In a heart-wrenching saga of love and responsibility, an ex-husband (OP) starts noticing his children’s unexplained, impoverished appearance, despite his generous child support payments.
The Early Marriage
OP was married to his ex-wife for fifteen years, having married at the young age of eighteen. They had two children, a boy and a girl, whom OP loved deeply. Despite their divorce, OP ensured to maintain a strong presence in his children’s lives.
The Custody Split
The couple shared custody of their children, with them spending four days a week with their mother and three with OP. Although they didn’t get along very well, they did have an agreement in place that they each followed.
Desire For More
He always desired more time with his children, but his ex-wife strongly opposed it. However, living nearby enabled him to see his children or take them out whenever they wished.
A Comfortable Life
As a successful entrepreneur, OP wanted his children to enjoy a comfortable standard of living. He willingly paid $10,000 in child support each month and additionally paid for their healthcare and private schooling. This was not a legal requirement but a personal choice, highlighting OP’s commitment to his children’s wellbeing.
A Shocking Discovery
Upon picking his children up one Thursday, OP noticed that they were dressed in old, worn-out clothes. He initially brushed it off, assuming they were just wearing comfortable clothes at home. But upon unpacking their bags at home, he realized all their clothes were old and tattered.
The Unsettling Revelation
OP questioned his daughter about the state of their clothes. She revealed that their mother had been saving money, hence their lack of new clothes. This information puzzled OP, given that he provided ample financial support for their needs.
The Trip to the Store
Despite his confusion, OP decided to take immediate action. He took his children out to buy plenty of new clothes. However, the mystery behind their mother’s sudden frugality continued to bother him.
Later that day, OP shared his concerns with his brother and his wife. They, too, found the situation strange and advised OP to investigate further. Despite not having a good relationship with his ex-wife, OP felt compelled to understand the situation.
The Call to Child Protective Services
Feeling uneasy about his ex-wife’s actions, OP reached out to child protective services. He explained the situation and expressed his concern over his children’s welfare. He felt that it was necessary, even if he was reluctant to intervene in his ex’s life.
The Ex-Wife’s Fury
Shortly after, his ex-wife called, enraged at his decision to involve child protective services. She confirmed she had been saving the child support money but refused to divulge what it was intended for.
The Family’s Reaction
To add to the complexity, OP’s parents sided with his ex-wife. They believed he should have communicated with her directly before involving child protective services. OP now faced not just the anger of his ex-wife but also criticism from his own family.
A Lingering Suspicion
Despite the backlash, OP couldn’t shake off his suspicions. The urgency in his daughter’s voice, and the worn-out clothes, all seemed to point towards something amiss. OP felt torn between his instinct to protect his children and the sudden wall of disapproval from his family.
He started to question himself and his intentions. Deep down, was he trying to find any issue he could to gain more custody? Or were his fatherly instincts right all along?
Was Contacting Child Support Services On His Ex-Wife Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “You provide her about as much child support in a month as others make in half a year. Now there is zero reason for your children to wear rags. You were right to be concerned.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “Child support is supposed to go for….child support. Not for anything else. This would be extremely worrying.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “I agree that your ex is being shady, but to call CPS feels like a bit of an over-step here. Your kids are being cared for, they aren’t in “danger,” and they certainly don’t need protection from the state.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “In the space of four days, their clothes have become worn to shreds. I think what most likely happened is OP heard that she was saving up for something and decided that he gets a say in how child support is spent.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.