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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. If anyone has experience with something like this, please write to me with your feedback. I am trying to figure out what to do. My son is almost 8. I have been divorced from his dad for 1 year. Both his father and I have Masters' degrees and lots of various career experience, and are very employable. When we were married and parenting together, we moved to this very rural location for a better quality of life, and found it! It's great here. But I went to work outside the home and Matt stayed home with our son, by mutual choice. He wanted to pursue a woodworking business, which he did start on a minimal basis, the idea being that as our son grew older he would have more time for it. Well. that didn't work out as he had planned, because it turns out he was depressed and had panic disorder. He was suicidal and chose to go to a psychiatric hospital almost 2 years ago. Within about 6 months, we were apart. That's another story. My concerns have to do with finances now.

Matt kept our house and some other property, and I bought a cheaper, smaller one in a neighboring town, which I adore. I am a special education teacher, and will have to go to school over the next 3 years to get the next level of my credential. My job is going great! and my son and I are settled in our wonderful new home. We have joint custody all the way around, so our boy is spending a week with each of us and we make a point to go to church all together and stay friendly and in touch so our son has that experience. Matt did not work until this past summer, almost a year after our split. he wanted to give his woodworking a shot, but it didn't work. We worked out a family support agreeement in our divorce settlement with a family law facilitator, to keep it as friendly and focused on our son's well-being as possible, in which I was paying him quite a bit of money every month...about 40% of my take-home. Now he is working for the BLM full time, because I moved to have our F.S. agreement changed to be more in line with what the court would have asked of me had we gone to court, and he realized he needed more money. He is still making less than me, but if he were managing his money he would be OK in his current living arrangement. Problem: his personality and mental illness are catching up with him in the workplace and at home and he is out of money big time. He sees no responsbility on his part for any of his troubles...he sees himself as a victim and doesn't understand why bad things happen to him. I am committed to taking good care of our wonderful boy, and MAtt is a loving connected dad, but I fear that his troubles will lead to 2 things: 1) asking me for family support again when he could make it if he stopped spending money like it would disappear tomorrow and 2) Elisha will become stressed because his dad's house is a disaster area and things start happening like the phone is out of order (this is the case). Technically, I could be ordered by the court to give him money anyway because he stayed home while I worked, but this guy is employable on paper at least...or he should be on disability.

I am now worried that soon he will demand this of me, and I am ready to be done with this financial tie that will only enable him further. Yet I want to provide for our son, too. I am figuring out all my financial data right now and what I need. I am moving on in my life and taking care of myself and I do NOT want to take care of my son's father, too. I want our relationship to stay cordial and clear for our son's sake. He will always be in my life because of our son, and I will resist financial ties til the end because I need boundaries. On top of all that, we live in a very small community and it's hard to keep things private here so it's difficult to find a confidential confidante (is that redundant?)
So...any mamas have experience with something like this? I know you are only hearing one side, but I have tried to be fair to the ex here. Help! I need ideas about what to do if he demands payment again.
I like my life on my own and want to be rid of this concern, as long as our son has what he needs.

Thanks. You can private mail me or post here, for the benefit of other mamas.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Dragonfly and Wendi! Your simple answer of consulting an attorney is what I think I needed to hear...I have done all the solo figuring I can. I will do it this week just to see what my options are for the future if he should seek family support again. I agree that neither of us should give the other monetary supp[ort, although there is a bit of a double standard at work here since many women who have joint custody receive support from their c0-parenting exes when it is the mothers who stayed home for years with the kids and put more lucrative plans on hold. That has run through my mind many times. I appreciate your wishes! Please, anyone else with thoughts, email me at [email protected] or on mothering. Thanks!

Laurie
 
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