LatherRinseRepeat--Yeah right

Ramblings of an over-worked, over-tired SAHM

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"FUMING!!" update - Settled at last - I think

Sorry I haven't written here in a while. I really hope someone is still checking in every once in a while. I know I've said this before, but I'll try to be better about writing in here more often.

I just wanted to write an update to my "FUMING!!!" post a couple of months ago, about the child support/college fund situation with A's father. We have a settlement agreement, we've both signed it (although my lawyer and I had one small change regarding a bankruptcy clause in the settlement - more about that later), and we're waiting for his lawyer's office to send someone over with checks to pick up the original so he can initial the change.

We went to mediation last month and I ended up walking out after almost 5 hours (the first hour of which was waiting for him to even show up). At mediation, I was trying to be nice and gave in on some things that I probably shouldn't have, in the interest of getting this resolved. I thought I was being fair but then they pushed me just a bit too far. I'm funny that way. I'll give in and put up with alot, too much sometimes, but I have my limits and when those limits are reached, I'm done. My latin temper picks the oddest times to flair up. I've gotten better about it as I've gotten older, my fuse is much longer than it used to be, but when I'm pushed too far or backed into a corner, look out!!

I held firm on the college fund, but I had given in on some of the back child support and unpaid insurance and medical bills. I had even given him a break on future child support. But when the mediator came back and said he would only pay child support until May 31st even though A doesn't turn 18 until the first week of June and he wasn't willing to pay $62 a month for A's health insurance for the next few months until he turns 18, I LOST IT, big time!! I told him I was done. I told the mediator that he and his lawyer DO NOT get to pick when his obligation to A ends! I'm not sure the mediator believed me when I said I was done, because he went back into the other room to try to get things worked out again. I turned to my lawyer and told her I was done, this was BS and I was getting out of there. I asked how much my half of mediation was, wrote a check about as fast as I've ever written one in my entire life, slapped it down on the desk and walked out the door. I passed the mediator in the hallway as I was walking out. I didn't even look at him, just walked by as he stood there with a dumbfounded look on his face. Just before the door closed behind me, I heard him say, "What the hell just happened?!!"

I got outside and remembered that my lawyer had driven me over to the mediators office and my car was parked 4 blocks away near her office. Good thing it was close, because I started walking down the street. There wasn't a snowballs chance in hell that I was going back into that office. I was almost to my car, when I saw my lawyer's car pulling up behind me. I apologized for leaving like that and she said she understood. She drove me to my car and said she had to go back to sign something saying we had reached an impasse. That's one way to put it, I suppose. I told her I'd call her the next day to talk about the next step. She later told me that when she went back, the mediator, A's father and his lawyer were all standing there asking what happened. She simply said, "You pushed my client too far", signed the paper and left.

Our next step from there was to request a trial date from the judge assigned to the case and file a motion to compel the rest of the discovery we never got from him, including bank records and investment information. This was all stuff that I knew he'd go to great lengths not to have to disclose. He was not happy about this. About 10 days after mediation, he called A to tell him that he couldn't afford to pay A's cell phone anymore and it was being disconnected. A got mad and told his father that he had seen his financial affidavit and it was BS that he couldn't afford the phone. Five minutes later when A went to call him back (after I talked to him and calmed him down) to apologize for saying that, he found that the phone was already disconnected. I know he was just doing it to turn the screws to me because his lawyer had already sent a settlement proposal to my lawyer which was the same as the mediation agreement, except for the insurance. They still weren't willing to pay the extra month of child support. I told my lawyer that they could kiss my big, white ass. She, of course, just politely declined the settlement. My husband and I went out that weekend and got A a new cell phone, added him to our plan to share minutes and got him unlimited text messaging - since that's all teenagers seem to do all the time anyway. I don't like him to be out driving, especially at night, without being able to reach him. Anyway, A was still not totally happy since he lost his number and the phone we got him wasn't as nice as his old one which we couldn't use because it's still on his dad's contract, but he's mostly over it.

Last week, A's father got the paperwork from my lawyer requesting the bank statements and all that. Next thing I knew, I got a phone call from A's grandmother, who I have a great relationship with even though her son is a jerk. She said she knows how upset A is about the phone and the whole situation. She asked me to try to settle it "for A's sake". I told her that I know he's upset and that I'm really sorry he got caught in the middle of it. I told her that when this all started, I naively thought we could get it settled over the summer when A was at camp so he wouldn't be caught in the middle. In the end, I promised her to give it one more shot at settling. I knew A's father had put her up to calling but I hate that she's in the middle of it too. She even went as far as to offer to help with A's college expenses out of her 401k, which she can start collecting on later this year at 70 & 1/2. I told her no way. Thanks, but NO. I mean, she just turned 70 and she's still working part time, not because she wants to, but to make ends meet. How could I possibly accept help with A's college from her when her son is perfectly capable, if somewhat unwilling, to pay for A's education? She and A's grandfather are such nice people, I can't for the life of me understand how they could have a son like that. Must have dropped him on his head or something.

Anyway, I let my lawyer play bad cop by insisting on bank statements and such, while I played good cop by offering what I thought was a fair settlement. It was more than what we had almost agreed to in mediation, maybe even more than we would have gotten at trial, but it gave him a way out of having to provide lots of information he'd rather not disclose. (He's a lobbyist and I'm sure there's cash there somewhere that doesn't get reported to the IRS). He jumped at it. So basically, he's putting enough into a college investment plan (that I will have control over) for A to cover 4 years of tuition and 2 years of dorm and meal plans plus 10% extra to cover any increases in tuition. He's also paying over $20,000 in back child support, unpaid insurance and medical bills, and reimbursing me for the mediation costs I paid. He's paying my lawyer's fees and also paying child support through the end of June this year. The only thing my lawyer asked him to add to the agreement was language saying that none of the obligations on this agreement are dischargable through bankruptcy, just in case because half of the back child support and stuff is due today and the balance is due May 1st. He sent over an agreement that said, "It is not the intent of the parties that the provisions herein may be discharged in bankruptcy". We changed it to read, "The provisions herein may NOT be discharged in bankruptcy". We'll have to wait and see if he initials that part and gives us the checks.

I'm just glad it's over - I think. It's been very stressful for all of us. But I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat to make sure A gets what he is entitled to. I couldn't make his father be a good father to him and be there when he needed him, but I can make sure he gets what he is rightfully entitled to from him. It's not the same, obviously, but it's the best I can do for him. All in all, I'm satisfied with it. A now has a college fund that should be enough to get him through college since he qualifies for a state scholarship funded through the lottery that will pay most of his tuition if he maintains his GPA through college. If not, most of the money for back child support is going into an account to help pay his other expenses including traveling home for holidays and summers. He should be fine.

****UPDATE**** I just got a phone call from my lawyer's office saying that he sent over the checks and is fine with the change in the bankruptcy clause. Boy, am I glad that's over with. Just in time for me to go out and celebrate. (I'm meeting some coworkers for drinks/dinner along with a former coworker who is moving soon)


  • At 9:40 AM, Blogger ccw said…


    I am amazed at the lengths some people will go to get out of their obligations. It sickens me when parents are so caught up in being an ass to the other parent that they totally disregard the feelings of the child. Poor A!

    Stories like this make me feel forunate to have my ex for an ex. He treated me like crap but he loves Kid L and has never done or said anything (since our divorce) to hurt her feelings.

    I am glad that things are settled and college will no longer be a concern. Good for you and A!

  • At 9:59 AM, Blogger Biddie said…

    Thank goodness. I am struggling with the same issues here, and I just don't have the strength to fight anymore.
    I can't believe that your x disconnected A's cell phone just to piss you off. He sounds alot like my x. My x won't buy HIS kids any Christmas/birthday gifts, because that would some how be helping me. I just don't get it.
    Glad to see that you can relax a little now.


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