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This is Life, Based on a True Story  

Gold-digger moms

A dead-beat dad is a man who owes his ex-spouse child support for the care of their children, but doesn’t pay. This results in havoc for the other parent and, of course, the children.

Unfortunately, dead-beat dads are far too numerous.

A gold-digger mom is compensated more than fairly by the father for the care of their children, at the extreme financial detriment to the father.

Unfortunately, this is a growing problem.

Gold-digger moms. Yup, I said it. It’s one thing to be compensated fairly for raising children, but when fair only swings to the extreme advantage of one parent, it’s a problem.

(Dead-beat dad can also apply to moms, as can gold-diggers moms apply to dads. For the sake of this column though, I’m going to stick with the more common terms.}

I’m sure many of us have heard a story about or know a man who, in our minds, pays and pays and pays his ex when it comes to spousal and child support. We listen in disbelief and wonder how this can happen.

If it’s the mom who wasn’t being paid, people are all over that, calling the father every derogatory term possible. So why is it almost taboo to stand up for the dad who’s paying more than he can afford?

I know a guy who’s in this situation. He and his wife divorced. They sold the family home and each bought separate homes.

The ex-wife is in a serious relationship (since the marriage ended) with another guy who has a seven-figure income, but they’re not living together.

The new man not only provides for the ex-wife, but is also exceptionally generous to her two teenage kids – providing such things as vehicles and trips for them.

Meanwhile, the dad has been dragged through the mud with child support. After purchasing a house closer to the kids’ school so they’d be able to stay with him half the time, the kids opted to stay with their mom.

They liked the lifestyle being provided better on her side than their dad’s.

The kids are of the age where they’re allowed to make that choice.

Due to company restructuring, the dad has to find a new job. His old job paid him quite well. He does find a job, but at a lower pay and in a different town.

Now, he has to sell the house he just bought to be closer to his kids and move to a place where he doesn’t know anyone and is starting at the bottom.

Forced to move, you say? Yes, forced. There was no work where he lived, and he has to make a living somehow.

He has a bigger problem — his child support was based on his previous year’s income, the one he no longer has.

He knows he can get it changed – for a cost. He just doesn’t have the extra money to do that right now. And quite frankly, he’s feeling pretty beaten down by the last go-around with the ex and money.

It’s been a battle from the beginning and he hasn’t yet won.

His lifestyle has changed dramatically. As a result of his high child support, lower income and re-starting life again in a new town, he’s had months where he’s been unable to afford basic staples conducive to living – like food. 

He’s more concerned with keeping a roof over his head. He’s lost his support network by having to move from the place he’s lived in for years.

He’s had bouts of depression and feels he’s losing touch with his kids who don’t want to visit him as he can’t afford to do fun things with them.

In addition to the huge child support, he’s also still responsible for covering half the kids’ extra-curricular expenses, which range from hockey to horses; and we all know those aren’t cheap.

He’s tried talking to his ex to see if they can re-negotiate what he pays her. The answer is always no.

His ex-wife isn’t willing to discuss anything with him and insists on using lawyers only for communication – yet another luxury he can’t afford. So the cycle continues.

The ex-wife in the meantime is literally living the high life, courtesy of her new beau’s money and the child support she receives from her ex. In addition, she also makes a decent income at her own job.

Here’s another story. Husband and wife separate. He works out of town most of the month so by default, the mom has sole custody.

Dad pays child support and all extra-curricular expenses for their child to the mom, based on the custody arrangement set-up by their lawyers.

The child and the mom have a lot of conflict and the mom kicks the child out. The dad, of course, steps in to provide a home for his child even though he works out of town three weeks of the month.

Now, the child lives full-time with dad who scrambles constantly to make arrangements for his kid’s care for the weeks he’s away.

The kicker is he’s still paying full child support to the mother, even though the child is with him full-time.

When asked why he continues to pay, he says he’s scared his ex will report him to Family Maintenance about him not paying as she’s threatened to and because there’s no legal documents saying the child now lives with him full-time.

He doesn’t know his rights.

He’s also afraid if he does go back to re-work the child support, the ex will now go for spousal support because their divorce isn’t yet finalized and she can claim she rejected spousal at first as she was “under duress.”

But she’d be making that claim to make up for the child support she’d be losing.

In each case, neither dad has a problem with paying support for their children. But they both feel as though they’re bankrolling their ex-wives’ new standards of high living, which is courtesy of their payments to them.

Both men acknowledge they need to educate themselves about their rights and course of action in their individual cases.  

They are both concerned about the stigma attached to that. Combine that with the fear of a possible worse outcome, and its no wonder it’s sometimes easier for men to just suck it up in these situations.

There are countless other stories like these two men. Yet no one talks about it. The men feel a sense of failure toward their kids and a great deal of frustration and animosity toward their ex’s.

Admittedly, I don’t know any more about the men’s rights in these situations, but I certainly feel for them.

Thanks for reading.

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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]

 

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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