To follow up on my earlier post about the real (mostly emotional) cost of the ex-wife, after another tense Mother’s Day, the ex continues to dominate our lives. She has us boxed into a high-road walking corner because she is not afraid to do what it takes to get her way, and she knows we are bound by wanting to do what’s best for the kids. She knows we will always cave to spare them (and ourselves) the drama. She is a part of our life every day, we really get no breaks from her. Curtis just said last night how exhausting it is. He’s tired. On the one hand, it’s better than when she only wanted to parallel parent and wouldn’t tell him anything; on the other hand, there are times I miss the quiet moments where she was MIA and we could just focus on our lives.
As for the literal cost, well, we’re selling our house. We weighed the pros and cons and, in order to pay the ex-wife the increased support amount as a result of her mat leave (with her new husband’s baby), we have to sell our house. There are no good options, only bad outcomes.
Option A: We could take her to court and win. We could ask to pay status quo for the kids support because she doesn’t need the money. She says she puts all the money from Curtis into the kids’ college funds so it doesn’t go directly into their care. Her car, her house, her amount of disposable income is more than what we have (even with putting the support payments in the bank) so we could argue that this would actually make the quality of life more equal in both houses, which is supposed to be the point of support. And there’s a good chance we could win, given that we’re selling our house to pay for the kid she had with someone else.
The risk in that is that she would fight us and lie in court. Further to that, she already told us that she would “tell the kids the truth” about why he’s not paying her and she would stop letting them go to their sports on her time. We don’t want to put the kids in the middle and we don’t want her to control the narrative about us. We don’t say bad things about her so the only “truth” the kids would hear is what she said about us
Option B: We could take her to court and lose. The judge could side with her because that’s what the table for Ontario says we should pay for 50/50 custody for 3 kids based on their incomes.
The risk in that is we still owe her all the money, plus lawyer fees and court costs, and she still does all the things she would have done if we had won. Our lawyers says we could definitely still lose. It’s a really big risk to take and feels like our luck.\
Option C: We sell our house, pay her, and keep things on an even keel.
The risk in this is already our reality. We both have good jobs (and budget every penny) and we still can’t afford to pay her the new amount and keep things status quo for our family. So we lose our house and all that we worked so hard to build where we are. We still risk that she will take us to court in the interim, even if we promise to back pay everything she is owed. We have to hope that she’s so happy she caused us to move that she leaves it alone. We also risk that the kids hate that we’re moving and hate the new house and that drives them to their mother’s. There aren’t a lot of options in our price range so we’re going to end up leaving our beautiful new home (and our friends and the kids friends) and move into a fixer-upper. All to live in that tiny high-road walking corner that shields the kids from the drama.
There are no good options here, but the one option that lets us remove the kids from the middle of the potentially nasty fight. The proverbial lesser evil. So we move and hope for the best. We still have each other, right? Any house can be a home if we’re all there. We take the highest of all high roads and take the hit so they can have a normal life. And hope they see it one day.
And to be honest… if these kids can have a normal life, it’s a cost we will keep paying.