Monday, March 08, 2004

The Fat Lady Warms Up!

My son Paul reflects on the inevitable:

"My mother told me out of the blue that her and her boyfriend were getting married. Wow. They're tying the knot in June and my mom is leaving June 30th, when the lease is up and I'm moving out also, and leaving for Cleveland where her boyfriend lives. I'm going to have a stepdad? And stepbrothers? Um... okay... So I'm definitely getting ready for a huge change."

Yeah, right. And with the guy having been married and divorced twice, and non-practicing, it's safe to say it's not gonna be a Catholic wedding. But I explained the ramifications to Paul, so at least I did my part.

Meanwhile, our support agreement was supposed to end on Paul's eighteenth birthday, which was last October. I started a program where I sent the money to Paul, each month deducting a set amount, with him making up the difference to give to his mother. Trying to get him ready for when he leaves the nest -- or the nest leaves him.

But did his mother stand for that? Ohhhh, no! She found an attorney who cited a little-known Statute in the Virginia Code, passed into law after our divorce, that allowed a court to extend child support to the end of high school or the nineteenth birthday, whichever came first. Since I never got a subsequent court order, I ignored it. But I couldn't ignore a summons to explain why I shouldn't be held in contempt.

So I consulted a lawyer and acted for my own defense. I was brilliant, even citing a precedent which was heard by the Commonwealth Supreme Court. But the judge overruled me, which sort of flew in the face of the whole point of making contracts.

The bottom line? I have to return to sending the money to Paul's mother directly, in addition to $150 deducted from what was sent to Paul. And because the judge could not find me in contempt, I don't have to pay the $750 in attorney's fees that she racked up.

Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you... eh?

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