CP never sent us a dime when we left him behind. I didn’t care. I didn’t want his money. What was sad was that he made my daughter feel so bad that she sent him a quarter! He had sent her a card in the mail and told her in the card that he may not be able to write to her anymore because money was tight. She asked me what that meant and I told her, “It means he may not have the money to buy a stamp.” The cost of stamps that year was .29 cents. I guess she figured he could at least come up with .04 cents to get a stamp. When she wrote him back, (which was basically just a picture she had drawn because she was just 6 years old) she taped that quarter to the paper. He never wrote her back after that. He never ever attempted to write to my son.
One time, prior to the above-mentioned occurrence, he had called to talk to the kids. They were excited and if I remember correctly, they babbled on and on about how they both had the chickenpox and they were speckled with ‘cammamine’ lotion. That’s what they called it. After a bit, CP asked to speak to me. Yippee-ki-yay! I don’t remember why but before hanging up I asked him to please call them more often. Do you know what he said to me? “It hurts me too much,” he said. “It hurts to talk to them but never get to see them.” “Really?” I said. “How the hell do you think it makes them feel when their father doesn’t care enough to call them? They’re just kids. You’re an adult.” He refused to talk about it anymore and we just hung up. What a pathetic piece of dogshit, I thought.
For the first 5 years or so after we left CP, I made it a point to send him school pictures, crafts made especially for him, and copies of the kids’ report cards from school. We sent Christmas cards, Easter cards, Valentine’s Day cards, and even St. Patrick’s Day cards! Each time his birthday rolled around the kids each made him a card. Sometimes we bought small gifts to send him along with the handmade cards. One year, we sent him a bandana filled with candy stuffed in a super large coffee mug for his birthday. He never thanked the kids for any of the gifts or cards. He never even acknowledged receiving them. I stopped encouraging the kids to do these things for CP. I would have gladly helped the kids do whatever they wanted to do had they ever mentioned it. They didn’t, so I never sent him anything again.
About 10 years after we had left California, the state of Missouri finally got a local attorney to handle the child support cases for the county. I had been called into several different offices in different counties prior to that to give information for the collection of child support, but they never had enough manpower. I never expected to see one red cent anyway because CP had always told me that he would just quit his job and find another if they caught up to him and then it would take them more time to find him again. Anyway, the local attorney was on top of things. Before I even got the paperwork, CP called me. Oh, you can imagine how that went!
CP: “You’ve made your point.”
Me: “What point?”
CP: “I can’t afford to pay what the state expects me to pay.”
Me: “And this is my problem, how?”
CP: “If I have to pay that much I will lose my truck, my job, and the $100,000 life insurance policy I have on myself for the kids in case something happens to me.”
Me: “I’m not going to fall for that bullshit. I know you better than that. You don’t have any such policy for any amount for the kids. You’re just trying to manipulate me.”
CP: “We can work something out.”
Me: “I don’t even have the paperwork back on this yet.” (I had no clue how much they were trying to get from him, he didn’t say and I didn’t ask.)
CP: “Let’s work something out!” (With a little more desperation in his voice now.)
Me: “It’s too late for that. It’s between you and the state now.”
CP: “You made your point! What do you want from me?”
Me: “You should have thought about this day a long time ago. You’ll have to work it out with the state!”
CP: “You won’t see a nickel if I lose my truck and can’t get to work.”
Me: “I can’t do anything now; you’ll have to work it out with the state!” I was getting more and more irritated because he wasn’t getting this through his thick skull. I couldn’t intervene because the state was involved. If he were to work something out with me, the state would still expect him to pay the figure they had requested. I hung up because I was sick of listening to him.
The next week, I received the paperwork from the attorney’s office. They were sticking him for $945 per month! Of course, this figure included arrears. I just laughed at his predicament.
Before long, I received papers from a paralegal, which had been filed with his county’s clerk’s office. My memory is a bit foggy on the exact details but…CP was requesting that his payments be reduced because of hardship and…GET THIS: He was demanding that I pay his legal fees! Can you believe that shit? I contacted the clerk’s office and I was told that no judge in his right mind was going to make me pay CP’s legal fees, which I figured. She suggested that I send a certified registered letter to her office, to counter his ridiculous demands. I did. I stated in the letter that a reduction of CP’s payments was entirely up to the judge and I would be fine with whatever that was. (Frankly, I didn’t want a dime from him. We were just fine without his assistance.) I also stated that I was in no position to pay anyone’s legal fees.
Eventually, I received papers indicating that his payments were reduced to $334 (and some change) per month. He had to pay his own legal fees and I’m sure he was pissed. The thing is, he wanted his payments reduced so bad and then he wouldn’t even pay them! His wages ended up being garnished, and I was sent $167 every pay period for a few months.
Then one day his mother called me. She called me every so often so it wasn’t really a shock to hear from her. It was also not a shock when she told me that CP was fired because employers don’t like the paperwork involved when wages are garnished. I told her, “He may have told you that he was fired, Ma, but I know him better than that. He QUIT his job so he could avoid paying child support. That was something he told me he’d do and it was something he had done before, with his first wife’s child support case.” She was shocked, of course. I never heard from her or CP again after that.
He ended up living with his mother and I’m pretty sure she regretted it after she saw his manipulative behavior and bad habits, including coming home drunk with the cops on his tail. I felt bad for her but couldn’t help think, “I’m glad it’s not me.”