Deadbeat Dad Goes To College

Hello Dear Readers,

I have neglected you, which isn’t something I used to do. I wrote religiously for more than two years and then I began to take hiatuses (often unannounced). This one stretched for more than a month. I have to admit I like it when there isn’t much to write about with regard to Ex. I like it when my life is too busy with the good stuff, the rich stuff, to find time to whine here.

The summer was busy with a double helping of the good stuff. I felt it important to shore up relationships with the kids before the start of the school year. It’s what I spent much of the summer doing because, generally, if we start on a firm foundation it buoys us through the overscheduled and challenging months ahead.

Little Man had his last start of elementary school after a great summer. Many things are new and controversial, but he seems to be adjusting happily. Blessing counted.

Zeep had his first start of high school which seems to be going okay. There are always bumps and the adjustment isn’t easy. He says it’s awesome. His main teacher says he is testing boundaries. Hopefully we’ll find some equilibrium soon. Last night his homework was to reflect on an in-class activity in which he and his peers were given mock resources to bid on things they wanted. These were abstract things like “athletic prowess,” “fame,” “wealth,” “sainthood,” “a healthy family,” and “the ideal spouse.” He put all his resources toward bidding on “the ideal spouse” and won it.

“Why did you choose that?” I inquired.

“Because of you and Pop,” he answered. “I thought about bidding on ‘healthy family,’ but then I realized that a perfect spouse would help make a healthy family.”

“Oh,” I said, “I thought maybe you realized that you weren’t likely to be an easy partner and would need a good fit.”

He considered this briefly. “That too,” he said. (I think he has someone in mind already. I thought about telling him she wasn’t up for bidding, but let it go. He’s only fourteen. That’s right. He had a birthday.)

Sissy had her last first day of high school after a great summer which for her included traveling abroad for the first time. She took some amazing pics and I’d love to link them here, but she isn’t eighteen yet so you’ll have to wait until February. She’s already into the thick of her senior year and extremely busy. Also, her Klout score is higher than mine, considerably higher. (Bitch.)

Which brings me to what I wanted to write about today. (450 words too late, huh?)

Sissy is planning to apply early decision to a certain very good school which she has her heart set on attending. Ex’s financial information is required for her to complete the common application. I sent him this email:

[Ex],

[Sissy] needs a copy of your most recent tax returns immediately. She is unable to complete her college applications without it.

Annie

That seems rather straightforward, right? I mean, he has known that she is a serious student intending to go to college. Of course she would need his financial information. Hello?

His reply?

 How soon does she need them?  The most recent I have is for 2009. I’ve not been able to pay a tax preparer since then.

I have it on good information that that sort of thing will get a fellow disbarred. I also have it on good information that he IS working, divorces mostly. Oh! The irony! (…or something.) I wrote:

Are you kidding? You haven’t filed taxes for two years? She needs them IMMEDIATELY. The common app requires your 2011 tax return. The deadline for submission of the complete common app for [dream school] is November 1. That DOES NOT mean your docs can arrive on or after that date.

What do you intend to do?

The short answer: nothing. He wrote:

Well a little advance notice would help. Do you know where I can come up with $1500 to get my records out of hock with my former cpa?

Can’t she use your tax returns?

Sweet Baby Jesus. Really?

His failure to provide these documents could sabotage her future. NBD.

I point out here that Ex is still mad at me. Extremely Mad. Madly Mad. He has known for a good many years that I don’t really care what he says to or about me. I don’t care what he does. The only way he can really hurt me anymore is by hurting the children.

[Insert choice profane and derogatory names. May his pubic hair be infested with the fleas of a thousand camels or however that damned curse goes.]

Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

All this is surely my fault because I failed to provide adequate “notice” that tax documents are required. Never mind that these docs are required by law to have been filed long prior to today. (Also, I believe this sort of thing could well—and probably should—jeopardize his law license.)

When I was a freshman in college, I remember vividly sitting in a plastic chair across the desk from a pretty financial aid officer. She shifted uncomfortably as I began to cry.

In a tired voice she said, “Look, honey, we have money for students whose parents are poor, not for those whose parents are assholes.”

As for the $1,500, it took every bit of restraint I could muster not to make the following suggestions:

(1) Get a job. If he were a custodial parent, which thankfully he is not, and he couldn’t support the children, he would watch them starve. No, actually he wouldn’t. BECAUSE I WOULD NEVER ALLOW THAT. I’d feed them a slice of my own buttock before I would see them hungry. If that wasn’t enough, we’d move to organ meats. Perhaps beginning with my heart.

(2) Cut out the beer budget. You don’t sustain his body weight on bacon alone. (Alternatively, cut out the bacon. Beans and rice can feed a body well in a pinch. Trust me. I know. Because $25 every two months doesn’t go far. In case you are wondering, I didn’t pay for that trip to Europe.)

(3) Beg, borrow, or steal. It’s what he has always done, isn’t it?

I said none of those things, but damn, it felt good to say them here. Thanks for that.

Instead I wrote, “Both parents’ information is required.”

Sweet Baby Jesus. Oh. I said that already. (I missed you, too, Readers.)

Also, as a special gift, here’s a pic of a poodle in a dress:

Mrs. Sadie Snufflemuffin (photo creds to Sissy)

8 comments to Deadbeat Dad Goes To College

  • What an asshat. I won’t go into how Mr. Ex nearly sabotaged our daughter’s senior year of college. Another attorney asshat.
    Thank god for the poodle–a little chuckle there.
    Denise Emanuel Clemen recently posted..The Bear is BackMy Profile

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  • Lesley

    Not only could he be disbarred, but isn’t it illegal to not file taxes? I remember applying for college not so long ago, and the stress involved in my dream school; this shouldn’t be something your daughter has to worry about!

    Is there any way to talk to the school in question and try to explain the situation-a father who has no involvement with his children, and does not financially support them, and will not in the future? Maybe a letter from your lawyer, affirming that (and maybe the court documents from your last child support hearing, where it said that he hadn’t paid child support in years).

    And a drastic measure, which I’m not sure would be possible or timely, could you get him to sign off all parental rights to her (with the reminder that you could go to the IRS or bar association), so only you would have to submit the tax returns?

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  • I will definately be sitting on the edge of my seat, watching how your situation unfolds. My daughter is a junior this year and I am afraid I will have the same issues with my ex as you are having with yours. After all, if SHE gets access to his financial information then WE might see it and their asshat-ed-ness will really shine through in all its glory when we see what they’re telling the IRS they make and compare it to the beans we’re receiving in child support. ~sigh~ I digress. I don’t know what we’re going to do when that day comes. :-(
    Sheri_P recently posted..Where Were You on the Day of Infamy?My Profile

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  • He doesn’t need $1500 to get his records back from his former CPA. To get the returns done, yes, but Circular 230 providers (which include attys and CPAs) are explicitly prohibited from refusing to return client documents. The documents are the property of the client, even if the client owes the preparer $$. Just sayin.

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  • (Expletive deleted) I am just speechless w/dismay…

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  • I was just signing my kid up for SAT prep courses. Ugh. My Ex won’t want me to know his current income. I’m sure of that. It may be that his income won’t be considered since there’s no obligation for post-secondary support. Sigh.
    Roxanne recently posted..Referring to Fifty Shades of Grey as “Mommy Porn”? Stop it!My Profile

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  • How have I not been stalking your blog daily? I love this post. It is so much like the life I live. And yes, SO MUCH goes unsaid to my ex. My ex hasn’t filed a return since the last return we filed while married. That was 2007. Can I get another ‘Sweet Jesus’ for that one???
    I hear crap about advance notice all of the time. Once when we were separated and he hadn’t kept his kids since he left (about six months), I asked if he could come hang out with them at the house while I went to work for 3-4 hours over the weekend. He said that I hadn’t given him enough notice. REALLY? I thought you got notice when the doctor said, “It’s a boy.” You know you have kids right?
    Same with your ex. He knew almost 17-18 years ago that one day there would be a college application process for your newborn. He went to college, right? They still require that you apply and provide financial information. And he had even MORE notice that the tax returns were due back on 04/15/09, 04/15/10, 04/15/11, and 04/15/12. That pesky IRS is pretty good about telling you the due dates. I should know, I used to prepare taxes for a living.
    Blaming us is practically programmed into their DNA. I remember that it was my fault that he slept through his alarm and was late for work. “Why didn’t you wake me up? You just WANT me to be late.” Oh yes, dear, that’s EXACTLY it. Although I am busy getting the kids ready for school and myself ready for work (making all sorts of noise I might add), I am also busily plotting the demise of your job by making you late because I am HOPING to live at poverty level. Genius.
    Stronger Me recently posted..Being the bad guyMy Profile

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  • I’m arriving late, but still ariving and loving Stronger Me’s comments. Oh, Annie! I feel for you and Sissy and…sadly I’m terrified for myself knowing that Wifey2 will dig in her heels to ever provide this info to my children. As for your dungheap ex-, the docs all come in duplicate so he should have a copy in his personal file and oh, yeah, tax software is just $19.99 so you can “do it yourself”. If you don’t have money to pay child support then you don’t have money for a CPA, end of story. I applaud you for not telling him off in the million ways you could’ve about the money. Your restraint is amazing!!!
    Melissa D recently posted..Constitution Classes Should Be MandatoryMy Profile

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