Yes, mine does this too..
My ex pretty much never paid child support until it was garnished from his check a couple months ago at trial, even though we separated in 2012
Now his only way to hurt me is to refuse to pay for "his half" of expenses, including the few camps I put the kids in this summer, Cub Scout dues, and DS10's hospital bill
He doesn't even have beds for the kids at his apartment, and he refused to even send them home with some shoes and clothes.
But man, does he love playing Disney Dad. Every weekend they come home from his house, the kids go on and on about the new video game they got, the new expensive pieces to whatever collection they happen to be working on (think action figures, wrestles, hero clix, comic book shop type stuff).. He literally is trying to buy their love with fun stuff.
Little does he realize that that doesn't grow a tight relationship with the kids. It's the time you spend with them. He buys them and OW's son all those toys, then shoves them in front of the TV or puts them in the room and tells them to be quiet. I tried to tell him so many times when we were married that actually PLAYING with the kids was what life and parenting was all about. You can't just buy them a bunch of stuff and your job is done!
And I need HELP with my sons' actual NEEDS, and it just really burns me that he wastes all that fucking money on toys when I'm just trying to feed and clothe them and keep a decent roof over their heads.
I really don't understand the wayward mindset, especially when it comes to those waywards that are so disconnected from what parenting is all about.
I will admit to feeling somewhat inadequate for a while, feeling upset that my kids might think my ex is more "fun" than me. But then I started to realize how much deeper my relationship is with the kids than his is. He just loves to accuse me of "poisoning" the kids against him, but I think that's just his insecurity oozing out of him. I think he *knows* that I'm closer to the boys than he will ever be, and he doesn't realize that the way to their hearts is NOT through his wallet..