Today marks a significant day for me. I am going to see a divorce attorney regarding child support and I am simply not looking forward to it. My ex is, for lack of a more compassionate term, a lemon. Aside from having a rather decent job in technology, he has virtually no education, no street smarts, no friends, no family, can’t properly take care of himself, is in debt, and as recently as February, his house burned down and he lost everything (side note: the only thing of value in his house was his beer mug collection and his computers, and the computers were saved. Then insurance kicked in and compensated him quite well to rebuild his house and replenish his possessions).
I, on the other hand, have a beautiful family, many friends, a decent salary, a loving boyfriend, zero debt, graduate work completed, an undergrad degree in English lit and two beautiful boys who love and respect me.
So, why do I feel the need to ask for child support when, clearly, it would kick a man when he’s down?
Here’s the deal. When we divorced, I had a few extra dollars and so, I bought him out of the house I am now living in. I overpaid, simply because I felt “bad” for him. He took the money, bought a big house, lost his job and lived off the money for a year until it dwindled away completely. He never paid child support, because at the time, I was making enough and was counseled against asking for it. But now, six years later, my financial situation has changed. I do not make enough money and need him to start paying child support for his kids. He started giving me $100 a month and sometimes even pays over that if I tack on a bill for new sneakers or something like that. But he’s never given me over $300 a month for our two sons. I pay for almost everything, and they are with me about 85% of the time. Also, his live-in girl friend refuses to work and so he supports her, and every time I ask for money, it’s a HUGE conflict. I am demeaned and belittled every time I ask for something more. Sometimes he won’t give it because, in his mind, he would not have bought it in the first place. So, as I am trying to maintain my budget as best as I can, he’s supporting his girlfriend and flying off to Mexico. This disturbs me. I feel as though he should have to pay for his children. Legally, he’s required to pay about 400-500 PER child. I am only asking for $400 a month, total.
But the whole thing is making me sick. Why? Because I feel sorry for him. He shouldn’t have to be so burdened, I think. And yet…he should be responsible enough to pay for his own children! But am I being selfish? Greedy? Should I just cut my losses and move on and not expect a dime from him anymore? Pay for my kids to go to college and whatever else? I am very confused and feel somewhat out of control.
I wonder what the lawyer will say. I’ll keep you posted.