HELP! Need advice tonight

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JustKeepTrying

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HELP! Need advice tonight
« on: April 23, 2021, 11:28:36 PM »
Here is the situation - for the past six weeks I have been begging/emailed/texting (professional, non-pleading) my OCPDxh and asking for information on our college savings.  DS is ready to decide on a college but we would like to know exactly how much there is in the account in order to accurately weigh college offers.

He gives a little info here and there but not the whole picture.  Dribs and drabs and never fully revealing.  I can't access the account - the security is tied to his cell phone number (text for a pin thing).  Trying to be calm, my son reviewed all the communication and we talked finances all day.  This is the difference between ivy and state and student debt.

My ex kicked my son out of the house when he decided to attend school in-person for part of the day and asked to stay with Dad instead of me.  I have health issues and he would have exposed me to covid.  He then tried to remove DS from the health insurance.  They have not spoken since.

My son tried to call.  It now goes to silence and the texts are not even delivered.  I think he turned off the phone. 

Here are my options as I see them - and if anyone has suggestions, please please give them:

1) Ignore it and proceed with the limited information we have and DS goes to a state school.  In essence, we kick this down the road.

2) Text the older siblings who communicate with Dad and ask if they have heard from him since he is not responding to us.  This feels manipulative and I don't like it.

3) Drive and knock on the door.  Again, confrontational, and not sure it would help.

4) Go to a lawyer and pay more in fees than I can afford to have the ownership of the account turned over to me - since I vested it but it's in my ex's name (done 25 years ago when I never dreamed of this scenario)

5) Cry into the pillow and scream into the void - which I will probably do anyway.

Suggestions?  Advice?  Help!  I am up against a clock - feel very alone and no one to really talk to about this.

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Kat54

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Re: HELP! Need advice tonight
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2021, 12:21:51 AM »
Me personally as Iím Non confrontational and it just stirs up more trouble than itís worth. Some people thrive on drama and confrontation, donít give it fuel.  I know itís college and itís important but obviously heís boxing you and his son out. Itís his son so completely wrong on every level.
Go state route for now and hopefully things will get better and he can transfer.
I get it when you involve lawyers for anything it gets expensive. And Iím sorry you invested in it and now he has the account. Shame on him for being manipulative.
Keep the high road itís worth it in the end.

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pushit

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Re: HELP! Need advice tonight
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2021, 04:36:11 PM »
Sorry to hear about that, it's super frustrating how PDs refuse to cooperate until they're forced to.

If I were you, I'd at least speak with a lawyer to determine how the legal system might be able to help.  If it's a 529 account, your son's name would be on that account.  It might be possible that legally he should be given information about the account if he requests it.  You may not need to go all in and try to wrestle control of the account away from your ex, perhaps communication from your attorney to his attorney asking for information regarding the account would be enough to get him to cooperate and share the numbers.

If he's not willing to release information about account balances, I think you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that he may refuse to release money to your son to pay for college.  Again, you'd have to see if there is a way you can legally fight against that.  Just something to keep in mind, you don't want your son going to an expensive school and then be in financial trouble later on because dad refused to pay for it as originally promised.

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: HELP! Need advice tonight
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2021, 06:46:05 PM »
I can't get my head around how some pds (my uNPD exH included) can hate someone so extensively that they refuse them their basic needs and rights.

And it's so incredibly sad when they do it to their family members, especially their children.

I find in my situation that these types of decisions often come down to meeting my (and/or ds's) emotional needs first.  That often means he or I miss out on our basic rights and needs but at least it minimises the interaction we have with the uNPDs, and therefore minimises the drama factor, and therefore maintains our mental health more steadily.

So, in your current situation, I might just not bother trying to chase the money and just do whatever I can do for ds without uNPD exH's input.

If the means of getting the money is too traumatising for ds, he may not be in an emotional state to use it properly (ie:  study effectively)

I basically try to live as though uNPD exH doesn' exist.

Having said that, I do think it might be worth getting legal advice.  It might be a matter of a simple letter between solicitors to get the information you need.

Last year my uNPD exH refused to allow ds14 (then 13)  to come to visit me on his usual time (weekends) because of Covid.

A quick letter from my solicitor to his, resulted in his solicitor telling him to pull his head in.  Ds has been seeing me ever since and there hasn't been a peep about it from uNPD exH since.

I know your situatiin is different but it might be worth gathering the legal information.

In the meantime, have a look at "Radical Acceptance".  It's an extremely valuable tool.  It's a huge amount of work to get to that point but very worth it.

Do let us know how you and your son go regarding college.

AOD

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JustKeepTrying

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Re: HELP! Need advice tonight
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2021, 12:09:03 AM »
Thank you all for posting.  Knowing that I am not alone in this has been a tremendous help. 

AOD - I started to look at radical acceptance tonight.  I am grateful for the suggestion.  I believe it can be of great help.

Update - DS signed up for the state college.  My OCPDxh called this afternoon after prompting from my DS and we talked it through.  He still danced around giving us firm numbers and has not shared the information.  He dangled a "come and look over my shoulder" but no definite invitation.  As usual.  Smoke and mirrors.  In the discussion, I discovered he offered my oldest DD a large chunk of the money for her second master's degree.  He literally is taking the money from DS to DD - and my DS hasn't even started college yet.  My DD now says - well it's my money.  It's a mess.  A real mess and I am very angry.

It is a 529.  He is the account owner.  I am only a beneficiary.  Of course, set up more than 25 years ago when I never dreamed it would come to this.  Nor did i think it would be a problem when negotiated the divorce.  I am going to call my lawyer but I don't have high hopes.

Lesson learned - negotiate everything.  Assume nothing.

I keep thinking there is something I can do - I went through the toolbox and journaled and everything.  But like AOD's radical acceptance, it is out of my hands.

Sigh.  I may have to take out a loan.  And I will.  It may be better in the end.

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pushit

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Re: HELP! Need advice tonight
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2021, 01:48:47 AM »
I am so sorry you're dealing with this, it's complete garbage for him to favor one kid over the other if he's giving that money to DD instead of DS because she's now his personal favorite.

I would look at it this way.  Remember that you can only control what you can control.  He's going to play his control game over the finances.  If you can do something legally about it then great, you should do that to benefit DS and make things fair.  However, probably not worth it to chase a rabbit hole over legal control of the accounts and give a ton of money to lawyers that could go towards college instead.

Also remember that your kids are watching all of this, and communicating with each other too.  If your ex gives the money to DD for a masters and DS is short on money for his bachelors, they both know that and will have their own disagreements and reconciliations over that in the years to come.  All you can do is the best you can do.  DS will remember that mom did her best to help me out, while dad gave my college money to my sister.  You don't have to be the problem solver and make everything right, especially when it's out of your control.  Sometimes you can sit back and let the PD dig their own relationship grave.

I'll share with you that since my divorce my sister and I have had a lot of discussions about our FOO.  I had always though my family was "normal" and my sister was ultra competitive, she was the favorite and my parents constantly reminded us of her achievements.  Spoiler alert - my FOO was not healthy!  I've since learned that she was pressured to achieve certain things and she was not allowed to do the activities she wanted to when we were growing up.  Of course we're older now, and have recently shared a lot of unhealthy observations about our parents with each other.  Things we never talked about before.  Long story short - We recognize it now and are intent on not repeating the same patterns with our own kids. 

I'm sharing this to help remind you that while you may not be able to make it perfect right now, you can still help your kids see the dysfunction and set them on a better path.  Perhaps tomorrow or the next day is not perfect, but you can still set DS on the path of being an incredible father and not repeating the same dysfunction.

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Stepping lightly

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Re: HELP! Need advice tonight
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2021, 11:33:23 AM »
Hi JustKeepTrying,

I definitely feel for you and DS on this issue.  It is so frustrating to have life decision made based on someone else's refusal to cooperate. 

I agree that radical acceptance is likely in order.  It sucks, but it's out of your control.  Do what you can to support your son, and the rest will fall in place.  I truly believe that sometimes, these forks in the road end up being the "best thing to ever happen".  It's hard to see how that will happen from the start, but down the road you/your son will likely look back and say "thank goodness".