For 5 years, he was ordered to pay $1100 a month, something he would have no problem being able to do with how much money he was making, however, he never paid, knowing that I was struggling, he didn't care. Well now he has been married for 4 years and 3 years ago, the judge told him that if he missed even one more payment, he would issue a warrant for his arrest. Since then, he hasn't missed a payment. On top of that though the judge order an extra $150 a month to pay off the back child support plus I get all of his income tax refunds.
Up until this year, the refunds were almost nothing because his wife would file separately and she would claim their children (they have 2 together and she has one of her own). This year however, she couldn't file on her own because she didn't work at all last year so instead of getting maybe $1000, I got almost $10,000. Apparently, she thought she would be able to claim injured spouse but since she didn't work, she wasn't entitled to do so.
The money showed up in the mail and I was thrilled (I had no idea I was getting that much, I was expecting just the $1000 I usually get back). I called my ex to see if there had been a mistake but that's when he told me about how he and his wife filed together this year. He also mentioned that it seriously put them in a bind and that they can't even afford spring clothes for their kids.
So while I am putting another $1000 in each of the kids accounts (including the 2 I have with DH) and we are going to put a good amount in savings, I have asked my children to find out the sizes of the 2 half siblings and 1 step sibling. I am going to buy them $100 worth of clothes each but my children will be going with me to pick them out. While it is kind of nice to watch my ex pay for screwing me and his kids over all those years, I don't want children to go without because of it. I want to teach my children to be compassionate even when you have the upper hand, which is something maybe grown adults can't figure out.