I went for a run this morning and forgot my ipod. I really didn’t feel like being alone with my thoughts but I wasn’t going to drive back to get it. I was on my way to run around Elk Lake and took the dog with me so he could explore off leash. It was a gorgeous sunny day but I was feeling like the run was going to be a slog without music.
My financial situation was foremost on my mind. Not only does my ex owe me for pet expenses, our daughter’s dance expenses and a few other random expenses that are now more than a year old (we ran out of time to settle these in court in January of this year) but now he is refusing to pay some ongoing support payments, his share of our daughter’s dance expenses for this dance season and he is throwing as many obstacles my way as he can to prevent me from doing things that need to be handled.
Our oldest daughter moved back in with me when she returned from her first year of university at the end of April. Initially, my ex refused to even acknowledge that she was living with me. Finally he agreed to pay $500/month for her starting in May. This is technically only $300/month because I am still paying $200/month support to him for her since she lived with him the year before she went to university. He just deducts what I owed from his support payment for our younger daughter who lives with me.
The BC Family Law Act states that child support is payable until age 19 years and then after that if the child is still dependent. Our oldest daughter meets the dependent definition as she is attending school full-time. However, my ex determined in August that since our daughter will be 19 in 4 months she should learn responsibility as an adult and pay for her own tuition, school supplies including text books, cell phone, rent, food, clothing, etc. and be working while she is attending school. He indicated that he would therefore not be paying me support anymore for her and he stopped this September 1. He continues to deduct the $200 of support for me to pay him as though she lives with him and he is paying her full living expenses.
He apparently spent her entire $19,000 RESP (registered education savings plan) during her first year of university. He continues to refuse to provide me any documentation about her RESP or any breakdown of the expenses he paid last year. I have never seen a tuition invoice, residency invoice or meal plan invoice. He claims that his accountant did her taxes but he has failed to provide us with a copy of her tax return. She needed information from her tax return to apply for a student loan. He also told my daughter she received a tax refund of $750 but she has never seen a cheque.
I have written post dated cheques for her monthly rent that started September 1. I got the back to school items that she needed and I took her to school which involved an $88.20 ferry ride each way. I’ve made sure she has spending money for food. She did work full-time during the summer so she has some spending money and paid $549 for some of her text books but still needs more. She asked her dad to help take her to school as well since she needed his vehicle to bring her larger items but he refused. Not only did he refuse to help, he told her that if I showed up at his place to help her move any of her belongings that she had stored there that he would call the police on me.
Our youngest daughter made Team Canada for dance. My ex has indicated that not only will he not pay for any aspect of this but that he will also not take her to any of her rehearsals. She competes in Riesa, Germany in November. Practices are on the mainland in BC which again means $166 in ferry fare each weekend (14 x) plus the 2 other times I had to take her there for a workshop and choreography week which involved hotel stays. Plus $3600 for the trip, competition fees, choreography fees, team jacket, etc. Costume fees on top of that. It is such a huge opportunity and with her dad apparently spending her RESP as well I feel like this might be what helps her to get into a university with hopefully some scholarship money.
I did try to apply for some sponsorship for the cost of her participating on Team Canada but I was also asked for my tax information. Canada Revenue Agency stopped my taxes for pre-assessment this year. They asked for confirmation that I am paying support to my ex for our older daughter and that our younger daughter is my dependent. My ex said if I wrote a letter to that effect he would sign it as it isn’t his responsibility to write letters for me. I did that and resent it several times. He finally acknowledged he received it but still failed to sign and return the letter despite several follow ups on my part.
My rent at my new place was already $150 more and on October 1 it goes up another $300. My lawyer doesn’t think we can get a court date until November but in the meantime said she would write my ex’s lawyer for him to provide full support payments and request again the other expenses he is being asked to pay as per the mediation agreement he signed. This is just the most frustrating, long, expensive and what seems to be an unfair process in many ways.
I finished my run. It was tiring and a little painful but I felt strong and accomplished at the end. I was glad it was done though. Prayerfully I can get to court in November and my year ends with me feeling the exact same way. I want to look back and know that the process was grueling, painful and there may have been no music to motivate me through but I did not give up despite the difficulty. I know it will feel so good when it is over. This is my marathon on a very rugged and hilly terrain with terrible weather conditions and very little water to drink.