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BM lying to SS - are we handling it okay?

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 4:16 PM
  • 13 Replies

We found out from SS17 that BM is lying to SS13 when she calls and writes letters - she claims she has no money because DF owes her back child support, and says she doesn't know why DF is lying about everything or why he has broken up the family.

The family is broken up because BM went to jail.  DF ended her CS when he retained full custody last month.  As for the lies, lets just say she's gotten caught in some doozies when her family confirmed what she had been doing.  However, none of us have ever told SS13 about this.

Last night, I started a conversation with DF in front of SS13 at dinner.  I said "oh, I was just balancing the check book and wanted to make sure you had mailed the CS for SS17?"  SS17 is living with BD, DF is his adoptive dad.  DF looked at me strangely for a minute, so I continued "the reason I ask is the check hasn't cleared the bank yet, and I just want to make sure they have the CS in full, on time".  DF caught on and said yes, he'd mailed it, and BD had mentioned yesterday he received the check and thanked us.

My goal was to have a conversation in front of SS13 confirming that DF is a good dad, not the deadbeat the BM continues to complain about.  We never speak ill of BM, or his time with her.  We ask if he had a good conversation, how BM is doing, encourage him to write letters, and send pictures.  We're trying to be good, positive role models.  The conversation was just a quick brainstorm last night and I hope it was positive.  Any advice? Thanks!

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 4:16 PM
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by Bronze Member on Oct. 8, 2013 at 4:31 PM
uh, no, I don't think that involving kids in the payment of CS is a good idea. Especially not doing it in some sort of backhanded sneaky way. If SS13 approaches you about a specific thing his mother told him, you might give a factual answer to that. But playing these passive aggressive games based on hearsay is just going to mess with his head.
by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM

 I'm confused - your SS17 is living with his bio dad and your DH adopted him and is paying bio day CS?

by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM
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If I'm reading this correctly, what you've 'taught' SS13 is that his BF cares more for (and pays CS for) SS17 than himself (SS13).  I don't think that was your goal, but IF he was paying attention and heard what was said, he's heard that his BF paid CS for SS17 but not for him. 

As DDD said, I'd recommend NOT trying to paint BF in a 'good light'.  If/When he has questions, let BF explain how the 'system' works to him.  This shouldn't be naming names, but it can be explained how a CO works, why they need one, and how CS works too.  DS13 can figure things out on his own, or not, but it really shouldn't be your place, nor BFs place to bring it up to DS13 unless he's acting out or accusing BF of something that's untrue. 

There are many 'truths' BF has shared with the boys that aren't the slightest bit true.  YDS11 doesn't know about the 'other side' but ODS15 has asked enough pointed, direct questions that I've given direct answers to him.  I do not tell him I think his father is an idiot when he asks why dad told him one thing and I'm telling him another.  I simply shrug my shoulders and tell him he'll have to ask his dad why he'd say something untrue. I have paperwork (I have not shown this to ODS, he hasn't asked.  If he does, I'd show him then, but not unless he asked specifically for it) to back me up. BF does not (well, he has the same paperwork but his says the same as mine does, which does not support some of his lies).  BF has also told the boys he and I aren't together because we agreed to be apart.  That's a lie, outright lie.  But, it is what it is.  When I was asked, I simply told ODS that I remembered things vastly different and shrugged. 

Kids often don't get the 'meaning' of stories told.  Being direct is usually a better approach.  I'd leave this one up to BF to straighten out since it's his name being slandered by BM, not yours. I'm sure BF is a big enough boy to handle this without you trying to 'save' him from BMs lies.  I know I'm a big enough girl to 'save myself' from the lies SM has told the boys too.  I don't want nor need someone else 'defending me' to my kids.  They know they can come to me to find things out if they really want to know.  I'd probably be angry with SO/DH if he tried something like that, and I'd not do something like that to SO if the situation arose.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 8, 2013 at 5:02 PM

If DF is his adoptive dad (SS17), then why is DF paying BD CS when DF should have custody of SS17 as BD's rights HAD to be terminated for the adoption to go through?  Bit perplexed on that one.

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input.

BM lied to DF when she had SS17, telling him that the BF was abusive and wanted to kidnap the baby.  She lied to BF that she was going to send him to jail, so he acquiesced and allowed DF to adopt him.  Fastforward almost 18 years, and DF still owes CS.  We do have a good relationship with BF and his wife, which is why SS17 is allowed to live with him while he finishes his senior year in high school.  That being said, BF is a flake and of course knows all about CS and wants the money.  It is minimal - BM never took DF back to court for more, so we want to pay it until he graduates.

As for SS13, his counselor has told us that he thinks his mom is a victim.  He's never asked his dad anything, and I just hate for him to think his dad was rotten for ten years of his life.  But I guess you're right, he'll see by his actions, not by his words.  It's just sad and frustrating.

Anyways, thanks again!

by Audra on Oct. 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM


Quoting grits71:

 I'm confused - your SS17 is living with his bio dad and your DH adopted him and is paying bio day CS?

by on Oct. 8, 2013 at 7:20 PM

This post is too complicated for me. Sorry.

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Yup, it's complicated . . .

BM lived with the SS's and their little sister (different BF) two states away.  She is a master manipulator, and quite frankly, I believe she's a sociopath as well.  DF visited and had them visit regularly up until about two years ago.  Then he would spend a month or two not hearing from her or the boys.  Every once in awhile she would text him saying she needed money for this or that EC and he would give it to her.  Then he made the mistake of asking for receipts, and things went from bad to worse.

He finally found out this spring that BM had let SS17 start visiting his BF and he was pissed.  BF was also pissed at him from all the neglect and abandonment stories he heard from BM.  This is how she works - she keeps everyone separated and feeds them a version of the story that makes her either look like 1) a saint, or 2) a victim.

Finally, she agreed to let DF come visit in June.  DF accidentally found out she had pled guilty to two counts of theft and was facing a year in jail.  He and BF got together and collaborated behind the scenes.  They finally met when we flew up for the custody hearing and her sentencing.

SS17 wanted to live with BF and finish his senior year.  He is a great kid, and has grown up with absolutely nothing because BM spent CS on herself - which was confirmed by her sisters and parents.  We felt the best thing for us to do as parents was to pay the last three months of CS to BF until he turns 18.  We also took him school shopping, and paid his senior fees for various things.  SS17 is getting a job and will pay for his own car and insurance.  But in the end, we just wanted to make sure he could be a kid his last year in high school, and not worry so much any more.

In their state, CS is paid until graduation, but we are only going to pay these last three months.  Then if SS17 needs something, we will send the money to him directly.  BF has enjoyed a relationship with him for the last few years, and we feel he can pay some of the bills now.

Oh, and BM offered custody of the boys to DF if he continued to pay her CS . . . yeah, really.

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 11:28 AM

 Don't create a lie to combat a lie. What are you teaching the children? It's not of their business what is happening in the CS arena, period. Don't drag them into the middle of it by fabricating a story. Let it go, bm will find other topics to lie about. Are you going to create new lies to top her lies?

by on Oct. 9, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Sorry, I'm as confused as the rest. Speaking only of the way you handled it, I don't necessarily see anything wrong. You had a conversation about bills in front of your child. Doesn't that happen sometimes? I'm not sure if it made your ss think all that deeply about the child support situation, and whether or not his mom is lying. He's 13, not real deep thinkers at that age. I probably would have been more straight forward and said, we pay our child support, when it gets to your mom is out of our hands, which is what we've had to say to my step daughter when her mom was claiming she wasn't receiving her child support. It gets paid on time, when it gets deposited in her account, is not something we control. She realized Mom was just lying when she didn't want to spend the money.

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