This evening, after picking my kids up and having dinner at a local restaurant, I was given my credit card back with the waitress saying, “It’s been declined.” Um, what? I had just been talking to a client about their credit card number being stolen and used in Mexico in a fraud transaction, and that’s what crossed my mind when I opened the banking app to see this lovely number presented to me. I even showed it to the kids, claiming I had accidentally bought a used BMW, and just forgot to transfer the funds to cover it.
I was joking. The good news is my daughter had some cash to buy school clothes with this weekend, so we had some money. I was essentially frozen out. Nada.
Back at the house, my sister’s house where we are staying this weekend, I was told there had be a legal hold put on my account. And after a few humiliating conversations I was given the AG’s office number, where I could plead my case.
And I’m wondering, if the timing, is about concurrent with my ex-y filing her case against me. I texted her, since we’ve been talking again lately, strategizing about insurance and such, until I get my next big gig. And I let her know I didn’t think she did it, but I needed to ask. She was very happy that I gave her the benefit of the doubt, but she had not done anything else. No, the damage was done a year ago. The hurt that had rained down on me since. Let’s take a look.
On May 16, 2013 I filed this missive: Me, Deadbeat Dad? Um… about the continuing escalation from her on my inability to pay, right away.
And then things begin to get out of hand on May 21, 2013: Stinging the Hand that Feeds and again on May 22, 2013: Winning the Battle, Losing the War, and again on May 24, 2013: Reassessing the Dead Beat Dad vs. Good Guy Dad. And then we were pretty much done talking about it. She no longer took my phone calls, and refused to meet in-person about the kids or summer or whatever.
Then on Oct. 25, 2013 the result of her actions at the AG’s office came home. Since she didn’t want to talk about the money, she simply filed against me: Tell Me Again, Why You Think This Is a Good Idea? (where I talk about getting the notice from the State of Texas) and the next day Can Things Get Worse? Yes, Easy!
“You walk away from the marriage, but you can’t walk away from the financial enmeshment. Like it or not, we’re still dependant on the other’s earning power. I’ve been doing everything I can to find the next opportunity for my work. And I would tell you that I’m not worried. But again, I might have delusions of grandeur. I’ve been working on replacing this income since June.”
So in the best interest of the children she filed suit against me with the Attorney General’s Office. And over the course of the next few months I began to struggle to keep the house over my head, while continuing to look for more work, or enough work to pay her child support. On the Turning Away: Fighting with Your Ex About Money.
And I guess the real story is this: I am still struggling to take my income up high enough that I can afford to have a place to live and pay her child support. And while we are essentially parenting at 50/50 levels, I am still the non-custodial parent. And when you call that number the AG’s office gives you, you identify as custodial or non-custodial parent. There’s no gray area in the eyes of the law.
And I’m guessing there’s little gray area in the eyes of my readers, unless you’ve been through something like this. I state as fact, that I am not hiding money, I am not trying to skip out of my responsibility, nor am I shirking my parenting duties in any way. I am 100% available to my kids and to my ex-y for support and care. I still have not managed to get the corp job that will afford us both a better life. But that’s the deal, right? Even after divorce, we are still in this financial relationship forever. Our kids are going to need cars, and rent, and tuition, and food money, and … And the ex-y and I will negotiate those things as well.
But today the near-full force of the law has come to visit me, rendering me penniless in addition to homeless. (Not to be too dramatic, we’re not under a bridge, but we’re living with my family.) And as the ex-y was contemplating her move to file against me, she was making a decision to put everything I had accomplished up to that point at risk. And in the bet I lost. I lost it all. And I am starting over again, from zero. Oh, and the amount is not indicative of how much I owe, it’s 2-3 times over the amount ordered.
Still, we will struggle on. And still I will attempt to keep the fighting to a minimum. And still I will struggle to find my next big job so I can afford to help her afford the nice house in the nice neighborhood we bought with my downpayment and salary for 11 years. No problem, it’s really the kid’s house, in my mind. Except, she’s got all the keys.
And now she’s got me in some kind of deathgrip lean until I’m able to get in touch with my lawyer and respond. Again, this is money we should not be fighting over. This is money that should not go to a lawyer, but to our kids. I made several attempts to secure the back payment with a lean against a piece of property I own, that is for sale. I am not attempting to skip a debt. But the state is now attempting to collect the debt I owe her.
What an interesting start to the new school year. I laughed and told the kids it was some weird bank thing. They don’t need to be involved or informed about what’s really taking place. Nor will they know, until they are older, that their mom’s actions cost me the house as well.
Onward and upward. It’s the first night since school started that I’ve seen them, so we’re doing homework. On June 30, 2014 I wrote this: Losing Everything In Divorce; Learning to Carry On
Here’s how our text went regarding this new development.
I guess if she’d said she was sorry, she’d be admitting that it was a mistake. Obviously she doesn’t think it’s a mistake, or the need to apologize. What am I expecting?
The Off Parent
back to The Hard Stuff
- Terms of Surrender: Our Divorce Papers
- No Divorce Expert: But If You Parent 50/50 You Should Divorce 50/50
- On the Turning Away: Fighting with Your Ex About Money
- Marriage and Money: A Fairy Tale
- I Must Be Insane: It’s the End of the World, and I Feel Fine
image: today’s bank statement