All I Want For Christmas Is A Child Support Check

2010/02/17 at 3:09 PM 7 comments

While we were busy celebrating the nuances of our Christmas traditions and decking the halls of the cozy craftsman Mi Hombre’s ex was stewing over the new found holiday changes. Instead of writing letters to Santa from Super-girl I suspect that she was writing him her own Christmas wish letter and I bet that it read something like this:

Dear Santa,

Although I have been very naughty and nice isn’t something all people would equate with me…I am hoping that you will overlook these things and answer my one simple request… All  I want for Christmas is a child support check from my ex husband.  You see, It pains me that my ex husband is happy, that he has moved on, and most of all I cannot bear the sight of my daughter being so happy with having another woman in her life.   I want to make him suffer and make his life miserable-because I am suffering and my life is miserable. Please dear Santa, can you make sure that the child support will happen?


Ex wife

Yep, That is right-the proud to be feminist who proclaimed during our first meeting that she would never ask Mi Hombre for child support because she ended the marriage changed her tune when we changed our holiday traditions.  Not long after our delightful European Christmas a letter from the ex arrived addressed to Mi Hombre…C.O.D.

On January 1st we wound up in Mediation with a biased pro-mom advocate negotiating-not about Super-girl,  but instead about the pragmatics of where I would fit in Super-girl’s life. Talk about a step into something out of the twilight zone…I literally thought I had walked into Kangaroo court and I was the defendant.  I remember thinking is this legal? Can the mediator really ask me these questions, am I under oath to answer?  I remember feeling so unbearably uncomfortable.  It was pure mock justice and in retrospect I think that it would have been perfectly legal for Mi Hombre and I to have stood up and walked right out of that mediators office.  She was that unprofessional.

During the Spanish/Canadian inquisition Mi Hombre and I sat hands clutched and I am sure with our mouths agape in bewilderment and disbelief.  The Ex went off on tangent after emotional tangent, sometimes raising her voice and at one point standing up pointing her finger and spouting profanity like we were scorn criminals.  She was so convinced that I was defaming her as a mother. Unbeknownst to me every time I painted Super-girls nails, braided her hair, trimmed her bangs or put notes in her lunch I was taking away the her right to motherhood.  According to her, since I am not a mother I know nothing about children, what they need or anything about what it means to be a mother. Ironically,  by being myself I was not only disrespecting her, I was showing  Super-girl that I was trying to become her mother and that I was a better mother by engaging in such activities.  The whole session (might I add, that we had to pay for) crucified me for loving and treating Super-girl with kindness and respect, Mi Hombre for allowing it, and in the end slapped us with a big fat monthly check paid to the ex for her pain and suffering.

The fallout of this farce had me clicking my heels chanting take me back to Canada, my husband regretting having said he had an amicable relationship with his ex, and Super-girl losing out on things we once could afford because her mother broke our already burdened financial state.  It was a grim time to say the least, and a very high source of scorn in our marriage.  It is the law in our state that even if you have joint physical and joint legal custody of a minor the person with the higher income must supplement the other home to bring each home to the same standard of living. As unjust as it may be-it is the law, and we abide by it to the letter.  I will admit even though I understand it, to this day writing that check feels like acid on my hand each time I have to do it.


Entry filed under: child Support, Divorce, ex wife, insecurity, MEDIATION. Tags: , , , , .

Our Tradition

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dawn  |  2010/02/17 at 5:00 PM

    OMG this is EXACTLY my story!!! I told BM when I first met her that I would never try to take her place, but little did I know how insecure she was in that place. Everything I do, just being myself, like making sure the girls’ hair is combed/braided etc., to making sure their nails are trimmed and ears cleaned out, is an insult to her, and me “stepping over the line”. Never mind the fact that SHE can’t be bothered with such trivial things, oh no, she’s a busy grad student with far more important things to do. (Starbucks, socializing with her cohort…) Oh, did I mention she lives at home with mommy while I’m the sole support for me, unemployed hubby, his 3 and my 2?? And that she refuses to let him take care of the kids so we have to pay $700/mo for daycare while SHE goes to school. In this case we’ve decided that happiness is its own reward, and every time the kids call me Mama in front of her, well, I just smile a little more inside.

    Love the blog!

  • 2. Elizabeth  |  2010/02/17 at 6:11 PM

    Sound frustrating. Just to keep you sane…. I live in Canada and the Bio Mom and kids have a almost fully paid renovated house with child support and still pay spousal even though she is now remarried while we rent. I’ve learned to just let go and give it to God. I just make sure I enjoy to the fullest the awesome man she did not want and not let the kids feel animosity between the adults. It costs a pretty penny to enjoy peace but it’s well worth it. Keep up the love!

  • 3. Ella Mental  |  2010/02/17 at 6:31 PM

    Dawn and Elizabeth,
    Thank you for your support! ;0)

    Sadly, I suspect that there are a lot of us Stepmums out there with more than an ounce of resentment towards the exes who take, take, and take. I find it hard to not let it bother me sometimes, especially when we can’t rub 2 shiny pennies together and she is driving her new car, wearing fancy clothes while simultaneously complaining that she can’t afford a winter coat for SD. It makes me want to slap her in the face and bring her back to reality…then I realize her reality is very, very unrealistic and unhealthy.

    Let go and let God! Right.

    ((hugs)) to us and an our ability to have patience and tolerance. ~Ella

  • 4. gillian  |  2010/02/18 at 5:10 PM

    What an eye opener. Most BM’s would be happy for such a caring person, just think of all the potential horror stories out there and this THIS makes her insecure and unhappy?
    It is a wonder to me. I’m totally stymied.

  • 5. Peggy Nolan  |  2010/02/22 at 3:04 PM

    I’m so sorry she sand bagged you in mediation. Very sorry.

    But don’t stop being who you are just because she’s insecure. As long as you don’t take what she’s doing personally, you will remain immune from her turmoil.


  • 6. Cristy  |  2011/01/30 at 2:40 PM

    I just found your blog. I am confused. Are you paying child support even though the child is primary living with you?

    • 7. Ella Mental  |  2013/01/18 at 1:33 PM

      Yes, the state in which we live requires CS to be paid regardless of the visitation/custody agreement. Whomever makes the most money must subsidize the other home’s income in order to allow the child the same standard of living in both homes. There is no incentive for the mum to work or get a better paying job because she knows that the law is on her side. Hubby works hard to advance and be successful and we are penalized because of it. The BM reaps the benefits of all of our hard work & labour. Wrong-yes; but it is law and we lose!


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It’s all Ella Mental!

If you asked me 3 years ago would I consider becoming a stepmother I would have choked emphatically NO! Probably not just no, but HELL NO! I would never entertain the thought of trying to raise someone else’s kid(s) or be married to a man with an enormous load of shh...Shall I just say, B-A-G-G-A-G-E (Pronounced: OMG!) I have seen enough drama on the colourful trails of adventure in my life, enough to know that I would simply not ever knowingly plop myself down amidst the chaos of a stepfamily.

Well, in 2006 I ate my words…

I am a 35-year-old career woman, wife to the most dashingly authentic man on this planet…sorry ladies…and gents! I am a “Mother” ( I quote this b/c I don’t believe that you have to pass a spirited life through your Va-Jay-Jay to be one.) …of 4 wild-hearted four-legged children, and the stepmother to a wickedly brilliant 7-year-old stepdaughter.

Feel free to accompany me as I write about my vastly changing life, my kids; both four-legged and two, my (step) Family (I place this in parenthesis b/c I don’t consider anyone under my roof with the term step, they are simply FAMILY to me!) … and the trials and tribulations of transitioning from a single woman into a stepmother (not always) with grace.

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