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Need advice

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive June 2004: Need advice
By Ladypeacek on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 02:55 am:

Okay, i posted some time ago about my dh's ex and his little girl, she was always asking for money and we pay her 200 MORE a month in child support than ordered to help with daycare. Well a few months ago she was so far behind at her daycare that we gave her 500 dollars to completely pay to date. Then we started that extra 200 so she would not fall behind again. Well then as i said before, she switched daycares to one more expensive which really irritated us. Well now we are up to date, this morning she emailed me (she knows i take care of the money) and said that she did not use that 500 to catch up and she switched daycares cuz she was so behind (800 dollars to be exact) and they took her to court so now she is having her check garnished. As far as i am concerned this is NOT our problem, we have bent over backwards financially to help her. No we have 2 kids and i am pregnant and i don't work so i think its very rude and selfish for her to ask us for that 800 dollars, good grief, we are not money trees. My dh is only an E4 in the military ( he joined when he was 24 late.) We have worked very hard and made so many sacrifices to be as financially stable as we are. Technically, we have the money to give her but i just plain refuse!!! That is our vacation money and i NEED that vacation! Now my problem is that i LOVE this little girl like my own and don't want her to suffer because her mother is totally irresponsible. But i won't give her any more money. I am thinking about asking her if we can just have her for a few months while she catches up, this way she doesn't have daycare to worry about or taking care of her. My dh would LOVE that BUT he is concerned about me having another child to deal with all day while i am pregnant especially since i am under so much stress now as it is. I agree it would be tough but this is a sacrifice i am willing to make, the money is not. Do you think asking the mother for this would be stepping on boundaries?

By Karen~moderator on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 08:33 am:

Kenna, I had typed a long, detailed response to you this morning at home and my hard drive finally crashed on me. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

The gist if what I wanted to say to you was this:

You are not required to pay your DH's X every penny you have. You and YOUR family are entitled to a certain standard of living too.

It is up to her to live on a budget, and find living and day care arrangements within her means. YOU have to do this, and so should SHE.

You and your DH have contributed more than is legally required. You do this out of love and concern for his DD. I've BTDT, on all sides of that fence - as a stepchild, stepparent, and as a parent who gave her own kids a stepfather. There are limits to how much you are expected to contribute.

If your DH's X cannot live within her means, which includes the money you are sending her, then IF you and your DH agree that you are BOTH willing to have temporary custody of this child, it is HIS place to discuss this with his X. You should not be the one to initiate that conversation with her, no matter what your relationship is with her. It is their biological child, so that should fall on his shoulders.

Be sure this is something you are physically and emotionally able to do right now, BEFORE he talks to her about it.

You and your DH need to discuss this in detail. If that's what you BOTH decide is workable for YOUR entire family, then let him be the one to discuss this with his X.

Good luck!!!

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 08:50 am:

I agree - it is definitely NOT your problem (though, of course, it is your dh's worry). If it were me (and yes, it's not), I would contact the Court for two reasons - one is to simply let the Court know what is happening, and the second is to ask the Court if your husband can be credited in some way in advance for the extra payments he has made.

The other thing I would think about is, if you send her any additional money to pay a specific bill, that the check or money order be made out to the creditor and not to her, so that the creditor actually gets the money - and, again, is there some way through the Court that this can be credited against your husband's child support. I say this because you never know what the future will bring and at some time your dh might need to have these extra payments to his credit.

By Ladypeacek on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:20 am:

oh... just to clarify, i sould NOT be the one to bring this to her. Dh would definitely be the one to talk to her about it. I just know the my dh does not like to hurt feelings, much like me, so i am not sure how she will react to his asking. Our lawyer has told us time and time again that gaining custody of her in the state of VA would be so easy it would cost us so little especially since she can't afford a lawyer. I know how important a mother is to a child and that seems way too drastic for a money situation because other than that she is wonderful to her and works hard to teach her things and spend quality time with her. I just think that maybe a few months with us would be good for both of them. I need to find a way for us to bring this to her without making her feel like we are trying to take her. I don't want her to feel cornered or anything.

By Karen~moderator on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:37 am:

Have your DH talk to her and assure her that you are not trying to take her DD from her. Explain that this may actually be a good thing for all of you. His DD could benefit from some *long term* quality time with her dad, and she (the X) would have less expenses for a few months which would enable her to catch up and get her finances straightened out. Assure her that if you all agree to this, you will not attempt to get permanent custody of the child. BTW, how old is this little girl?

By Kate on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:39 am:

If she's a great mother otherwise, I'd leave her be. I would definitely change the financial things so that your husband pays actual bills right to the companies sending out the bills. I would not hand over a check for X amount of dollars written out to the ex-wife. How, though, can she be a great mom if she cheats her little girl out of what is rightfully hers? And she puts her custody in danger by acting so irresponsibly?

Another thing to consider is how you're going to get this four (is she four?? I think so....) year old from VA to England. She's much too young to travel by herself. Can your husband get off work to fly back and forth with her when you get her and then again when she leaves? Will she adapt well? Will YOUR children adapt well to this?

It sounds like a problem you will have for years. It's too bad you can't just take full custody and leave it at that, but I agree that moms are important and if she's loved and not being abused then I suppose she should be left with her mommy.

If you're wanting to take her for a bit but not make mom feel badly about it, just say you miss her and want to show her England while you have this chance. Say you want special time before the new baby comes and takes up more of your time. Say you want to foster the bond between the two sisters. Or, you can be totally honest and tell her to shape up and until she does you're taking temporary care of the child and if she doesn't act responsible you will pursue full custody. I don't know...whichever scenario would work best I guess!

Good luck!

By Ladypeacek on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:55 am:

Well the problem is that she gives her (dd) way to much! She didn't pay the daycare cuz she bought her (who is only 3 years old) a 36 inch tv with a vcr and dvd palyer for her room!!! OUTRAGEOUS!!! Until we moved here she lived less than an hour away so we saw her every weekend and she stayed with us quite a bit. So she doesn't cheat her from things, she just spoils her very irreponsibly. She lives with her mother as well but her mother will NOT help her with babysitting or money because she takes the help and never fixes the problem. So she makes almost 2000 a month from work PLUS our 450 dollars a month and lives at home with her mom. We are hoping that her coming here for a few months will give her perspective about paying her bills and also give us some time, we all miss her terribly!

By Emily7 on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:08 am:

I think if you feel like you could handle 3 plus being pregnant that would be a great idea. I would do as the others have stated pay the child support to Mom & daycare to the company.

By Conni on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 11:28 am:

First of all, I am not a fan of moving kids unless absolutely you have too. I dont think this sounds like a parenting issue at this point-- it is a 'she is an idiot with money issue'. Do NOT bail her out again. She will NOT learn. You have taught her that you will help her when she overspends and cant pay her bills.

I am divorced and I guarantee you my ex would NOT bail me out if I acted this dumb with money.

She needs a rude financial awakening. Give it to her. ;)

You by all means should be getting to visit with this litle girl. Summertime is a great time to get your visit in and it would probably help her Mom get caught up on daycare expenses.

If her own Mother wont help her financially that says alot right there. Dont give her anymore than the child support and whatever else you have set up. I know for us my ex pays insurance, 1/2 medical and 1/2 dental. Anything above and beyond that has to be discussed and agreed upon.

My dh's ex would mail him bills in the mail and he could send the bill w/payment directly to the place of business. (not to her) HOWEVER, she is horrible about mailing them to us late or almost late. I think she does it on purpose. Like a $1700 college bill 3 days before its due. grrrrrr Dont get me started. lol

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 12:16 pm:

I agree with the posters following my post. And definitely agree, do NOT bail her out again. We are not talking here about her being evicted or having utilities shut off or something, just irresponsibility about paying bills to the point where her own mother (with whom she lives) will not help her. She needs to learn some lessons and bailing her out won't help.

If you can get visitation for a few months that would be super, but the travel arrangements could be very tricky. I don't know about Virginia and England, but when my niece's husband was getting visitation from his son by another woman in Illinois, the court required him to physically go and get the child and physically return him. I watched my own niece and nephew, when they were young, travel alone by plane and I don't recommend it - the airline staff really don't have the time and often don't have the inclination to watch young children that carefully. Unless there is someone you absolutely trust who is willing to be a travel companion, I don't know that I'd do it. (Plus, of course, you and dh would be paying the cost, which has to be a bundle.)

By Ladypeacek on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 01:42 pm:

Well my dh would take the rotator off base which will cost almost nothing, he has more than enough leave to do this. We decided if she agrees to this my dh would go with my dd for a week and stay with my mother who lives less than 30 minutes from her! So that would not be any problem.

By Amecmom on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 02:05 pm:

Kenna, it's admirable that you want to have your step daughter come and stay with you. But, please don't be lulled into the notion that your husband's ex is going to take this time to get herself in order. My guess is that she will just waste the time and the extra expendable cash she'll have while she's not responsible for her child.

The only solution I see to the money issue is for you to start paying your portion of the daycare and other expenses directly to the creditors. Anything else you'd like to give the little girl needs to physically come form you, not in the form of cash. There were some really great ideas on how to do this when you posted about this previously. Sice your mom lives so close, perhaps you could send her the money and she can buy and deliver or mail it to your stepdaughter.

I completely agree with the others that you should not bail mom out again. This has become a cycle and you've become a source of cash for her. That source need to dry up. You shouldn't send her anything beyond what the court requires.

Good luck with this, it can't be easy. Just make sure whatever excuse your husband gives for not giving her the cash, does not involve the new baby. Mom is likely to tell her daughter that Daddy can't help becasue of the new baby, and then she is liable to resent him and her new step sibling.

Ame

By Kate on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 04:01 pm:

What's a rotator??

By Ladypeacek on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 01:11 am:

A rotator is a military plane that transports military from one base to another. You can use these for vacations as well but you are on standby. It would cost him only 10 dollars to use the one on our base. And you can go anywhere the rotator is going.

It isn't because of the new baby that we don't give her the money. We are just going to tell we simply don't have it. If she doesn't use this time to get it together then thats on her but atleast we will get to spend some time with her in the meantime. We will talk to her today to find out if she is even okay with it.

By Feona on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 06:31 am:

You might want Ginny or the lawyer about this. If you give her extra money every month, you might be requried to continue to give her the extra money.

The girl lives at home and has more that 2,500 a month? Sounds like she doesn't need any money. I wouldn't enable her. I would send her to debtors anonymous. She is just like a drunk or a drug addict, but with money. You aren't helping her by giving her the extra money.

By Ginny~moderator on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 07:58 am:

You want a lawyer, not Ginny. I am NOT a lawyer. And I've never, thank heaven, worked in domestic law.

I do think it is a good idea to contact the court that issued the child support order, explain the situation, and ask what would be the best way to handle the payments of extra money so that your dh gets credit. For one thing, I don't remember if child support is a tax deduction to the payor, but if it is it is almost certainly much better to pay it through the court. I do know it is not taxable income to the recipient, so you are not only giving her extra money, you are giving her tax-free money.

I agree, giving her this extra money is only enabling what is a serious problem and if she doesn't get a handle on it you will find yourself continuing to be deluged with pleas for extra money - and the more often you send her money the more often she will ask. I would urge you and dh to talk about this seriously and try to find some ways to deal with this that won't having him feeling guilty.

And, I wouldn't tell her you "simply don't have it". I would tell her flatly that you are not going to send her any extra money because you are not going to send it - period. If something comes up which is related specifically to the daughter's needs, you will consider sending a payment directly to the provider of the service (whatever it is) but you have your children to think of and yourselves, and will no longer send her money beyond the court order.

I think you can be sure that as long as ex is living with her mom, dh's daughter is not going to be neglected or do without.

By Ladypeacek on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 08:36 am:

Well dh talked to her about taking Genny just till she catches up and she said no that even if it was for 3 or 4 months she would still have to pay daycare, which i find silly. She had called dh's MOTHER the night before and gave her a long sad story about needing money for her grandchild and if she could help it would be nice! But she followed up with telling her about the puppy she just bought for genny and the guinea pig and the new pair of nikies! Then how the new dog ate through her brand new 75 dollar plastic crate so she had to buy another one and then she took the puppy back and got a new one and how they made her pay the 50 dollar adoption fee AGAIN. Well between that and what it cost for the guinea pig set up she had spent almost 350 bucks on unneccessary stuff! Now she has 2 more pets in addition to the dog she already had. When she asked dh about the money he told her she was crazy, that he was not giving her our vacation money so that she could drive a brand new car, have a house full of new pets and buy the most expensive shoes for a child that grows out of them in less than 2 weeks. These are all things we sacrifice to have a family vacation so we will not be helping her anymore. We also told her that we will be forwarding that money to the daycare from now on. I was so proud of him cuz usually he is so quiet about this stuff and out of guilt lets her walk all over him. Well just wanted to let you guys know what happened, thanks for all the support!!

By Debbie on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:10 am:

It is great that your dh stood up to her. I would definitely stop sending money to her and just send any daycare money directly to them. I find it hard to believe that she would have to pay daycare if her dd wasn't there???

By Emily7 on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:28 am:

Yah for your dh. I wouldn't be surprised if she tries to get more money through the court system now! Do you get her soon for visitation?

By Ladypeacek on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:13 am:

she can't get more money throught court, we pay her more than ordered already, and we don't get any visitaion over here in England! We are gonna try to fix that though!

By Boxzgrl on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:34 am:

I think she should stay with her Mom. There is no physical or mental abuse going on. Its just a financial problem. And the X is living with her Mom so I wouldn't stress about giving her extra money. The rent is paid, all utilities and i'm sure the X's Mom won't watch her granddaughter starve so she is being fed. If X needs help with daycare, write a check to that business. Otherwise, just pay the child support your obligated to pay. It seems the only thing your DHs daughter would have to sacrifice without you sending money are things she really doesnt need, especially at such a young age. (Nikes, guinea pig, dog, big TV etc...)

Thats JMO though. I've read a few of your posts regarding this situation and it seems as if the X is a good Mom, or tries to be. She just doesn't know how to budget.

(((HUGS))) and Good Luck! This is a lot of stress for you, especially while pregnant.

By Karen~moderator on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 07:29 pm:

That's BULL that she'd have to pay daycare for 4 months if the child were not there.

By Melana on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:04 pm:

I think she's just trying to get more money, no day care can make you pay when you're child does not attend!

By Feona on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 06:47 am:

You don't really know what is going on because you are so far away. Really sounds like drugs to me. Of course I knew compulsive spenders who acted the same way.

By Kittycat_26 on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 07:57 am:

Actually she may be telling the truth about daycare. I'm sure our daycare is not identical but it is set up to automatically deducte out of my paycheck and because it is set up pre-tax it is done on a yearly basis. So, unless I planned the year before to have Timmy out of daycare for several months, I would need to continue to pay regardless if he was there or not. Alot of daycares make you do this to hold the spot.

By Ladypeacek on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:13 am:

i get that but why she couldn't just take her out of that daycare is beyond me, she lives in an area where there are tons of daycares and she got her into that one with a days notice since she got kicked out of the other one! So i think its just an excuse.
As for the drugs,,,we are 100% confident that she does not use drugs, if we even had the thought we would be in there checking it out!


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