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I am scared to death

  • Iam new to being a single mother of 3 boys ages 7,4 and 7 months.

    My problem is I don't trust my ex he says he will pay for everything and make sure the boys come first.

    But I always think in the back of my mind what if he finds a girl who doesn't understand this and wants all his attention. Or question why he pays so much to me.

    He Pays a good chunk of child support so I don't have to work. But I keep thinking it migt chnage in the future and hes says it won't

    But he brokeapromise before he walked out on us so how do I trust him on this.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by littletigger33 on 7th November 2007
  • Hi, Little Tigger! I'm so sorry you're going through this...

    Get everything in writing. Everything, even the things that seem to be a given, like what bills you pay vs. what bills he pays. Your word vs. his word won't hold up in court, and there's no way to legally enforce a verbal agreement in something like this.

    It doesn't matter if he finds someone else or not... if you don't have it written down, and he reevaluates his financial committment to you and your kids after looking at his bank statement (or at the price tag of something he wants to buy, or after paying his new rent, or whatever), you might not have a leg to stand on.

    If the child support amount he pays is mandated by the court, then he can't change it on a whim (or at the suggestion of someone else); if he's paying more than what the court ordered, get it in writing, and specify the terms under which support can change (in many states, for example, a judge can allow the payer to pay less if he/she has lost his/or her job, but not if he/she has voluntarily taken a job that pays less money)...

    An email from him detailing what he agrees are his responsibilities will be sufficient, though a hard copy with a real handwritten signature is better.

    This is a scary time for you, and I'm so sorry. I hope you're OK.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 7th November 2007
  • Don't even stick to writing. Get everything legally binding. An agreement--even a written one--isn't enough because agreements can change.

    Good luck.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kimberly on 7th November 2007
  • I have to agree. If you do not have a legally binding agreement, then you should be concerned about all of the what if's. And even then it's not loop hole proof.

    My daughter's father told me when I learned I was pregnant that if I chose to keep the baby that he would "take care of the baby". Abortion was not something I was even considering, it was never a choice.

    It has been 7 years (this month) since we had that conversation. When the wife he married (while I was pregnant), learned about me & our child, she told me, "No money would go outside of their house, unless it went through her." So I took her out of the picture and I took him to court. For child support only (at first).

    Later, when he tried to sue for custody, I kissed his %#% long enough to save enough money to hire my own attorney. I counter sued for custody (giving him visitation rights) and an increase in my child support...and got everything I asked for and then some! Money well spent on an attorney.

    So if he's paying a good chunck of child support, I would start "squirreling" some of that away (in a mattress, not a bank) for a rainy day. There are NO guarantees in life. If he decides to just stop paying, it'll be up to YOU to put a roof over your children's heads and food on the table until you can get the courts to make him pay up.

    By the way, when I have to haul my child's father into court for non-payment, I can expect to carry 3 - 4 months of expenses on my own before I collect anyting. Can you afford to do that? Your concerns are coming from your gut and you should listen to them!

    Best wishes!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 8th November 2007
  • You should absolutely NOT trust him and you should start doing what you can RIGHT NOW to protect yourself legally and financially. Besides getting an attorney I would suggest sitting down with a financial planner to understand where you are with your money today and where you will be in the future (college money, rainy day fund, emergency cash, retirement, day-to-day finances). If your ex decides to pull the pin on supporting you and the children financially the time to get ready for that is NOW.

    I suggest turning your fear into the power and confidence to address this right now.

    Merrilyn's comments on having 3-4 months worth of money in the bank is RIGHT ON. I'm afraid you have some work to do. Good luck!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KathyHowe on 8th November 2007
  • I am going through the same thing, sort of, unfortunately I had to go back to work ..which was actually a good thing for me and the kids. But you will be fine, I'm willing to bet you are very strong and most likely stronger than you think. All you do is get up and face those fears everday and plan plan plan like the ladies above mentioned. You can't prevent anything from happening especially since he's proven to be untrustworthy, so expect the best but Plan for The Worst! You will be okay one way or the other, its amazing how we women can get things done in the worst of times! You may scare him off if you start talking about written agreements and asking him to sign on the dotted line, so choose your timing, and save up money for that right time. In the meantime as he pays bills and pays money, document it all, that way when you do go to court he will have set a precedent for the support he's giving you and it will keep the support higher rather than lower, and you can also say you had a verbal agreeement that you stay home with the kids and he provides support. By being a stay at home mom you are foregoing your own income, he may also have to pay you spousal support if you divorce. Get everything you can, so you can support your babies!!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by cindyloohoo on 12th November 2007
  • Been there done that. And it sucks! I had to return to work like Cindyloohoo. I was 5 months pregnant with a toddler and a preschooler. It's not fun. Don't play nice. I did and I ended up getting screwed. Get everything in court filed papers. Most counties have family law offices to help you do the paperwork if you can't hire an attorney. Get him to sit down with you and fill the paperwork out as the situation is now. You can re-evaluate later (usually every 2 years depending on your state). File the papers with the court, once the judge signs them they are standing and your state will enforce the child support amount if he stops paying it. That said, put as much away as you can, keep in mind if you have money in the bank he may be able to use that as grounds that you don't need all the support he is paying (the mattress is a great idea). When we switched over to the state collecting the child support, I went several months with very little funds coming in. Stay strong.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Yes, Mommy has to work today on 21st November 2007
  • I must say your story scares the crap out of me. It's good you get child support; personally I've never been so fortunate. I want to say something about personal responsibility and accountability. You should never put all your eggs in one basket and you definitely should not rely on these child support payments solely. Even if he has every intention on continuing to pay this child support amount, there is still no guarantee that you'll never have to return to work. What if he suddenly became ill, or was in a horrendous accident, or injured himself at work and was unable to pay and yes, what if he met a woman who didn't like this arrangement and was crafty enough to show him how to hide his money and to make it look like his annual income was much lower than it really is? How would you support you and your children? It isn't alway about what if he just stops paying, sometimes real life just happens and that could severely alter your situation. These are just my thoughts. I hope you take offense in no way. Just want you to be prepared just in case. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 8th December 2007
  • I agree with all the posters. Act fast and get things set in stone as much as possible if they aren't already.

    Since you can stay at home now, use this time to figure out your next steps. What happens when your situation changes? What job skills do you have? Could you go back to school? In person or online? What kind of jobs can you have right now? What can you do while staying at home to build up your resume and skills? Can you volunteer somewhere? Do you have computer skills? Most software programs have a 30 day trial period, download one at a time and study it in-depth for the entire trial period. There are all sorts of free classes online, Barnes and Noble has some. University extension services are another resource. Even if they don't directly lead to a job, they'll keep your brain agile and give you something else to think about.

    If you're in a big city, look for women's organizations related to family and jobs. In Mpls, there's Women Venture at I'm showing this as an example of what to look for in your own town. If you're in a smaller town, look for state and county job resources. They can be excellent and worth the time.

    Best of luck!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenns on 9th December 2007
  • I know what you are going through. My husband recently left me and my boy boys. Brayden is 2 1/2 and Zachary is 1. My ex told me he would pay for everything. Yeah right! I actually took him to court to get childsupport after he was 5weeks late with support payments.I am working part time and going to college fulltime. I know I need a degree if I want to give my boys what I had growing up. My ex never even sent my boys a christmas card or present. He didn't even call them. He has yet to call. Its very frustrating but like everyone else said. Don't play nice. I know you think you can trust him but obviously something went wrong, because you aren't together anymore. I hope everything works out for the best
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Stacy on 2nd January 2008

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