unemployed, pregnant and hungry. husbands child support payments are killing us and x girlfriend. I could really use some advice.

L - posted on 01/20/2015 ( 8 moms have responded )

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we cant afford basic needs because of my husbands impossible child support payments.
(we are in Canada) my husband and I moved back from fort mcmurray because the oil sands jobs crashed. we had a very hard time finding jobs because there just aren't many. we were both denied unemployment insurance. I am still unemployed and am currently, completely dependant on my husband. I am also 18 weeks pregnant. I have still not given up on finding a job but its very difficult. I am really scared for my unborn child right now and I cant seem to keep it together.
after a month and a half of surviving on credit cards and a line of credit, my husband finally got a minimum wage job. he's been working for about a month now.
he doesn't make enough to cover the bills. all we can do is hope to pay the minimum payments on our credit accounts. we cant afford oil to heat our house, nor can we afford to keep a car running. its all being paid by dwindling credit accounts.
today I was looking at baby cloths, feeling hopeful that I might be able to buy something for my baby soon, if we can save up enough for something small. then my husband got a call and a letter in the mail. child custody is like a form of collections and my husband was told that his wages were to be garnished from now on. he makes about 1400 a month. we need at least 1800 to survive here. now he has to pay 300 a month as if we were still working in fort mac. he has no rights to his child. he only gets to see him every other random weekend, even though we bought a house within his school bus route. mom doesn't want this child to have a relationship with his dad. it cost us $4000 just to stop her from taking custody and allowing her to change the child's last name to his new step fathers. we got a lawyer who's retainer cost us $5000.
last time the child was visiting I was sitting watching tv with him and he mentioned something about "all fathers don't want their children and just leave them." he said it as if it was programed into him.
he used to want to come and live with us really badly. my husband tried to make this happen but was basically punished for it. afterwards, we would ask "do you want to come over?" and he would respond with a sad "I'm not allowed to talk about it."
we never pushed him or questioned him. I'm only his step mother. I've known this child since he was 3 years old but I was told by lawyers that I have no rights, no step parent does, so stand down. I took a course in child custody and parent planning years ago, so I know better then to use a child for information. however we have both witnesses mom punish the child directly if dad couldn't afford child support or wanted to move on with his life.
I left my husband before (just my boyfriend then), because of this woman. he basically wasn't allowed to have a girlfriend at the time and she would punish the three/four year old if he did anything she did not like. the man was afraid to fight her.
I watched him fight back over the years and it amounted to nothing. there is no such thing as an abusive woman in this province. if your a man and you have a child, you deserve to be punished for it. its part of being a man.
he used to have 50/50 time spent with each parent, then mom took off one day. dad was told by a lawyer that shes allowed to do that so sorry but too bad for you. he never got to see his childs first day of school, nothing.
one time I was baby sitting this child when he was very young and mom showed up to get him. he ran away at the sight of her and hid in his fathers bed crying. he begged me to not let her take him. but I was just some girl and I had no rights so I had to pry him out of that room and give him back to that woman.
now he is 10 years old. if he is visiting us and he hears the words "its time to take you back to mom's house" he gets sick. he turns white and usually go's to the bathroom and throws up.
we have no rights. myself, my husband and the child. I know what its like to have separated parents because I grew up like that too. I could never pressure, or harm this kid. I wish this child could live with us but I doubt the courts will ever allow it. they just don't care.
she does weird stuff too. once, right after my husband sent her a text saying "be there in a minute to pick up ___" she opened the door completely naked.
when we first got back from fort mac she was sort of hinting things to my husband, answering the door in nothing but a bath robe (shes got a lot of kids now). its like she can't understand that the childs life with his father is separate then her relationship with the father. if she cant have my husband, then he cant see his child.
now I'm pregnant myself. my husband and I planned this baby years ago, but wanted to wait for the right time to have it. we got pregnant, then fort mac fell apart. we came home. we can't afford to live and have to give money to a woman that has three times the cash we do. of course it doesn't count in Canada if a woman remarries or anything. she doesn't work, her husband supports her and she collects probably around 2000 a month from child tax benefit checks. but as far as the court is concerned, she doesn't work, so my husband had to pay her full amount as if she was unemployed and single.
I am so frustrated about this whole thing. there is nothing we can do about it. I can't take it anymore. I have cried and cried so many times over this situation, terrified about how the child was coping. promising him that his father loves him and so do i and nothing is his fault. now that we are facing loosing our house, we might be forced to leave this child alone again and there's nothing we can do about it. I cant even afford the gas to go to my doctors appointments. I cant buy my coming baby a thing. I have a horrible vision that i'll be carrying my new born around wrapped in nothing but an old sheet. I'm so stressed out. i love my husband so much, but this woman has cost us thousands of dollars and years of misery. i am considering leaving my husband and having this baby alone because i cant handle the stress anymore. i love my family so much but this is too much. its just too much to bare any longer.
i don't know what to do anymore.

8 Comments

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Dove - posted on 01/21/2015

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That boy should be in counseling w/ a therapist willing to testify in court on his behalf if the situation w/ his mother is as traumatizing to him as you have made it sound.

Other than that... I agree partially w/ everyone else that has posted.

Trisha - posted on 01/21/2015

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I am speaking to her from a point of view from a person who understands the local economy of where she lives.
Her and her husband would have been living on top of the world, making a crap ton of money when they got the house, got pregnant etc. As far as they knew, they weren't making irresponsible decisions. This is what Alberta is like. It takes a lot of hard work and training to retrain your brain from thinking this way.
Unfortunately, her and her husband would have been under the impression that they would be able to afford anything and everything for a long time, so they likely would have saddled themselves with a lot of debt on-top of the childcare payments.
Rent in Fort Mac for a basic apartment is $2000, which is fine when you are making $10 000 a month. When the job gets pulled from under your feet you fall, and you fall friggin hard.
"i am considering leaving my husband and having this baby alone because i cant handle the stress anymore. i love my family so much but this is too much. its just too much to bare any longer.
i don't know what to do anymore."
The above sentences are what really hit a nerve with me. This is what I wanted to focus on, not "You shouldn't be having a baby right now".
I have no problem with others offering the dose of reality, what I have problems with is that no one actually offered any solutions to her problems. She was just told how wrong she was to allow herself to be in that situation.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/21/2015

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@ Trisha Lee: She's getting support. She's also getting a dose of reality.

Trisha - posted on 01/21/2015

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Well... hope that at least my message offers some support.
Don't stress too much about the baby, it has the potential to cause problems for you. Plan to breastfeed if you can, that will reduce the expense right off the bat.
Amazon.ca has really great prices on newborn diapers, and MOST of the other stuff (clothes etc) you can get off of kijij for next to nothing, if not free.
Put out the word on facebook that you are looking to take off someone's hands babies clothes. I did this and ended up getting 2 boxes full of clothes, as well as some maternity jeans that fit me. I am not financially hard done by in any way or form at the moment, but I am ridiculously frugal. Spending out of LOCs and credit cards is going to get you in a world of financial hardships.
I am from Edmonton, Alberta myself, so I know that the economy has taken a dump. It will likely come back in spring though. If you (like every other Albertan) has stretched themselves too thin with car/truck payments or exorbitant house costs I will suggest looking at renting out a room in your house. Even if that means that you have to have the baby sleep in your room. If you have any extra toys, like quads, snowmobiles, extra cars sell them and put that money to the LOCs that you have open. SHUT THOSE DOWN ASAP. My husband and I just paid off a massive LOC and realized what a source of stress it was for us.
Here are just some suggestions. Don't let your newborn baby be a source of stress for you. It is a joyful experience, and you will be able to get support when needed related to the baby.
I don't want to sound horrible by stating this, but I feel it is necessary. I do know that Fort Mac is also full of drugs, and drinking. If either of you two smoke, or do any drugs you can save a LOT of money by killing any of those habits/addictions.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/21/2015

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This is going to be fairly drawn out, but I’m going to copy/paste your exact wording for clarification

You say: “we cant afford basic needs because of my husbands impossible child support payments”
~~ You knew that he had a child support obligation before you got into a relationship. If he’s got a 10 year old, this is very obvious.

You say: “my husband and I moved back from fort mcmurray because the oil sands jobs crashed. we had a very hard time finding jobs because there just aren't many. we were both denied unemployment insurance. I am still unemployed and am currently, completely dependant on my husband. I am also 18 weeks pregnant”
~~When did you lose your jobs or decide that relocating would be the best option? Were you pregnant at the time, or did the pregnancy occur later? If you were pregnant at the time, did you fully research job opportunities, etc prior to making the decision? You can’t have been in the most stable financial situation prior to your job loss if you couldn’t survive without completely maxing out lines of credit and losing the ability to maintain your vehicle, etc…so the ‘planning’ seems to have been a bit awry, IMO…but it was your decision, so you need to move forward.

You say: “child custody is like a form of collections and my husband was told that his wages were to be garnished from now on. he makes about 1400 a month. we need at least 1800 to survive here. now he has to pay 300 a month as if we were still working in fort mac”
~~Sorry, honey, child support is not ‘like a form of collections’. Its an obligation to be met. You wanna play the sex game, and have a child, you get to play the support game too. That’s how it works. $300?!?!?!?! Three hundred a month is ALL she is getting under court order? FYI, $300/month is the guidelines for required support for a single child in the 1980’s…so your husband is getting off light. Not only that, I can personally guarantee that I spend well over $300 per kid on monthly NECESSITIES…without the added ‘extras’ like sports, clubs, etc. So…be happy that it is such a minimal amount, and pay it.

You say: “he has no rights to his child. he only gets to see him every other random weekend, even though we bought a house within his school bus route. mom doesn't want this child to have a relationship with his dad. it cost us $4000 just to stop her from taking custody and allowing her to change the child's last name to his new step fathers. we got a lawyer who's retainer cost us $5000.”
~~Well, if he has no rights, he needs to take that attorney that you retained and have him file a petition for change of orders. Custody and support are different issues and handled separately. However, this brings up another discrepancy in your post: You’ve purchased a house. If you can’t afford child support, and you’ve been living on dwindling lines of credit since you relocated, how did you get approved for a mortgage? There’s a potential source of expense reduction…sell the house and live within the means that you have right now.

You say: “. I've known this child since he was 3 years old but I was told by lawyers that I have no rights, no step parent does, so stand down. I took a course in child custody and parent planning years ago, so I know better then to use a child for information. however we have both witnesses mom punish the child directly if dad couldn't afford child support or wanted to move on with his life.”
~~As a stepmother, you don’t have legal rights to the child, unless set in court, by a judge. However, here’s another discrepancy…You just admitted that your husband may not have been a willing participant in supporting his child from day one: This phrase: “If dad couldn’t afford support or WANTED TO MOVE ON WITH HIS LIFE” is a HUGE indicator to me that your husband thought he would be able to get out of his RESPONSIBILITY.

The next part of your rant I’ll address here: YOU KNEW that he had a kid. THIS WOMAN is the kid’s biological mother, not some skank off the street. Respect that.

You say: “as far as the court is concerned, she doesn't work, so my husband had to pay her full amount as if she was unemployed and single.” ~~Guess what: He is ½ of the DNA of that child. He has the responsibility to support the child. $300 per month is most definitely not the FULL AMOUNT that it costs on average per month to raise a child, so where do you get off saying that he’s paying the ‘full’ amount? He’s not.

Both of you need to take steps to fix your situation. If he truly wants some time with his kid, he’ll need to fight for it, but he’ll also need to comply with support orders.

Jodi - posted on 01/21/2015

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Noone is suggesting she has more right to have a child than you do, BUT she has got one and he has an obligation to support that child before making decisions to bring another child into the world that he can't afford. While I understand you are upset over it, that's just the reality of the situation, and the reality of marrying someone who already has obligations to support other children. I know, I married someone with two children. I had my own son I had to support with a father who paid nothing to help out. I was 36 when my husband and I were in a position to have a child together because that's when we decided we could afford for me to take time out of working and we had money saved. Someone has to support the kids - we both had them but very much wanted one together. The children that have already been brought into this world by us need to come first before we bring more children into the world. That's just the way it is. It's also a damn good reason why people should give far more consideration to who they decide to have sex with, have relationships with or move in with, but that's a WHOLE other conversation I could go on about.

I am very sorry you are now in the situation you are in, but it isn't fair to blame the child support. $300 a month is very little compared to how much a child costs to support. I would hardly say you are supporting the mother's lifestyle.

Now, if the mother of the child is not allowing dad to see him and not complying with court orders, then dad needs to file for contempt, as what she is doing is illegal. If there ARE no court orders for visitation, what is your husband doing about it?

I also NEVER said your husband was a piece of garbage, but I did stress that he has financial obligations first and foremost to the child he has already brought into the world.

As I said, I was just being realistic and giving it straight. I am not trying to put you and your husband down, but the reality of the situation is that regardless of what the bio mother does, how much she earns, how much money she has, your husband should still be contributing to that child financially. And child support and visitation are treated separately by the courts, so he needs to get the visitation side of that equation sorted out.

L - posted on 01/21/2015

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thanks for the information.
its pretty bleak. i have been working my ass off for the last 4 years so that i can earn my right to have a child. i am 31 years old. i had a child by accident when i was 16 and i had no family support, my child didn't have a father, the guy didn't care. i put my child up for private adoption regardless of my own feelings. i needed to do what was best for him.

my husbands x had his child at the age of 18. they didn't have a real relationship. she took the child away and never let his father be in his life. its been nothing but hardship. even her parents disagreed with her decision and used to allow my husband to come to their house to see his child.
my husband always wanted his kid in his life. they were supposed to have 50/50.
we don't like that another man put a roof over HIS kids head, against his wishes. why cant his child live under our roof? why does the step father have rights but i don't? i would also put a roof over the child's head. i worked hard all my life, spent the last three years in the old sands industry working 12 hour shifts to pay off my student loans and buy a house, because i don't agree with having kids in poverty. we could have had kids years ago but i said no. there's no way I'm having a baby sharing an apartment building with drug addicts.
...However it sounds to me that you were never in a position to have a child in the first place...why do i not deserve to have children? and why does a woman who never worked a job in her life deserve to have children more then i do? that part i do not understand at all. I've done nothing but prepare to have this child. you cant fight the economy in Canada. i have two college degrees and i am unemployed once again.
if i don't have children now, i will be too old.
do you have a child that wants to live with his father but you smack the kid around if you hear him say that and tell him hes not allowed to see his father and never allowed to live with him? because you didn't say anything about that. just that my husband is a piece of garbage and doesn't deserve children.

Jodi - posted on 01/20/2015

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Forgive me if I miss something, I am working through your grievances chronologically according to your post (which is very long).

(1) You knew your husband had a child support obligation BEFORE you got pregnant. Neither of you have a right to bitch about it now.

(2) Children cost money to raise. $300 a month is not a lot - $300 a month means the mother is actually footing MOST of the bill to raise that child. If he can't support his first child, he has no right having another. I recognise it is too late for that now, but the first child should not miss out because you guys can't afford to raise the one you have chosen to bring into the world.

(3) If he has no access to the child because the mother is dictating all the rules, then he needs to get visitation orders in place. If there are visitation orders in place and he isn't happy with them, he needs to take it back to court. But he has no right to bitch about his access to the child he has an obligation to pay child support for if he isn't being proactive about getting court ordered visitation. If your husband has no rights, it is either because the court orders state he doesn't, or he isn't exercising them.

(4) The lawyers are right - you don't have any rights as a step mother.

(5) That "woman that has three times the cash we do" also has the right to receiving a payment from the father of those children because HE also has an obligation to raise his children, regardless of how much she has or earns. Her good fortune does not exonerate his responsibility.

(6) So what if she has remarried? That is NOT her new husband's child. How is it HIS responsibility to raise him? He is kind enough to put the roof over the child's head, and probably pay a number of the bills. That $300 a month your husband pays is a small contribution to the cost of raising the child he fathered. He should be thankful his son is receiving all that other stuff NOT at his expense.

(7) It is none of your business whether she works or not. If her husband is prepared to support her choice, absolutely not your concern.

I am actually really sorry you are struggling financially. However it sounds to me that you were never in a position to have a child in the first place if so very quickly your financial situation is in such a dire place. "This woman" is the mother of your husband's other child and it isn't she that has cost you thousands of dollars or that she is in any way being greedy. It is his responsibility to his biological child - and he had that obligation long before you even came onto the scene.

All I can suggest is to find some local charities that may be able to assist. Have your husband file to have the child support reconsidered temporarily (although $300 a month is actually fair and reasonable toward a person's 50% of raising a child, the other 50% being hers), find out what government assistance you can apply for.

I know my advice is harsh, but it is real and it is the way it is. I'm not expecting you to like it.

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