Better, Not Bitter:
Should You Screw Him in Court
When Child Support is Late?
I am sick of bitter divorced women screwing their ex-husbands in the court system just because they can. Now mind you, I was a bit of a bitter b*tch for a few months (well, OK it was over a year) after my separation and subsequent divorce. My ex was acting like a jerk and he did some pretty messed up stuff when we were breaking up. Sheesh, the messed up stuff he did while we were married was the very reason we were getting divorced. But at some point I think you just need to get over yourself.
Women who are working and making a living and are able to support their kids with pretty much their own income are getting the court system involved in child support issues, just because they can. I know the non-custodial parent is supposed to pay every month on the first. And I know once they are more than 30 days in arrears you can get the state division of child support enforcement involved. But just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should.
I realize this isn’t a popular perspective but having been in this coparenting lane for over 8 years, I decided I’m pretty much a freakin’ expert now. Don’t get me wrong. I make pretty good money, but since I am in sales, there are months that are tight when there is no commission payment. And as every parent knows, there are unexpected expenses when you have kids. And those can stress you, especially when the kids get older. There are trips and events that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and sometimes you just don’t have the money.
I’m going to be real with you. I don’t have sufficient emergency savings set aside. Every time I manage to sock enough away, within a few months a dang emergency happens and there go the funds. It is stressful to live like this so when my ex doesn’t pay his child support on time, it just adds to the stress. I used to threaten him with Child Support Enforcement. Which would lead to bad feelings on all sides.
I don’t think he doesn’t pay on time to get back at me. He loves his kids. I don’t know why he prioritizes the way he does. Since I am blessed to be able to juggle this thing called custodial parenting when the dollars are late, I decided I will do it my way.
I know he is gonna pay eventually. A month late, six weeks late, and few times two or three months late. Yeah, it’s a problem but I decided to deal with it because the additional stress between us wasn’t doing me any good. More importantly, the threats weren’t getting him to pay any quicker. I know it’s not fair that my credit score takes a hit when I decide to pay for something for my child and pay that Citibank credit card bill late. But it’s the choice I am making because I would rather not be at war with my kids dad over some cash. I believe in karma and I know the energy I send into the universe is coming back to me. And his to him. ?
Now if I needed the money to pay my mortgage or put food on the table, that would be another thing altogether. But I have sufficient income to take care the things my kids need. His child support payment is used for stuff they need but don’t have to have, for the most part. Except when it’s late and I have to use my credit card payment to pay for that school trip, or the athletic trainer who works with my son whose dream is to play college football one day (Yay! National Letter of Intent signed). In those months when I finally get that child support, I then pay my bill.
Now, I know it’s not fair that I have to juggle like this and damage my FICO score. But I had to ask myself whether it was really worth it to create such animosity between us as parents about some money. Although I have every right to get the courts to help me make him pay on time, I decided to be happy by not starting a war with my ex and just deal with the tardy payments.
So custodial moms, do you think we should be using the court system to get our exes to pay on time every time?