Introduction: Down The Hole
Let start by explaining what brought me to this fatal negotiation. The path to negotiations started after my second day back home from my deployment in Iraq. On a Saturday morning in November of 2010, I got visited by the angel of not so good news who officially serves me with a notification that my formal wife wanted an increase in child support for the only son we had together. The funny thing about it is that in 18 months, in July 2012, he was going to turn eighteen. Because for many reasons, I did not agree with the increase she was asking for and we enter into a negotiation battle.
Why more? & Why not?
The first question that came to my head was - what is the reason she was asking for more, why now? The reason for my question was the fact that I had never fails to pay the child support, I was always looking forward to having him with me, and my formal was a professional quality control manager for a big chain of supermarkets in Texas. I will say she probably was making more than I was (close to the six figures), plus $960.00 of child support for one kid; and for this reason I could not say she was short of money or that my son was starving. My son was also going to Public H.S., so no mayor extra education expense there. I did ask why she wanted more, and her only explanation was that my son required more school cloths and he is spending more on extracurricular activities. Of course I ask my son, and the only extra school activity he was doing was the school theater club and going out to the movies once a while with his friends. Especially, because his mom’s house was kind far away from town and she really did not the time to drive him around. Again, I could not understand the fact that she wanted to raise the child support to the max, $1500, just because she could or wanted to do it - “I can’t confirm or deny this statement”.
The main reason for my opposition to the increase on child support was the fact that in a couple of month I would be coming out of an active duty status to an unemployment status. With my future unknown status, the condition of the economy and employment, I could not agree to an increase on my child support commitment. An increase would have thrown me and my family (wife and two other kids) into a thigh economic position. I had plan for the unemployment time, but not for an increase in child support.
Let the negotiations begin, first try
I started by analyzing my situation and my options, agree or not. The agreement would bring another $540 a month out of the emergency savings account, and extra $9,720 for my formal wife. Disagreement would bring lawyers expenses and money that could be going toward my son future (future college expenses), being wasted in lawyers’ fees (her lawyer and my lawyer). The first course of action for me was to try to negotiate with my formal wife, without having to go in front of a Judge.
First negotiation - My goal was to convince her that...