As I often find myself looking back and analyzing things I keep thinking about the “light bulb” moments I have had since my daughter E*** has been gone. I would call these precursors to what was to happen. I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes and I certainly have never heard of parental alienation before but hindsight is 20/20 and since I have had a lot of time to reflect, there are many things that now stand out.
Why does my Dad have to pay you child support?
I was entitled to child support from my ex. He made considerably more money than me and the laws are written in a way that equalizes things between parties – if one parent makes considerably more than the other then equalization occurs. In other words, the family courts take both incomes into consideration when determining support. I was receiving $500.00 per month from him for child support payments. Our agreement indicated that he would supply me with child support cheques at the beginning of each year – 12 monthly payments of $500.00 per month. He was very good at delivering the child support cheques for the first few years but as time passed, I would need to remind him and then . . . he would give the cheques to my daughter who would in turn hand them to me. She would ask me starting at around the age of eleven or twelve “why does my Dad have to pay you child support?” My heart would sink and the guilt I would feel about collecting child support payments would set in. I would explain to her that this is what your Dad and I had agreed upon and this is the law – I also told her many times that this wasn’t for her to worry about. Later when she was even a bit older, I could sense the anger in her voice when she would have cheques in hand and ask why her Dad had to pay child support. When she was 13, I showed her the family law site for our province to try to explain – but I am not sure that she truly understood. She was angered by something that was said – I was put on the defensive for being a “bad person” for taking money from her Dad and I was the demon.
Alienation tactic: engaging children in adult issues
Of interest: I had received the news that my daughter was not returning (March 11th). Her Father sent me an email (March 12th) telling me he put a stop payment on the child support cheques. His intention was clear – my daughter was not going to be returning.