probably go down by then perhaps that is what, no doubt, consoles him. Meanwhile, Geddes won’t be a money drain on my mother with my cut hours and I can go back to more diligent parenting of the kids. Costco hired back 11 employees, but I wasn’t one of them. Ah well, maybe next season.
And before you think things have improved financially for me let me shed some light on that. I lost the extra data entry job for the Minnesota properties as they changed ownership of them. I didn’t get to keep the extra income of the Costco job, although I may still keep trying for it. And my hours at Geddes was reduced to a salary of $2000 a month… leaving me in EXACTLY the same financial shoes as I started with the addition of legal debt.
Was it worth it? Yes. I’d been a doormat for my Ex over his disregard for the terms in the divorce agreement for far too long. If I didn’t take a stand, irregardless of how his hatred of me hurt our children (which is what stopped me in the past) he would have just continued. Now, if I’d taken the cut throat lawyer I’d first interviewed at the start of my divorce… I’d probably have a little more legal debt, but I’d have a share of his pension and child support from the beginning 4 years ago. I remember that lawyers’ words when I decided not to use a lawyer in the divorce… “Good luck with your Kumbiya divorce”.
I kind of wish I’d factored more long term then… but I’m glad I didn’t hesitate this time.