I was sent to your blog during my horrible divorce from a cheating husband back in 2016. While he hadn’t been particularly engaged in family life during our marriage, when the divorce proceedings started he became outright abusive.
Even though we were married for 10 years, have two amazing kids and a lot of joint property, once he made it clear he wanted a divorce and nothing could stop him, I made sure he got his divorce. From D-Day to divorce was 6 months and 17 days. Exactly 200 days. I had always had control over our finances, even though he spent all of our money. So, I knew aside from the cars and the house, there was nothing of value. I just got him the heck out of here!
Due to the length of our marriage, and me being a stay-at-home mom since our oldest was born, I was entitled to spousal support. And as he moved nearly an hour away, the kids have been with me primarily, so there’s child support.
The three of us made do with that, as well as a part-time grocery store job for the first two years, as I tried to patch myself together. Then, in 2018, I decided to head to community college and get an associate’s degree in information technology. I graduated in December 2020, possibly the worst time to graduate. I also had two IT certifications.
The past 6 months, I’ve tried finding work-from home-positions, but I’ve seen the numbers on LinkedIn and I’m at the bottom of the pile. But Monday afternoon a job offer came in with a company I’ve fallen in love with as I’ve talked to their employees, who all tell me how great it is to work there. It’s a company that acknowledges that I’m an entry-level candidate and are willing to train me into the position they want me in. I expected a “entry level” salary, but they offered $25,000 over what I was hoping at the very best.
I cried all of Monday, tears of shock and joy. This position frees me 100 percent from the dependency of my ex and his child support. This position allows me to move out of the marital home, where I’ve been “stuck” for the past 5 years, with all the bad memories from my divorce. This position gives me freedom to finally live my life and move to wherever I want to live.
Thank you! ❤️
(CN, the subject header of this email was “Tuesday and then some.”)
I love a good dose of Mighty in the morning! The story here for me is your tenacity. You had to step (plummet) into the scary unknown and field marshal your way to a new life. Success is very satisfying, but courage is persevering.
No one told you how this was going to end. You had to take those community college classes on faith. You had to face rejection in the job market. You had to be the Sane Parent as cheating, abandoning ex bailed, raged, and moved away.
Your employer saw your worth (hurrah!) — but you saw your worth first. And it’s a hell of a thing to LIVE that when the world around you is rejecting you. I’m sure you’re inspiring a lot of chumps today to keep going.
A word about financial freedom from fuckwits. Child support enforcement in this country is a travesty.
A U.S. Census report estimates that just 43.5 percent of custodial parents get the full amount of support they’re entitled to. And more than 30 percent don’t receive anything at all.
Total arrearages in the U.S. are $113 billion with a B. (I once did a story on this for Washington Lawyer in 2017, and that was the figure then. I’m sure it’s grown. The numbers above are from a 2019 census study.)
I say this not to make anyone stay in a marriage with a fuckwit For The Children, but to help you PLAN and PROTECT YOURSELF.
Stay-at-home parenting is a very risky proposition, IMO. I understand the choices, the cost of childcare is insane, we don’t have enough paid family leave in this country. I could get on my soap box and go on. (VOTE, people! Care about this shit at the state level! Hold your representatives accountable! This is an access of justice issue for MILLIONS of people, mostly women!)
When the SAH commitment goes pear-shaped (thank you for being a good wife appliance, your services are no longer needed. Okay, well they are, but I don’t want to pay for them, let the children live on air, so I can fuck strange….) you are at a profound economic disadvantage.
So, let CrazyDogLady serve as an example.
Work job training and insurance into your divorce settlement. Consider a lump sum pay out for this, because as we see above, it’s difficult to enforce court orders if you have a uterus.
Always, ALWAYS enforce child support as best you can. Yes, the system sucks. However, the system can work if your ex has a steady job that can dock a paycheck. Self-employment, state skipping, gig life — very difficult to enforce. A job that requires a social security number is a job that can that collect support auto-deducted by the state. NEVER EVER hesitate to enforce child support. They may not collect, HOWEVER, this shit goes on their credit record and you may have options when they collect social security.
Child support is for the kids. It’s not a gift. It’s not a favor. It’s a bitch cookie. It’s the VERY LEAST THEY CAN DO. (Like, literally, it’s the least.) Oh, you paid $200 toward the dental bill? The actual bill is $1200. Oh, you pay $399 a month in support? That’s two weeks of groceries.
(I know there are chump dads out there who faithfully pay their support and get their kids half time if that, all because they got cheated on. Unjust. A shout out to the good guys.)
Consider a new career path. Nursing? IT? HVAC repair? Job security is a beautiful thing.
CrazyDogLady, congrats on your new job and enjoy never, ever having to dance for a fuckwit again. Enjoy the liberation of not needing anything from him. But please cash those support checks — they are yours and the kids’ and you earned them.