He informed me early on that he wouldn’t provide child support.
His “logic” was that I was working, too, and that I was making as much money as he was. Support was moot, he said.
What he conveniently ignored was that I was working only a temporary job—one that would end months later, and for which I did not have a replacement planned—plus that it was my first job after 8 years as a stay-at-home mom. The long pattern had been my financial dependence upon him. I did not have my own money. But that didn’t matter.
What he also refused to confess was that, as one who was self-employed, he often took payments under the table *and* fudged any numbers he did claim, which meant he most certainly made more than I did. But that didn’t matter, either.
His motivation was his own self-preservation. Greed.
I had zero sense of self-preservation. I didn’t yet know how to think past the manipulated and/or limited information he shared, or view a situation through any lens but his.
Which means that, right or wrong, it was written into our decree. No child support.
I rued that decision for years. Child support would have been appropriate and right. It was abusive and wrong for him to weasel his way out of it.
Sooner rather than later, I came to view it as a positive thing that I didn’t receive support.
The alternative would have meant regular tantrums at me, as he was not capable of realizing child support is for the children. Men like him reframe child support as “free money” their exes selfishly mooch for their own benefit.
And he’d have never paid it, anyway. Withholding child support payments is common as continued means for leverage and control. I know many of you, sweet readers, have experienced this first hand. We also know the courts can/will only do so much to enforce compliance.
I’d hate to know how many hundreds of thousands of dollars are currently in arrears. Millions. More? In America alone.
Oh, and don’t forget the greed.
But even more, hard as my journey has been, financially and in all other ways, I have learned how to count on me. I’ve manifested independence. I’ve proven I never needed “his money” to begin with. That’s worth more to me than any amount of cash.
I had a conversation with a survivor just last week. She told me she opted out of receiving child support, because she saw the value in her own financial security. She’s received a lot of flack for her decision but has no regrets.
I’m not telling you not to care about child support. You’re right to expect it. And there may be no way around needing it.
But have you weighed the pros and cons of such an arrangement?
What has your experience been?