CS&BDD Part 2

Funny… my marriage was temporary, but my divorce feels like it’s gonna last forever.12742758_966088813482321_2675640059612947326_n

I’m feeling defensive (perhaps a self-inflicted wound) and want to say this: anyone who thinks me airing my dirty divorce laundry is only or mostly about me, isn’t paying attention. The struggles and injustices I’ve experienced, so many women, TOO MANY women, are also experiencing.

The family court system– like the rest of our court system, is overburdened and underfunded and therefore painfully slow and primarily fair for the financially privileged (and a gamble at best for the rest of us).
The way child support is calculated automatically financially disadvantages people who were stay-at-home parents during their marriage.
The FACT that on average women have a lower earning potential and higher cost of living than men, due to a whole bunch of sexist BS that we have no control over, is not taken into account in parenting plans or financial agreements.
Neither is the FACT that on average women bear the majority of parenting responsibilities with things like taking children to medical appointments, taking time off of work when kids are sick or off for school holidays, and fulfilling parent volunteer responsibilities at the kids schools.

Lots of men use these crappy legal and cultural realities to their advantage. My ex-husband’s “well if I can get away with it, it must be right” attitude is not unique by any stretch of the imagination.

And neither was the abuse I experienced. Black eyes and broken bones aren’t the standard picture anymore. Abusive men have learned that you can scare a woman into submission without leaving a single visible mark. Someday I’m going to write down all the similar stories I’ve heard from so many other women. Someday… when I’m not so tired and worn out from being divorced from a douchecanoe.

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Child Support and Baby Daddy Drama Part 1

Let’s talk Deadbeat Dads.

This week I missed 3 hours of work sorting out unpaid utility bills and getting power restored to my house. $13/hr x 3hrs = $39 (minus taxes) that I will not have to put towards bills next month. (Never mind the fact that I just started this job and missing work time does not help demonstrate my value to my employer.) I work full time, but it still isn’t quite enough to cover the most basic living expenses for my two sons and me.

My ex-husband and the father of my two children, Jason Kimball, also works full-time as a veterinarian in Eugene, Oregon. He earns $104,000 per year. I earn $26,000 per year. He pays a TOTAL of $330 per month in child support. He should pay between $1000 and $1200 per month. He is well aware of this and told me he agrees that $330 is too low, yet this is all he pays.

Why?
Several reasons:

A. Because he can. The court process to modify a child support order ($331 is what he was ordered to pay before spousal support ended) can take up to 7 months. Therefore, until a modification is ordered, his only LEGAL obligation is $331. His moral obligation is a separate matter.

B. When we met to discuss child support, he disputed my calculation for 2 reasons:
1. He does not think it is reasonable for him and me to claim the same amount of childcare expenses, even though we both work full-time and share equal parenting time.
2. He does not want me to switch our children to my company health plan, even though it is less expensive and more comprehensive than his company plan. (Why? You’ll have to ask him.)

Those are the facts. The following reason is MY OPINION, based on MY RECOLLECTION of past events.

C. Control. Our marriage was 7 years of intense verbal and emotional abuse. Towards the end of our marriage and during our separation, he became violent towards me– often in front of our children. He never hit me, but he used his size (6’3″, 230lbs) to scare me into submission. He yelled, charged at me, raised his hands at me, chased me into corners and stood over me as I cowered and cried in fear, and threw his full body weight against closed doors I hid behind as our sons (4 and 6 years old at the time) stood behind him crying and begging him to stop. He left our boys asleep at his house to drive past mine in the middle of the night, he refused to leave my house when asked and tried to take our sleeping boys from their beds, and he repeatedly threatened to take our children away from me throughout or divorce process.
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I’m certain he has his own opinion and recollection of the past, but you’ll have to hear those from him.

Throughout or divorce process I tried to take the high road (hoping he would join me there) by negotiating a fair and equal financial settlement. I talked to my counselor about the abuse, but never mentioned it in our legal proceedings. I foolishly listened to the advice of people who said I needed to protect his professional reputation for the sake of our children’s financial futures. And I foolishly believed he would do what was right, fair, and best for our children. He did not. In the end, I caved to his threats, ran out of money to pay my attorney, and agreed to a roughly 33% share of our combined assets– despite the fact that the legal standard in Oregon is 50%.

That was then, this is now. I no longer care about his personal or professional reputation.

What I care about is being the best mom I can be to our sons. I care about keeping the lights and heat on and having enough money to provide for my children. I care about accomplishing these things without killing myself in the process. I care about having enough emotional energy to be loving and present for my boys. And I care about JUSTICE– because NO ONE should be in the position I am in, yet SO MANY are.

Justice is what I seek and why I’m risking so much by making this public post. It is for the sake of justice and my children’s physical and financial well-being that I am telling you that Jason Kimball is a gainfully employed veterinarian who is taking advantage of how slowly the wheels of justice turn in order to duck out on roughly 70% of his child support obligation. If this post negatively affects his income, HE has the power to change that. If he chooses to pay what he should have been paying since January 1st, 2016, I will broadcast that news just as publicly. He has MANY resources; I’m down to just this one.

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