Monday, June 13, 2011

Paperwork Day

Today was going to be a day for me to write.  I didn't.  Not yet, anyway.

I had a rough time sleeping last night and kind of felt bad this morning.  So I tackled the thing I've been avoiding:  all the paperwork for the child support review my ex-husband requested when he lost his job.  I had to copy three tax returns - ours aren't simple and are about ten pages for each year.  Thank God for our accountant.  She picked up the phone right away when I called to ask questions about my self-employment income in 2008. 

I had to copy pages upon pages of documents my husband gathered with details about our medical, dental, and vision insurance.  I had to copy insurance cards, birth certificates, my driver's license, and follow up to get a note from my doctor about my foot problem limiting my ability to work.

The thing is this.  I get it that he wants to reduce any payments he needs to make so he can survive financially while he fights to get his job back (God, please let him get it back and soon).  He is only getting a small amount of unemployment income right now.  Fair enough.  But for me, as an adult with children, I would save enough money to cover child support in case I lost my job for a while.  Instead of buying new cars and campers, I would put money aside to cover the obligations for my children.  My spouse and I contingency plan continually and set aside enough money for our family to eat if he should lose his job.  It's what grown-ups do, right?

But maybe that's me and is a very good part of why we aren't married now. 

For his sake, I hope they do reduce it some, but I have a feeling they will consider the fact that I make zero dineros and haven't for two years compared to his income over the last three.  Add the cost of living and the fact that prices for things for kids have literally doubled since we got divorced.  I pay more than $60 a week for my fourth-grader to eat the same crappy hot dog we ate for a quarter at school. 

I worry my ex will be paying more.  I know that sounds crazy that I worry about that.  I worry for my kids.  I don't want them to have hard feelings about our divorce because of me.  I think my ex will make it clear he's unhappy if he doesn't get a reduction and that somehow the perceived lack of fairness is my fault.  I promise you I am not spending the money on me - it is all being spent on them and doesn't come close to covering half.

The thing is I didn't request an increase when I stopped working.  I could have.  The ex would have probably had to pay double.  But my husband is a sweet guy and thinks of my kids as his kids - financially for sure.  We decided to let it be, that the amount he was paying was enough.

A big part of my annoyance and anxiety filling out the forms is that I consider myself a writer - I defer my paycheck for eight or ten years until I can get something published (if ever).  But to fill out the forms I have to state my employment and why I'm not making money.  I put that I'm self-employed but have no income and may never get any.  I don't know what else to put.  I don't count my business expenses on my taxes because an auditor would be at my door tomorrow since I have no income and no assurance of income for several years. 

On the up side, after hours of copying tax forms and insurance documents and filling out tedious questionnaires, I am almost done. I just need to see my doctor on Friday to justify my inability to get a normal job and get a notary to vouch for my signature.

I exhale.

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