I’ve been divorced for five years - child support is no problem, that’s my responsibility to my kids. But the money to the "ex" bothers me.
She works privately from home, "writes off" half her income (all cash), yet the so-called judges decided I need to pay her so much money (half my take-home salary) that I cannot make ends meet.
Meanwhile, she has all the luxuries, holidays, etc.
She has a fiancé of four years, had a baby with him and is supported by him, although he doesn’t live with her full-time. She’s planning to move to his hometown, which is a two-hour drive away, which will affect my valuable time with the kids. She "does not drive" and I work most weekends.
I want a half-decent life to pay my bills and not have to turn my kids away every time they need something.
With the corrupt and biased justice system, how does one fight this?
- Unjustly Treated
I urge you to beware that your frustration with the “system” doesn’t make your dealings with your ex become hostile, which can be destructive to your children’s well-being.
When circumstances change, it’s possible to return to the courts and seek a new judgment on spousal support and access.
If the two-hour distance is found to compromise your ability to see your kids, or the added costs and time lost have a substantial effect, these are matters to raise to a judge.
Also, if your ex-wife becomes fully supported by her fiancé, that’s another new factor towards possibly reducing your spousal support.
You’d benefit from contacting a fathers’ support group, to hear how others have handled such situations, and to learn the route to legal advice if you cannot afford a lawyer and don’t qualify for legal aid.
• In Canada, see www.fact.on.ca, to learn more about this non-custodial parents' and children's rights organization dealing with custody and access. Fathers Are Capable Too (F.A.C.T.) is a not-for-profit non-custodial parents' and fathers' support and advocacy group.
I’m 33, a mother of three, whose husband refuses to let me go anywhere.
I tried to get my real estate license and failed by 1%, so I have one chance left before I have to redo the class for the third time.
I talked about getting a job, but my husband said if I can't make as much as him, forget it.
Everything we own is in his name - house, cars, checking account, credit card.
The bills in his name are pilling up and he refuses to pay them. The phone and other bills, which are in my name, I’ve been paying with my child support checks from a previous marriage, but they’re also piling up.
I want a divorce, but with no money where do I begin?
- Barely Existing
You need the support, planning and legal advice offered by an organization that helps women and children in need.
Your husband appears to be a control freak who’s refusing to pay bills and putting everything at risk, to spite your intentions of gaining some independence.
He’s likely also insecure about his own manhood and earning power, to have such an extreme reaction to your wanting to earn some money to meet expenses.
You say nothing of love between you, so perhaps he already senses you’ve left him emotionally.
• Contact a community agency (see the Yellow Pages) for a referral to learn his responsibilities to you and the kids, and how to plan for your future.
I'd been friends with a good person for a few years, but whenever I talked to him, I recalled the saddest times in my life. We’d met just after he’d attempted suicide.
However, from our just talking together, he seemed to heal. Soon he was back on his feet and making so many friends he had little time for me.
But I’d developed emotional tension from going through all of his hard times with him.
He wants to rekindle our friendship and I’m afraid of more emotional tension arising.
Go slow, get together infrequently, and don’t raise talk of his past depression or its causes.
If he does, shift the topic to the positives in his life.
Stay in the role of equal friend, not healer.
If he seems low, encourage that he see his doctor and/or therapist.
If he resumes emotional dependency, explain that you can’t handle it.
Tip of the day:
Hostile post-divorce relationships can cause more harm to children than to either spouse.