Why Not Getting a Job Might Not Be the Wisest Choice

I frequently see women who have been stay at home moms advised by well meaning people who have been through the hell of betrayal and divorce NOT to get a job. Many times they are advised by their lawyers not to get a job. I was advised not to get a job. As my first attorney said (and I’m paraphrasing), “I want to put you up on that stand as a stay at home mom with no income.” Let me tell you why I think this is bs.

First of all, I get it. I understand *why* the lawyers give us that advice. Child support and alimony calculations, many times, are based upon the difference between what you are earning, and what you need to continue living the same lifestyle you and the kids have been living. Your lawyer is trying to get you the best deal possible. In regards to child support it’s usually a set formula but when it’s an income share model the more you make the less he needs to pay. That’s why Jerry Lee was insisting upon current numbers when I first tried to modify child support. If I was making $1.00 more per hour that would mean his support would be cut. It wouldn’t be cut by much but any amount he could get out of paying was worth it to him.

With spousal support you are looking at all of your expenses and what you need to pay your bills. Every dime you don’t make is a dime that your spouse is, in theory, supposed to make up. Scratch that. It’s actually the difference between what you are earning and what you need to pay your bills. When Jerry Lee lost his job, forcing us out of the house, it benefitted him greatly. As my second lawyer told me it wouldn’t matter how much money he made. If all I could show was $3000 in monthly expenses then the judge would only award me the difference between what I was making and $3000. Obviously my expenses were higher when I was paying a $2100 a month mortgage, plus utilities that ran anywhere from $400-$600 a month. Regardless of how much or how little your monthly expenses may be it  stands to reason you want as much help as possible, especially if you haven’t had a job in years. You should receive more help when you make $0 than if you’re making $40,000, or $100,000. That’s what the lawyers are looking at, and that’s what the well-meaning people on support boards are talking about.

Let’s look at the big picture though. Most of these stay at home parents have been out of the workforce for years. 10, 15, 20 years. Many of them don’t have a college degree, and we already know that a college education won’t necessarily get you a great job right away if you’ve been at home for a considerable amount of time. My main point is even if they do manage to get hired right away chances are they are not going to be making anywhere close to what the ex is making. If you’re one of those women that has supported your husband throughout the years while he’s climbed the corporate ladder, or you helped put him through school while he earned his law degree, medical degree, or other doctorate, he’s light years ahead of you. He’s been making money and getting steady increases in his pay over 10-20 (or more!) long years. You’re starting out at square one. He is going to be making so much more money than you that it really doesn’t matter if you’re making $30-$40,000 a year. Compared to the $150,000 or more that some of these men are making it’s a drop in the bucket.

You also need to consider the likelihood that he’s even going to pay. I’ve seen it more times than I can count where women are counseled to not get a job because that will affect how much they will receive in child support. We keep ourselves in poverty on the promise that child support and possibly spousal support will be more. Sometimes we luck out and he is ordered to pay a significant amount of support; however, being ordered to pay and actually paying it are two completely different things. Ask me how I know.

According to the US Census Bureau in a report from 2018 only 43.5% of all child support recipients reported that they received the full payment. Honestly, I was shocked it was that high; at one point I believe the stats were somewhere between 25-35% of support recipients received payment in full. More than 30% don’t receive any support at all, although I was unable to verify if that included people who have never filed for it, or if that was strictly people who had an order that was not being followed.

I know anecdote doesn’t equal data but back when I was still a teller I remember looking around at my co-workers. There were four of us. We were all lined up in a row. At least three of us had been married to the father of our children; I’m not sure about the fourth. Not a single one of us was receiving regular support. I think I had the best situation out of all of them, which is a sad thing if you think about it. Some didn’t pay at all. Some would toss the mother of their child $30 once in a while. Make a random payment here and there. I will never forget that image. Four women working hard to provide (barely) for the four sets of children left behind by the four fathers who didn’t care whether their kids were provided for or not. Maybe they just figured we wouldn’t let our kids starve. Maybe they didn’t care one way or the other. Kids fed and doing well? Great! Kids starving and doing without? Not my problem!

Those statistics become even more important when you consider so many states don’t have spousal support. You can spend your entire marriage supporting your spouse’s career and taking care of the house and the kids, but once he decides he’s done with you and he’s onto the next willing victim there is nothing for you. Nada. So you’d better hope that child support is generous and is paid in full.

I’m not saying to go against your lawyer. God knows, if you’re paying hundreds of dollars an hour you should probably follow their advice. I am saying it might be a good idea to question your lawyer on why they are giving you that advice.

Most of these women are terrified. They have no idea how they’re going to make it once they’re divorced. I get it. I was one of those women. I was living in a nice big house. I had a nice, cushy life. I had no money problems. Then **POOF** it was all up in smoke. I went from going on shopping binges to fill my house with furniture and putting a $57,000 inground pool into my backyard to wondering how I was going to pay for insurance and where would my kids and I live? How would I pay for my daughter’s graduation party? How would I afford college (in a state that will not order college to be paid for)? How could I provide for my children? All questions I was wondering about while my lawyer wanted me to appear in court as a fragile little stay at home mom.

In hindsight the best thing I could have done was start searching for a job right away. What I probably would have made wouldn’t have prevented us from losing the house but it may have given me more of a cushion. I was actually pretty good at staying on a budget. When he did lose his job I would have had something to put towards bills instead of having to begin draining my savings. Even if I ended up having to leave my job six months later I would have still been in a better position to get a job once I moved to Indiana. Trying to get a job after a long absence in the workforce is a nightmare. This idea that when you’re finally ready to get a job you’ll find one is a fairytale. In a lot of cases it takes a long time. Far better to start that search before you want to, so that when you need to you’re well on your way. I also might have been in a better position to ask for more money. Between having more relevant work experience and having had an actual paying job I might have been able to make more, or at least been confident enough to ask for it.

It’s well meaning advice but I don’t think it’s very prudent. The difference between what a man who is making six figures will be ordered to pay you when you’re making nothing versus making a fraction of what he makes is not worth putting yourself in potential poverty. The chances of him actually paying out what he’s court ordered to are less than half- 43.5% to be exact. And finally, just because you start looking for a job doesn’t mean you’re going to find one right away. Once you find one it doesn’t mean it’s going to pay well. It took me almost four years to finally get to the point where I’m making enough to support myself on my own if I had to. Save yourself. Don’t wait on the man who cheated on you and abandoned your kids to rescue you. It probably won’t happen.

































































































Change- The Year in Review

My word for this year was change. Boy, did I ever pick a doozy. I’m not saying my word caused the pandemic, but I’ve never actually picked a word of the year before. This was my first time and look what happened. Safe to say I don’t think I’ll be picking another word of the year again. I’ll go back to resolving to moisturize more. Floss regularly. Safe stuff.

I did choose the word “change” however so it’s only fair that I look back and see what, if any, change was made in my life. You know, aside from the whole world going to shit and being under lockdown and mask mandates.

When I picked the word I was really hoping that most of the change would happen in regards to my financial situation. As in, I hoped to either get promoted or get another job elsewhere. 

Technically, there were all kinds of changes in regards to my job. I got sent downtown to work for five and a half months. We’ve had to learn to do our jobs in a very different way because we’re not all together. I will probably never see my co-worker/partner again because she is working from home and is retiring no later than June 30th of 2021. We don’t have a lot of hope that everyone will be brought back by that point.

I did put myself out there and applied for the supervisor position. I didn’t get it but I did get exposure and I was told I’m a hidden gem. This little hidden gem had better get a new job title and a lot more money or I’m relocating to a newer mine.

I have been perusing online job postings but I haven’t seen much that excites me. I also checked out grad school but I think that is way beyond anything I can do. For starters, the deadline for one of the programs I was interested in had already passed and I would be looking at yet another year before I could start. Then there is the issue of getting transcripts, and taking entrance exams and getting referrals. Who the hell is going to write a recommendation for me? I’m not in college anymore. Do I ask friends who have jobs to write a recommendation for me? Based upon what? 

Another program would require me to do a bunch of prerequisites before I could start which would mean my two year program would probably take three or four years. Sure- I’d love to get a Masters degree at age 55 and then work for 10-12 years. I’m sure the employers would be falling all over themselves to hire me, a candidate that does not have much of a shelf life left. And no experience to boot.

I see people with no education beyond a high school diploma fall into these amazing jobs that pay well and offer great benefits. Why on earth can I not fall into one of those jobs? Why am I doomed to work a low paying job with crappy benefits?

Way back at the beginning of the year, before Covid-19 changed everything, the mobster and I made a lifestyle change. We began the Couch To 5K program. I am still running, although with the days becoming darker earlier I am not as consistent as I would like to be.

In March I began eating low carb. I say this as I’m coming off of a 5 day holiday from low carb eating. Nonetheless, at this point in the year I am somewhere between 40 and 50 pounds lighter. I say somewhere because I haven’t stepped on the scales in 2 or 3 weeks and I have no intentions of stepping on them for another 2 or 3 weeks. But, at my lowest weight so far I had lost just over 50 pounds. I believe it was 50.6 pounds. I’m wearing clothes I haven’t worn in 2 or 3 years, and in the case of my jeans, they’re all too big now.

I’ve greatly reduced the amount of diet Coke that I drink. That’s a huge change for me. I started that one in May. I have my moments where I go back to it, but I’m pretty good. I certainly drink a lot less than I ever did before.

The mobster has put his route up for sale so now we’re just waiting for someone to sign the papers. After that he’ll make his way up here and we’ll finally be living in the same state! Same town even. That’s a huge change.

I made the transition to being a parent of adult children. Neither of my kids is a minor anymore. After June of 2021 I will no longer have any kids in the local school system. Picasso, God willing and fingers crossed, will graduate this June.

My mom’s dog died earlier this month. He was 15 1/2 years old. He’d been losing a lot of weight recently. My mom took him in and unfortunately he never came back home. I miss that little booger with his big underbite. She swears there will be no more dogs but we’ll see. She said that before she got him, too.

I finally got Jerry Lee garnished. Basically. It’s not through the state but he did sign an agreement which was turned into a court order whereby he directly deposits his payments into my account twice a month. He also knows that if he tries to stop it or attempts to fuck with me I’ll take his ass back to court and from there he’ll find his ass in jail. For the first time since he took off to be with his cousin back in February of 2016 I know exactly when to expect that money. It is a wonderful feeling.

Plus, my saga with Mississippi is finally over! Everything is done. It took forever- it took them more than 3 months for them to return my money- but it’s done.

Bonus- once I got my money from Mississippi I paid off my car so there’s another change for the year. No more car payment.

I got my car in September of 2014, taking out the longest loan for the smallest payment with the intention of paying it off in larger chunks with Jerry Lee’s bonus check. As you all know that didn’t work out as I had planned. I ended up with a large car payment with no job, and then a large car payment with a low paying job. But I had so many miles on it that I didn’t think I could trade it in and by the time I realized it really would be prudent to do so my credit was in the toilet, thanks to Jerry Lee and his machinations. Honestly, it was the last thing left from my old life. I wanted desperately to hold onto it. I had already lost so much- my house, my furniture, probably 95% or more of everything I’d ever owned. I was determined to keep that goddamn car. I worked my ass off to do so. Now it’s paid off. A change in circumstances, and more change in my pocket. Not really. All my additional money is going into my HSA account so I can pay for my kids’ therapy bills.

My son got a job, so both of my kids work now.

And both of my kids are being medicated for depression and anxiety. In Picasso’s case it’s a blessing because he so desperately needed it. After almost a year of counseling which didn’t help the way it needed to he’s finally on medication and it’s working very well. He’s doing things he could not have done before. So that’s a great change. Rock Star, on the other hand, is getting worse and worse, especially now that she’s on nothing while she waits to see our nurse practitioner. As you might recall the medication she was taking caused her to be extremely nauseous so she was switched over to Prozac. That caused suicidal ideations so it had to be stopped. I don’t know why on earth she didn’t prescribe her something in the meantime, knowing she has an in-person appointment in December, but she didn’t so my poor baby has been suffering through it on her own for a few weeks now.

Everything seems to stress her out. She’s this interesting dichotomy where she can be so self-assured and opinionated at one moment and then turn around and be a blubbering mess another moment. She’s back in therapy and she seems to like it, but it’s not doing enough right now and she needs to be properly medicated. She is going to call this week and see about getting some new medication.

Here’s another big change, one I’m not really ready for, but it’s happened. My daughter won’t be returning home. She plans to stay down in Muncie over the summer and work, and then when the lease is up on her house that she is renting this year, she is planning on moving in with her boyfriend. My daughter no longer lives with me. I had no idea until this Thanksgiving break.

On one hand I understand. When I came home for the summer I looked forward to seeing my friends. We went to different schools so we only saw each other on breaks and over the summer. We got to hang out, go to the beach, hit the bars, see a movie. I don’t recall what all we did. I just know it was great being home and being able to hang out with them when I didn’t see them most of the year. Rock Star doesn’t have that. She didn’t make any close friends when she lived up here. Her life is all down at school.

I also didn’t have a serious boyfriend throughout most of college. I broke up with my high school boyfriend right before coming home for the summer freshman year. I broke up with the guy I was dating my sophomore year shortly after coming home for the summer. Hmmm… doesn’t seem to be a good time of the year for me. I just saw that pattern. I didn’t have a boyfriend the rest of college. She does.

So, like I said, on the one hand I understand. I really do. But on the other hand, I am so sick of being blindsided with the last time and never knowing it’s the last time.

I didn’t know that Thanksgiving 2014 was the last truly normal holiday we would have as a family. I had no idea that Christmas 2014 was the last one we would spend together as a family of four. I didn’t realize how much my life was going to change as we left to spend 3 weeks in Indiana and Utah that first summer after we moved. I had no idea what was in store for all of us while we were having fun and spending time with family down in Florida. I sure as hell didn’t realize that August 9th, 2015 would be the last semi-normal day in my old life. I suppose those are all things you never get forewarning on.  “Hey, honey, I’m planning on cheating on you with my gold digging cousin. Enjoy your turkey!” That just doesn’t happen. But other things you sort of do think you get a heads up on.

I watched those proud parents escort their daughters on Senior Night and envisioned myself doing the same. I didn’t know as I watched my daughter at States that February day in 2016 that it was going to be the last time I would ever see her compete in gymnastics. That was it. The end. No more. No warning. No fan fare. No flowers. No big announcement. It was simply the end.

I watched as the conductor would invite all the seniors to stand at their last concert and looked forward to the day my own senior would rise and I would clap and cheer. I didn’t realize that last year’s Christmas concert was the last one I would ever watch Picasso play the cello. He abruptly quit- at the beginning of the year. Look! More change!

And I sure as hell didn’t even consider that last summer was the last summer my daughter would live with me. I thought I had 2 more summers with her. I don’t. Last summer was the last time she was going to live under my roof. 

I wonder sometimes if it’s because I don’t have a home of my own. Maybe if I had been able to buy a house she would have felt like it was her home. Then again, nothing I did or didn’t do was going to change the fact we had to move midway through high school and she had no friends here. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because she feels like I’ve replaced her and am living a new life with the mobster, a life where she’s no longer important and doesn’t really have a place.

I really enjoyed having her home over the summer after her freshman year. I loved hearing her stories and spending time with her. In some ways it was more difficult saying goodbye that second year than it was the first year. Maybe because I knew how lonely it could be with her gone.

Last summer sucked. She worked during the week and was either gone or holed up in her room with her boyfriend every weekend. I’m not available during the week because I’m working. When she worked she worked 12 hour shifts and was usually exhausted when she came home.

I guess I was hoping this summer would be better. Turns out there is no next time.

I understand this is the natural progression of things. Honestly, I do. I wasn’t prepared for it at this point, though. I thought I had more time with her. I was prepared for her to move out in December of 2022, after she graduated. I was not prepared for this.

2020 has brought with it a lot of changes. Some good; most bad. I’ll roll with it as I always do. I would pick a word like “prosperity” but it would probably turn into one of those “The Monkey Paw” things where horrible shit would happen instead of it resulting in money in my pocket. So yeah, I think I’m going to be content with trying to moisturize more and floss regularly. My dentist will be happy.

I’m Alive, Part 2

My lovely daughter has started therapy and seems to really like her therapist so far. It’s been one session but she didn’t hate her and said that things went really well. She doesn’t have another session until November 10th, I believe, but then she’ll meet weekly at least for the first month.

I’m trying to get a handle on how often she will be going because I have an HSA account. Currently I put a huge $20 in every paycheck. I have another $20 going into a former direct deposit account. I was going to just have them deposit my entire paycheck into my regular account but then I thought, “Hey! I could double my contribution and I would never miss it.” Then I realized, these therapy bills are going to have to get paid one way or another. It would probably be wiser to up my contribution and put that money into my HSA account, instead of paying for it out of my regular account. Money that goes into my HSA account isn’t taxed. If I raise my contribution to $150 or more per paycheck that’s $3900 going into my HSA, and it’s $3900 that I don’t have to pay taxes on. I don’t know that it would make a huge difference at tax time but every little bit helps. It’s a little scary because as I’ve often mentioned I don’t make much money at my job. So losing another $300 per month is going to mean that when I finally pay my car off I’ll still have about $250-$300 left from my paycheck after bills are paid. I will be completely at the mercy of spousal and child support. Eh, actually no more than I am now. I was just looking forward to having a little bit more money. That never seems to happen for me. There’s always something new coming up which diverts my money from my bank account.

Speaking of money, does it surprise anyone that I still don’t have the money that was taken by Mississippi on August 31st? I finally emailed Jerry Lee to see if he had received it. He says he has not. I contacted the caseworker. Much to my surprise she emailed me back that same day. She has now reached out to the caseworker down in Mississippi, so we’ll see what happens.

I had somewhat of a rough week a week or so ago. One of my co-workers is moving departments. This move is not a huge promotion or anything like that. She’s simply moving from being a rep in our department to being a rep in their department. But the move to this department comes with a $3/hour raise. 

That’s an actual raise. That’s over $100 a week more. Over $400 more per month. I am happy for her; however, it just highlights how very little we are valued in our department. I’ve been in that department for almost 3 years and I do not make $3 more per hour than what I did when i first started back there. I barely make $3 more an hour from when I started four years ago!

Most of us (I believe) tend to get fifty cent raises each year. It ends up being a little over $1000 for the entire year. When I moved from my former desk to the overdraft desk I got seventy cents more for that. I know. That’s very close to $3; I shouldn’t complain.

At the beginning of the year I was told by my former supervisor that she wanted to bump me up to a Rep II but because the person who is over our department head wouldn’t go for such a substantial raise that she was going to do that in May before she retired. Well, as you all know, Covid-19 hit, and supposedly all raises have been frozen. I have not been bumped up to Rep II. I have not been given another raise. And to be fair, while my initial yearly raise is usually a little more than 50 cents, we do tend to get another raise later on in the year. I got three one year. I got a whole 24 cents more as an incentive to stay, and then I moved over to the overdraft desk. So last year was actually quite nice. Still no $3/hour nice.

It also bugs me that I’m still only a Rep I. Most everyone in the department is made a Rep II within 2 years. A few of us have not. We should have been promoted this year but we haven’t been. Hell, after everything we went through after our first six months I think we should have been promoted at the one year mark.

We were a pod of four. After six months they moved the two most experienced people in our group into the brand new Fraud Department, leaving me and the other newbie to do the job on our own. What took 4 people to do was now being given to 2 people. We had to ask for help from everyone in order to get our reports done. And then, another 6 months later our reports changed and we went from mostly paper reports to a brand new system where everything was electronic.

Another thing that I didn’t share with everyone is that back in July I applied for the open supervisor position. Didn’t get it obviously, but I put myself out there. About a month later the Deposit Services manager schedules a meeting with me to catch up. I thought it had been scheduled because of the new boss who has come on board. She had met with all of us via computer chat and I had told her that being downtown was kind of lonely and isolating. I thought our boss was just trying to stay in touch.

Instead she told me how impressed she was with me as a candidate. She said that she and the HR lady that does the recruitment for our area were both amazed at all I have done and that I was like a hidden gem. She told me that they weren’t sure what they were going to do with the supervisor position because this was a chance to completely restructure our department. She asked me if I would be interested in perhaps being a project manager instead of a supervisor. She also assured me she was trying to get me more money.

This was back in July. I am not a project manager. I am not getting paid more. I have not been promoted to even Rep II. At this point I’m not even sure I’ll get my normal fifty cent raise come February or March. They finally hired a supervisor for that spot, but our other supervisor quit and now they’ve posted the job for that position.

Between the slow pace in which they operate and the fact that I know this co-worker of mine is getting $3 more an hour in her new department I’m really thinking I need to make a change. I’m not confident that I will ever get hired on in a different department so that means I’m going to have to start looking outside of the bank.

The problem of course is that I’m not qualified to do much of anything. I have a Bachelors Degree in communications which is almost 30 years old. I have a lot of volunteer experience but it’s mainly through PTA and most people that are hiring don’t really seem to think that’s anything to brag about. I have supervisory experience from twenty-five years ago but my previous work experiences don’t seem to matter either. That leaves me with my nearly four years at the bank. 

I was a teller and then I found and identified fraud among other things, and now I’m working at the overdraft desk. That doesn’t really translate into marketable skills. It’s a pretty narrow focus. Although, considering that the new person they brought on board has absolutely no banking experience whatsoever and she is now over our Deposit Services manager and has most of us in the department reporting to her maybe experience is highly overrated. Then again, perhaps when you get to a certain level it doesn’t matter. Apparently if you have no idea what you’re doing they’re willing to put you in charge of things, but they’re not willing to take you on as an entry level person.

They also really don’t seem to give a shit about attendance. I’ve missed zero days of work due to illness since I’ve been back in the workforce. I have missed for the occasional kid’s doctor’s appointment. I did go with my daughter when the Health Department notified her she had tested positive for Hepatitis C antibodies (she did not have Hepatitis C, nor did she have the antibodies; it was a false positive test) and I went with my son to ensure he got put on anti-anxiety meds this past summer when he was saying he had nothing to live for. I also left early once when my daughter ended up in the ER, and I took the next day off because I had been with her until almost midnight and it was a three hour drive back from her apartment to my house. I’ve also missed a couple of hours due to appointments of my own. I’d say all total I’ve used maybe three days of sick time. Doesn’t seem to matter though.

Anyway, all of that to say I was in a funk a few weeks ago knowing that my co-worker is making a hell of a lot more than me now. I’m sitting here realizing how very little we’re valued in that department, and knowing that nothing will ever change. So I will have to make a change, and I’m really tired of change after this year. It sucks.

Resolution

Thank God! The support saga appears to be OVER! I got a text this morning from Jerry Lee letting me know he had received his pay stub and Mississippi had NOT garnished him this time around. Hallelujah! I will have my money as ordered on Tuesday.

Again, he was very nice. I told him that he should be getting the garnished money back within the next 30 days or so. Get this- he offered to try to get the money to me even sooner, before he got all of it back. Told me he didn’t want me to be in jeopardy because of all of this. Say what? When has he ever cared what’s happened to me? Um…. NEVER.

I don’t know what’s happened to him. I think maybe someone has taken his phone and I’m being punk’d. Or he really did get a lobotomy. Or he’s on some really good drugs after losing in court and having to sign his life away for the next 3 years. Or… maybe that kid they discarded somehow hacked into his phone and is promising me the moon in order to fuck with them. Maybe he is honest to God scared he’ll end up in jail. Truthfully, I don’t care what it is. I don’t want to give the impression I’m spending a lot of time trying to untangle the skein here. I simply find it curious and a little unnerving. As I’ve said before I know how to deal with him when he’s being an ass; when he’s being nice I’m totally thrown. Don’t worry, dear readers. We’re not being buddy-buddy. I’m being civil to get this shit done. I’m almost certain we will not have another conversation anytime soon.

I also received an email from the caseworker. She got permission from her supervisor to send me a paper to sign to close the case on Indiana’s end. She emailed and snail mailed the paper to me. I didn’t check my emails until late Friday or it would already be signed and delivered. As it stands I’m signing today and my mom will take it down to the office tomorrow. Done!

I was a little off put though because the form she emailed included the phrasing, “Please review and sign the attached case closure form by no later than 9/25/20. If you fail to sign and return the form, we will send a request to Georgia to enforce the order out of Virginia.” Say what? I told my mom what it said and her exact words were, “Tell them to eat your shit!”

I don’t know if “sending the request to Georgia to enforce the order out of Virginia” means they would take my new order and have Georgia enforce it, or if they were somehow planning on having Georgia modify my freakin’ order without me ever going through another interstate meeting. Regardless it pissed my mom off that they’re requiring me to get something done in 16 days when it’s taken them over 18 months to get him garnished (and then did so when they had no jurisdiction) and they generally can’t even reply to an email any sooner than 8-10 days. I’ll do it, of course, because I want this over, but the sheer hubris of giving me a tight deadline… it boggles the mind.

Anyway, it’s done. It’s over. It all worked out, which I figured it would. I’m deliriously happy that it only took approximately two weeks to get it all sorted once we found out they could really garnish him. I was truly expecting this to be an absolute nightmare that would take months to resolve. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Let’s hope it’s smooth sailing from here on out.

Clawing My Way Back

What a difference an email or two can make. What a difference a little bit of communication can make.

Friday I received two emails from the caseworker. The first came in around 10:30 letting me know she had sent an electronic message on the 21st and that Friday morning she had directly emailed the caseworker in charge of the case in Mississippi requesting that income withholding be terminated and that they close their case. She also let me know that she had asked about the garnishment because there was still nothing showing in their system.

The strange thing is she said that Mississippi had emailed their office with a request to close the case on August 17th because they knew neither party resided in that state. This is strange to me because Jerry Lee’s garnishment notice was dated August 6th. I’m not sure what happened in those 11 days, or why he wasn’t garnished the 15th either.

In the end she promised to follow up the following week with a phone call if she didn’t hear back from them, and talked about what she could do to close my case with their office.

Well, that was something. Certainly more than I had been privy to in an entire week. At least it sounded like she was working on it and not just ignoring it.

Less than an hour later she emailed me again. Mississippi had responded. Yes, they did garnish him (duh!) but they were not able to register the case (duh- neither of us live there) and as soon as the case closes the money will be returned to Jerry Lee.

He’s going to have to send me that money back through Venmo but at this point I don’t care.

I wrote back with a couple of questions, mainly, “Are they going to do this again?” and she replied back quickly. She let me know the closure process takes about 45 days but they have already sent a termination notice to stop the garnishment. She said that no other money should be garnished but if it is it will be sent back to Jerry Lee. It won’t be floating out there in the ether. She also said she was going to talk to her supervisor about letting me sign a case closure form so that their office is no longer involved.

I let Jerry Lee know about the update and in return he sent me a text showing he had received a termination order for the income withholding order. I hope that means I will be receiving my correct direct deposit next Tuesday. I am crossing my fingers.

Jerry Lee continues to be suspiciously nice. My mom thinks he’s had a lobotomy. I don’t know why he would have had one of those. She said she thinks it was forced on him. Again, I don’t know who would have insisted on such a thing, but she is sticking with the lobotomy theory.

After I updated him the second time to tell him no further money should be garnished and if it was it would be sent back to him he thanked me and told me if I needed any extra for the kids in the meantime to let him know and he would see what he could arrange.

I appreciate the fact he isn’t calling me names or being nasty but it worries me a little too because he’s never like this. 

I’m not sure if he’s setting me up for something or if his lawyer simply put the fear of God in him and he’s trying to do everything possible to stay out of jail.

Regardless, it seems like this awful saga is almost over. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll see some money on the 15th, but if not, at least I know it shouldn’t be too much longer.

Hitting the Wall

It’s happened. I have finally hit a wall. I realize I have spent the last five years worrying. Constantly. Worrying about money. Worrying about what was going to happen. Worrying about my kids. But mostly worrying about money- when he would pay, if he would pay, how much he would pay.

I FINALLY got everything settled. After more than 2 years of him self-modifying child and spousal support, and almost three years of him paying whenever he felt like it, I FINALLY had an order requiring him to directly deposit a set amount into my bank account on set dates.

Much like my pool that I had wanted for years and finally got, only to enjoy it for a mere six days before my world collapsed, I got to enjoy my victory for a small window of time. One month between court and the day I finally got my first direct deposit. Even that was marred because Jerry Lee texted several days before payment was deposited into my account to tell me he was being garnished.

Six days of having my pool and one direct deposit. That is the story of my life.

I thought the days of waiting for a response and hounding people to get to my case were over. I have been working on this in ernest since January of 2019. I finally had my day in court on July 15th of this year. And now I am back on the hamster wheel trying to get shit done.

I am so tired. I don’t think I have it in me to keep fighting this.

It is Wednesday. The caseworker has not gotten back to me, despite the fact that I emailed her on Saturday morning. My lawyer has not replied to my email or returned my phone call from Monday.

Monday morning the direct deposit came in considerably short, as expected because of the garnishment. I received an email from my lawyer letting me know that she had received a phone call from Jerry Lee’s lawyer. He was informing her that his client’s paycheck had been garnished by Mississippi. Her advice was for me to send that money back, assuming he had paid the correct amount per our order. Isn’t that cute? If only it were that easy.

I wrote her back and told her I had no idea where the money was and that Mississippi had garnished him before his company could put the money into my account. I also told her I had already told him I would send him that money back.

I tried calling her to get a quicker answer because I didn’t know what to do. On one hand she’s telling me to return the money. On the other hand, she’s telling me to return it if he’s paid the correct amount per our order. Well, that’s the Catch-22. He couldn’t pay me what our order required him to because there wasn’t enough left. The part that Mississippi took is floating around out there somewhere. No one seems to know where.

I got her assistant who told me she was on her way to court but she could call me after 2 pm. I waited until after 3 before leaving for lunch.

Today I went down to the Child Support Enforcement agency on my lunch hour. I took my current order and I spoke with a very nice receptionist who seemed to know what she was talking about. Unfortunately, my case had her stymied.

She said there was no record of any payment to my state. She also said that the last correspondence between my caseworker and the state of Mississippi was when MS asked her if they could close the case, and her reply on Aug. 21st, giving them permission. Why on earth they garnished him when they clearly told her he was no longer living in the state is a mystery. She took my name and put me on something called a walk in sheet. I’m not sure I’ll get an email or a phone call any sooner because of this but I at least did something.

I also learned it could take up to two months to get this resolved. Why? Because it’s an interstate case. They have 60 days to respond to anything. Supposedly Indiana can’t be calling them up and asking them for a response any time sooner if they haven’t gone over their allotted time. So, she sent them approval to close this case on Aug. 21st. They technically have until October 21st to do anything. Two full months without a dime in child or spousal support. Potentially.

Right now I feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall. I can’t get anyone to respond and when someone does share information it’s even more disheartening.

I know I won’t be destitute. My mom has already told me she would loan me money. She feels I’m a safe bet because she knows where I live. The mobster has offered up money as well, if needed.

I’m thankful, but I’m also so frustrated. This. Was. Supposed. To. Be. Over. I’m not supposed to be borrowing money to make it through until I finally get payment. I’m supposed to be socking money away. And what happens if it takes them even longer?

I walked into her office on September 10 for my interstate meeting. She told me to give it 60-90 days. Eleven and a half months later they finally garnish him, despite the fact that he’s no longer living in that state and hasn’t been for more than 8 months. She called and left a message with the customer service rep in February, asking the caseworker to give her a call back. She sent them another email in June, asking for a status update because she had never heard back. They finally reply in August, and tell her he’s moved and they would like permission to close out the case. These are not people that are in a hurry.

You are probably wondering why I didn’t just keep the money and let Jerry Lee sweat it out. Well, as I wrote earlier my lawyer told me I needed to return the money. She’s not answering me once again so I wasn’t sure if she would tell me to keep what little money was deposited and let him worry about how to pay bills, or if she would tell me to return it in order to honor our Virginia court order.

I could keep it, I suppose. However, he’s just going to have his lawyer ask for an emergency hearing to have the direct deposit stopped until this mess is sorted out. Then I have to go through this all over again. I’m trying to avoid that.

There’s also the possibility that his lawyer could seek to have our order voided since Mississippi garnished him. I don’t think that’s as much of a possibility as I did in the beginning, but what do I know?

I think the biggest thing is I’m so tired of being called a bitch, a cunt, a whore, a selfish, money hungry gold digger. I’m tired of the obscene emojis and the hateful comments and the nasty stamps on the envelopes. This was supposed to be the end of that. I didn’t have to communicate with him. I didn’t have to deal with him. It was over. The money was being directly deposited and we never had to speak to one another again.

If I had kept the money I would be dealing with all of that shit all over again. It may come to that.

Strangely, he’s been suspiciously nice. He offered to pay me his share of Picasso’s therapy bill to help me out until this was sorted. He thanked me. I really figured he’d be cussing at me. He called Mississippi once again and was told Indiana has to stop the garnishment. He even told me that Mississippi either wouldn’t or couldn’t tell him where the money is. And, when I asked him if he would help Rock Star out if he could, he agreed to send her the money she needed for the third access code she had to buy for this semester.

Right now I’m simply overwhelmed. Rock Star has started a new semester and there are all sorts of expenses associated with that. I told her I would pay her rent this year and it hasn’t even been a full month back at school and I’m already in financial distress once again. Every time I turn around she has to buy a new fucking access code for one of her classes. They’re over $200 a pop. She’s bought 3 so far. Her sorority dues are coming in. They’d better all be $25 because they’re sure as hell not doing anything these days.

My co-worker was supposed to be on vacation next week. She works from home and her internet is out so took this week off instead. Charged off accounts are crazy this week. Normally I’ll have maybe 10-15 on a busy day. I had 21 yesterday and I’m scheduled to have 29 on Thursday. That doesn’t count any of the requests by people in the branches, or the business close outs, or those that are on mail return. And for some reason I had over 100 cards to close out as well yesterday. I did have help from the staff assistants in closing them, but I still folded all the letters and stuffed most of them. In addition to that I had 40 service fee closures. On a normal day I might have 4-5. A busy day might be 8-10. It’s been an overwhelming amount of work, just with the things that I would normally do; then I add in completing the NSF report every morning and trying to get the fee reversals done and logged for the student accounts.

I’m trying to squeeze in getting this garnishment mess cleared up in between doing my co-worker’s workload and my substantially bigger workload this week. I think I’ve finally caught up somewhat (until I’m stuck with 29 charge offs tomorrow). I’ll shoot off another email to my lawyer and ask her what I do until this mess is sorted out. And I suppose I’ll wait for my caseworker to email or call me back.

I’m so tired.

The Incompetence Astounds Me

I know I promised you memes but something came up. I was going to write about it but I went to the gym and ran 5 miles so when I came home I took a shower and pretty much collapsed, and then I had to pack for my weekend away with the mobster. This isn’t what I was originally going to write about but it’s going to have to do.

I was having a lovely weekend with the mobster. Truly lovely. We drank three bottles of wine last night and ate a bowl of shrimp cocktail. We got up this morning and ran three miles. Came back and took a shower before leaving again. We had just visited one of our favorite spots in Chillicothe- New Systems Bakery- and had left with strawberry bismarcks in hand, along with an iced Milky Way latte for me. We were headed to this magnificent park to walk and play Pokeman Go when I get a text from Jerry Lee.

The fucking state of Mississippi garnished his goddamn check! This was AFTER the caseworker assured me they had dropped the case. This is also AFTER she had told me from the very beginning that any modification through the state has to go through a judge in the state where the non-custodial parent is residing. It is also AFTER Mississippi dropped the ball for six fucking months and did nothing. They were supposed to have this situation resolved in February. I went ahead and took matters into my own hands and paid out shit loads of money to get a new order.   I don’t know who the hell knows what the fuck is going on but I sure wish someone would get their head out of their ass and figure this out. I cannot believe how incompetent all of these idiots are. No one has any idea what’s going on and they’ve got it set up so I can’t call anyone directly and get answers.

I know what you’re thinking. Not my problem, right? Looks like I’m making $140,000 a year right now. Except I’m not. Yeah, he’s the one that has no money from his paycheck. I’m sure Harley is loving that right now.

He asked very politely if he could stop his direct deposit until we get this sorted out. I told him I would prefer to keep it in place and send him back the money. The man has a whole new attitude since court. I appreciate that. Seriously.

Why is this my problem? For starters, I don’t need Mississippi screwing up my arrears. Secondly, it doesn’t sound like Mississippi is garnishing arrears for the spousal support and I know they’re not doing it for the legal fees. Third, and this is the most important reason right now- I don’t have any of the money that is owed to me.

Because the state gets their cut first the amount his company directly deposited into my account, or will deposit on Monday, is approximately $800 short of what I was expecting. My daughter’s rent is due on the 1st of the month. I have a huge therapist bill to pay for my son. I took almost all that I could from savings to pay off my lawyer. Side note: Isn’t it great that I paid around $3500-$4500 for a new support order and now I’m dealing with this shit? NOW the fucking state finally wants to show up and get their hands in this?

I suppose I could send the money that his company deposited into my account back to him on Monday when it hits. But I have no idea where the money Mississippi garnished is. I have no idea when I can expect to receive it. I have no idea how I will receive it. Knowing those fuckwits it will take them another 6 fucking months to get something set up to get the money to me and meanwhile I either have no support, or Jerry Lee gets no paycheck.

I looked at the mobster this morning as we were driving and told him, “I’m a good person. Why does this shit keep happening to me?”

Maybe that’s part of the problem. I am a good person. I’m an honest person. So knowing that I’ve inadvertently taken every dime from Jerry Lee’s paycheck does not delight me as it should. It horrifies me. Because I’m a good person.

I should be sitting back without a care in the world. I’m not the one with no money in my paycheck, right? I’m getting money on Monday and somewhere in the universe I’ve got even more money. Don’t know when I’ll get it but it’s coming.

If I were a total bitch I wouldn’t care about this at all. You’ll get your money back when I get my money. I shouldn’t care about this. He didn’t give a flying fuck when I was working two jobs, getting up at 1:30 in the morning, working 21 straight days, stressing over bills and Christmas, or wondering how I was going to pay for college. He walked away without saying a word. When he lost his job it was a simple, “I lost my job today. I won’t be sending any more money.” That was it. I was on my own. And thanks to that I lost my home, I had to move my kids once again, I lost decent insurance, and I quickly used up my savings. I make a fraction of what he makes because I wasted 20 years of my life moving all around the country for him and raising his children. After all the nasty things he’s said and done, the condescending way he has treated me, and all the hell he has put me through I shouldn’t care one bit that he has no money from his paycheck.

Let Harley support the family. She can work overtime a month or two while this gets straightened out. Maybe she’ll have to give up tanning or getting her nails done. Stop blowing $900 in a single trip to a store. Stop renting out vacation rentals at $1800 a pop. Let her do without for a while. I’ve done without for five years.

Or, he can get a second job to bring some money in. Door Dash is always hiring, I hear. Let him feel the pressure of financial stress.

That’s how I should be looking at it. Unfortunately, I worry that this is somehow going to screw with our original order and I don’t want that to happen. At one point I told myself that Mississippi could garnish him until they’d taken what they figured he owed. After that they would garnish him for child support only and he could directly deposit the difference between what Mississippi was taking and what Virginia said he was to pay. I think that gets a little tricky; he could possibly try to have Virginia’s court order thrown out and abide by Mississippi’s ruling.

Needless to say I emailed the caseworker. I suppose I’ll wait another week until she finally gets back to me.

One day this nightmare will be over, right?

Oh, Mississippi

Is anyone curious as to what has happened with Virginia and Mississippi vying to garnish Jerry Lee?

I know I had a few people tell me not to worry about it; it was his problem. Take the money. Yeah, that’s not really how it would have worked. While I think he’s plenty scared of our judge I don’t think he would have continued directly depositing the agreed upon amount into my account if Mississippi came along and garnished him. And if I took it to court to complain he had stopped it I don’t think our judge would have been very sympathetic to my plight, especially when Mississippi was garnishing him at a higher rate (barely).

Come Monday or Tuesday (the 17th or 18th) I called DHS down in Mississippi. I got the automated system at first. Just for shits and giggles I went ahead and typed in my social security number as asked so I could see if they had any garnishments on the record. Yep, they sure did. And it was for a LOT less than what we had agreed to. In other words, if Mississippi took ahold of this I would be getting screwed out of a lot of money. It was also apparent they were only counting child support arrears. I would still need to go through Virginia for all my legal fees and for the spousal support arrears.

I finally got through to a customer service rep who asked me how she could help. After giving her my information she told me that because it was an interstate case she couldn’t give me any information about it and that either Jerry Lee or someone from the state would have to call.

Are you fucking kidding me? This is MY case! I am the one that is supposed to be receiving money and arrears but no one can tell me how much I’m getting or how they figured the arrears? That’s just dandy! Of course, I shouldn’t be too surprised because they couldn’t tell me how much he was making when I filed the interstate case. They like to keep you guessing! It’s all a big surprise- kinda like the big reveal on those home makeover shows.

At this point I’m panicking. There is an amount listed for arrears. I have a case apparently although no one can tell me anything about it. I am looking at losing around $15,000 and I could possibly have to go through the hell of getting a new order.

I called the caseworker. I told her I had already emailed her and I needed her to call Mississippi because they wouldn’t tell me anything. I needed to know for certain that Mississippi had indeed closed this case because I already had an order signed by the judge.

I finally heard back from her this past Wednesday or Thursday. She said that Mississippi had closed their case and they (the state of Indiana) had not received anything in the way of garnishment from Mississippi. She offered to call Mississippi again to make sure. I let her know that would be delightful. I don’t know how long that’s going to take her, though.

So, for now I’m not worrying. Anymore. I was very worried for a couple of days. Now I figure it’s been handled. I doubt he’s going to try to stop the direct deposit. I’ll be able to tell on Friday. After calming down I’m not sure how on earth Mississippi would have any kind of case to claim jurisdiction. The notice to Jerry Lee was dated August 6th. Our court hearing was July 15th. Virginia beat Mississippi and even if it hadn’t, he no longer lives in that state.

I’m crossing my fingers that the caseworker knows what she’s talking about and I no longer need to communicate with Jerry Lee. Well, except for the $1100 therapy bill I just received.

Yeah, they told me it was $22 a session. That’s what I’ve been billed since January. Apparently at some point my insurance company finally decided to get back to them and said, “Nah, we’re not paying that.” If it was only the $22 I wouldn’t bother with asking him for reimbursement. But we’re now talking approximately $1100 and it’s looking like each session is going to be around $100. $400 a month for therapy because his father abandoned him, or at the very least, passed along his mental health issues to him? Yeah, he’s going to help pay for that.

Thankfully this new court order states quite clearly that he’s responsible for something like 67.5% of the bill. I’ll give him time to pay up but I’m definitely going to make him help pay for it. It’s the least he can do for the son he hasn’t seen or spoken to in more than four years.

When It Rains…

You’ll never believe this. We’ve been waiting with bated breath to see if Jerry Lee will get that direct deposit set up and follow the court order once and for all. Well guess who I got a text from on Monday?

If you guessed Jerry Lee, you are correct! He texted me to let me know that the direct deposit was set up and ready to go. He also cautioned me that I may see a couple of less than one dollar deposits and withdrawals but not to be alarmed because most corporations do that nowadays when testing their direct deposit.

Dude, I work at a bank. I know this! However, the important part is that he did it and unlike messages in the past he wasn’t all snarky and condescending. There was no, “Since you’re keeping such a close eye on MY money I thought you’d like to know…” Nope, he just announced it was done and that was that. I even thanked him for his efforts. I didn’t get a response back but that’s okay. I know I was polite.

Then yesterday I get an email from my caseworker. You know, the one I sent an email to back at the beginning of March asking if she’d heard anything yet because the deputy who had tried to serve him reported it as a vacant address. Yeah, she finally got back to me and let me know he was no longer in Mississippi. Mississippi never filed the case and has closed the case they opened. She has a postal verification pending for the address the state of Mississippi gave her when closing the case. The next step is to verify his new address and then set a new interstate meeting to create a new document request. She also let me know she was very disappointed by all of this; it was not the news she was hoping for. She ended it by saying she knew I had been going back and forth over whether or not I wanted her office to pursue this so if I did want to continue to pursue it I would need to be at the interstate meeting. Otherwise, if I didn’t show up then the case would start closure and they would take no further action. Oh, and if I had new information to please update her. Huh.

I could briefly respond and let her know that everything has been taken care of. That would be the polite thing to do despite the fact that she left me dangling for five months. I so badly want to write back and ask her, “Are you telling me that it took the state of Mississippi over 10 months to figure out he was no longer living there? What happened to they have 60-90 days to take the case and get it into the system? Or, rather the state has 60-90 days and then the county has an additional 45 days. By my calculations that’s 3 1/2- 4 1/2 months. They’re just now getting back to me after ten months? They took an extra five and a half months!”

I probably won’t do that, but honestly, if the information she gave me was accurate and Mississippi followed the guidelines the county should have filed the case in February. They should have been serving him right around the same time my lawyer served him. No one can blame it on Covid-19 because that shit didn’t hit the fan until March.

More than likely what is going to happen is this: I’ll email back and give her his address. I’ll let her know that I do not wish to pursue this with her office because my attorney has already taken care of it. I will also let her know that even if it hadn’t been taken care of already I wouldn’t have pursued it with them because by the time they get the ball rolling again and Georgia finally takes the damn case and makes a decision they would only be garnishing him for a few months before my son graduated. There would be absolutely no point in garnishing him for two or three months.

At this point I don’t know and I don’t care if the state would continue to garnish him until his arrears were paid. I also have no idea if they would garnish him for spousal support arrears as well.

Sure, they could take his tax refund and if another stimulus check ever comes our way they could take that as well (let’s be realistic- by the time they finally had garnishment underway the second stimulus check would have already been sent out and spent by Jerry Lee and Harley). I think I have a much better deal the way it’s set up now. I know 100% that I am getting child support arrears on the full amount of support which he never bothered to modify. I know 100% that he’s being imputed at $170,000 instead of $140,000. I’ve already got child support modified finally. Our court agreement covers the $25,000 in legal fees which the garnishment case would never touch. It covers spousal support arrears. And, it gives me an additional $1000 a month. I don’t think the garnishment case would do that. Plus, with him being ordered to set up direct deposit and having a suspended jail sentence hanging over his head it’s as good as garnishment, I think.

So no, I do not need your help, Indiana Caseworker. I handled this on my own instead of hoping that the state would finally intervene. It’s done. Finished. I got a better deal than I could have hoped to have received with your office’s help. Thanks for finally getting back to me, though.

Still Celebrating

Sorry I’ve been absent lately. I have no excuse. I’m just reveling in my victory. I still find it hard to believe I won.

Okay, maybe that’s not all that difficult to believe I won but after the last two years… it’s hard to believe it’s finally over. I’m enjoying the sweet, sweet victory. At least until he tries to do something else shady. Hopefully that suspended jail sentence will keep Jerry Lee on the straight and narrow.

A little over two years ago he couldn’t slash child support in half fast enough. I tried to tell him. I gently asked if he had talked to an attorney about getting it modified. He ignored me, then talked down to me, and then called me a cunt. In the end? He had to pay $1800 for the month of June 2018 (and July 2018-July 2020, but who’s counting?) instead of the $200+ he sent my way for her.

I remember him sending me that first post graduation child support, after I let him know it didn’t get slashed in half. He called it revisionist history and insinuated that I was only going after more money so that I could meet up with the mobster. Your attorney has not given me the new $$$ required… When that amount is determined… then the amount will change. So fucking smug. I should have written back, “Take your time. Until the order is modified you owe me $1800.” He wouldn’t have believed me, of course. Now I have the satisfaction of knowing his pomposity came back to bite him in the ass.

I think back to the first time my lawyer emailed him the new figures and how condescending he was. No, he didn’t agree. No, he wouldn’t pay the legal fees. He didn’t have any control over my business affairs. He didn’t tell me to hire a lawyer and he had no control over how long it took her to do her job. He didn’t want to use those numbers. He wanted to use whatever my new pay rate might be. It all needed to be “proper”. Health insurance seemed to be way too much. To be fair, Jane did calculate health insurance incorrectly and it was going to cost him about $200 more than this newest figure. But… $200 more for 3 years versus $900 more for just over 2 years. Hmmm… I think he should have taken the deal.

For the last three and a half years he’s been able to pay support whenever he wants. Schedule? What schedule? Let’s wait until the last day of the month to finish paying what I owe! Let’s not pay anything until the second half of the month. This will be fun!

He has one more chance to mess with me and then I should be paid directly from his employer. He is supposed to pay me the small lump sum of $2000 by the 24th. If anyone was wondering if he’s paid it already, he hasn’t. I’m willing to bet he won’t pay it until around midnight on the 24th. He’ll stretch it out as long as he possibly can because it will be the last time he gets to do something like that.

For almost three and a half years he’s harassed me with snide stamps on my envelopes and obscene emojis and nasty messages in his Venmo transfers. Now that is over. Like I said, he’s got one more chance to make some smart ass comment and then his employer does all the work.

And let’s not forget the God awful saga of going through the state child support enforcement agency. That was an absolute nightmare. First it was going to take 60-90 days. That turned into it will take 60-90 days to go from one state to the other and back again and then another 60-90 days to go to the next state. Then that turned into, “Oh, once the second state gets your information then the county has another 45 days to review the case and decide to file.” Not to mention two moves since March of 2019. Just as we were almost there to take him back to court in Mississippi he up and vanished again.

I suppose in the end it all worked out. While I may have still received the $900/month back support where he didn’t modify the original order, I’m not sure I would be receiving as much child support as I am now and I get that for another eleven months. I was also told by Jane that the garnishment would have only been in effect as long as there was child support to collect. Not to mention I wouldn’t have tax free spousal support.

I walk around and I’m not sure how I should feel. For the past year and a half I’ve been begging people- my lawyer, my caseworker- to help me get him garnished, to make him pay what he owes me. I’ve spent so much time sending emails, doing research, crossing my fingers, and pushing this along. Now it’s done. I won. I can’t say it enough. I won. There’s nothing to do now. Except finish paying my lawyer.

I’m really hoping this brings me to Meh. I’ve been over him for years. I’m slowly coming to terms with this new life I’m leading. I think I’m fairly happy except for the job situation. But even after kicking his ass in court at the divorce trial he has messed with me non-stop since December of 2017. It’s hard to be completely at Meh when someone is messing with you, and that someone holds your financial future in his hands. Now that I’ve got a suspended jail sentence hanging over his head, and the money will be automatically deducted from his check and deposited into my account I am hopeful that I won’t ever have to deal with him again.

Picasso is 18. He wants nothing to do with his dad. I could send him the bills for his therapy, and in many ways I really think he should pay for that because he’s the reason the kid needs therapy. But my peace of mind is worth more than that. I’ll pay the $22 each week and not ask for him to kick in $15.

God willing Picasso will graduate eleven months from now. At the rate we seem to be going who knows if they will even hold a graduation next year? They’re already pulling back from having the kids start in person classes. Picasso has already told me he has no desire for his dad to be there when he does graduate. This time around I will stay out of it. And after graduation day I’m deleting him from my contacts. I could probably do it now, not that we communicate much.

That’s where I am. Just wandering about, pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming, but also wondering how exactly he’s going to fuck this up for me as well. Good thing I’m a fighter.