Let me tell a brief story of how my divorce went. Just the bullets, please. If you would like additional information click the INDEX link above and read the rest of the story.
My Divorce Journey
- wife accidentally reveals in couples therapy that she’s seen a divorce lawyer
- wife requests that I simply leave the house (that day) and tell the kids I’m on a trip
- wife learns from the school counselor it’s best to wait until the summer
- wife and I enter a “cooperative” divorce and proceed with the business of divorce
- in a late-stage parenting plan meeting (paying $250 hr for a therapist) decides she doesn’t want to share
- divorce happens in 2010
- wife files for “enforcement” with the Attorney General’s office to punish me
- wife denies my request to put aside some of the child support for college funds
- wife asks me to consider contributing to kids’ college expenses
- wife continues to sow lies and unreset between me and my son
- wife has lost the leverage with my kids but retains her FURIOUS mode when dealing with me
More to the point, in regard to child support and the helpfulness of the AG’s office.
- I paid off final child support on-time
- AG’s office said they would cover the $2 balance (2 years ago)
- AG’s office said they would remove the account from my credit report
- AG’s office was paid off ($2) in October 2022
- The account is still shown on my credit report with a ZERO balance
- Trying to reach the AG’s office as a non-custodial parent results in an hour-long “please hold”
- Files disputed with TransUnion about Child Support Account still being listed on my credit report
Getting Back to Financial Wholeness
My ex-wife did not abide by our “cooperative” divorce agreement. She did not comply with the parenting plan we paid for. She continues to do whatever she wants, knowing I will never sue her. She refuses to co-parent with me. She still fires lies and dramatic issues at our kids to get at me. It’s working with my son, but not working with my daughter.
When my ex-wife filed against me with the AG’s office she was not afraid of me turning into a “deadbeat dad.” She was not concerned that the money was being hidden, or that I was not going to pay her 100% of the child support I AGREED TO.
When my ex-wife filed against me with the AG’s office she was trying to hurt me. She did not have the awareness (or empathy) that her actions were also going to hurt her two children. She knew I was trying to refi my house. The house where I took her children every other weekend. She filed with this lovely text message.
“I’m sorry about the timing. I just sent our decree to the AG’s office.”
And the damage was immediate. I had to sell the house before foreclosure. (I made $5,000. She got half of that.) And for the next 12 years, until my daughter turned 18 AND completed High School (an additional 6 months of payments) she would get 50% of all of my wages. Even when I was working a part-time, $12 per-hour gig, she took half of that, after I paid taxes on the income. Effectively making my $12 per-hour job a $5 per-hour job for me.
As time went on, she continued to twist this knife. At one point, as I was applying for jobs, I had to ask her and her new husband for letters of recommendation to keep my “deadbeat dad status” from keeping me out of a gainfully-employed status. She didn’t give a shit about me or where I lived. She didn’t give a shit if I had a place for our kids to spend the 2 weekends a month with me. She wanted to hurt me. She didn’t give a shit about the blowback and how her antagonist’s anger was hurting our kids both physically and emotionally. I can’t imagine she was a very pleasant person when talking to them about “your dad.”
When Divorce is Mutually Agreed Upon
When divorce is amicable there’s a chance for equal parenting. When a divorce starts with Dads getting 30% of the time and 100% of the expenses there is little incentive for moms to be fair. What happens, as it happened to my ex-wife, moms feel entitled to the money. She “won” the child support in a divorce that she wanted and an equal and cooperative parenting agreement that she violated and laughed at. When she didn’t get something she wanted, like switching weekends so she could be with her boyfriend more, she would say, “Let’s just go back to the decree.” When I asked for one extra Friday night for my birthday, she’d say no. “That’s not in the decree.”
I am a 50/50 parenting advocate. I believe if you entered into the agreement to become parents at 50/50, you should parent your children together, at 50/50, forever. If there are mitigating circumstances (alcoholism, mental illness, addiction) the agreement and schedules can be adjusted accordingly. But today, moms feel entitled because the states have given them that right. They ARE entitled to 70% of the kids’ time, 100% of the child support, and the paid-off car and the house. It’s not fair, but divorce has never been fair. We can make it fairer, ask me how you can get involved.
John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | @wholeparent
Several articles with a different perspective:
- Transformational Divorce
- Is Divorce the Best Decision for You? What About Your Kids?
- What I Want My Kids to Know About Our Divorce 12 Years Later
- Why Do Ex-Wives Feel Entitled? And Ex-Husbands Feel Victimized?
- Moving from Parenting To Co-parenting: Joining Together In Divorce
Here are a few of my books on Amazon:
- Single Dad Seeks: Dating Again After Divorce: Advice and Strategies on Learning How to be Loved Again
- Fall of the House of Dad: My journey through divorce, from loss to joy, again and again
- A Good Dad’s Guide to Divorce: One father’s quest to stay connected with his children
- The Sex Index: Getting Our Love Languages Right in the Bedroom
- Here Comes the Darkness: Surviving and Thriving After a Mental Illness Diagnosis
- The Third Glass: When Drinking Becomes an Issue
- The Storm Before the Divorce: When One Parent Wants Out, That’s the End
- Dating 2.0: Aiming for the Love of Your Life