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Child Support

February 20th, 2013 at 06:49 am

Before I met the man of my dreams (hubby) I was married to the nightmare of my life.

Ok, that is probably not overly fair to say - so instead I will say that I was very young (19) and thought I had found the man of my dreams (ex-husband). We had two children together, and they are the most amazing things that ever came out of that relationship.

My ex-husband is an alcoholic. One of the reasons for the divorce. We have been divorced for 10 years, and in those 10 years, he has basically ignored the fact that he had any financial or emotional responsibility to his children.

During this time, he had no bank account and got paid under the table. The only support we received was the 2 years he filed taxes and I received his tax return.

Around last August, he finally went to an in-patient treatment program and has gotten sober. He also filed for VA disability benefits and was awarded 20% disability. In order to receive his disability, however, he had to open a bank account.

So, after 2 years of not even speaking to this man, I get a message that he needs to speak to me. The conversation basically informed me that he had opened a savings account, went to rent a red box movie and the machine wouldn't take his debit card, so he called to see why. His savings account has been frozen and reads that he has an available negative balance of $76,000.

He would like for me to call the state and have him absolved of his debt.

Is he crazy? Or am I crazy for even contemplating it for a second?

I realize that it will take until the end of time for me to receive that money from him. However, he has a responsibility to his children and his past poor behavior shouldn't be absolved. At the same time, this is a huge mountain for him to stare into and I fear that it could cause a setback to the progress he has made to better himself and get a grip onto his own life.

I have decided that I am not absolving anything. Instead, I wrote my ex mother in law and laid it out for her - what the situation was, so that she could possibly help him either financially or by getting him some financial education. I felt very uncomfortable writing her - although we have maintained a relationship all these years. But we never talked about her son or that he wasn't paying child support - so to bring it up now was very uncomfortable.

Perhaps I made the wrong decision - but it has been made and done, so not much I can do about it now.

Just another example of how poor financial choices from years past can come back to possibly destroy your future. Its best to stare those debts in the face and do what needs to be now rather than wait a decade to face the music.

7 Responses to “Child Support”

  1. Sian Says:

    i understand where u're coming from. i pay alimony to my ex and fortuntately i have not & WILL NOT be in the position of your ex (not payin). it seems that the only choice he has is to go to court and get on a payment plan (although that's what he was suppose to be doin in the first place...) in order to get his accts un-frozen. but that's not your problem...

    but i do wonder if he's "gettin his life in order", if he was ever going to start paying or not? but we'll never know the real answer to that question.

    i'm also wondering if when the kids get older that they can absolve him as well. technically it's their support. but i only ask because if he waits until they are of age he may contact them and ask that same question... hmmmm....

  2. Carolina Girl Says:

    For what it is worth, I think you did the right thing by not relieving him of his debt. Having an alcoholic BIL that has been in/out of rehab, I know what a master manipulator he can be. If he is serious about getting his "life in order", that should include stepping up to the plate and supporting his children. He is accountable for his actions and it's not your responsibility to fix that problem for him. Stay strong - I am sure he will try to wear you down and give you a sob story, but he made those choices and didn't take you or your children into account. The result of his bad choices are his problems - don't let him guilt you into anything. Wishing you the best!

  3. laura Says:


    You were clearly the responsible partner in the equation. Too bad that you're someone else's partner now. (Not really). Sounds to me like the ex needs to deal with this himself. I think that you were wise to share with his mother. She has more obligation to him that you do. Good luck.

  4. NJDebbie Says:

    He has some nerve asking you to absolved him of this debt. You made the right decision, please do not second guess yourself.

  5. JulieA Says:

    Sorry to giggle at your situation, but I kind of got a laugh out of the idea that you should wipe away $76,000 of debt he owes so that he can rent a movie from Redbox.

    I have a ton of experience with alcoholism and there is frequently this expectation in their minds that rules or normal life and consequences shouldn't apply to them because they are special and they are victims. If you want my advice do not fix this for him. Don't necessarily count on ever receiving the money, but don't remove the consequences of his past mistakes either.

    He is not crazy but he is mentally ill. You are not crazy either, but you are susceptible to the temptation of enabling him, the way that all of us are when we deal with addicts. He NEEDS to deal with consequences, it is part of his recovery. Just tell him that you wish him well but you can't be involved in fixing his finances for him and he needs to work it out with the State and the Courts.

  6. SecretarySaving Says:

    Have you been in touch with the Attorney General notifying them of his continued debt and disability income? Keep at it! It's a journey but you are doing what is right.

  7. ohsuzannah Says:

    I think you are correct. I'm curious if any of that balance is interest? If so, did they give you an option to forgive the interest only?
    Suzanne

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