I have seen this time and time again.
In fact, I am working with a mom right now who, for 6 peaceful years, has had little to no contact with the bio-father of her son from a one-night stand until recently when she sought an increase in child support from him. Mom apparently has been collecting a silent $500 per month without the court order from dad, but recently approached him for an increase. When he rejected her, she went to court to get what she felt she was entitled to. The court awarded mom a little over $1000 per month and now dad “wants to see his son” that he allegedly just learned about only two years ago.
Looking at the paperwork alone, one can detect a load of bunk as far as dad supposedly not knowing about his son. The case file begins in 2010. The newest paperwork is pages of accusations hurled towards the mother for keeping him away from the child and so begins educating another mom about Narcissism in the courtroom.
I had to face the same question I recently posted to this mom:
Do you really NEED the child support?
We all know that Narc’s resent having to “pay for” any relationship that has rejected them and where they no longer reap any of the benefits. Of course, you and I know that it’s not about that; but, in their minds, they have completely re-framed child support into something like paying for the recipient to get their hair and nails done or not go to work at all (unfortunately, I’ve seen this happen too, but that’s a different post).
In my case, I know for a fact that my ex’s motivation for a very public custody fight was lit on fire because of a child support judgment I sought against him. He was seemingly agreeable and less destructive before the child support was awarded. I tried the direct approach and practically begged for $100 per week (approximately $400 per month). You would think I was asking for $10,000 per month and/or both of his eyes. I was so broke at the time and really needed the extra cash, but he refused to commit to just giving me money where I could use it for whatever I deemed necessary. What he wanted was for me to have him rescue me when I had a bill I couldn’t pay – he would swoop in and pay for it like my hero instead of just giving me a little money on a regular basis so I could take care of the children in my own terms. I found myself having to go to court just to get him to take care of his responsibilities. The court awarded me $803 per month which would have been great if I actually ever got to receive that.
The bottom line is; when you open Pandora’s Box by requesting child support from a Narc, be prepared for the Narc to suddenly be “the better parent” who “wants to have more time with the minor(s)”. Child support is calculated solely based on ability to pay for one parent and timeshare of the child(ren). It’s not even that the non-custodial parent will have to pay. It’s purely mathematical… whoever earns more money will pay the other and the amount depends on how much time the child is with the receiving parent.
Get this: because I couldn’t sufficiently prove that my ex (Dr. Deadbeat) was earning a cash living in our home for 10+ years as an actively licensed Chiropractor, he won a spousal support order of $50 per month that I was ordered to pay him. I had three very young children full-time, two part-time jobs and was enrolled in two classes at the local college. He had two supervised hours per week with the children per week. I made on average $1500 per month on which I had to raise three children and I had to pay HIM spousal support. How is THAT fair?
Again, simple mathematics.
Now, I could have paid $3000 for a company called Regain, Inc. to render an “expert” opinion as to the types of employment and the potential salary he could earn (all information I provided the court myself from the same sources they use), but since I am a party to the case and I have no official credentials that certify me as an “expert of the court”, what I had to say needed to be taken with a grain of salt. Dr. Deadbeat in the meantime decided to offset that any future ideas of employment evaluations by getting a mysterious blood clot in his dominant adjusting hand so he could no longer work in his field and earn the full potential as an able-bodied Chiropractor. He turned in illegible medical reports and signed himself out of the ER against medical advice, but none of that was enough to prove either side’s case. After spending $3000 to a company to render an official opinion to the court and also a few thousand more dollars to subpoena the medical officials, including the Neurologist who wrote that “factitious disorder must be considered” as one of his diagnosis, to come to trial and testify, I may or may not have walked away with another $200 per month in child support. That’s a really expensive *IF*. All that said, since I had to have expert opinions and/or concrete irrefutable proof of his present and foreseeable income capacity, I was awarded support base on imputed income which is him working full-time earning minimum wage. My three children get to share $508 per month. He was furious! $500 per month was less than what he spent on his horses and marijuana.
In my friend’s case; she sold her peace and tranquility and her son’s stability for an extra $500 per month. She may be dealing with her ex-fling from this day forward depending on how stout his desire to impress his new live-in girlfriend is as to his parenting abilities and his image as a good daddy to their shared son. She has a good job, making pretty decent money, she’s engaged to a really great guy with a good job, they have fairly expensive hobbies, both drive great new cars and only the one child to care for. The 6-year old child has now stuck on 4 hours per week supervised visitations with a complete stranger and already has had to forgo weekends with the grandparents because bio-dad wants his visit; more time is less support.
As one attorney flat-out asked me when it came to my own battle with the Narc:
What are you trying to gain by going back to court and is it really worth it?
Dr. Deadbeat is back to being and doing nothing fatherly. It’s been over a year since he has last seen the children. No birthday or Christmas cards. He calls once in a while. He pays his little ol’ $508 per month like the court told him to or he will do jail time. We are at a stalemate where he doesn’t bother us and I don’t bother him. Sometimes, you just have to figure out how much your time, peace and tranquility is worth.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before; when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I never dreamed, in a million years that I would become a paralegal. Looking back, as a child, I imagined myself married to a military man with a respectable career and being the best domestic engineer on the planet dreaming of our retirement years living in a house in which we raised our children. I was concerned of course that I didn’t know how to sew or bake, but I figured I would pick up the skills somehow. Amazingly, my mother didn’t teach me to do these things. Her direction in my life was always, “You can be (or do) anything you want honey.” Sadly, this is a lie all too commonly said to many children. I can’t be a fighter pilot, for example, my poor vision wouldn’t permit me; I can’t be a deep sea diver because my inner ear won’t let me; and I can’t be a fireman because I can’t drag that hose OR hold it down with the water pressure kicked on full blast – yes yes, I see female firefighters, but they are the brunt of the jokes with the males ones and quite frankly, I have serious doubts they can pick up and toss an unconscious man over their shoulders and haul them down a ladder from a burning building – ain’t gonna happen!
My point is, here I am. After a nasty divorce following an equally nasty marriage to a psychopath, I find myself having to feed three young children with only my merits and marbles and no child support. Could he go to work and make a decent life for his children with his degree in science and his active physician license? ABSOLUTELY!! Can I or a piece of paper a judge signs make him? Nope!
I’ve come quite the distance through this divorce. I remember how terrified and stressed I was in the beginning. I didn’t know or understand the system. I felt so overwhelmed at the time. I had no help (that didn’t co$t me a fortune) and no one could understand the specifics in my case. I had three little creatures to care for and feed, rent and other bills to pay and a job to maintain all while fighting a narcissistic psychopath (I didn’t know it at the time) in court.
Slowly, but very surely, my friends all turned and walked away; some flat out turned and became vehement enemies accusing me of lying about my abuse and situation. It was extremely hurtful, tragic and, at times, blatantly unfair how some of these people behaved towards me. I had very limited, if any funds, available to me to retain legal assistance and not many people to rely on for any kind of help.
While juggling all of this dramatic burden, I had to become my own legal force within the system. I turned over every legal stone, asked every question, posed every scenario, and exhausted ALL resources. I tried to read as much as I could when I could. I’m pretty good with forms, but I learned a lot by trial and error (literally by real courtroom trials too). Two and a half years later, I’m now helping my attorney at his law firm when, at one point, he probably wondered what the heck he got himself involved in once he accepted my case for a flat-rate. I am literally earning my retainer back sharpening my skills as a family law paralegal. I never, in a billion dreams, would’ve dreamed I would be feeding my children by earning income helping other people navigate through the court system and learning how to protect myself in future litigation.
Looking back, it seems like eons ago I set foot for the first time in my Commissioner’s courtroom barely able to tell him what I was doing there. Now, I’m hugging and chatting with the bailiff’s (from two different courtrooms) and cracking jokes with the clerks. I wonder what the judge thinks about this trembling lost lamb who walked in nearly three years ago and this empowered educated (now) flaming-red-headed chatterbox he sees now.
Make what you can out of what you’re given. It’s free and it’s yours to keep!
I’m struggling a lot with depression lately; not anything suicidal, but the kind that renders away all motivation and excitement. I’m not sure what exactly the problem is. I have so much to be thankful for and look forward to, but unlike the majority of folks with no options, I feel like I have too many choices.
I’m overwhelmed by a BIG move, being forced out of my own hometown, being forced to get back to work, I feel the pressure to complete my degree, and most recently, it’s become STRESSFULLY obvious that NO ONE, NOBODY, NO OTHER PERSON on this planet is responsible for helping me watch my own children. I know that seems like a loaded statement, but for some reason, I was fooled by a lot of “friends” who seemed to understand my unique predicament and wanted to “help”. Granted, nobody helps for free so I did all I could to show my appreciation. All I had was the ability to buy groceries for their household in lieu of compensation for their “assistance”. I also helped any other way I could, but that was limited by many other practical and/or economic factors.
I haven’t met one person tasked with all of the same circumstances AND having to deal with the CONSTANT demands of four very young children (including a set of twins) with ZERO child support from Doctor Sperm. I’m a pioneer in a single-mom universe. I am actually more isolated now than I was while I was married to the Narcissist. I don’t have family nearby who can (or want to) help at all and the one person who is nearby is physically disabled and the other who IS capable with the means to help isn’t willing or practical. He actually wants me to put his own blood grandchildren up for adoption – wow!
The youngest child is not fathered by the Narc. Non-Narc Dad does help significantly, but he went from being autonomously single with no children to being part of a family and the father-figure to FOUR children. Simply put, he’s in over his eyeballs. He is my hero still; he bought me an awesome minivan with every penny he had saved up. Now I can at least travel around town and run errands with ALL four of my children safely in proper cars seats (another reason I was so previously needy of “help” watching my own kids).
Now, I’m faced with trying to pack an entire house and move it across country WITH the children underfoot because no one wants to “enable me” unless of course they get paid (which I just don’t have).
Perhaps this is why I’m stressed and depressed?!??
Regardless, I want out of this funk, but it’s like digging a hole in the desert sand.
Until next time folks, keep on keepin’ on.
It’s been said by people around me that I’m obsessed. It’s even gone as far as saying I’m still in love with ‘him’. It is so frustrating to live in a very small world where the only people who understand what I’m dealing with are other folks who are dealing with a psychopath. So far, EVERYONE who has been in my life since before the divorce has grossly underestimated the endurance of my pet Narcissist. All matters have been ruled on by one court or another, but unfortunately, family court is in the business of perpetuating their own caseload. My attorney has graciously accepted a discounted flat payment for helping me, but I know he probably felt the psychopath would give up sooner than later. To his credit, we all felt that way. I mean, who would spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to overturn a Juvenile court JUDGE (not a commissioner). BUT, I’m the one labeled with ‘OBSESSED’. The only person who did not call me obsessed was a girl who could put my “obsession” to shame. I’ve shown the courts all I can show and I let them decided for themselves. Funny, the longer my Narcopath keeps up his assault in court, the more he gives them in ammunition.
My obsession comes into play when I spend hours of time mounting a paper battle against him. It’s not even against him, it’s simply to keep those involved in my case apprised of updates and the facts of the case. I can’t help that it takes 10 pages to summarize the chaos created by “the other side”. When you are formally charged (later dismissed) with “failure to protect” the very babies I birthed out of my body, it launches an unmistakable, assertive defense against future allegations. The average human being calls it “obsessive”. Those of you in the know call it proactive. Still, when forced to rely on friends, family, childcare because you are fighting pure evil itself (and trying to stay one step ahead of it), they grow weary and impatient quickly.
When all is said and done, be on the safer end of things and portray the MODESTLY protective parent; not overboard or overbearing, but safe and mentally stable
Supervised visitation is a two-edged sword. On one hand, as the protective non-disordered parent, we are thankful that the visits are supervised and that our children will return with all their fingers, toes, arms and eyes. We are relieved they will return at all. On the other hand, so many monitors drop the ball. I even warn them about the comments said to the children like
“your mom is the one lying the judge, not me.”
“The battle between your mom and I is almost over and I’m going to win.”
“I would see you more, but your mother is making it difficult.”
“I would see you more, but your mother is making me pay to see you.”
(Forcing our son to read the Ten Commandments at age 7, when they got to adultery and coveting thy neighbors wife:) “Do you understand that’s what you mother is doing with XXX?”
ALL SAID WHILE BEING SUPERVISED.
Be careful who your monitor is. Ask to see an example of their reports before you choose them. Find out if they are experienced with personality disordered individuals. My monitor has a background in psychology and her reports are so generic (basically what time everyone showed up) that they could be reflected as good on the father.
Be very cautious and thorough. Do your research and make THEM sign agreeing to adhere to the rules of the state (which they will argue they do because they are certified). They will make you agree to their rules. Make them agree to yours.