More from the words of Jed Abraham
They believe Mommy. They believe you have enough money. In the beginning you used to buy them clothes. You used to buy them other things, too. Now you don’t. They believe you don’t love them anymore.
Your time with the children has become a test. You can’t pass the test. It’s painful to you. It’s painful to them. They discover they don’t feel the pain when the skip a visit. Neither do you.
What you feel is beyond pain.
Your ex remarries.
Your children stop coming altogether.
Your now wife is pregnant.
Out of the blue, your ex calls. She says she’s going on vacation with her husband. Without the kids. You can have them for two full weeks. She abruptly hangs up. Five minutes later, your first children are ringing your doorbell.
Your first children have changed since they last visited. They’re full-fledged teenagers now. They’re sloppy, they’re surly, they’re rude. They stay out late.
They’ve been in trouble with the police. Your boy was ticketed while driving under the influence. Your girl was nabbed for shoplifting.
They’ve had problems with their stepfather. He was cold to your boy. Didn’t want the whippersnapper getting in the way with your ex. He was vulgar to your girl. Made her feel she was just another female object around the house. Your ex told them not to make a big deal of it because he pays the bills and he’s the best they’ve got right now.
They resent your new wife.
Your ex returns from vacation.
She makes you an offer.
Her husband found a new job out of state. She and her husband are moving there. She has custody, and under the law she’ll be able to take the children. You always said you wanted them. She’ll give you extended visitation. The children will stay with you during the school year. They can come to her for a couple of weeks during the summer. The only thing is, she keeps legal custody and she doesn’t pay you child support. If you don’t take the deal, she’ll take the children, and you’ll have to keep paying her child support.
Your new wife is a good woman. She met you right after your divorce when the children were still coming to visit. She knew you’d be financially pressed when she married you. She was willing to put up with it and to share the burden because she admired your devotion to your kids, even as they pulled away from you. She wanted some of that devotion for herself and for the kids she planned to have with you. She hasn’t been too disappointed.
And now she’s just fit to be tied. She’s not gonna let that bitch toss you the mess she made of your kids and then expect you to pay for her share. She’s not gonna let that witch throw a monkey wrench in her marriage. She’s not gonna let your kids be a bad influence on the kid she’s expecting. Your hotel has no vacancies.
Your ex tells your children she would have let them stay with you, but you didn’t want them.
More on the chapter “Child Support” on next chapter