A decade of overpayments!
My husband has 2 daughters, now 14 and 11, with a woman in Colorado. He was originally ordered to pay over $1100 a month in child support. His ex wife and him got together and come up with a figure they could both live with. Since 2001 he has paid $830 to her consistently, with no missed payments. He has even given her and the children extra money anytime they asked, as long as he could afford it.
Last year, his job cut out all overtime. He had a difference of over $14000 in income between 2008 and 2009. However, he still continued to pay the $830. During these past 9 years, please keep in mind that the children outgrew child care and that was no longer an expense that the mother was having to pay. Yet, he still continued to pay her $830.
Starting in October, his ex wife has said she wants him to pay the full amount, plus over $30000 in arrears, because their agreement is not valid. She starting threatening him with garnishment, liens and going so far as to say she would take our house!
This month he has requested a reduction in child support through the courts. It should drop to somewhere aroung $600 a month since there is no more child care involved.
The ex wife starting talking to the the oldest child about all of this. Even going so far as to show her the court orders and the most recent motions. Now his daughter is emailing him and texting about how unfair he's being. That he should stop thinking about himself and give them that money. The biggest problem is that he makes less than $40000 a year and over $12000 of that was going to them.
I am very upset about a couple of things...1st is that his ex wife would discuss this type of issue with their child and get her to put a guilt trip on dad, 2nd that his ex wife doesn't understand how hard it is to take a $14000 a year pay cut and our need to reduce some of the outgoing money and 3rd that his exwife would knowingly allow him to get that far behind in child support when she knew the "verbal" contract would allow her to collect additional money at any time in the future, going so far as to say she would put him in jail if he didn't pay up. Where would we get that kind of money anyway!
The worst part for me is that his exwife lives in a $300k home, with designer clothes, and name brand everything for all 3 of them. While we live in a $90k home and buy my little girl clothes from WalMart just to make sure she has clothes that fit every season. My parents are often buying her clothes and providing shoes because they know the financial hardhship the effort of continuing to pay that large amount of child support has put on us.
I have tried very hard to stay out of this. I never spoke to his children or his ex wife about money. I never said no he couldn't send them something or give them extra. But the last few months its been very difficult to stay out of it. He's a great father and he loves all his girls. With him living in South Carolina, its just that much harder for him to show his feelings. Especially when you can only afford to see them twice a year. Plane tickets are always over $1500 round trip. And of course, the ex wife doesn't volumteer to help with any of that expense either.
We want to do whats right, but we want to survive. I see all these stories about how women are wronged and never paid a cent. Or how they slip thru the cracks and no one cares. I feel so badly for them. I am the mother of a daughter whos father has never paid a dime. Never offered to help. But I still see how much my husband has been taken advantage of by his ex wife. He's such a loving, caring man and it's killing him to fight this out in court. But my question to him last night, when his ex-wife got served with the court reduction papers was...would you rather get screwed by her...or would you rather get screwed by yourself.
Please wish a good man luck in this upcoming fight!