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He wants to re-negotiate "things"

Muggle posted 7/16/2020 12:58 PM

My ex has been contradicting himself and giving conflicting information to me. He initially stated his attorney is working on contingency for all his lawsuits he's filed against various parties.

He stated yesterday that he has paid $40k to his attorney for one specific person that I can't mention. He then started complaining about how he can't afford to keep doing "this", and that he's not the "everlasting gobstopper".

He and I had been discussing assistance our adult son needs for getting a significant amount of dental work done, and sharing the expense. Our son lives with me, and has severe depression and he's been getting up to speed slowly on learning to be a young adult. He has taken responsibility and will be paying for the second half of his dental when he receives his taxes and stimulus.

He was complaining about child support for our daughter, which will end in a year. He was complaining about college support for our other son as he's attending from home due to covid closing the college. His courses are online now. He thinks he should get a reduction due to that. I explained that he now eats 3 times a day at home, and that counter balances his gas usage previously.

He then launched into why he's paying my cell phones and for the phones for the kids. It's in our agreement and HE was the one that decided that initially. He doesn't want to be paying for them anymore. He wants to not pay the car insurance for one of the kids, but has forgotten that the youngest will get her license in a month and he is responsible for 75% of the cost, and I pay the 25%.

He mentioned that he's not been making me pay my 25% for our daughter, but so far we've not had any expenses that weren't part of what was in the decree that he agreed to pay. He paid her drivers classes, and I didn't pay him for the 25%, but I'm paying for her license fees of $56, and her test for the license and that's $120 which combined are more than what I was responsible for on the classes.

He keeps trying to negotiate the interest on months he paid late, when it's also in the agreement. He owes me $1750 in interest for paying the last 6 months more than 14 days late. He pays ZERO interest on our settlement if he pays on time each month. That was the incentive to get him to pay, and cost me thousands in potential interest.

He's obviously having a financial meltdown, or a life meltdown. Who knows maybe his wife isn't part of the equation anymore, and he's up to his ass in debts. He said as soon as money comes in it's gone. NOT my problem is my thought.

He vaguely alludes to possible Federal charges he "claims" he can bring against me, but now he's forced to bring state charges against others to avoid me being in the mix. I have no idea what planet he's on, but to my knowledge I've never done anything remotely illegal or unethical.

When he calls I feel tied up in knots, waiting for the next chapter of his alternate reality to impact my life in some negative way.

I don't want to "negotiate" or sit down and discuss any of it. The whole mess was done for me when we signed the paperwork. It was over the top DONE for me when he sued me and lost.

Now he's warning me that if other people from his lawsuits contact me to not speak to them, to contact him or his attorney. I'm not doing jack squat for anyone. He has done nothing but cost me money. His kids are suffering emotionally from all this.

How do you detach from this shit? I can't go NC as I'm tied to him financially until I'm paid off. I try not to answer the phone when he calls, so he deals only with the kids. I just want to move on and not be part of the drama and looming clouds that follow him constantly. I don't want to be sued, I don't want to be part of anything he's involved in, or feel as though he's indirectly threatening me to force me to financially compromise my settlement.

His wife has not emailed me in over a month, and her last email response gave me a strange vibe. She said him asking me to reach out to her was manipulative of him and she has no say in anything he does concerning me. She said to be vigilant, to not give up my power, and that things are not what they seem. I asked for some clarification but received no reply.

How do I not get sucked into this vortex?

Catwoman posted 7/16/2020 13:28 PM

You need to file a complaint for contempt for all the things that he is not doing, the things he owes you money for, etc.

I'm not an attorney, but I've been around the law most of my life and I can tell you that what he is telling you makes no sense.

Anything that is in your divorce decree that he is not complying with is subject to contempt.

Regarding your adult son, that would not be subject to contempt, as I doubt it is in your decree. For financial "agreements" that are not in your decree, there is no vehicle to compel him to adhere to what he said he was going to do. I would enter into these very cautiously, if at all.

Regarding child support, that is in the decree, and he has to pay it. It doesn't matter what he "feels" about it. Same with your son and tuition. If tuition didn't go down due to online learning, he has to pay. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter if he thinks it is fair or not.

I would follow the decree to the letter. If you are supposed to pay 25% of something, pay it. If there are other expenses that are not outlined specifically in the decree (this is where a good attorney comes in--they think of EVERYTHING and they detail it in the MSA), you're going to have to approach that as on your own (see above for items not covered in the decree).

It's funny about the Federal charges. Does he know that only the Federal government can bring federal charges? I would let this nonsense go in one ear and out the other.

It doesn't seem like he could sue you for anything. He *could* file a petition to modify the MSA, but there are often legal hurdles to be able to do this AND he could have exposure if he does file for a modification and he is in contempt by not following the MSA.

I would communicate via written word only, barring an emergency. Text or email only, and save the texts/emails. And consider filing a complaint for contempt. When you do this, also petition to be reimbursed for your attorney fees if he is found in contempt (I had this language written into our MSA).


ArkLaMiss posted 7/16/2020 13:50 PM

Reread what Cat said. STOP talking to him. It sounds like he's got creditors coming after him or maybe the IRS. Not your problem. IF he does, you need to be sure that financially, you are ok without his money. His problems are not yours, unless you let him pull you into his mess. Do not engage. Contact your attorney, though, to maybe run things through them. Might be worth it. Do NOT negotiate with him. You have an agreement. He doesn't want to pay. If you back out, he knows he can continue to manipulate you. Remember, never negotiate with a terrorist!

fareast posted 7/16/2020 14:27 PM


You’ve gotten great advice so far. I remember your ex. One of these guys who is super arrogant and super egotistical who thinks that the normal rules of society don’t apply to him. Even though he runs to the courts often attempting to use those same rules to beat up creditors, competitors, and his ex.🙄. The one thing he can’t stand is consequences. “How dare they make me pay all of this money in child support.” “Do they know who I am?” “These rules are unfair.”

It is all an attempt to manipulate/intimidate you. He would do anything he could to escape the consequences of his deliberate actions. Sad isn’t it? Just stick to the provisions of the order. I know you feel you have to subject yourself to some of this because you want him to continue to pay. If you do continue to talk to him, do not engage. Just be a gray rock.

Chrysalis123 posted 7/16/2020 16:41 PM

I don't want to "negotiate" or sit down and discuss any of it.

Then do not discuss it. That is your right.

This is what I did that stopped the ex in his tracks. It happened by accident after he pushed me and I filed for a restraining order.

The RO issue was settled within our divorce decree with a stipulation. He had to stay a certain distance away from me for 12 months and not contact me in any way. Except -

And here is the part that may interest you:

If he needed to contact me, he was only allowed to contact me through his attorney.

If the young adult kids had either a health or legal emergency he could send me 1 text.

This stopped him from harassing me because he had to pay to harass me.

[This message edited by Chrysalis123 at 11:59 AM, July 17th (Friday)]

The1stWife posted 7/16/2020 16:42 PM

He’s a sore loser. He sued you and lost. He’s still trying to get his own way.

Keep your attorney close.

nekonamida posted 7/16/2020 22:27 PM

Here are some short and easy response suggestions. If he wants to to discuss why he should get a reduced payment, message back once, "Let's stick to the agreement." If he threatens or implies legal action, "My lawyer will be waiting to hear from your lawyer." THAT'S IT. And make sure these replies are only ever done over email or text. There is no valid reason for you to need to answer a phone call from him EVER. If you answer by accident or habit, you say, "Can't talk. I have to go," and hang up.

If you want the drama to end, you have to stop accepting his invitation to his drama llama power hour. He's not the one forcing you to pick up the phone when he calls. You're making that choice when there is no real good reason for you to pick up other than to continue participating in the drama. Your kids are adults and can contact you. He will text if it's an emergency. He may get angry at first but after the first few nonresponses, he will give up. He will see that he's wasting his time with it and stop. So get on that 180, gray rock technique, NC outside of emergencies, and stick to it.

Muggle posted 7/17/2020 15:40 PM

Good suggestions. I seem to get ambushed when he calls and I pick up the phone, or one of our kids says "he wants to talk to you".

I think the safest avenue is to just be unavailable, and if he wants to rant then he will have to type it out in an email. Stick to the financial stuff that is in our agreement, and don't engage.

His mess, his consequences. The first step I need to learn is to stop letting him make idle conversation with me. I didn't realize that I was inadvertently engaging him until I stepped away from it. He calls and it starts over asking a question, or answering one about when he plans to pay. He then changes directions making conversation about his lawsuits and whose screwing him over or random complications in his life. I need to cut him off and not speak to him. I'm not his councilor. I'm not his wife. He needs to talk to someone else. This will infuriate him, but WHY should I subject myself to this? I've been doing it so long it became normal for me to allow it.

I can't afford to make an attorney deal with him as I have to pay my own fees. We weren't married and that's how the cookie crumbles on that one. My attorney told me it's not "contempt" unless he stops paying his child support.

The rest he would have to take me back to court, pay an attorney and see if they will reduce what he pays. He would have to show just cause to do so.

The only leverage he has is not paying me on time. He knows that causes hardship and I WILL engage him over money. This is my Achilles heal.

I fully plan to sue him for every penny in interest for the months he doesn't pay on time. I will have to wait another 2.5 years to do it, but I'm not letting it slide.

Grey rock and no contact unless it's about the kids. I have them all living with me, so he really doesn't need to talk to me. This will be my goal. He can email me about the money.

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