I am happy for your great situation but, my dear, you are smug!
We were also paying child support faithfully without an order- it was stupid. When the ex became angry she filed a URESA claiming no support had ever been paid, the case took 3 1/2 years to resolve. During that time the support we were paying to her was garnished and placed in escrow by the state and she went without. My husband was called a deadbeat. It cost almost 3K in legal fees to prevent her ‘double dipping’.
When we married- they were never married- she moved 2,500 miles and interrupted visitation for 23 months. It took almost 10K and a 5 month court battle to restore access. The judge found her at fault on many points and dismissed her counter-suits ‘with prejudice’. There were no consequences for her other than the verbal warnings.
After her repeated denial of access, which got her a slap on the hand, we moved into the area she had chosen. She immediately made plans to move BACK across the country, luckily the court stopped her.
It really does only take one belligerent party to make it hell for everyone. I’ve watched my husband bend over backward to do what was right only to have his ex-girlfriend tell us that she will ‘never let this be easy’.
We see my stepson constantly now- he is 11- he has his own room in our house and openly states that he wants to live here as his primary residence. Problem is that his mother wants the support $$- she openly admits it- and will only agree to our taking custody if she continues to receive support. My stepson is currently living with an aunt- not even his mom.
Would your husband be so calm about paying support if he didn’t see his kids for 23 months? If he were having his wages taken by the state while being screamed at for money on the phone at 2 AM by his ex’s brother and being called a ‘deadbeat f—k’?
You were lucky in your experiences. Most of us were not and we don’t need to be belittled for our past lack of judgment and plain bad luck. Yeah, we all wish we could go back and change the past but we can’t.
And why are you participating in a teen board? I am involved in a counseling profession and wouldn’t want to do that. And I think you should think twice about directing vulnerable teens to this site- it deals with very adult issues that do affect them but we grown ups need to hack this out without a teen audience. Teens will project their own situation onto the things they read here and assume way too much into their own circumstances.