The sad part is my kids don't get much of me and my happiness. They get something less than joyful, most of the time. I can see it and feel it in them. But there's no amount of money or grief that can bring back those lost years. Today, there is only "Where do I go from here as a good dad?"
At some point along the way, I fell behind on my child support payments. I tried to be clear and honest about the situation. I asked for a bit of leeway in how I would repay her. And for whatever reason (I don't think it's healthy or helpful to say what another person is thinking) she felt it was in the best interest of the kids to file our decree with the Attorney General's office.
She is motivated by money. She divorced me when my earning power seemed unable to support her stay-at-home mom fantasy. She was a 10 - 20 hour a week worker. But she wanted me to return to the corporate machine, and I wanted to negotiate an alternate route.
I had the joy and passion in spades. I had a misaligned marriage which generated two wonderful kids. Today I have reset myself towards a creatively fulfilling life.
Divorce is a bitch. And divorce-mas (the Christmas time when you're a single parent) is one of the times people experience the most sadness and stress. Here's the plan.
Suffering under massive financial hardship due to the initial divorce decree can be important for your survival and ability to thrive in your new life. Sure, you're going to court, but you had to do this in some form before to get divorced, and if it's absolutely necessary, at least make it as non-confrontational as possible.
Even though it can be difficult at times, continuing my role as a supportive and cooperative partner is in the best interest of my kids. It's really in the best interest for me as well. A happy ex-wife is much better than an angry one.