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Old 07-06-2010, 05:28 PM
 
822 posts, read 2,612,653 times
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My husband and I are separated and in different states. We have joint custody of our child, but I have physical custody and he has never, really (let's be truthful here) shown much interest in her. Not real interest.

He is now retired, taking in a 6 figure pension, just playing around. I get child support but no spousal support.

So this past year our child became sick and had to be pulled out of elementary school for 6 months. During her entire medical leave he visited once for 2 days. I asked him to stay longer because I was exhausted taking care of a sick child non-stop, but he had to "usher" at his church the next day so he left.

I couldn't work because I was home with a sick child. In the midst of it all, he emailed me his "intent to sue" because a medical bill had come addressed to him (separation agreement says I pay and he reimburses in part, although he doesn't reimburse either).

Now that it's all past and I'm working again and our child is feeling better, I can't figure out what else I could have done to get through this. I'm just left with this feeling of unfairness, sadness, upset.

Doesn't it seem ... unfair ... that he isn't working, but didn't help in any way? She doesn't want to live with him, and he didn't offer, but I guess I just think he should have either come here to help or provided money to cover my lost income or at minimum helped with the medical bills, obviously. Does anyone have a sense of how something like this would play in front of a judge? Or should I have just looked for public assistance?

(How DO people get through things like this? Is it just time to sell the house and move in with the parents or what?)
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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Its time to get a good lawyer and go over the agreement and see where reasonable changes could be proposed.

I don't know what should happen in the case where you had to take LOA from work to care for your child besides him continuing to pay medical bills he is supposed to. An involved father would do what he could to ensure the child has a secure and stable place to live, whether that means helping out a bit more than usual due to the circumstances, or taking physical custody so that you can continue to work, or petitioning for permanent physical custody. It sounds like none of those options were pursued by him; its just what I would think an involved parent would want to do.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:43 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,842,224 times
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You should probably have your attorney re-visit the child support to accomodate for the time taken off work and the medical bills. If it was too much for you to single-handledly care for your sick child and the non-custodial parent sharing joint custody would not then you should have the grounds to have him pay for a home health nurse as his substitute, IMO.

If the non-custodial parent is not pulling his weight when his child is ill it is good ammunition to use if you want to fight for full custody at the time of divorce.

Since you state he never really took an interest in his daughter anyway this is not new behavior and you really shouldn't be surprised should you? Unfair, maybe but to whom? To you or the child? I think it is the child who is the one really being short changed in the long run by her father's disinterest.

I am not an attorney...suggest you consult yours.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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Thanks everyone.

I guess, needless to say, he would disagree with my characterization that he has shown little interest. He's big on asserting his legal rights, calling her teachers and doctors, bullying sort of stuff. But in real life he's been very absent, almost rejecting. They just had a disastrous visit during which he started screaming at her, saying he didn't know why he was paying me so much money for her child support since she didn't seem to want to spend time with him.

When we went through mediation, he was still working, and his child support was assessed 50% higher, but he has been paying his retirement level support the entire time. (I can't remember how that happened). I had consulted a lawyer who said "a man with a 5 year old doesn't get to retire, sorry!" but we went with mediation without representation (it still cost a fortune) and at this point I can't remember how we ended up here. But he's very volatile, so it's difficult to raise even the smallest of issues.

How sad that one option would be for me to lose custody just because she became sick. I understand it, but it seems so unfair when he earns so much without working (and is capable in all ways of doing more than riding around in his new boat every day ...).
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:45 PM
 
2,605 posts, read 3,936,194 times
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You sound jealous.

How much do you encourage your daughter to talk about him and spend time with him? You did say he was yelling that she didn't want to spend time with him.

Hold true to your arrangement, paying the bills and expecting him to foot his share. If he doesn't, you can take him to court, but you have to hold up your end first.

You're her mother and she lives with you, of course you would be who takes off time and sits with her, tired or not, that's your job.

Don't be so envious of what he has and you haven't. It will get you nowhere. With that kind of income, sounds like he has put in his time. It's unfortunate you married him and had his child since you are so unhappy with your position.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:38 PM
 
1,831 posts, read 3,732,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExcuses View Post
You sound jealous.

How much do you encourage your daughter to talk about him and spend time with him? You did say he was yelling that she didn't want to spend time with him.

Hold true to your arrangement, paying the bills and expecting him to foot his share. If he doesn't, you can take him to court, but you have to hold up your end first.

You're her mother and she lives with you, of course you would be who takes off time and sits with her, tired or not, that's your job.

Don't be so envious of what he has and you haven't. It will get you nowhere. With that kind of income, sounds like he has put in his time. It's unfortunate you married him and had his child since you are so unhappy with your position.
No, I have to disagree with you here. First, she doesn't sound jealous. There is nothing to be jealous of, since he is a father shirking his duties. Jealous of the money? No, she's probably resentful that he is not apparently paying his fair share of the child support and performing his share of child care. It's his child for heaven's sake.

How in the world is she supposed to pay the medical bills if she is not working because she is caring for a sick child? He has time to help out and step up to the plate (which is exactly what he should be doing because he's the father), and it has absolutely nothing to do with where the child is living). He's not helping out and it is unfair, not envy-inspiring.

Yes, she is tired, yes she should be, and yes it is ok for her to say so, regardless of what her "job" is. What about HIS job? You know, the one that he is not doing?

I will say that OP needs to go back and renegotiate a custody and support agreement that is more beneficial to her child. I will also say that what benefits her and what benefits her child are not always mutually exclusive.

It is entirely possible that the daughter does not want to spend time with him because he is not a pleasant person with which to spend time. It does not have to be because of anything the mother is or is not doing or saying.

Can we please not make this into a golddigging, parental alienating debate? Pretty please? Because it suuuurrrreee sounds like the direction this is headed.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Gurnee IL.
675 posts, read 1,683,598 times
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Sorry, the OP agreed agreed to the settlement. As long as he is making his court agreed child support payment, it does not matter if those monies come from retirement pensions or flipping burgers at McDonalds. Meaning= How he acquires the child support payment is irrelevant as long as he pays it.

Also, if the OP agreed in the settlement to pay all medical bills and be partially reimbursed by the father----than thats the deal they agreed too. OP has no right to start sending bills in his name----This really reads that she is jealous that he is retired and has a higher income level. I'm sure the OP never bad mouths the father to the little girl either.... Hopefully the OP uses the child support funds to actually pay for child care vs. sustaining a higher life style for herself. Child support payments based off a 6 figure income, retirement or not, is still substantial.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 86,025,648 times
Reputation: 39664
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExcuses View Post
You sound jealous.

How much do you encourage your daughter to talk about him and spend time with him? You did say he was yelling that she didn't want to spend time with him.

Hold true to your arrangement, paying the bills and expecting him to foot his share. If he doesn't, you can take him to court, but you have to hold up your end first.

You're her mother and she lives with you, of course you would be who takes off time and sits with her, tired or not, that's your job.

Don't be so envious of what he has and you haven't. It will get you nowhere. With that kind of income, sounds like he has put in his time. It's unfortunate you married him and had his child since you are so unhappy with your position.
Did we read the same post??? I see NO jealousy, and I read it three times just to be sure.

She's a working mom who's child was ill for a very long time. I find it entirely reasonable that she would be feeling overwhelmed and dismayed that the father of her child could not be bothered to spend more than 2 DAYS out of six months with his sick daughter, especially given the fact he's retired and doesn't have to work at all! What was he doing while his child was home for six months recovering - playing golf every day??

Blossom - don't worry, most of us see where you are coming from and empathize. But given that you now have positive proof your ex is a selfish, thoughtless jerk don't ruminate on it - let it go. Just accept he'll never be the dad you hoped your daughter would have and get on with your life. Do whatever you have to do to make your life with your child the best it can be. Remember, living well is the best revenge
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 86,025,648 times
Reputation: 39664
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakecountylifer View Post
Sorry, the OP agreed agreed to the settlement. As long as he is making his court agreed child support payment, it does not matter if those monies come from retirement pensions or flipping burgers at McDonalds. Meaning= How he acquires the child support payment is irrelevant as long as he pays it.

Also, if the OP agreed in the settlement to pay all medical bills and be partially reimbursed by the father----than thats the deal they agreed too. OP has no right to start sending bills in his name----This really reads that she is jealous that he is retired and has a higher income level. I'm sure the OP never bad mouths the father to the little girl either.... Hopefully the OP uses the child support funds to actually pay for child care vs. sustaining a higher life style for herself. Child support payments based off a 6 figure income, retirement or not, is still substantial.
You completely miss the point
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Gurnee IL.
675 posts, read 1,683,598 times
Reputation: 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
You completely miss the point
No I didn't miss the point. And if you can't read into the jealousy of the OP, thats not my fault. You automatically offer the OP empathy and man-bash blindly like its programmed in your DNA.

There are two sides of every story---- how do you know that the OP didn't taint the relationship of the father/daugher and is in it just to get more money?
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