Need Some advice-Should I Go After My Ex for Medical Support?

Updated on January 30, 2008
A.K. asks from Midland, TX
13 answers

I have been divorced from the father of my children for over 6 years. I am remarried, happily, and my hubby takes my boys on like they're his. In the last 2 years, my ex and I have become somewhat friends. We can call and talk about the boys, change visitation as needed and really work together. The only problem is, he won't follow the court order and reimburse for any medical bills or premiums. I even told him that I would take a lesser amount than he owed, if he would just do it regularly. The Attorney General will take him to court for all the unpaid bills and premiums, if I file with them. I'm just torn because I know that the second I file, all the friendliness will go out the window and he takes our fighting out on the kids. My hubby and I struggle but we get by. I just can't decide because I really don't want to fight anymore but my ex needs to take responsibility. I'm stressed both ways because the boys' medical bills are over $6,000 a year, ouch!! Just want to hear from you guys, thought it would help me to make a decision. We choose to have the insurance through us because my ex can't keep a job, btw. And, the high bills are because my son has special needs.

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S.

answers from Dallas on

I would make him pay for the some. I mean they are his children and he does get visitation. He should help pay for his children's medical! Good luck

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B.W.

answers from Dallas on

I am so sorry you are in this situation. My kids' dad's rights were terminated years ago and I was always asked about child support. The facts are that most are not reliable about paying support and mine was no different. As much as I would have liked to you cannot make another person responsible. The AG can take him to court but it still does not guarantee he will pay on a regular basis......these are facts.....you have moved on to a new relationship with a man who loves your kids. Weigh that and the good relationship your ex has with the kids against a bitter one for all of you.....my ex passed last year and my kids will never have the opportunity to develope a relationship of any kind with him and that is very sad. Kids are smart and know who looks after their well being (I don't mean financial) and who does not and model after the actions they see.......think about if it is worth it for the money you 'might' get.......I am mom to two medically complex kids...........take care

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L.G.

answers from Dallas on

You should file! He is using your friendship as a ploy not to pay. That is not fair to anyone in this situation! Your husband must be a wonderful man not to be upset about this! My ex is the same way and they are always going to be all talk, no pay. You need to explain to him that your boys are at an age that they can tell you what is going on at dad's house. If they tell you their dad is being "mean" to them, then you take him to court over visitation as well. Don't allow him to get away with not paying. He knows what he is doing. I know it's hard when you think your children will be hurt but they also need a dad who teaches them how to be responsible. Good luck!

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C.Y.

answers from Houston on

Hello A. K,

I have to say that, I agree with Emily D. Having the good relationship and all with your ex for the sake of the kids is fine and dandy but, it's not your fault that he refuses to keep a job and not take care of his end of the responsibilities. I'd say you definitely need to have a serious conversation with him about the situation at hand. Also, you wouldn't want this to cause friction between you and your (current) husband.

You have to do what's best for you, your husband and the kids. Also he, (the ex) would not take his anger out on my kids for a disagreement that we've had. That should definitely not be tolerated!! That type of stuff scars children and whether he realize it or not, I'm sure somewhere down the line if he continues to do this, it's going to push the kids away from him because, they're receiving harsh treatment for something that should be kept between the two of you and not thrown at them.

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L.M.

answers from Austin on

Unfortunately you can't control what your ex does. Your boys are at an age where they can see how their father is treating them and will soon be able to decide whether to see him or not. I understand your dilemna. I've been the child in that same situation. The father of those children needs to take responsibility for his children and I feel that is the bottom line. It's ridiculous that it all would fall on you and your husband and may be causing a bit of resentment in your current marriage. Be tough. Stay strong. Talk to your kids. Tell them what is going on without telling him how you feel about their father. As long as they understand your situation, the better they will be able to deal with their father. Good luck. L.

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N.

answers from Dallas on

That is a hard decision because being able to get along with your ex when kids are involved is practically priceless. If you do decide to file for the medical expenses, if it were me, I would give him the opportunity to comply first. I would tell him that you need that money, that it is his legal and moral responsibility, and if he doesn't come to some sort of formal arrangement with you, you will have to file with the Attorney General's office and they will force him to pay, not only from this point forward, but for all the years that have passed that he hasn't paid for as well. Just telling him that may cause a strain on your relationship, but I think it's fair to give him warning so that he can make a last ditch effort if he thinks you're really serious rather than being blindsided by a constable or sheriff's deputy or other court appointed personnel serving him with a summons saying he's in violation of your custody agreement and is subject to wage garnishment and imprisonment if he does not comply immediately.

I guess you really have to ask yourself if that $3000 a year is really worth the emotional battle that will ensue if you decide to file. When my husband's ex stopped paying child support and her half of the medical expenses shortly after he got custody of their son, we didn't fight it. She dropped out of our lives completely though which was better for my step-son in the long run and it was nice not having to deal with all of her drama. To us it was worth it. Your ex, however, does have contact with you and your children and it sounds like they have a half way decent relationship so it's really not the same circumstance.

All I can say is good luck with whatever you decide. I hope it all works out for you whichever way you go. :-)

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L.F.

answers from Killeen on

check with the OAG and see about getting the medical written into the agreement if it isnt already - if it is - then ask them why they are not enforcing that.

My ex - lucky me - does not bother with my daughter. He doesnt visit (last visit was 4 months ago) and he doesnt pay child support... so to me thats an even exchange. As long as he doesnt press teh visitation I wont press the child support.... not that one has anything to do with the other but I honestly believe she is better off without him...

Call the OAG and see what they have to say - or if it within the state of texas go to
www.texasonline.com - search for child support and there should be away to contact them via internet....
good luck!

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

You have received a lot of good advice. It is now up to you to decide what you need to do to protect your children. The ex is not taking responsibility for his children and he should. If he feels that not keeping a good paying job is a way to skip out on his obligations, I would contact the AG and have them garnish his wage that way he has no say and you will get the money to care for the children without adding extra financial strain to the new marriage. Brass tacks -- you have to do what you have to do as a mother if it means getting down in the dirt and making him pay and he not speaking to you so be it. You have to protect you and the kids now and your new husband and step-son. The new husband should not have to bear the responsibility. The other point maybe forcing the old to give up parental rights and the new to adopt and apply for medical assistance from the state for the special needs child.

R.H.

answers from Houston on

I would cause they are not just your kids and he need to take care of them for real.I understand that you have a new husband but your ex needs to pay for his kids no matter what,cause your new husband is going to wanna ask him what's up with that.It's good that ya'll are taking care of the kids together but your extra bills have to be paid some kind of way.A. you have to do what's best for you and your family if you taking him to court then so be it.I would do whatever that has to be done for mines,like my 2 boys they dad only gives me 50.00 and when they made a mistake he had a fit about it.We still talk but he doesn't want me to have anymore money than he have to give me you know.The reason I get that amount is he is paralyzed and can't work but he gets a check from the state.That is all they can give me and that's not fair I have 2 kids by him.50.00 don't go a long way

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

Normally I would suggest you sit down and discuss this w/him, but due to the fact that it's a court ordered decision, I think you should take his sorry behind to court!!! I am sorry, but it's just not right! You should not have to pay for all of your son's medical bills...they have a father...if it were the other way around and your stepson's mother didn't pay for anything what would you tell your husband to do? I am sorry to hear he will act ugly towards you and perhaps your children, but he needs to grow up and accept responsibility! The courts can take money right out of his account! Good luck!

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

A.,

Sounds like everyone has just about the same advice here...I too am in a second marriage - as is my hubby. In his court orders it states that he provides the medical insurance & half of the expenses....We pretty much do go by that - unless mom gets a little frivolous (spelling) with the "expenses" - it is very hard when your in these places....BUT - the sit down and talk first thing - ABSOLUTELY. Then carry on as needed! Good Luck!

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E.D.

answers from Dallas on

My advice, sit him down and talk first. Let him know you need him to keep his legal obligations or he will be forcing you to take action. Since you both must be enjoying the friendly season, perhaps he will take note. Otherwise, as they say... you have to do what you have to do.
He owes your boys that... they are half his.
GOOD LUCK!

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C.S.

answers from Amarillo on

I have an ex too-so I understand trying to keep the peace. My ex covers insurance for my son, but that is it--but he's supposed to pay 1/2 of what insurance doesn't cover. We have figured out it's easier to leave well enough alone, but 6,000 is alot so I don't know what you should do! Good Luck!