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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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Old 11-14-2013, 08:43 PM
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Just a question for you all... When it comes to your ex's how much of a 'helping hand' do you offer?

I ask because the last two drop offs with the kids the ex has had car troubles. Two weeks ago her car wouldn't start at the drop off location... Bf used our CAA to have the car towed home because they couldn't boost it. This past weekend her car wouldn't start again, so we boosted the car and then she locked the keys in her car...with it running...

I ended up calling my mechanic friend who came from almost an hour away to unlock her car. she is now refusing to pay the bill for the service call of $50, meaning we either foot the bill or the mechanic goes without. He billed us because we also had our snow tires put on that night and we owe him for that.

So the question... What would you do in this situation? Continuing helping or leave with the kids and let her know she can pick them up when she gets her car started? Obviously we can't leave the kids with her with a car that doesn't start, meaning they don't have heat.

I usually don't mind helping but I don't want this to be a pattern and don't feel we should have to use up our CAA or foot all her bills. Am I totally wrong on this?
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:57 PM
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That's a challenge. Perhaps next time, instead of offering the CAA or mechanic, offer her a drive home, if feasible? Then she's on the hook for her own car repairs etc. If it's a simple boost and you can provide that, no biggie. But anything more than that I would say she's on her own for. Provide the mechanic's name as a referral and let her take the car there or call him - her call, her bill
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
That's a challenge. Perhaps next time, instead of offering the CAA or mechanic, offer her a drive home, if feasible? Then she's on the hook for her own car repairs etc. If it's a simple boost and you can provide that, no biggie. But anything more than that I would say she's on her own for. Provide the mechanic's name as a referral and let her take the car there or call him - her call, her bill
I don't know about this one. Offering her a ride home sets a precedent for her just calling up in the future and asking for the kids to be dropped off as the car still isn't repaired.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:22 PM
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Honestly, I don't believe you should ever help your ex, but especially in a situation such as what you describe. If the ex is not appreciative and willing to pay back, either in cash or in kind, then why the heck would you help someone like that?

What you should do is help your kids. Just because they may happen to be with your ex doesn't mean shouldn't go above and beyond to make sure they are safe, comfortable, and can get where they need to go.

In situations like you describe I would offer a lift, period. If she needs service, let her call someone and have it billed to her. The fact that you ended up getting billed was your mistake, as well as the mechanic's mistake. The mechanic should have billed her, and called a collection agency if necessary. (I understand you want to stay on good terms with the mechanic, but as far as the ethics of the situation, neither the ex nor the mechanic was handling it properly.)

You made the choice to put yourself in a position to be used. It didn't work out for you, why encourage the ex to keep doing it? Because you know they will.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:23 PM
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I think it's kind of like loaning money. Don't lend money unless you can afford to not ever see it again.

Good for you for helping someone out. I'd leave it at that and don't be so quick to offer her help in the future.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rioe View Post
I don't know about this one. Offering her a ride home sets a precedent for her just calling up in the future and asking for the kids to be dropped off as the car still isn't repaired.
You're probably right. I just never help anyone out ever so this whole idea is foreign to me!
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:36 PM
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I would offer to call a taxi (in case her cell is not working either). Would I give a stranger my CAA? May be, in some extreme situations, but helping someone who has zero appreciation and just taking and never giving is a very bad idea.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:49 PM
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I agree with everyone... I guess our biggest issue is what to do with the kids. The meeting location is about half hour for us and 45min for her. I don't see how we can drop the kids with her and say goodbye... Feels as though we are leaving them in a situation they shouldn't have to be in. She just bought this car brand new 2 years ago so she doesn't have an old vehicle. We did 8 months of driving both ways a couple years ago when she was in a car accident, totalled her van and broke her leg in several places, she still attempts to get out of meeting us from time to time so offering the ride is just setting us up for more of that.

Mess you are right, we never should have been billed and I know if I told my friend that she was refusing to pay he would take it off my bill, $50 is nothing because she would be paying a lot more than that for a tow truck. But next time we will let her figure it out. We will just have to stand our ground and let her know she needs to figure it out on her own.

Last edited by Berner_Faith; 11-14-2013 at 09:51 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:53 PM
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Approximately 6 months after separation my son's car wouldn't start and there was a large oil leak. The car was parked in an underground parking lot of the condo where we lived and the condo maintenance fellow was having a fit, threatening to fine us etc. A few months before this my ex had taken my son's car and given it to his g/f's son (nice father eh?). He was able to do this because the car was registered to him. (We always had our personal vehicles registered under my ex's name.) The matter was negotiated between lawyers and my ex had to give my son a car to replace the one he had given away. Yes even lawyers had to work that one out.

Anyhow, I panicked when the maintenance guy was banging on our door. I called my ex and told him what the problem was and he agreed to come over right away to look at the car and help us out. This was the first and last time I ever asked my ex for a favor.

When my ex arrived at our place he had his g/f with him. Just 6 weeks previous to this I had been in court defending myself against this crazy woman who had tried to have a peace bond put on me, saying that I threatened her. That whole issue was bunted out of court with an admonition for HER to stay away from me. So here we are a few months later with my ex and the nutty g/f in tow. I was pretty upset and said to him "xxx this is not appropriate." His response was "we just all have to get along." He then abruptly told the g/f to put her head under the hood of the car and proceeded to bark instructions at her. I was stunned that she did this. The car eventually did start and we took the car to a junk place a few days later.

I guess what I'm saying is that it was hard enough to have to call my ex and ask for his help but to have the g/f there was pretty awful. I didn't have a problem accepting his assistance but having her there with him, was just too much. I wonder, did she come along just to see me in a distressed situation? It was no secret that I am mechanically inept.

Unless you get some sort of perverse enjoyment out of making his ex squirm I really don't know why you would assist her. I don't know why your husband would even entertain the idea of letting you call your friend to help out his ex wife.

You see, you can look at this as simply you were very generous to help the woman out because the kids were in the car. Or, are you like my ex's g/f and just did it for shits and giggles and to have one over on her?

Just giving you an "ex wife's" perspective.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:01 PM
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I thank you for that side of the story but I feel our situations are vastly different. It wasn't until we got to the meeting spot we were told the car wouldn't start, she didn't call him before hand and ask for help. It was rainy, windy and cold, she was going to walk to the gas station 6 blocks away. I was the one who told him to offer her a ride as now the kids were getting upset. I have been in her situation where my van wouldn't start, it sucks. It wasn't about getting one over on her, it was about helping another human being and the mother of my step kids.

Unfortunately she was not grateful and next time we will have a different approach, even if that means bringing the kids back with us until she is able to find appropriate transportation.
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