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Spousal Support - Why It Matters

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  • #16
    This discussion makes me a little sad.
    This is my case and I would really like to know what people think so...

    I've had panic attacks since I was very young. These were so traumatic that I vividly remember the feelings to this day of attacks from four or five years of age. I learned to deal with them as I grew up and kept them under control.

    I married young and within two weeks of our second son's birth I walked in to find my husband with another man. It was more than shock. We live in a very small community and he decided to come out of the closet and then leave me to deal with it. We never received one penny of the child support he was supposed to pay. I took odd jobs... telephone sales, strawberry picking, cleaning horse stalls, chicken handling... anything that would allow me the freedom to come and go when I needed to.

    Between trying to cope with panic attacks and how my marriage ended plus raising two little boys on my own... I was pretty messed up. Ended up in a relationship with a neighbour which lasted two years and when I found out I was pregnant again he just walked away. I was already raising two on my own so figured there was no point in trying to make another man who wanted nothing to do with his child support her.

    By the time our daughter was three I thought I was going nuts.... was at the point where I couldn't even look out of the window without going through a panic attack. It took the housing manager to come and make me visit his doctor so I could get help. Just having the doctor tell me that this was a real condition and I wasn't alone helped... calmed me down... took the fear of that away. I went on. I refused medication because I was all my kids had and I heard too many horror stories. I learned to meditate to relieve the stress and I made myself go out and do things every day. I even dated again but ended up with a guy who thought women were punching bags... gave that up real quick.

    By the time the kids were 11, 9, & 6 I had a great routine and life going. We had been able to buy and fix up a reliable car and I had them all in sports, etc.... was trying to give them as normal a life as I could. I even went back to school. Figured I could get my diploma and then taking writing courses. At that point I knew I wasn't cut out for the outside world but I had to do something so I thought I could open a home daycare and write (my true love) on the side.

    When my daughter was eight years old her father called and wanted to see her. I was thrilled for her but he ended up coming and spending time with all of us. He kept asking me to give him a chance, trust him, blah, blah...
    I told him about everything we had been through and he already knew about my panic attacks, etc. None of this was a problem to him.. said he made excellent money and whether I stayed home, or stayed in school, or whatever I did was fine with him. He promised that all I had to do was trust him and if anything should happen he would make sure that everything we had would go to myself and my daughter and he'd make sure we always had what we needed ... said he owed me that promise for not being there or helping with our daughter for eight years.

    Eventually I did trust him but I also stayed in school. When we got together neither of us owned anything other than our respective cars and I had a small amount of money put away for my kids college funds. Shortly after we were together I found out that he hadn't seen his son from a previous marriage in two or three years because he hadn't paid his support and was hiding from them. He was a truck driver and had lost his license for drinking and driving so had been out of work... had only gotten his license back and found employment shortly before calling to see our daughter. I took the money from the kids college funds and paid all of the support he owed and within a few weeks his son was coming to visit. Next thing I knew... without anyone asking me... his son was moving in with us. His son was a great kid but used to living in the country and the freedom was a little much for him... three teenaged boys was a little much for me as well. His son had been identified at a younger age and was supposed to be in special classes but we weren't made aware of this. Problems started and the school was constantly calling. His father "couldn't deal with it" so I all of this fell to me. He was a book he carried to each class and the teacher would fill in how his day went and what was expected as homework. The boy didn't sit and concentrate unless I was right there with him so I spent two hours every night going through his homework with him. Soon it was pretending to get on the school bus but going in the house as soon as I left for my classes. Between running back and forth between school for him and making sure he was on the bus and just the every day detail... I was drained... didn't even have anything left, emotionally, physically, mentally, for my own three kids. I ended up having to leave school since I was forever called out anyway.

    A lot happened in between... we bought a house.... I took up babysitting and even worked in the factory until I broke my foot and my ex didn't want me going back.

    So then... ten years later an ex-girlfriend starts phoning and right on my 41st birthday my husband walks in, hands me a present, and says he's leaving. We hadn't even had so much as an argument in five years.... there was nothing leading up to it.

    Tell me... do I deserve support?


    • #17
      It sounds to me that you are deserving of spousal support and moral support. I have heard similar stories over the years, it is never pleasant and it never involves a happy ending.

      Hang in there and be well.


      • #18
        Thank you... the advice I get is that I should apply for welfare... and if you read my other message in divorce support "does talking help?" you'll see that I can't get much lower in the self esteem department anyway.


        • #19
          Originally posted by alreadydid3
          Thank you... the advice I get is that I should apply for welfare... and if you read my other message in divorce support "does talking help?" you'll see that I can't get much lower in the self esteem department anyway.
          I would suggest that you reach out to social services in your community - they can help you obtain the child support you are definately entitled too - they can also help you get whatever else (spousal support, education assistance, etc) it takes you to get in a more financially viable situation.

          Hang in there - it's always darkest before the dawn - you are not alone.


          • #20
            He was ordered to pay spousal support but he quit paying instead of having it reviewed as the lawyer advised me he had to do. Our daughter is 19 and was attending college... she is a beautiful artist... her father pulled the funds half way through term and she had to leave school. All I wanted is a better life for her. I already used the money I had put aside for my kids to attend college... all to support the family when my ex couldn't and to pay the support he was in arrears for when we were first together.


            • #21
              This is an actual wall sized oil painting that our daughter did at 14 years of age. She is very talented. She had already been losing a lot of credit at school due to not being able to obtain funds for the gallery showings and events but once her father pulled her funds completely there was nothing else to do but leave school. It had been too late for that term to have OSAP help and we really can't afford another payment but she had even tried to get a loan on her own but the bank told her she had no collateral nor co-signer so they couldn't help.
              Attached Files


              • #22
                Holy talent, that's truly amazing!



                • #23
                  Alreadydid3, that is a beautiful painting! You're right; your daughter is exceptionally talented!

                  I thank you for posting your story, and I completely think you are entitled to support! I don't know where you live, but can Maintenance Enforcement or the FRO help you to track your ex and force the support? Sounds like it was court ordered, and you are entitled to and need it.

                  As for Social Services, I hope they can help you and there is no shame in applying; that's what it's there for. You've helped others when they've needed it, and now you need it. Let them help if they can.

                  Take care of yourself and let others help, too. You've been very strong to make it through everything you're dealing with, and maybe your story will help those opposed to spousal support to see that it's not so black and white.


                  • #24
                    I feel that if one spouse has sacrificed a career, or education opportunities, that spouse is entitled to support for a duration long enough to get that person back on track and supporting themselves.

                    My problem with the system is that I don't feel it is always based on NEED. When i met my ex, she was working part time at a crappy job. During our 2 years of marriage, she acquired a full time decent paying job, got her license, got a car, etc etc. She is quite capable of supporting herself.

                    BUT, because I make double what she makes, she will probably get spousal support when we divorce. She has threatened to claim that she can no longer go on vacations 3 times/year and therefore, her standard of living is going down. I'm sorry, but I dont feel vacations are a "NEED".


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by 2ndpartner
                      I am a very new person so I am not sure if I can comment here. But I like what the moderator said.

                      In a long marriage where the wife didn't get or have the chance to work and earn income for herself it's really hard to go out and work and support yourself after.

                      But the moderator also talks about short marriages I do not understand how those ones work.

                      I know a woman who is trained in a job that pays well, was only working part time for the last year before her marriage ended and fulltime before that. And now just because her almost exhusband makes a lot more then she does she thinks she should get alimony and not have to work until her kids are grown up (high school) I do not think that is very fair at all. She is young and can work but she just will not. I think women like her make it harder for people who really need or deserve support to get it.
                      you know that these laws are not applyed to only women. Men are now using these laws that are suppose to protect women in order to gain free money from there spouses based on these laws. CS is necessary and obligation is diffenently there. But a male that hasn't stayed at home worked full time spent the better part of his days sitting in a bar leaving the children home alone while the wife was at work. She was aware of this because the children would call her at work to find out what is was they would be eating for supper. He would come home five minutes before her so it would look as if her were there all night. Confronted he would blame her for working. Now 3years before retiring and no children at home they separate, and the husband retired on a small pension quits his part time job and says he shouldn't have to work anymore because the wife makes enough money that he shouldn't have to work at all. This is not opligation and or descentcy this his just manipulation of our laws to protect mother and child


                      • #26
                        Each claim for SS should be examined on its own merits...but I know one thing; My absolute hardest/worst day at work is way easier to pull off than one day at home with a baby!
                        Any husband who says a stay at home mom doesn't "work" has never tried staying at home.
                        It is difficult, stressful, and hard but incredibly rewarding, amazing and wonderful all at the same time! You cannot put a pricetag on the rewards to both parent and child in such a situation...


                        • #27
                          SS in my case

                          I am/was a stay home mom of two very young kids( 4 yrs and 3 yrs).During our relationship if ever I used to mention about my wish to work I had to hear from my ex "stop being money-minded and take care of the kids".Then whenever we used to have an argument I had to hear " you are a BA****D eating for free.Finally before my younger one turned 1 year old I came toknow that he is cheating on me.The lady was a meeting room coordinator who suddenly became sales manager followed by the GM when he quit his job.Now He is bugging me to work and needs proof of the efforts that I am putting in to search a job BUT now I refuse.Now I really want to collect those SS checks till the time I can stretch.Thats my only way of revenge for all the abuses,isolation and cheating that I suffered.


                          • #28
                            I must be the wierd one here !!

                            Am I the only mother who doesn't have her kids or access or any knowledge of their lives...I am 45 years old with a B.A. ...hhahaha... a lot of good it's done me...I was home with my children, 2 for their formative years...both teens now, 19 & 16, girls, ugh!! They hate me, so they're living with the great one...sorry sarcasm is my defence mechanism...married 19 years together 2 1/2 .....separated 2 yrs., haven't seen or spoken to my kids...I's killing agreement in place and he's paying $600 in SS and I'm paying $425 in CS. I made $21,000 gross and he made $87,000.... this year I've been laid off since October 2009 and my EI is $444 every two is $540 for a bedroom and living area, can't have company, family over(no kitchen no laundry have to go out for that)...I do have a car. So you do the math....he was never home and when he was he was "busy" I deserve SS, hell yes I say....he couldn't have afforded a maid/sex slave/mother/wife/laundress/psychologist/doctor/caretaker of animals and so on and gotten to the position he's now in if I hadn't stayed home (Mr. Executive now) and I'm beneath him don't you and he has the house, the kids, the animals and I'm scaping dung off my shoes because I'm in debt up to my eye balls cause I didn't want to hurt my children and as my mother says I'm too nice for my own good. I couldn't do all the nasty things I've heard other women have done or men. Sometimes wish I could, because he's had no problem calling the police and threatening me but as usual no one is around to hear, no proof.

                            You all have valid points I's a very slimy slope this seperating and divorce crap....I bet none of us thought we'd be in the positions we are in nor did we ever think we'd react to things the way we have. Scary isn't it !!


                            • #29
                              I don't object to spousal support for long term marriages/stay at home caregivers. In my case my ex always worked, but earned less than myself. Fair enough. My marriage lasted 11 years. I paid spousal and child (from her first marriage) dutifully. I was laid off from my long term job, and had to sell my home to continue to make the support payments. When my stepdaughter had completed 4 years of university I asked the ex about termination of child support. She refused, and by the time I got her to court I had paid for 5 years university and 2 degrees (Judge said child support should have ended after 4 years, however, I digress). She agreed to end the motion I brought to court by signing a financial release absolving me of all spousal support. When she was laid off she went to school for two years and got a teaching degree. 6 years later she decides to reactivate the spousal support order with the FRO - and claim arears for the past 6 years (a big surprise bill for me, as you can imagine) So, my point is there should be some point of termination of spousal support for medium term marriages where both worked full time, and a financial release should be binding - if she didn't need spousal support for 6 years why would she be entitled to support now, least of all arears as well? Because she could.


                              • #30
                                jon, she doesn't have anything that would hold up, at least according to your story.

                                Ideally when she signed the release, you should have had the court order for support changed to relflect that. Hindsight, I know, but if you didn't cross the ts and dot the eyes, the system isn't the one that made the mistake.

                                Reactivating the FRO without reason after signing the release to end the support is fraudulent. Why aren't you suing her? Is there other information that would give her a stronger case?


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