107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support

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Arkhangelsk

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107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« on: June 06, 2019, 07:23:14 PM »
Reason I am in significant distress today:
My ex, who is suing me for child support responded (weeks late) to my discovery requests with a document that shows that since our divorce in 2016, his family has given him 107k in cash.  I am devastated at this behavior by his family - none of whom speak to me any more.  AND my current partner is 1) furious and 2) absolutely flabbergasted that I feel sad instead of filled with hated at my former in-laws - and is, therefore, struggling to be a source of emotional support for me.

Background:
My jurisdiction has a formula for child support.  You put in both parents incomes and get a number. 
 - My ex has not worked since 2009, despite a law degree and an electrical engineering degree. 
 - When we divorced I deeded him a triplex which, when fully rented, should gross almost 5k a month.
 - He has a house, with no mortgage on it that needs cosmetic work, to either live in it or rent it.  Rental value is 1200 a month.
 - I gave him a Town and Country in the divorce that I had just paid off.

Following the formula, my lawyer and I calculated a conservative amount of income to impute to him and used that to come up with a number for me to pay in child support.  It is absolutely a fair number that I think a judge would likely come to.  I pay it every month.

My ex does not work.  He lives in one of his 4 units.  One has been unrented since the divorce and the other 2 have been empty most of that time as well.  He has those 2 rented now for significantly less than the market rate.

He sued me for child support.  Our litigation for custody was an expensive nightmare, despite me offering every reasonable settlement imaginable.  He does not follow court deadlines, so we have to keep going back to the judge to get her to make him do what is required - like answer my discovery requests.

Fun legal twist:
Cash payments are gifts under the law in my state.  They are NOT income and do not count to offset what I might owe in child support.

Singular upside:
My trauma therapy seems to be helping.  I stayed calm and am processing well.

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Penny Lane

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Re: 107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 03:05:47 PM »
Oh no, how incredibly frustrating.

DH found some similarly frustrating stuff in his ex's financial records in their most recent round of litigation. Like, when she had told him that school lunches weren't in her budget that week (!!!) she dropped $50 at a bar two days later. Like, when she said she couldn't afford to pay her lawyer plus extracurriculars so the kids would have to do without, it turns out her parents were paying for the lawyers (or someone was, she sure wasn't). Like, if she had just spent less at womens clothing/lingerie stores and sex shops she could've paid for the kids' health insurance rather than letting it lapse because she "couldn't afford it" for several months straight. (I get that everyone needs clothes! Just, I think your kids need health insurance more than you need $500 worth of clothes from Anthropologie, you know?)

It truly is enough to drive you crazy. It was like, here in black and white is how little she cares about the kids' well being. And none of it was really relevant to the court case, although I do think she made some concessions in order to avoid the embarrassment of that coming out. But really there were no repercussions for any of it.

In your state, is child support based on how much you're actually making or how much you could make? All the things you listed are true in my state as well. But if one parent chooses not to work, their potential earnings are imputed as you said. (I think it's intended to prevent situations exactly like this, as well as a scenario where a highly-paid husband with a stay at home mom wife quits his job right before the divorce in order to not have to pay child support.) In other words, are you more worried the judge is going to order more child support, or are you more feeling like you're just wasting your time and money on this litigation that's going to come back to the exact same place? Either way stressful and expensive and time consuming and frustrating. Just in slightly different ways.

Here is what I tell DH when his ex's family is helping her do terrible things to him in ways that clearly violate the parenting plan: They are enablers. They clearly don't have good emotional skills - otherwise they would have taught them to her, and we wouldn't be in this position because she would have grown up to be a reasonable person. On top of that you KNOW she's lying to them. So they don't realize they're doing something TO you, either because she's making you out to be the villain or because she's hiding your part of this. It sucks, it really does. If it wasn't them it would be someone else enabling because people like your ex and my husband's ex can always find someone to enable them, financially and otherwise. And it doesn't matter how much you give, they are always going to want more because they think they're entitled to everything you have and then some.

I'm sorry you and your partner are on slightly different pages on this. DH and I have been there, too, especially sometimes with our initial reactions. And it can be so hard because that introduces tension when this is exactly when you need a lot less of that! I have confidence that you can both be gentle with each other for awhile - I really think you'll come to some common place where he can support you and you can both support each other again soon.

The things you say about court - "expensive nightmare," doesn't follow deadlines on even the very basics like discovery, won't agree to reasonable alternatives - that all sounds very familiar too. It was the worst and I have incredible stress about the possibility (I would say near-certainty) that BM will do something bad enough that they have to go back to court, or she'll try to take DH to court for a similarly ridiculous reason to your ex. I'm sorry you're going through this! I'm sorry it seems neverending! I hope you get a GREAT outcome, like, you have to pay less child support, that discourages future litigation from your ex's end.

In the meantime, hang in there. Find some good stuff to focus on or to do. Be proud of how well you're coping with an impossible situation. Enjoy your time with your partner outside of all this. You are going through something objectively awful, it's an accomplishment to even just survive it and maybe the best thing you can say about this period of your life is that it will eventually end.

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Arkhangelsk

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Re: 107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 12:21:11 PM »
Penny Lane,

Yes, indeed.  It boggles the mind to see the spending patterns. 

In my state, the default is to plug in what you actually make.  You have to argue why other facts should be considered and then hire experts to opine on how much income to impute.  I am mostly sad about the cost, because I think it will land right back where we are now.  I am paying exactly what a fair hearing officer should order me to pay.  I wish these many thousands of dollars were headed into my kids' 529 plan instead.  Instead, like you, I think we will end up in court regularly over the next few year.  Much of it for stupid reasons, like my ex-husband missing deadlines.

You are right.  The family members involved are enablers.  I try to remind myself it is about that, not about me or their judgement of my character.

Things with my partner sorted themselves out in less than 24 hours.  That is one of the bright spots.  We may not always be perfectly aligned.  But we are very good about being patient with each other.  He is a wonderful support to me and a spectacular parent to these boys.  So that is a very bright spot indeed.  Hugs to people like him and you, Penny Lane, for choosing to love people who are tied to other people like my ex-husband and your husband's ex.   

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athene1399

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Re: 107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 08:46:37 AM »
I am so sorry, Arkhangelsk. This sounds incredibly frustrating! I would be incredibly upset if SO's BPDxw was gifted money because she "can't" pay for her half of anything. And if she was gifted money, she still wouldn't pay us back for anything and would probably find a way to use it to her advantage, like buy something expensive for SD and claim we owed her half. That's unfortunately how these situations go. Hopefully the judge is as frustrated as you are with your ex missing deadlines constantly. I would think that can't look good for him. Plus he has all these ways to make income with the properties and doesn't have the initiative to try. I would hope that doesn't look good for him either. Sometimes the law views things in surprising ways. Like in your example with the large money gift. I would think a gift of that size should count towards income, but logic doesn't often dictate the law. I am sorry you are dealing with this. I am glad you are remaining calm. :)

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Penny Lane

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Re: 107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 12:14:35 PM »
Arkhangelsk, maybe I'm not understanding you quite right but what about the family gift to your ex is triggering these feelings? Do you think that they gave him the money in order to fund his lawsuit against you?

It seems to me that he probably cried poor and told them that he was going to lose the house, or something. Is it possible they don't even know he's in litigation right now? I don't see the financial gift as a sign that they support him in this endeavor. But maybe you have evidence that they do? Or maybe I'm misunderstanding why it's so upsetting to you?

I mean, it's definitely b.s. that he has all these means of supporting himself, he chooses to go to his family and now he wants you to pay him more as a result ... but that's an ex problem, not a family problem.

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Arkhangelsk

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Re: 107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 01:12:27 PM »
Penny Lane,
The list of gifts he has received include notations like "roof repairs," and "legal fees."  A huge portion is for the later.  So he is telling them he needs this money for court.  I do not see that as true.  I have regularly offered multiple fair solutions to any concerns he has raised.  There has never been any reason to pay lawyers to fight - except that he wants to fight.  Over even the smallest things.

The kids tell me that he tells them that I sue him in court all the time.  So, I suppose the thing that gets me is the idea that he has gone to his family and told them he need cash to pay lawyers bills to fight some dastardly stuff I am allegedly doing.  Of course, he also told them my partner and I are abusing the children (let me tell you, dealing with CYS and the police when you have been falsely accused just adds a layer of pain and fear to everything that happens thereafter).

No one in his family speaks to me any more.  So, I do not really know what they think.  I am trying to learn not to care.

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Arkhangelsk

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Re: 107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 01:16:11 PM »
Thank you, Athene.

I hope the judge sees as well.  We have 1 judge who is overall in charge of our case.  When I have to go to motions court, to do things like ask her to make my ex meet his deadlines, she is always annoyed.  But, the child support hearing itself goes in front of a different hearing officer.  The system has a lot of moments like that - where you have to appear in font of an officer, mediator or other court person who does not know the case.  As I am sure you can surmise, the facts are complicated.  Which means it can be really hard to get anyone to see the whole picture.  Which is why people with personality disorders are so very successful manipulating the court system. 

 :(

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Penny Lane

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Re: 107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 07:06:30 PM »
Oh I see. That's so hard. That's the exact same boat DH was in. In his case he also regularly has to see her parents, who were funding her legal attempts to keep him from getting health insurance for the kids . It was a LOT for him to handle that and then be polite at pickups and soccer games. In his mind (and mine) they were actively funding a court case that was detrimental to the kids' basic well being.

My opinion, and they're not my former in-laws so it's a lot easier for me, is that it doesn't bother me because we know it's a result of BM's lies. We know she does this, she lies to everyone about everything. So any action her parents take against him/us isn't a reflection of our character and isn't even a reflection of reality. In a lot of ways it's almost like a reflection of BM (and your ex). Because if BM is telling her parents that we did something bad, it's likely a projection of whatever bad thing she's doing at the time. Like your ex saying that you constantly sue him.

None of that really helped DH get through it. Sounds like you know all that too as you're trying to process this situation, so maybe it's not that helpful to you either.

Another thought that helps me, and this may be true of your ex's family, is that if they don't know that she's lying they are choosing to not see the evidence. Her statements often don't hold up under even the most basic scrutiny. Her parents have been paying her bills and for her lifestyle for pretty much the entire time she's been an adult, save for during her marriage to DH. She has a job where she makes almost as much as DH and I combined. If her parents truly think she "needs" their money for court, they're choosing to ignore all reality and alllllllllll the facts that contradict what she tells them. If they don't see she lies to them, it's because they're choosing to close their eyes. Or they see she's a liar and even so choose to take the easy path, enabling her. Either way, that is much more of an indictment of their character than DH's, or yours. They are choosing to be enablers rather than prioritize their grandkids' well being.

This isn't helpful to you specifically but in DH's case he found ways to work into conversation the real truth of the matter. Not like YOUR DAUGHTER IS LYING. But like, oh we can't take the kids to the doctor because they're uninsured. Oh I'm insisting that we do dropoff at a certain time because it's required by a court order. They've never acknowledged the total disconnect between what their daughter tells them vs DH, but their actions do seem to change after a disclosure like that. It's too bad you can't send a little birdie to whisper in their ear "Arkhangelsk is not the aggressor here, you are throwing good money after bad!"

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Poison Ivy

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Re: 107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 09:06:14 PM »
This would bug me, too. 

Most people need to work to support themselves.  If your ex were working to support himself, he'd have income.  That income would be taken into account for purposes of determining child support.

Instead, your ex is not working and hasn't for many years. On the basis of having a low income, he's trying to get a court order for you to pay more child support.

Obviously he needs money to support himself, too.  How wonderful (sarcasm) that his family is giving him money that he can use for whatever he wants, that isn't income, and that he isn't using for your children (who are also related to his family, I assume).  It seems to me that both your ex and his family are committing financial abuse against you.

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athene1399

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Re: 107k gift given to my ex- who is suing me for support
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2019, 08:41:27 AM »
It is incredibly frustrating when the x-ILs constantly financially support their adult PD child. But I guess on the other-hand, pretending nothing is going on and enabling is easier mentally than acknowledging you child creates his or her own problems. It's probably a lot easier to believe their narrative, even if they are known for lying. But as PL said, dropping little hints here and there about your side of the story could help. There's just so much messed up stuff going on in these situations, sometimes it's difficult for us to process.  You almost want to yell at the x-ILs, "What the heck are you doing? Can't you see you're just creating more problems?"  :doh: I think about it every time I remember SD's gramma (BM's mom) taking her to the law guardian the week after we had to because she was trying to get the LG on BM's side and thought we were the reason she wasn't. I wanted to say, "Unlike you, the LG can see exactly what is going on here." Now BM's mom is paying her bills again and helped to buy her a car while she isn't working.  :blink: The last time around this didn't go so well, so why are we doing it again? I try to remind myself it isn't my money being lent out to be wasted so why should I care. Even though it gets so frustrating when BM talks about no one helping her out. Your ex probably feels the same way. He deserves the money they gave him so no one is really helping him out. He's just a victim, left with nothing (sarcasm)...  >:(

Sorry guys...Think I'm in a negative mood today.