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The Playbook

ICanMakeIt's picture

I think it's safe to say a lot of us have seen the same situations played out by some of these HCBMs so many times that "playbook" is an accurate description of the shenanigans.

I'm really frustrated with how much financial havoc these people can cause.

Even with a CO and many DHs paying the CS on time without fail, the premiums for insurance, the out of pocket %'s it is never enough.

Besides the basic level playbook of glasses, contacts, braces...what else should I expect?  I would normally fear some sort of therapy but BM worries too much about vapid shallow $hit and not core real $hit and therefore her kid needing therapy would never doesn't fit the picture perfect painting she likes to champion.

So hit me with what else I should expect. One boy child 15 one girl child 12. 



Ursula's picture

Expect to be hit up for any cost imaginable.  Last summer BM ordered a school supply kit directly from SDs school that cost $14.  After she purchased it she sent a message asking my husband "whats your contribution gonna be?"  Seriously, she wanted to be paid back for part of $14.  It's never ending.

beebeel's picture

School activities, trips, cars, car insurance, phones and wireless plans, lawyers fees for petty (or maybe serious) crimes, modeling classes, laptop computers "for school," guitars/drum sets/keyboards that will be played for two months then sit collecting dust, school lunch debt...

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

She bought a $1000 prom dress and then there was the spray tan and extensions and photography session and shoes and accessories and ticket and limo for each kid and wanted half 

strugglingSM's picture

At the last mediation, BM wanted to deduct her supposed health insurance costs for SKids (I say supposed, because she's a partner in an accounting firm and I think she inflated what she is paying) from her income for the purpose of child support calculations. She also wanted DH to continue to provide health insurance. In return for being able to do this, her lawyer added a clause saying in return for subtracting over $600 a month from her income, she would cover 100% of the health costs not covered by insurance. This year, she tried to come back to DH to pay for braces for one child and he reminded her what they agreed to, which led to a drama fest about DH and his lawyer trying to "ruin" BM...mind you she demanded this mediation, DH didn't. 

Skids are going to high school next year...they are both below grade-level and neither one is a very motivated student (for example, neither one did any work in remote learning, didn't even check-in with a teacher and didn't even participate in the meeting to meet the high school special ed coordinator). Despite this, BM has already demanded that DH tell her how much he is willing to pay for college, mulitple times. She's also had SKids ask DH how much he is going to pay for college. 

I'm now waiting for the demands for all the extras, like a car, etc. Skids don't need a car, they live less than 1 mile from school and also 1 mile from places where they could work. DH now pays for skiing, so he doesn't contribute to other "sports". Now that Skids will be in high school, they will not have to pay for sports, but again, BM will demand money for equipment, etc. 

One Skid has already accused DH of not paying for anything and saying that BM has to pay for everything. DH pointed out that he pays monthly child support and we also buy things for our home. Skid replied, "we have to pay for groceries, Dad!" Um, if BM is using all the child support she receives each month just to pay for groceries for Skids then she is terrible at budgeting. Also, she makes at least 2.5 times what DH makes, so really, he's paying more than his fair share. 


ICanMakeIt's picture

So other than sticking to CO - how do you all avoid the other parent making DH out to be the villan for not paying all these extras? DH paid handsomely on top of CS half his 401lk etc at divorce. He has no plans on paying for anything EXTRA at her house. We paid for years all the cost of transportation (long distance situation).Not a dime of her court ordered portion was paid. It wasn't worth the hassel of filing contempt. 

strugglingSM's picture

I think with a HCBM it is very difficult to overcome your DH being the villain, because many HCBMs are solely focused on making their ex out to be the villain. 

Gimlet's picture

Yep, exactly.  He can do everything that any reasonable person would expect from a dad and still be the villian.

Sorry, I am cranky today.  The amount of "financial havoc", as OP so aptly put it, and emotional havoc for an ROI of relationships that bring no joy to our lives is depressing sometimes.

BethAnne's picture

My husband was asked for $50 for menstral products the other month. SD is coming to visit this summer with a list of all the clothes that she needs, as well as decency rules for what BM finds "acceptable" because she doesn't think my husband has a brain aparently. There is also the annual ask for money for school photos that never get sent to our house and contributions to the school fundraising drive by buying ice cream that they get to eat at BM's house. Requests for camp money for any type of vacation that bm has to have sd for. 

And don't expect it to stop at your husband, BM asked my husband's grandmother for $20000 a little over a year or ago. If she'd asked for  $20 maybe even $200 she might have got it, but $20000 from an ordinary widow in her 80's (not rich by any means) is ridiculous. Recently she apparently hit up my husband's Dad for cash too. We don't know how much or if he gave it to her. Plus on top of that BM will send sd to stay with my husband's mother/grandmother when she can during spring break etc and then my husband (because he is a good son) will give his mother/grandmother money to help cover the cost of feeding, entertaining and looking after sd, while bm gets free childcare and probably doesn't even offer to cover gas money if they pick sd up from her house. 

Everybody else in the world is bm's potential bank. 

tog redux's picture

My DH never paid one red cent above what he was ordered to pay the by the court, and he fought a couple of things (and lost) that she wanted him to pay - medical bills where she failed to use the insurance, so his portion was 4x as much as it should have been; and college tuition. He was ordered to pay all of it.

Fortunately, there was nothing in the CO saying he had to pay for extracurriculars or anything like that, and he didn't even pay for health insurance until the most recent increase a couple of years ago.

Of course, he's the villain. You can either accept that he will be the villain and stick to the CO, or hemorrhage money.  Your choice.

susanm's picture

Our BM wanted the IRS standard per mile reimbursement for transporting her own children to after school or weekend activities, shopping trips for clothing and school supplies, doctor/dentist appts, ect....  This was on top of insane amounts of court ordered child and spousal support and extra being paid voluntarily on top of that.  It was the one time DH actually said "no."

Ursula's picture

So ridiculous.  I just saw this weekend a mom posting on facebook that she wished in addition to requesting pro rata reimbursement for all extra curriculars she had also asked for pro rata reimbursement for gas to and from extra curriculars.  That's just crazy.

tog redux's picture

OK - it's called "50/50 custody" - he takes her to activities half the time, you take her the other half of the time.

But then they wouldn't get their big paycheck.

strugglingSM's picture

BM in our case tried to claim that as well, but really, DH would have likely had more mileage just with his EOWE visits. Two years after the divorce, BM moved Skids 20 miles south from where they lived and DH had moved about 20 miles north, so there were some weekends when DH was driving close to 400 miles back and forth and back and forth to take Skids to activities that BM had scheduled. BM didn't do pick-up or drop-off even though it was listed in the CO, because she said it was "unfair" for her to have to do that. 

JRI's picture

Ours wasn't.  So on top of the CS which I naively thought should pay for housing expense, she would tuck the unpaid utility bills in the kids backpacks when they came over.  You know, '"we don't want the kids to go without electricity, gas. water, etc:."  So we basically paid twice, on top of also paying all health, school, recreational and vlothing ecpense.  Oh, and when her car died. DH bought her a new car but she wasn't happy because it was a "Mom" type car, not sporty.   Of course, with her money problems, she wouldnt think of working, even part time even when we took all the kids full time.  But by that time, she had a new DH to support her.  That was a  hapoy day.

Merry's picture

Dang, I was not a HCBM, and DH's ex isn't either (she's more the martyr type). It must be exhausting, and I feel for all of you dealing with it.

CastleJ's picture

We have a HCBM as well. DH used to pay half of sports, pay the outrageous medical expenses for hospital visits (because BM worked at a hospital and got discounts on care and would use that instead of a PCP) and other stupid stuff. He did it to prove to the courts he was a good dad. It didn't matter. DH was never court ordered to pay for extras except CS and 40% of out of pocket medical. When BM comes asking for extras, DH simply says "No", if she continues, he ignores it. 

DH paid half of SS' soccer fee for this year. Total fee was $90. BM lives in a super wealthy area. Obviously, COVID hit and soccer was cancelled. BM had the audacity to ask DH if he wanted his half of the refund or if she could donate it for some rich kid to play next year. DH laughed in her face and demanded his refund. We don't have that kind of money to donate to wealthy elementary school kids. 

justmakingthebest's picture

We are supposed to pay 80% of medical above insurance- but since BM got on welfare he has that good Gub'ment insurance and no copays anymore, and we have Tri-care (military insurance) for him but that doesn't cost us anything. 

We did have to pay for braces and BM refused to even discuss going to more than one ortho for pricing and different options. So that sucked, we had to pay 80% of that with no say. 

We have good vision insurance through me, his exams and $150 towards glasses are covered annually- so if she can't get him glasses for that she can kiss my butt because OSS and I do just fine with no out of pocket expense. 

She hasn't hit us up for car or car insurance- but we got no say in the car (I never would give a 16 yr old a 2 door bright orange sports car) so we would fight that hard core. Cars are a luxury, not a necessity.

We do have to pay "up to 50%" of college tuition for SS. However- and I am SOOOOO proud of DH- he told SS last night that we were going to start college tours here next summer and that if he wanted a dime from DH he was going to have to leave KS and OK (he lives right on the boarder). He has to go away and get out of his small town- other than that, don't expect a dime. SS looked shocked but nodded. I am sure BM will lost her shit when he tattled after we went to bed!!