When my divorce was final, I had mixed emotions. I was sad that my marriage had failed, but there was also an underlying sense of relief that it was over. When I mentioned the relief to friends who were also divorced, they said, "Put that feeling on hold. It's not really over. You have kids together, so there will be milestones like weddings and grandkids and funerals that you will both be part of."
Okay. That didn't make me very happy, because right about then, I could cheerfully have gone the rest of my life without ever having anything to do with my ex-husband again. Well, except for the support checks. I needed those to keep on coming so I could keep on homeschooling my kids in the home they've always known.
It has been less than two years since the divorce was final, and I am beginning to see the devastating truth. It isn't over. It may never be over. He still has control over me through the courts and finances, and as long as I am trying to keep my kids' lives normal, I can't take back that control.
So far, we have had to renegotiate support twice, visitation once, and an issue with one of our children where we could not agree on what was best for the child. I could fight to remove legal custody from him, but that would be a very expensive proposition, and I am still paying off my attorney's bills from the other issues.
Which brings me to finances. My ex-husband is supposed to pay child support and alimony each month by the end of the month. As of today, not even counting this month's support, he is well over a month behind in his support payments. He always has an excuse for the support enforcement officers when they contact him, and apparently they don't bother to verify his excuses.
For example, when he moved to Canada, he told Domestic Relations that his employer there would not honor a US court order to attach his wages, and for the first 8 months that he lived there, he more or less paid his support on his own. It was often late, frequently not the full amount, and never consistent from one month to the next. But today, when I called Domestic Relations to find out why I haven't yet received all of November's money, let alone any of December's or January's, I was informed that his wages are being attached and that it takes time to set that up. So, either he was lying and nobody bothered to check on it when he first moved there, or he is lying now, telling them that it is being set up when he knows that it isn't because his employer refuses to do it, and buying himself a few more weeks of not supporting his children.
In any case, I am still being held hostage by my ex and his desire for control.
What is sad is that this man hasn't bothered to see his children since April, rarely ever talks to them on the phone or emails them, usually doesn't answer his phone when they call him and takes days to return their calls, if indeed he bothers to, and now he is refusing to support them on a consistent basis. And yet he can legally maintain control over the children and me.
Will it ever be over?