No rest for the weary...

Back in April of 2016 I was laid off from a great job that I had with a company that I gave 18 years of my life to. It’s been 9 months since then, and I have been rejected for every single job I have applied for to date. The Federal extensions to unemployment were discontinued a few years back, and my state only provides 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, which ran out some time ago.

Being a divorced non-custodial parent, I must provide spousal support and child support to my ex and my children. Of course, I don’t object to supporting my children, but my ex refuses to work and believes I am 100% responsible for the financial support of the children, which means that if I have my support reduced my children will suffer, which is the last thing I want. My current monthly support obligations are $3,000 per month, which is an extremely hefty amount for someone who is unemployed, but that amount allows my ex to continue her behavior of not supporting herself.

There’s a lot of talk out there regarding dead-beat dads, but not much about the women who are capable of working, but refuse out of some idea that their ex “owes” them support for the rest of their life. And to this end, because she is the custodial parent, she is allowed to collect public assistance and medicaid for the children rather than get a job – all while I am being billed by the state for these services (yes, the cost of medicaid for your children gets added to your child support obligation) and becoming further and further behind on my child support. Being unemployed has turned me into a “dead-beat dad” through no fault of my own, but allows my ex to be a dead-beat mom with impunity. If I were in Texas (thankfully I’m not) I would not be allowed to renew my driver’s license, which makes no sense when ultimately I need to drive to get a job and I need a job to pay my child support.

I used to make over $150,000 per year, now I’m reduced to applying to fast-food and retail stores, only to be rejected in favor of 20-somethings who have no bills, no obligations, and in many cases, no work ethic, because I am deemed “over qualified.”

I’m hopeful that this will all turn around soon, but I’m planning for the worst. People talk about privilege and how easy it is for middle-aged white males in this world, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not all unicorns and rainbows from where I stand. The struggle is real - for everyone.