Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Kids angry because of $ situation after divorce

Posted by   + Show Post
My kids used to have a pretty charmed life. We lived an upper middle class lifestyle. We had a beautiful house, nice leased cars, a boat, etc. I was blessed to be a stay at home mom and able to volunteer w kids' schools and be very active w them. When we separated Husband made several wreckless choices and essentially stopped working- let's just say he has issues. Anyway house got foreclosed on, cars got turned in, I have essentially sold everything not nailed down that I could to supplement my income.. X is unemployed and I get no child support. So things are very tight. Though i am blessed to have a job- I actually don't make enough to cover my expenses but have been managing through windfalls like tax return and unexpected bonuses. But it is hard. I can be poor- i dont need a lot. But the strain is even more difficult because of my kids. My teenager says our financial situation is my fault because I left their dad. He doesn't understand that his dads bad decisions were going to catch up w us no matter what. They want their house back, are angry that i moved them to a (cheaper) neighborhood away from their friends. Son is mad because he doesnt have a car like his friends, of course I can barely afford gas and insurance for my car. But they also want simple things: like frozen yogurt after school on Friday, or to go to in n out for dinner, a new Lego, or to do the after school enrichment class w friends- things which would have been a given before, and I just can't. I am so tired of saying no. The kids, even my youngest, will tell me i am being mean- and say things like put it on the credit card or didnt you just get paid? But that cost literally translates in my head to a tank of gas or a pair of kids shoes or a portion of my weekly grocery budget and I know we can't afford it even if I did just get paid. It's not even that my income is that low, but very hard to support a family of four on it in Los Angeles. I actually read somewhere recently that the minimal comfortable existence for a family of four in LA is 60k...well I live far below that.

I am tempted to sit the kids down w a stack of monopoly money and our monthly bills/expenses and have them manage our budget... But I am afraid it would terrify them. How do you deal w this?
by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Replies (21-25):
by Gold Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM

I think you should at least with the teenager who is driving age, show him your budget. Let him see how hard it is to make ends meet. He's old enough, if he wants a car he needs to get off his but and find a job.

As far as California? I left almost 4 years ago and didn't look back. I went through that w/ my kids, not quite so extravagently. Ex was military, we lived on base, no real expenses other than cars etc. Got divorced, had to move out of a 4br house to a 2br2ba apartment (me and 4 kids) where we paid 1400 a month. My ex did pay child support and I worked full time, but after taxes I was bringing in 20,000 and ex was paying 25k in support. You cannot live w/ 4 kids near LA with that kind of income. Not reasonably at least.

by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 10:16 AM

I've dealt with money problems the entire time I was married to my ex - 26 yrs.  I'm in the middle of a court battle with deadbeat loser.  It's the premise of him actually being and STAYING responsible for what he did during our marriage.  I won't allow him to just walk away from debt he left me.  I won't allow him to just minimalize his relationship with his daughter because he decided to cheat on me and father two kids in the process.  It's not about being vindictive.  It's about doing what is right for me and for my daughter.  And in doing so I've shown my daughter what being responsible is all about.  Not just allowing someone to rip apart your life and use you for personal gains.  Her father has proven his worth to his own daughter.  He's also proven to her just what a scumbag he truly is.  I lived on a tight budget and was the breadwinner for many years.  I was married to a college degreed 'man' who never wanted to step-up to the plate of being financially responsible.  I'm proving to my daughter about the true meaning of money and what it can do to damage one's life.  It's been a very hard lesson for her learn. 

by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM
It's so hard when your kids apologize for costing $. That brought tears to my eyes.
I had to borrow $356 to get meds for my kids. I initially left the pharmacy and sat in the parking lot crying.
As single Moms, we do what we can and give our kids the best life we can. Over the past few years, I've come to learn that talking with my kids has helped. I get CS, but we are renting a house and it can be expensive. My X promised out kids would always live in a house. He lives with his Parent's to make that happen, but has more than enough $ to take care of our kids. He chooses only to pay X$! I'm permanently disabled and often go without my meds so my kids can have extras sometimes.

Quoting Mamavelt:

Yes well there's the practicality and there's the emotion behind it too. Like when daughter said "all my friends go for ice cream after school on Fridays" - and all I can think is ... That's because their parents are still together or their dads pay child support! I don't say it but I think it.

And I shouldn't paint my kids as spoiled brats... They just have their moments. Daughter was sick last week and her prescription cost $100 after insurance, she noticed the shocked look on my face at the pharmacy counter, and when we were alone she apologized for it costing so much. That made me feel sick. It's just not fair.

by Bronze Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I'd let them in on the finances if they are old enough.  And the kid complaining about not having a car?  Point the way to the mall and tell him to go fill out some job applications.  Do they complain to their dad? Because he's the irresponsible asshat that isn't financially contributing and it isn't fair for you to take 100% of the blame for it.

by Bronze Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 7:17 PM

When my daughter was about 8 or so I remember her making the comment " why don't you just put it on a credit card" well this was when I was still married...I started giving her allowance for the chores she did around the house and let her start buying little things with her money...  her comment then became " why does everything cost so much?'  so now that I am divorced if she asks for something that is not in " the budget" she knows to let it go..and she understands when I write a check the money comes from my income and I have a habit of not writing checks or using credit cards unless I 've gotten paid or the budget allows.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)