It’s a big deal when we find our voices. The last time I was in court with my ex husband regarding child support was in 2011. Yes – 5 years ago. At that time, I was so disgusted by the way the BOSE (Bureau of Support Enforcement) had been handling the case, I was at my wit’s end. And he was more than $36,000 in child support arrears.
*Just for the record – he’s not a bad person. Not great at paying his bills on time, but he does love his kids to the best of his ability.
I “fired” BOSE that day, and settled for $75 a week for our 2 daughters, payable directly to me. $325 a month is less than many moms receive for one child. We were on Medicaid and received other government assistance like Food Stamps – I made it work.
But 2 years ago, I started to find my voice. It was hard – and if it wasn’t for email, it probably would have sounded like a small peep or squeak 🙂 But I tend to be mouthier in writing than in person, so it was almost forceful! However, I still didn’t have the guts to file the paperwork.
When I figured it up that it would take him paying an extra $100 a week until our younger daughter was 18 in order to be caught up, something snapped. I realized at some soul level that I was allowing myself to outsource my power. He’s still over $36,000 behind. So something had to give.
I have every right to receive the support ordered for the girls. And (more importantly) they deserve the benefit of it. Cuz let me tell you – 2 teen aged daughters is not only an emotional roller coaster, but they’re getting really expensive! My oldest will be eligible for a learners permit to drive in the Spring… and we don’t get food stamps or medicaid anymore, so there’s additional expenses. I recently cut my hours to 32 a week to home school the younger of the two – who started back to public school last week (but that’s another post! #homeschoolparentingfail) so there’s less income, more outgo, and well, the principle of it all too damn it.
I can say with a clear conscious that I’ve attempted every way I know how to keep it out of court. I’ve tried negotiating, I’ve tried talking, I’ve tried yelling, and cussing, and telling him he’s a worthless piece of sh!t (maybe not to his face…) I’ve even suggested he sign over his rights. To no avail. So, today we meet in front of the Magistrate, who will look at the facts.
Today, I can surrender to the will of the court. I can speak up for my daughters, and for myself. And I can trust that whatever happens, is for my greater good. Because filing the contempt paperwork was a big deal – and now I know – I can do it. I can speak up.
What have you spoken up about that was freeing for you? Is there something you WANT to speak up about but haven’t? I’d love to know!
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