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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 05-29-2013, 12:10 PM
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Default Remind me why I do not need to reply to this

I'm looking for someone to give me a swift kick (metaphorically). There's also a bit of a rant here.

Recap: Ex has been sending a steady stream of nastygrams over the past few weeks. These focus on either my lousy character and what a hypocrite I am (hiding behind my false front of reasonableness), complete with unprintable language; or they're unfounded demands for money (some of which has ended up here).

This morning the tack switched to passive-aggressive - he "knows [I] don't like paying child support", he asks me to "resign [myself] to paying until D7 is out of school", he urges me to "understand and accept [my] obligations as a parent". He earns over 100K and has a second income earner, a new wife, in his household. We have 50/50 custody; our incomes are in 53/47 ratio; I pay offset and proportional S7; and I have paid on time and to the penny ever since I moved out. I recognize this as fair and have never tried to change this. Ex has not paid his share of S7 since last June, and I have been carrying all of D7's expenses. He has been coming up with more and more creative ways to get around the offset, such as trying to charge me for any "extra" off-cycle nights D7 spends at his house or new and unusual S7 expenses like wanting reimbursement for a Halloween costime she wore at his house last year, to say nothing of the creative demands on my tax return. This has been going on for over a year, complete with threats of legal action and "making [me] pay and pay and pay". None of it has materialized. I've said that I will not respond to messages which are insulting or vulgar, and I will not discuss financial matters which are outside the divorce order, and have been maintaining radio silence beyond those two statements.

Part of me now wants to send off a blistering email about the absurdity of calling me a reluctant payor who needs to be lectured on parental responsibility when he's been continuously trying to scrape any extra penny he can out of me, with little regard for the law (we're talking one of those jailhouse lawyers who thinks he knows it all because he watched a couple of episodes of Law&Order). We both have more than adequate financial resources to look after our daughter. I suspect he's either in deep financial trouble or still emotionally enmeshed in his own unfinished business from the marriage, which consists of making me "pay" for whatever wrongs he thinks may have been done to him.

The smarter part of me says just let the passive-aggressive email sit there; there's nothing worth responding to; don't get sucked back into engagement; he's clearly trying a new tactic when overt hostility wasn't getting him the reaction he wanted and I shouldn't reward it.

I would really appreciate it if any of the wiser people on this forum could give me that swift kick, tell me to listen to the smarter part of me, and/or share any tips for how to cool down when you desperately want to tell your ex how wrong he is, but you know you shouldn't (besides writing out your woes to an internet forum of strangers).
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:53 PM
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He's doing it to get a reaction from you, to engage you in his conflict. You can see how the tone of his emails changes as you continue to not respond.

He's gone from openly hostile to passive agressive, soon he'll move to the next stage and the longer you continue to not respond, the more impact THAT will have in setting the standard for future acceptable or not acceptable behaviour.

Respond to the valid emails that are polite and civil, respond in kind (or kill him with kindness!) and ignore the rest. He'll figure it out eventually.

He's just looking for specific things that will tweak you into becoming engaged right now.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
This morning the tack switched to passive-aggressive - he "knows [I] don't like paying child support"
How does the other parent "know" this? Don't play into their attempt to project emotion on you. Unless you have stated and they can produce the evidence to support that you don't like paying child support. It really is no difference if you like to or don't like to. Both parents are technically paying child support in accordance with Section 9 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines in the offset.

So, look at it this way... You and the other parent are BOTH paying child support technically. You are just transferring the difference to the other parent in accordance with the Rules.

It isn't your fault you are:

(a) Possibly more successful in your career.
(b) Can provide a better living arrangement for the children due to your better choices.
(c) Should get a pat on the back for not only being able to care for your child equally but, are doing more technically as you can do this all while making a higher income. Congratulations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
he asks me to "resign [myself] to paying until D7 is out of school", he urges me to "understand and accept [my] obligations as a parent".
Well, you have. You have realized that you are more financially fit as a parent and pay the offset. I find it interesting when offset parents demand CS. It looks great on you as a parent that you can provide more for your children. Unfortunate the other parent is reserved themselves to collect child support and not increase their income and match you as a parent in what they earn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
He earns over 100K and has a second income earner, a new wife, in his household.
You have to let go of this one. It isn't a situation where you could claim unjust enrichment or reduce your CS. Unless you want to declare to the courts that the other person he is with (new wife) is a parent in loco. You are the parent that is why you pay child support. Because you do what a responsible parent does... You maximize your earning potential, do not rely upon handouts from others for "support", will continue to improve your career and will continue to be an equal and joint parent with just as much access.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
We have 50/50 custody; our incomes are in 53/47 ratio; I pay offset and proportional S7; and I have paid on time and to the penny ever since I moved out.
Congratulations. Offset parents are rarely congratulated for the fact that they can equally parent and earn a larger income at the same time. Not many people recognize it this way. I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
I recognize this as fair and have never tried to change this.
Actually, it really isn't fair. You not only take care of the children 1/2 the time you earn more and invest more into your career. You should be given complements that you are able to do this. Parents who pay offset on a 50-50 are more than just parents, they are a model for their children and society that not only can you be successful in your career you can be successful as a parent.

The court won't give you bonus points for this but, your children will grow up and see this and be better citizens and taxpayers as a result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
Ex has not paid his share of S7 since last June, and I have been carrying all of D7's expenses.
Careful, at this income level you will be hard pressed to convince any justice that there is valid "extraordinary" expenses. There is a breaking point where a judge will start to start lobbing out things that households get awarded as "special and extraordinary". For example, at 210,000 gross household income, hockey, soccer, and sports would not probably be considered "special and extraordinary" unless your child has been selected to play on the Olympic team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
He has been coming up with more and more creative ways to get around the offset, such as trying to charge me for any "extra" off-cycle nights D7 spends at his house
Is he trying to prove that he is over the 60% threshold so he can get full table? To solve that problem... Stop having your D7 spend extra off-cyle nights at his house. Make other arrangements. You are under no obligation unless there is a right of first refusal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
or new and unusual S7 expenses like wanting reimbursement for a Halloween costime she wore at his house last year, to say nothing of the creative demands on my tax return.
Neither of which are S7 expenses. He would get laughed out of court claiming that as an S7. The tax stuff, well a family court can't deal with as it is out of their jurisdiction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
This has been going on for over a year, complete with threats of legal action and "making [me] pay and pay and pay".
Call out the threat. When it is clearly stated that the other party is going to take the matter to court, write back (or have your lawyer write back) with times you are available to hear the motion. Ask that they respect the courts of justice act and time frames defined in the FLR for response etc...

Call the bluff. Highly conflicted people love to threaten to "tell the judge" all the time. Call them out on it. If they do serve paperwork though, do check to see if it is *actually* filed with the court. Most of the time it is not and not even stamped by the court. If this happens, just notify them it is not filed and file it yourself. Make them show up and explain to a judge why they are pulling the stunt. Do make sure that in your responding affidavit you outline the detailed evidence to the day you were served the unfiled documentation and when you served their documentation...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
Part of me now wants to send off a blistering email about the absurdity of calling me a reluctant payor who needs to be lectured on parental responsibility when he's been continuously trying to scrape any extra penny he can out of me, with little regard for the law (we're talking one of those jail house lawyers who thinks he knows it all because he watched a couple of episodes of Law&Order).
Honestly, it isn't worth your time or emotional investment. Consider this posting that email and walk away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
We both have more than adequate financial resources to look after our daughter. I suspect he's either in deep financial trouble or still emotionally enmeshed in his own unfinished business from the marriage, which consists of making me "pay" for whatever wrongs he thinks may have been done to him.
Well, I wouldn't give him credit for being "vindictive". Honestly he seems very undereducated on the matters and downright confused by it all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
The smarter part of me says just let the passive-aggressive email sit there; there's nothing worth responding to; don't get sucked back into engagement; he's clearly trying a new tactic when overt hostility wasn't getting him the reaction he wanted and I shouldn't reward it.
Don't get sucked back in. Not worth the time or effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
I would really appreciate it if any of the wiser people on this forum could give me that swift kick, tell me to listen to the smarter part of me, and/or share any tips for how to cool down when you desperately want to tell your ex how wrong he is, but you know you shouldn't (besides writing out your woes to an internet forum of strangers).
Your smarter self is correct. Hand write the response you want to send him to all the nonsense then burn it. Some times it is better to pen-and-ink the response and burn it. Also, you don't accidental email the response too as you would physically have to put it in the mail to send it.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:30 PM
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Just do what I do...read it, determine if there is anything that actually requires a response. (Some retarded off the wall allegation or something) or if it's just meaningless fluff.

If there's nothing that actually requires you to respond, simply drag it to the "nutball ex" folder (mine is over 1100 deep, and that's JUST the ones categorized as from the ex...doesn't include the legal emails/etc)

It's there if you need it. If you don't, hell gmail gives you several GB worth of storage, more than you'll ever use.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:56 PM
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Thanks Tayken, Blink and NBDad. The urge to fire off the irate email has now officially passed. I'm choosing to view this as NBDad suggested, as a sign that he's learned that hostile and vindictive rants aren't going to get a reaction from me (as they once did, I am embarrassed to say), and has now moved to Plan B, smarmy and patronizing passive-aggressive communication. Which will also not get the emotional response he wants. I can't wait for Plan C - maybe that's when he decides we should be BFFs and starts inviting me for spa dates.

Tayken, a couple of points: I don't love paying CS, nobody does, but I've never complained about it and I do it. The tables say what they say.

(Concerning incomes: we have the same credentials, work for the same employer, with the same job title and description, for the same number of years, even in the same building. The [small] discrepancy in income is entirely due to my getting merit raises that he didn't get. Ex brooded on this even before we separated and nurses a grudge against the universe for not adequately recognizing his genius. I'm sure the efforts to get more money out of me now are related to his long-standing difficulty with having [once] had a wife who earned more than him).

Re S7 - you're right, knowing what I know now, I would not have kept a list of extraordinary expenses in the divorce order when incomes are so close, as it just leads to more headache than necessary. We did, however, sign an order which specified sharing certain expenses (mainly extracurriculars). Ex hasn't paid his share in nearly a year, I'm pretty resigned to sending him the twice-yearly statements of what we both owe, but not holding my breath waiting for him to comply (at least until we get up into serious thousands of dollars, at which point I would consider going to MEP with it).

If he wants to go to court over Halloween costumes and tax deductions he's ineligible for, that's his choice. I'm not going to dare him to do it. He's pretty undereducated in legal matters - e.g. threatened to "serve a motion" to "withdraw [my] standing before the court" and thus damage my credit rating, which as far as I can tell makes no sense whatsoever. I'm not a lawyer either, but at least I *know* I'm not a lawyer.

Thanks again, everyone. This is definitely a learning journey we're on.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
It isn't your fault you are:

(a) Possibly more successful in your career.
(b) Can provide a better living arrangement for the children due to your better choices.
(c) Should get a pat on the back for not only being able to care for your child equally but, are doing more technically as you can do this all while making a higher income. Congratulations!
May be the person making the higher income does so because the lower income earner made sacrifices the higher income earner was not willing to make. Not saying thats the OPs situation, just saying its possible!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
Unfortunate the other parent is reserved themselves to collect child support and not increase their income and match you as a parent in what they earn.

... You maximize your earning potential, do not rely upon handouts from others for "support", will continue to improve your career and will continue to be an equal and joint parent with just as much access.

.....Congratulations. Offset parents are rarely congratulated for the fact that they can equally parent and earn a larger income at the same time. Not many people recognize it this way. I do.

.......Actually, it really isn't fair. You not only take care of the children 1/2 the time you earn more and invest more into your career. You should be given complements that you are able to do this. Parents who pay offset on a 50-50 are more than just parents, they are a model for their children and society that not only can you be successful in your career you can be successful as a parent.

........The court won't give you bonus points for this but, your children will grow up and see this and be better citizens and taxpayers as a result. Tayken
Really!! Just because I collect child support I am not attempting to increase my income, which by the way will never, never, never match my exs. And I am relying on "handouts" and I am not a role model for my children?!!

I know you are trying to make the OP feel better about her situation, but this reasoning is ridiculous. Her ex. is an ass, enough said.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:30 PM
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I've endured several years of crazy 'tarded emails from ex & g/f. Difficult to do but just ignore. Not a bad idea to keep them somewhere, however, as I recently found old spiteful emails to be useful in meeting with judge.

You are so much better than he is. Don't forget that.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:39 PM
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stripes: I too received these types of e-mails.

For over a year my ex. sent many of these. They usually started with, "In case you didn't know", or "Just so you know", or " I should let you know", or "What your lawyer isn't telling you", etc. The rest of the many paged e-mail contained legal advice, parenting advice, analysis of my personality and situation I had put myself in, [divorce], as well as his description of what exactly would happen if I didn't take his deals. What would happen in court, what a judge would say, what our children would think of me, on and on.

I didn't respond to any of them, not one.

Early on I quoted some of his e-mails in correspondence to my lawyer, but I only did that a couple of times. I quickly learned my ex. was blowing smoke out his ass and it cost me to ask my lawyer.

Do not respond to your ex. He may never get tired of sending you these types of e-mails. Set up a folder, better yet set up another e-mail account, and forward his e-mails there. That way you don't have to see them.

If I felt like responding, I opened a new e-mail, [never put in an address, that way you can't accidently send it], typed out my frustration and then deleted. Eventually, I no longer felt the need to even do this, just read the e-mail shaking my head.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:42 PM
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Another option would be to forward them to HIS lawyer. He's got to pay for his lawyer to read them. I'll bet that stops real quick.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:54 PM
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^ excellent advice blink. Last time I checked my lawyer's bill I noted he charged 22.50 for each email read.

Perfect!
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