Saturday, June 14, 2008

This is the line.

Here's the line.

Here's the side of the line you're supposed to be on.

There are questions you don't get to ask anymore. There are demands you don't get to make.

You want to leave your wife? Go play house with a woman of loose virtue? Fine. You get to do that. You want a divorce, you get to have one.

But you have to pay for the privelege.

I'm sorry you dicked around with the discoveries for so long that the pay stubs you handed over to my lawyer were your biggest of the year. Child support was set in accordance with state guidelines. You had your chance to object and say you don't usually make that much money, but you didn't. You agreed.

That money--and it's really not that much, for three children--ceases to be your business when you hand it over to me. You don't get to demand receipts. You don't get to demand that I spend it on the children only in ways of which you approve.

You can show me your budget, and show me the shortfall, and that 75% of the shortfall is child support. You can tell me that your parents are making that up for you. Great. Good for you. Hell, if you want to offer to help me set a budget, great. I might go for that. But no, I will not keep a receipt for the money I spend and be answerable to you. Any money I spend is for the good of the children. That's the way it works.

I can explain that I've had to buy Linda new shoes, and new underwear twice and new clothes twice and that I still don't have enough clothes for her. I can explain that I spent $60 on food last week, and I'm spending money on things like gasoline. But I shouldn't have to.

Nor should I have to apologize for wanting to take my daughter out for lunch when it's her turn to spend the day with Mommy. We shared a meal and a drink, for what it's worth. As if it is your business. I asked for the child support six hours early, so sue me. No law says that it's supposed to come in the afternoons, and if you want to get really technical, the truth is that you're supposed to be giving me all of it, once a month, not part of it every week. I agreed to that weekly thing, and that means to me that I need to make the child support last a week. Which I did. Except, you know, for the part I spent to buy you some groceries. Come to think of it, that money would have paid for our lunch quite nicely. But I didn't even think of pointing that out to you.

Really, the money thing sucks. Shoulda talked to the other guys at work who are paying child support. You can't create kids, and tell your wife you want her to stay at home and take care of those kids, and think you get to walk out the door and leave them swinging. Life doesn't work that way.

Methinks, if you've truly got a budgetary shortfall, you need to look to yourself to address it. Quit leaving your computer and air conditioner running when you aren't even at home, for starters. Expend a little less gas running off to Wal-Mart and HEB to meet up with your girlfriend where her husband hopefully won't see. Talk to your boss and find out why the hell you've been working there for nearly two years and you're still just a drain technician when the other guys who were hired at the same time as you are gearing up for their journeyman's test. Or, here's a thought, don't give up a $525 job (that's your cut) because you don't want to miss having Monday off. Jesus, that alone would account for nearly all of the money you're expected to pay me.

Which is to say: it's not my fault. And I'm not your concern, by your own hand.

(File this one under: things I can't say because I'm trying to stay friends for the sake of the kids.)


Anonymous said...

Excellent blog, Sabra. I think you should mention to your lawyer that he's demanding receipts and see how well that goes over.

And if his parents are helping him out, why can't they buy him groceries, anyway?

Jessica (Sjkmaurice) said...

I agree with Anonymous. He should NOT be making you feel guilty for anything.

P.S. When did you open comments? I have been faithfully reading and cheering for you and I'm glad I can tell you that now.