I live in a 3-bedroom townhouse with a dreamy master bedroom and two bedrooms for my kids. Franny can open the back door and run onto the quad shared by several other townhomes, where she will find one or more of her girl posse. Because our complex is gated, I can shout at her to come back before it gets dark and not worry.
Where else in a big city can you find that?
Last night I laid in bed in my soothing cocoon of a bedroom watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. These days I relate to Walter White because I’m feeling slightly terminal. Not, knock on wood, from a life-threatening disease, unless you count Prince, but from the hemorraging of my savings account.
Without child support, I am plowing through savings. My monthly take-home pay just covers my rent and utilities (rents in a decent neighborhood where I live are obscenely expensive). Unless I can find another income stream in the next several months, I will have run through my savings and will have to move out of my townhouse.
Into something much smaller. Like a one-bedroom, or even a studio. In which case I will not have bedrooms for my kids. In which case they may have to live with Prince. Because I won’t have money for food or childcare.
This is not a good situation. Because if my kids have to live with Prince, I will have to pay him child support.
That’s right. I will have to pay my ex, the one with two homes — the two homes that probably have over a million in equity — and two cars and a lifestyle that just this summer has afforded him a cruise and a yacht trip and a resort vacation…I will have to pay that ex child support.
I know that because I met with a new lawyer on Friday. A new lawyer that I wished I’d had all along after she listed the ways I’d been screwed over in both the original settlement and the custody battle.
The prospect of having to move yet again, and let Prince have my kids — in which case he will spin the narrative that I have abandoned them — is so blood-boilingly heinous that cooking meth sounds like a perfectly reasonable endeavor.
Since I know nothing about cooking meth, however, I’m facing the prospect of taking Prince to court to modify child support. But first I have to request his tax returns and an Income and Expense declaration and see if he’s made any money — doubtful — and, if he hasn’t, figure out how he’s maintaining his jet-setty lifestyle.
And if I can’t figure it out, or prove what I’ve figured out, or convince the judge to order Prince to take equity out of one of his 7-figure homes so that he can pay child support, I will have to leave my home. The home I’ve lived in just long enough to have grown to love. And I will have to send my kids to live with their rich dad all because he doesn’t pay child support.
Maybe starting a meth lab isn’t such a bad idea.
Today, I’m thankful for my home.