Now, about that child and/or spousal support… What is the big deal with this? On the other board I frequented there were many debates about child support, dads not getting credit for what they did, and how maybe more dads would step up if they were able to buy directly for their kids.
Hmmm… so when Dad’s money goes to buy the new cleats and pay for the class trip you’re supposed to make sure the child knows that it was Dad that made it possible. Yet, if Dad doesn’t send child support you’re supposed to shut up and take the blame for any of the things your kid misses out on or can’t have. I think we call that having your cake and eating it, too. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say Daddy gets all the credit when he sends child support but then turn around and say you should never mention child support if it’s not appearing.
Again, I’ve been honest with my kids. They’re teens. They’ve been raised a certain way. For all of their life, up until the time their dad decided to fuck his cousin, whenever they needed something I was able to go out and buy it. No questions asked for the most part. No tough decisions to be made. Oh, you like both of those? Go ahead and get them both. When I used to take them shopping I didn’t really have a budget in mind. The same could be said about our outings. You want an ice cream cone? Sure. You want a bucket of fries? Of course! You want a souvenir from our trip. Why not? So, when the money tree dried up and I suddenly had to budget I let them know we couldn’t do those things anymore. There were no more shopping sprees. No more expensive makeup. No more game systems. We didn’t go to very many places. Our big outing was generally lunch after church on Sunday back when we still lived in Virginia.
Later, when I was working two jobs and still didn’t make enough to rub two nickels together I told them we were dirt poor and I didn’t have it. No, I can’t take you shopping. No, we can’t go to the movies. No, no, no. I also told them that things might change once he finally began paying support; until then, when he wasn’t paying a dime, I did indeed let them know our finances were extremely limited. Why? Because I didn’t make very much money and Dad wasn’t paying anything.
I have let them know my job pays my bills and that is it. I have told them that their dad’s child and spousal support lets us do everything we are able to do. It allows me to buy the things I buy for them. The way I see it I give CF all the credit. Conversely, he gets all the blame when he decides to play games and send his support whenever he feels like it. Sweetie, I’ll help you with books when your dad pays me. I can get you a new pair of sneakers when your dad sends me some money. Once your dad sends his final support payment I can pay your tuition. I can’t pay your sorority fees right now because I haven’t received my spousal support. I’ll give you your allowance once your dad sends me what he owes me. I’m low on funds until your dad comes through.
I believe I’ve pointed it out before but I have never once complained about the amount of support I receive, nor have I ever asked him for additional money. I have also never said, “Go ask your dad for the money for that.” I plan around what I’ve been court ordered to receive. In none of those instances do I ever say, “Well, I would do x, y, and z but your dad doesn’t pay enough support so we can’t.” I’ve been very honest, though, about my dependence on him and the support he pays. I think of it no differently than my paycheck.
I don’t think anyone would have a problem telling a kid, “I can’t go buy a new pair of sneakers for you until I get paid on Friday,” or “You’ll get your allowance when I get paid.” Yet for some reason it’s a horrible thing to say that about spousal and/or child support. I see no difference.
I’ve never understood the big secrecy regarding child support. Now if I were to go on and detail all the money that he spent/spends on the whore and her kids… Eh, facts are facts. I figure so long as I’m not editorializing I’m golden; however, I would not do that. Not because I’m protecting him or think I owe him or even because I don’t believe you should discuss such matters with the kids. I wouldn’t do it because it would only hurt my children.
Yes, I know. It does seem that I’m somewhat talking out of both sides of my mouth. I do believe you should be honest with your kids. I do believe they are owed the truth. I don’t think you should cover for the other parent, or lie to them. I also think that you don’t have to go out of your way to tell them every horrible thing their other parent did. I believe there’s a big difference between having honest conversations and simply blurting hurtful facts out.
For example, the first month after Cousinfucker and Harley were discovered Cousinfucker cashed in almost $6200 worth of stock, took out a $5000 loan on his 401k, and now had $5000 a month just for shits and giggles. He put it all into their joint account. That first month when I asked for more money in order to buy Rock Star’s Homecoming dress (less than $100, btw) he told me he didn’t have it this month. Yet, he bought the whore a $4200 engagement ring. He put down payments on not one, but two, puppies for her kids. She spent almost $200 at Vera Bradley, over $400 at a sporting goods store (for her own kids, I’m assuming), and hundreds of dollars on eyewear that month. In addition, a few months later a dress was purchased for just over $300 for Harley’s daughter.
Did I run out and tell my kids all of this? No. Why not? Mainly because I didn’t know any of this for certain until I opened the American Express bills or he was forced to turn over his bank records. Her husband had talked about her wearing a new diamond ring and him putting a down payment on the dog he promised her kids, but I didn’t have proof until later. When I did have proof I didn’t blurt it out because there was no context behind it. Oh my God! That sonofabitch! Can you believe all the money he spent on his whore and her kids? Let me run down the list for you!
No, that did not happen. However, when Rock Star began talking about buying her next Homecoming dress online from China because she could get it for a really cheap price I did tell her not to worry about. Her dad would buy her a damn dress. If he could buy Harley’s daughter a $300+ dress he could damn sure buy his own daughter something decent. Yes, I did tell her that.
Another time she threw something in his face about her being “his real daughter”, or something like that; I know it had to do with the fact that now he had a “replacement daughter”. His response was that he and the whore’s kid weren’t that close. I remarked, “Wow- maybe you should go for a ‘not that close’ relationship. He paid for her truck to be repaired, offered to buy her a new car, bought her a puppy, got her a new iPhone and paid her cell phone bill, and spent over $300 on a dress for her. Must be nice to be ‘not that close’!”
I suppose for me the line is this: Does this information add anything to the story? Does it substantiate whatever is being said, or being felt by my kids?
It’s one thing for me to find out my daughter is trying to get the cheapest dress possible because she’s worried about me not being able to afford anything and telling her “No, you are not going to buy some $40 dress because you’re worried about money. You go to your dad and you tell him exactly what you want. If he can spend all that damn money on some teenage girl that he’s not related to and has known for less than a year, he can damn sure as well buy his own daughter a decent dress.”
It’s a completely different thing to just out of the blue tell either of them, “Oh my God! Did you know your dad went on vacation with his new family? Why couldn’t he do that with you two? Oh yeah, that’s right; he did go with us a couple of times, didn’t he? I wonder if he ruined their vacation, too.” Or, “Hey guys, look at the fantastic new house your dad and his new family live in! We live with Nana because he let our home go into foreclosure, and they have a pool and a clubhouse.”
That’s my line. Yours might vary. Regardless, don’t be afraid to tell your kids the truth. You aren’t the villain because you refuse to cover up their cheating parent. Being honest doesn’t make you a bad person. Put down the shit sundae. Grab a juicy burger or a big slice of chocolate cake instead!