Child Support Arrears: $31,697.44

Child Support Arrears: $31,697.44

This is a topic that I’ve personally struggled with because money was always held over my head by my X in a sick and twisted way.  If the business was doing well, he took the credit.  If the business was failing, it was my fault because I was the one who wanted to start the business in the first place.  Prior to having children, I worked between 60-110 hours per week at our business.  If you ask for his opinion, I was a couch potato who ate Doritos all day while keeping up to date on the latest episode of Days of Our Lives (Reality Check: I don’t like Doritos, sitting on the couch or soap operas).

When I found out last June that my X got fired from his job, I was sure that my world was going to crumble around me.  Everything that he ever held over my head was going to come true and he was going to gloat about it.  In actuality, the world didn’t end.  I was forced to make a few changes such as changing my youngest daughter to a different preschool, pulling back on their activities (ballet, gymnastics and other fun events) and a few other things.  He was able to keep his lifestyle of a luxury condo complete with 24-concierge and he bought a brand new car during this time.  He has also been able to keep up his nightlife commitments which involve a lot of alcohol.  This favorite past-time resulted in a recent DUI with a pretty hefty price tag and a very expensive defense attorney.

In a strange way, the past ten months of not receiving child support taught me that I can stand on my feet without his help.  It proved that he was wrong.  The worst part is that it affected my children and changed their lives.  In his distorted mind, he is withholding it from me and hurting me.  In reality, he is withholding it from them and hurting them.  The money that he is ordered to pay is for our daughters and therefore, it is up to me to fight that battle for them.  As someone on my blog recently said, “the courts can’t force him to be a great dad but they can force him to financially provide for his children”.

After not receiving a penny in March, I pulled up the account online last night and discovered that his new child support arrears is currently sitting at $31,697.44.  I notified him in writing that moving forward, I will be holding him accountable each month.  Today I am filling out an Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Contempt and will be filing with the court house tomorrow morning.  If it takes a court date each and every month to hold him accountable and enforce the consequences of not paying, that is what I will do.

12 Responses

  1. First I want to thank you for your blog, I just recently found it, but it has been a huge help to know that I am not the only one going through this experience. I also have 2 children, 2 1/2 and 5 months. I left when I was pregnant with baby #2 after “he” became physically violent for the second time. I also try to find the good in all situations, I have used this experience as impetus to begin a new career as a paralegal. This is my first semester and ironically one of the two courses that I could take was Family Law. Which leads to my reason for posting. If he is that far in arrears with child support, couldn’t you contact your state’s IV-D agency for help? Federal law mandates that each state provide help in enforcing child support orders at little or no cost. These agencies are also often useful when the whereabouts of the obligor are unknown,and have resources to assist in tracking them down, and/or withholding income through a job and tax returns. I hope this helps, please keep writing!

  2. Jamie,

    What a GREAT field for you to go into. Smart!

    When I serve him with the contempt paperwork each month (hopefully one month will be enough to get my point across!), I will also serve my local child support department who will appear at the hearing. I am going to become a squeaky wheel as I refuse to ask him for money — which is what he wants. He knows that the order is in place and refuses to follow it. Rather than engaging with him each month, I will let the courts handle it.

    Thanks for your kind words and best of luck to you!

  3. It is truly disheartening that things have to go this far. As a man I am sadden each time I hear stories like this. To the lady that shared her story, as a man let me personally apologize on behalf of all of the dead beat fathers that do not deserve the title.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Good for you Jamie. It is hard because as bad as they treat you, you had children and a life together. My husband was violent once before we married…he promised to change etc. We got back together, got married, had a baby. All the while he picked up drinking again…heavier and heavier and his behavior became questionable, irratic and unpredictabe. Finally, he came after me but stopped himself just short of reaching me. That was all the warning I needed. I left 2 days later when I got the opportunity. The district attorney’s office tells me if I go back they can all but promise me he will kill me. He has shown all the precursors. Your children need you alive. Stay strong and smart! You are certainly not alone but sadly, I think many of us hide behind shame.

  5. I think for that to actually happen (in California anyway), you have to really pursue that avenue which I am going to do monthly with the contempt of court forms. From what I’ve heard, the jail thing can take quite a while but there are other avenues such as his driver’s license. I refuse to communicate with him anymore on the situation and will let the courts handle it.

  6. Isn’t that the truth…dealing with them, you really do have to step back and not allow them any more space. Let the court handle it. But goodness that is A LOT of money!!

  7. Deep breaths. It sounds like you are very much aware of the narcissist’s need to manipulate and control you. It’s a question of boundaries–he doesn’t think you should have any.

    My husband is every bit as toxic as some of the others I have read about on your site (bottom line: death threat is “not a big deal; I’m being hysterical; I need to get over it”). He even went so far as to tell me that he wanted me to stop “slandering” him (his words)–I had to explain it’s not slander if its true–and then had to explain that me speaking with a couple of close friends and trying to put all this stuff in order in the shambles that he has reduced my mind to did not constitute slander. His response: it makes me sound bad, so it’s slander and it needs to stop.

    Blink, blink. I would think if you didn’t want to “sound bad”, the solution would be to *not do* something you would not want to be accused of doing. But that’s not how narcissists think. Protecting yourself is not protecting yourself–in their mind, protecting yourself is attacking them.

    I am so grateful I stumbled on your site a few months back and discovered I am not the only person caught in divorcing a toxic narcissist.

    You are a beacon of hope to many of us who want to believe there is still life on the other side.

  8. Wow…are we married to the same guy? I get the same thing regarding the death threats. I was “lucky” in the sense that he was threatening me through his mother and she was truly concerned and scared for me. She wanted me to call the police but I convinced her to call. If I called, I would have gotten nowhere, I was well versed in that. He showed up at my place after making the threats which incriminated him further. Of course he blames me and his mother that he is in all this trouble now. He still can’t see how much fear he caused, he thinks we overreacted. Sometimes it seems as if he is an 8 year old spoiled brat child in a man’s body. It’s often sad and pathetic but he can be so vicious and scary that I can’t back down. This is someone with no control of his anger and you summed it up: in their minds, protecting yourself is an attack on them.

  9. 🙂 We really are married to the same guy.

    I found out he started talking to our mutual friends almost a year ago now, trying to get someone to say *something* he could twist into approval to have an affair.

    He was deliberately withholding information from his therapist, so she would tell him exactly what he wanted to hear–she was completely under his spell. She told him he *might* be bipolar, so he did not need to focus on his marriage, he needed to focus on himself for the next few months, possibly years. I asked him: “Did you tell your therapist you had an affair?” “Well, noooo.” “Did you tell your therapist your wife was seriously thinking about taking your child together and moving back with her family several states away and filing for divorce?” “Well, nooo.” “Do you think she might have different instructions for you if you gave her all the information on what is happening now?” “Well, yesss.”

    Un-frickin’-believable. I called his therapist and left her a message. I didn’t tell her anything specific, just that his words and his actions were really not aligning, and his demeanor was really starting to frighten me. Whoa was he ticked after the next appointment. Guess the rose-colored glasses with his therapist were tarnished and the truth came out.

    That was when the anger really started racheting out of control.

    I am right there with you: the “official response” be meek and dissembling and soothing does not work. It just invites them to escalate in an effort to get a response. I’ve found that the only way to keep myself and our daughter safe is to meet agression with confident assertion. (Not that he can tell the difference.)

    I will say, it has been fun watching his relationships with his friends destruct over this. He expected everyone to tell him this was all okay, and he has not gotten the response he expected *at all.*

    I am still re-building these relationships (when our daughter was first born, he told me no one actually liked me on more than one occassion–pretty much all of my friends in this state were friends with him first, sometimes for a couple of decades before I met him). But generally speaking its been a real education for both of us. Turns out, he was lying and I’m not hateful. Imagine that.

    Course, he thinks he should get credit for not doing this stuff on purpose. Really? I mean, really?! You already get credit for not doing something on purpose–that’s why its call manslaughter and not homicide. That’s why it’s called a foul, and not cheating. You don’t get credit for breaking your wife’s ribs *by accident*. You don’t get credit for isolating your spouse whose family is out of state, *by accident*. You don’t get credit for making a death threat because your mouth is moving. Really?!

    A narcissist’s logic does not resemble our earth logic. They live in an alternate reality–theirs.