The benefit of the doubt?

Trust is often one of the first victims of a divorce. The parents of the children no longer trust each other. This causes many additional problems for the continuing relationship that the parents must retain, and may lead to an increasing reliance on judicially ordered actions.

One important element to keep in mind is that every action during a divorce may cause an equal and opposite reaction and that reaction may not result in an overall benefit to you or your children.

Child support is always a subject of heated discussion between those who pay and those who receive. One father describes how after he lost a good, well-paying job, he got behind on his child support payments. He claims he never argued over the amount, but merely informed his wife he would be late with a few payments.

She took this poorly and brought in the state’s Attorney General’s office to enforce his obligation. Apparently, as part of the process of examining his financial condition, including his income and assets, the AG’s office concluded that he could not afford the existing child support payment, and his obligation will reset to a lower amount.

He does not identify his state, nor the specifics of the material or substantial change that is typically required for a reduction of support payments to occur.  He points out that his former spouse would have been better off if she had allowed him to make up the shortfall on his own, as he apparently would have continued paying the higher amount.

For her and her children, her victory is self-defeating. In many cases, the expense of fighting or litigating some issue may be greater than the total eventual payoff, even if you win, and that only measure the economic costs. The stress and strain of conflict carry its own, often immeasurable, costs.

Source:, “Taking Dad for Granted After Divorce,” Off Parent, April 10, 2016

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