Have We *Really* Come to This?


There was a post on *Clean* Funny Pics about going to college or something or other and different comments ensued underneath – as always. I was reading, screening, and approving comments when I came across this one:

This reminds me of my ex-husband. For years, he had told my daughters that he was saving for their college, and therefore couldn’t give them money for prom dresses, graduation, etc. Then, after his daughter was offered several academic scholarships for colleges, he had his attorney call me to tell me he wasn’t going to help with college because she had scholarships.

A year later, I took all his notes and letters that he had written his daughter saying he was going to help her with college expenses, and I got before a pro-family judge who awarded her “college support payments” from her dad. So, he had to pay monthly college support for 5 years for each child.

He also had told his daughter that she couldn’t join a sorority because he couldn’t afford it, even though we had not even mentioned a sorority to him. So, my daughter decided on her own that she could join a FRATERNITY and she joined an engineering fraternity instead of the sorority; she didn’t disobey, she just made other plans and paid her own way on that.

I have even heard a talking-head attorney on TV reference this ability to get college support after child support ends, so the financial support will continue through a BS degree. There was no time limit attached to the ruling, so my girls had 5 years of support, due to one working co-op as an engineer every other term, and the other having a break in school for a semester due to a move and stress.

It was so worth the stress and cost to get both of my girls their promised college financial support from their father. They paid their own way with scholarships and working to get their MBAs and additional degrees

The lady that wrote this had little hearts in it and had one section (that I removed) that gave the case docket and such for anyone else who wanted to take their ex husbands to court and force them to pay for college for their child. Maybe it’s just me, but I see (read) this as a vindictive act for the wife to stick it to the ex one more time.

I am trying – hard – not to go off on a tangent about why people like this marry in the first place, because I just do not understand harboring this much hate toward someone who you, apparently, once loved and had children with. Granted I do not have an ex-husband, but I do have ex-boyfriends. One in particular that stomped on my heart almost to the point of no return, but I would have no problems or resentment toward him if I saw him right now. -END TANGENT-

Forgetting, for a moment, the fact that courts are doing this and are okay with it, I have to say – this frightens me. The amount of joking and cutting up we do around here, I could easily see myself saying “I can’t pay for that, I’m saving for your college.” You tell a kid you’ll pay for his college, you better add “Unless you get a scholarship” on the end of it. I mean, even if the kid hadn’t gotten a scholarship this would be ridiculous – but the fact they did and he still had to pay for their college? That’s messed up. My dad probably could have paid for me to go to college, but made me get loans to do it. Makes me wonder what could have happened if I’d known I could take him to court and make him pay so I wouldn’t have to get a loan…

The last time I checked parents aren’t required to pay for their child to go to college. Not only that, sometimes we say we’ll do things and just can’t. Now the things we tell our children that we’ll do are binding contracts? You have no idea the number of times I’ve told the kids we’d go do something and then we don’t because of sickness, emergencies, and who knows what else. I’ve been known to say “I know I said we would …[whatever]… but I just don’t feel like it. We’ll have to do something else or do it another time…” As though kids aren’t spoiled enough in general, now if you change your mind and don’t take them for ice cream, they can sue you?

Look, I know there are deadbeat dads out there. I know they’re out there and they should be ashamed for not supporting their children, but there are those that aren’t dead beats and they’re being taken advantage of – and it’s not right. There are men who have committed suicide because they keep getting brought into court for an increase in support. They’re having to get extra jobs and things and some just can’t take it – so they commit suicide.

Again, as I often say, maybe I’ve missed something – but I just fail to see how it’s a great thing that women can force their exes to pay for their children to go to college. Especially when the child got a scholarship.

This goes to show that nothing you say is safe. Can you imagine bringing lawsuits based on conversations with comments dripping in sarcasm? Smith vs Smith – 12 year old Johnny stands up “Yes, your honor, my father told me he’d eat his left shoe if I brought home all A’s on my report card. I got all A’s but he refuses to eat his shoe.”

3 thoughts on “Have We *Really* Come to This?”

  1. I would understand this aside from the scholarship thing; granted this mom didn’t say how much the scholarships were for, if they paid the whole way or just a small part. And maybe the other daughter didn’t get scholarships? Of course maybe she didn’t try since it sounds like by then she already had the support from her dad.

    I was in a similar situation–except my dad had already saved for me. He decided (he was very controlling) that he would totally take charge of my college savings accounts, and my mom would be in charge of my younger brother’s. I remember as I grew up he’d show me different real estate he had invested in for my savings, and tell me how much was in my account, etc. But then when I was ready to go to college at 18, suddenly the money wasn’t there–come to find out he had been lying to me for the past 6-8 years as he had been siphoning money out of my accounts and spending it for himself. The accounts were in my name and they were specific college savings funds, so it was more than unfair, it was actually illegal. When I was 19 he divorced my mom (he had already emotionally cheated on her in an email affair I accidentally uncovered), and long story short he coerced my younger brother into living with him so my mom had to pay him child support even though he had already gotten 50% of their money–including 50% of her retirement account, which was a lot bigger than his. It was a mess. Because of that, I didn’t want my mom to stress about paying for school for me, and although I had a job, I didn’t have much in savings because I had always been told college was paid for, plus I’d probably have some left over for a car or my first apartment. I asked him repeatedly to return the money, and I knew he had it because he had gotten far more in the divorce than what he owed me, and I wanted to get it before he spent it. I didn’t want to go to court, but I wanted the money–so when he refused to give it to me, I offered him the option of going before our church elders to have them help us settle it, or simply going to court. He chose court–so as awful as it sounds, I sued my own dad–though by that point he hadn’t felt like my dad since I was about 11. The judge awarded me the money back (over $60,000), though the process took awhile, and when I got it I paid my mom back for my tuition (I worked through college and paid books and rent) and had $10,000 left over for my wedding the summer before I began my student teaching.

    Anyway…you can choose not to post this, I won’t be offended at all. I just wanted to say that while I agree with you that “stick it to him” mentalities are sad, that wasn’t my first thought upon reading her comment simply because of my own experience. Again, you said she gave information for other (ex) wives to use…I could see that as vindictive and catty, or I could also see that as wanting to help other women stand up for themselves after having been financially torn apart by cruel ex husbands. Hard to know without knowing the other circumstances of her story.

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    1. Sorry for your distress and all. That would really suck. I still wouldn’t have sued, but that’s just me. As I said, something quite similar happened to me with my dad. Rather than waste time and energy on suing and being upset with him, I just got a loan and went on to school. I had, originally, begun the court process but in the long run – saw no point. When I married, never asked him for a dime. Didn’t ask my mother for a dime either. Plus, my father and I are close and are good friends. Everyone handles everything differently. I can see in your situation where there was an actual case because the accounts were in your name, though if he was putting the money in the accounts – seems like he could take it out if he wanted as well. But still… Holding a parent to something they stated by making them pay for college seems ridiculous to me.

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  2. I would just like to point out additionally that if people put as much effort into maintaining and/or fixing their relationships and trying to work together as a team (like marriages are SUPPOSED to be) as they did trying to either procure money from or keep money away from the other either before or after they have chosen to end their legal contract, then maybe things would be a bit better off for everyone all the way around, just saying.

    And please note, I said, “people.” Not, “the woman” or, “the man” because often times there are problems on both sides – rarely is a relationship that ends in divorce the responsibility of only one partner. If people were more concerned with serving their spouse and their family than getting their “fair share” we would see a lot more successful relationships in our society. I know this isn’t the case every time – but it is the majority of the time.

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