I have a problem that I know many men face and hopefully this can help me gain some insight.
I am a 26 year old man and I have 3 kids with my ex, who is also 26 years old. We were married for a few years and we broke up for good around July 2015 after she cheated on me, got pregnant and kicked me out to move the other guy in. Now, even before that, our marriage was pretty much over so while I was shocked she did it like that, I wasn’t devastated behind it. I had been ready to get out of the marriage because I realized we were two totally different people and I also realized I was not in love with her.
After she kicks me out, I move in with my parents for a few months before getting my own spot around October 2015. She’s still allowing me to see my kids every weekend at this point and me and her new dude have met with no issue and I’m fine with their situation. Fast forward to about December 2015 and I meet a woman who becomes the love of my life; we are still together now and she has been by my side through this whole ordeal.
So, in April 2016, my ex has her new baby with her new baby daddy. I go one weekend to pick the kids up like normal and she comes outside, freaking out and slashes my tires, “Cuz I had a b***h in HER car,” (I kept the car we had in both of our names after the break up and she kept the apartment and furniture). Someone must have saw me riding around with my new girl, but I’m like, you had a baby with someone else and everything! Why does it matter?
So, she does all this and I get out to inspect my car. Next thing you know I hear shots being fired and I go in my car to get my gun. I realize it’s not there and that her baby daddy went in my car while I was arguing with her and stole my gun and was shooting at me! He runs inside with my gun and I call 911. They take me to jail on some domestic stuff she fabricated and I get out 2 days later.
Two weeks after that, I get a letter in the mail to be put on child support. I had been paying her an agreed upon amount weekly since we split, but I guess that was no longer good enough for her. So, child support says I have to pay her $1100/month (I’m a plumber and she’s a cashier at Wal-Mart and she lied to the child support office and said her baby daddy don’t live with her).
During this time frame she calls me out the blue every week or so begging for me to take her back. Her and her new boyfriend break up every week it seems like and she tries to create drama for me! So, I started recording our convos so she could never say I’m harassing her or trying to get with her. I never ever give her hope and always hang up when she starts that kind of stuff.
So, I start paying the child support, but ever since then she holds the kids from me on select weekends whenever she feels like it with no warning. She will cut her phone off the whole weekend and I think she blocked my number. I NEVER call or text her until Friday when it’s time to get my kids and her excuse will be that her phone was broken for the weekend. Yeah, okay. So, she pulled that stunt recently and I checked her Facebook and of course she was posting like crazy. So, I commented on her post about getting my kids. She deleted the comment and blocked me.
I filed for divorce last month and am trying to save up the $2k retainer for the child custody lawyer so I can get my kids. It’s taking me so long because I’m broke from paying child support every month. I complained to the child support office that I’m paying all this money and not seeing my kids and they said I have to file an appeal, which will cost more money and will take months. I can’t take this anymore! I love my kids more than anything.
What can I do in the meantime since I guess filing for custody and an appeal are the only options I have? I feel like I have my back against the wall. I don’t want to go to her house unannounced and for something to pop off with her boyfriend. I’m trying to protect myself, but the system does NOT work for men. She gets away with murder and I’m stuck with no options. I’d like all advice, and maybe from some women who can explain why other women do this? Help! – Just Want My Kids
Dear Mr. Just Want My Kids,
It amazes me how folks get together with someone, get married, have kids, and then when things don’t work out they are fighting like wild animals, and pointing the blame at one another over who is right and who is wrong. And, during all this fighting, name calling, blaming, and pointing the finger at one another I wonder if it ever occurs to either of you that at one point you chose one another. You chose to cohabitate, get married, and have kids with that person. You chose to bring that person into your life. And, now you are acting surprised by their behavior and what they are doing because the situation didn’t work out between you two. You knew who you married. You knew who you laid with. You knew the type of person they were from the beginning, so why are you surprised by what they are doing now?
Anyway, the point I’m making is that your situation and your story is nothing new. You’re both are going to have to grow up, and learn how to co-parent for the sake of your children. Stop all these silly games and shenanigans, and get it together. Grow up and be mature adults. All these ghetto antics and childish mind games becomes old real quick. But, you both love the drama because you both continue to participate in it. Otherwise, you both would figure out a way to be sensible adults and stop making this about you and make it about your children. Case in point, she turns off her phone on the weekends when she knows that you are supposed to pick up the kids. You go to her Facebook page and notice she is posting, so you comment on her page something about the kids. Why egg her on? Why make a public statement and create drama that others can see and get involved with? You could have sent her a message, but instead you posted it publicly for everyone to see. You get the point? You both like drama, and you both participate in it. Stop it and grow up!
And, I don’t believe that you are as innocent as you portray yourself to be. Your wife just up and sleep with another man, gets pregnant, puts you out, and you leave amicable, and don’t put up a fight? You let her move another man in, and you are unfazed by all of this? You claim the marriage was over, but, yet and still, I don’t know anyone who would just let all this occur without a fight, without an argument, or some type of emotional and mental response. You just didn’t leave and say, “Okay, cool.” Naw, son, I ain’t buying it. You did some dirt and you’re throwing stones but hiding your hands. Something happened, and it’s a critical detail that you are leaving out of this story. So, therefore, you own whatever part you played in this, and you take responsibility for your role in what you did to her, what you did to your marriage, and how you contributed to the downfall and end of it, or otherwise you will never have peace. Own your –ish and be man enough to admit what you did. Stop blaming all of this on her. She is not 100 percent at fault. You played a role in this.
Also, how do you break up if you’re married and haven’t filed for divorce? You’re still married, and therefore you both are cheating. Regardless if she got pregnant, moved another guy in, and you moved on and have a girlfriend. You’re both still married to each other, and thus, until you get divorced, then you are still married. Hell, you may even be separated, but you’re still married. And, you do realize this is a tit for tat relationship? You’re both responding to other and trying to outdo one another, and convince yourselves that the other is worse or more horrible than the other? Silly ass adults.
However, I do have a quick question before I move on – If you had a gun in your car, and your soon-to-be ex-wife’s boyfriend goes into your car and steals it and begins shooting at you, then, I’m curious to know if you have a CCW license? And, why didn’t you report this to the police? Wouldn’t he get arrested for theft, and attempted murder? If you don’t have a CCW license, then, why are you riding around with a gun in your car? And, does he still have your gun?
Anyway, you want to know what to do in the meantime. Well, I wonder why do you still have her name on the car if you two are no longer together? What purpose does it serve having her name on the car? Did you both sign for the car when you got it? If not, then it’s just a simple phone call to remove her name, and therefore she can’t claim someone is riding in her car. Or, wait, did she co-sign for the car because you didn’t have good credit? Anyway, it’s a mess. If you and she are no longer together, then get out of the situation with this car, and get your own. That way, you don’t have to worry about having anything in her name, or carrying anything over into another relationship. If you keep things tied with one another, then, you will always be bound to each other legally, and it will keep the drama going. So, get rid of it, and you will get rid of her.
Next, how does she keep an apartment? If she is leasing the apartment, then she can’t keep something that doesn’t belong to either of you. Now, if your name is on the lease, then have the rental company remove your name as you no longer live there. Let them know you moved out and whatever fees you have to pay for terminating your lease and getting your name off, then, you pay those and be done with the apartment. Again, if you plan to get divorced then you have to begin the process of dividing what you keep and what she keeps. An apartment is nothing either of you own. It’s just a matter of removing your name from the lease.
If you have any bills, bank accounts, or other things tied to one another, then, it’s time to separate them and get your name off any of these items, or she removes your name. You shouldn’t be sharing bills, bank accounts, or anything else. If the relationship is over, and you are looking to file for divorce, then, get these items out of your name, and start to build your own credit. The only thing that should require any attachment to your soon-to-be ex-wife is if you have health insurance, and you should only include your children’s name on the health insurance. Make sure they are covered with medical, dental, and vision.
As far as child support and custody, well, why didn’t you ask for visitation rights? You could have requested for shared custody of your children, and this would have resolved this issue of all this back and forth with her holding them over you. If you have shared custody and would have worked out visitation, such as holidays, birthdays, and other every week, or that you get them on the weekends, then, you don’t need her permission to go get them. You would have rights. Therefore, it’s good that you are getting a family/custody lawyer, and, as well as in the meantime you have filed the appeal. Make sure that you ask the judge to grant you shared custody, and you request that the judge grant you visitation with your kids every other week, holidays, or visitation on the weekends. It’s best to study the laws in your state to know what rights you have, and, in the best case scenario, your family/child support lawyer will be able to help you fight for your rights, especially if you have documented proof. So, yes, it is costly, but it’s an investment for you since you claim to love your kids.
By the way, document everything. Keep records of phone calls, threats, letters, notes, texts, voice messages, and any other means that you can prove she is doing malicious and underhanded things to you regarding your children. Document every time you go to pick up your children and what happens. Note the time, interaction, and conversation. It seems tedious, but you have to keep records to show you are doing your part, and how she is failing on her part.
Also, you can file for divorce, and you really don’t need a divorce lawyer if you have no shared property, accounts, or anything of value. If it is an amicable split, or, in your case, two people who can’t get along, yet, you have nothing binding you together other than the children, then, you can file the divorce through the court without a lawyer. Now, if you want to invest in a lawyer, and get the paperwork done, then get it done soon. All of this investment in lawyers, and fees, and paperwork will be well worth it. You can’t see the outcome now, but, best believe that once she is out of your hair, and the only thing you have to deal with is raising your children, that will seem like a cake walk. Therefore, invest wisely. – Terrance Dean
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