Never, ever ask yourself the question, “How much worse can things get?” If you do, you are tempting fate, and you are likely to discover the answer to your query. I must have asked this question. This year has been nothing, if not a direct answer to that very inquiry. I’m ready to be done with all this (insert expletive here).
I mentioned last month that The Evil Ex, had requested a review of the child support he barely pays. The Hesitant Boyfriend, picked up the ticket for the certified letter from the District Attorney’s office yesterday and failed to mention it to me. He texted me this morning and mentioned it. I was mildly annoyed that he’d done this, knowing as he did, how the whole situation has created such angst for me. I had him take a picture of it and message it to me, I then emailed the picture to myself and printed it off. I spent my lunch time dashing to the post office, praying for good news the entire way, only to find that I was losing over $200 each month in child support. Welcome to the genius of our current child support system which seems to somehow punish the decent people who pay into the tax system while rewarding those who do not. Never mind that I am a single mother with four children I am still responsible for, while he has a second and third income–I make more money than he does. Never mind that I am now responsible 100% for ALL the medical expenses and I don’t even have an order anymore requiring him to pay half of all the uncovered medical expenses. Yeah, it pretty much bites.
I could request a hearing, but I think the income he stated is accurate. I don’t think the DA will consider other issues. Like the changes in our out of pocket medical expenses. The stress and likely cost of getting an attorney involved will be more expensive than just adjusting my lifestyle and moving on. The less I have to do with this man, the better it is for me.
On a good note, I feel completely free to be vindictive and inflexible when it comes to planning the summer schedule. My answer will be no, plain and simple, unless it works for me.
Sigh. Words cannot express how much I detest this man and all he says he stands for. I have to move through that, but I am just not there right now.
On a better note, I do have three weeks of work lined up this summer that will help me get caught up on bills and, hopefully, stack some aside in a savings. On an even better note, The Hesitant Boyfriend, has been getting anywhere from two to four days of work a week subbing for the school district. This means a couple of things. First, half of that will go to his Evil Ex. That’s a good thing. He has been unemployed and unable to pay anything for so long that quite a bill has accumulated. So, please, State, take your half and leave him alone. The second good thing is that he can now begin paying some of his own bills and pay me back for some of what I’ve had to put out to support him this year. That should make next month do-able even though I’ll lose the child support.
If he HESITATES with any of that, I’m kicking straight to the proverbial curb. And then I go get a second job. And a housekeeper.
What I really need is a sugar daddy; good-looking, intelligent, wealthy, and willing to share the wealth. Right now, I have everything but the wealth. I’m really not looking to trade in The Hesitant Boyfriend, but money matters. It especially matters when you don’t have enough of it. The lack of it can create real strain in a home. I just don’t want that.
Now that I’ve said all that, let me finish by saying after being really disappointed and unhappy about this financial turn of events, I’ve already begun thinking of things I can do to cut costs and increase income without a whole lot of upheaval. It’s going to be okay…isn’t it?
Well, without disclosing too much, I think it is safe to say that the EE is back to pushing buttons again. This time he is using the daughter as a pawn. Instead of following the parenting plan, he arbitrarily took advantage of some vagueness in the language of the parenting plan and decided without discussing things in advance and without any warning to keep my daughter instead of bringing her home as stipulated. Now, I could have called the authorities and had them enforce the thing, but I’ve been part of that nightmare, and have seen the damage done to a child when a parent puts the child in the middle like this. I decided to meet with my attorney instead.
Now, I don’t have a problem with him wanting to spend time with her or her him. I have a real problem with the very selfish and inconsiderate manner in which he did this. Instead of discussing it in advance and planning ahead, he takes her, keeps her and by so doing completely thwarts any plans or life I might have going on at this end. Of course, what can I expect from a man who, when we were married, would intentionally pack up our one vehicle with all the kids and take off just moments before I was going to head out the door to do something that I’d put on the family calendar weeks in advance. Or who would make plans a month ahead for a particular holiday, requiring me to orchestrate a major adjustment in my children’s schedules and then completely do something totally different and unexpected (read usually something we had no desire to do and which cost me money, because he certainly wasn’t bringing anything into the family coffers). I could go on, but to do so would only make me feel really unhappy, and really foolish for ever having married the guy in the first place. He really is an ass-wipe is all I can say. He is an evil and unkind and, yes, abusive man. And he is really, really good at making people around him think he is wonderful. He’s not. He’s really icky.
I say all that to say, that after spending some good money for a consultation with a very excellent attorney, I found that there is really not a whole lot I can do unless I want to spend a great deal of money for next to no results. Well, essentially, no results. My attorney thought that as it turned out, there is some vague language in our plan and I might want to go back and deal with that. However, the downside to this is that he, then brings to the table all the stuff he wants to fix. We won’t agree. (We never have and he lies, so even if we did agree, it wouldn’t matter. He does what he wants to do and the rules just don’t apply to him.) So the thing will end up in front of a judge. Now, I’m reasonably certain that I won’t lose out much except financially if that happens. As my attorney stated, “You really can’t change your ex. If it goes before the judge, what can he really do? He’s not going to change your ex to keep him from being the jerk to you that he is. So, if you can let some of this roll, as long as she’s not in imminent physical danger, you might get more mileage out of just not fighting back. And…if it were to go to court, you’d end up with a plan that isn’t a whole lot better than what you have now and might even be a great deal worse.” So, my decision is to be the adult here and walk away.
I have no idea how long he’ll keep her. He mentioned until Saturday. However, I have a deep and growing dread that Friday night, he will bail out of town to the coast and I won’t see my daughter at all during Spring Break. In anticipation of just this, I asked my attorney about it. The response? I could call the cops…or I could let it go. (The court in this area really hates when people get into the calling the authorities thing.) If he doesn’t return her to school then I call. If he just keeps her for two weeks at Spring Break, I just write the extra week back into the summer schedule, somewhere.
I have 7 years left until my daughter is 18. If I can hang in there taking his low-grade button-pushing power-playing BS until then I’m golden and that’s what I’m going to try to do. It is unfortunate that he is unable to negotiate anything. It’s his way or the highway, which means I will always lose out and he will always push the envelope to get things his way, but when it comes to being flexible or considerate of my schedule…it’s not a two way street at all. He’s working her now, though, to come live with him as soon as she wants. Of course, I’m the sole legal and physical custodian, so he’s going to have a huge lawsuit getting that to change and he won’t be successful, however, he’s working her and playing every angle. This is just part of that.
It really hurts.
I can’t do anything about any of it.
He’s not going to change and he’s never, ever going to be kind and thoughtful of me. That’s why I left him.
If any of that happens, there’s nothing I can change by worrying about it now. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it.
I think my attorney is right: The judge won’t be able to change the Evil Ex, so what would be the point of taking it back to court. He’d just find some other loophole in the plan to exploit.
So, we won’t be going back to court at my initiative, but let him beware if he ever tries to take me back. I’m going to be so ready.