When Reach Extends Beyond Ability

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Before the final order of the custody battle, Zelda was in a tizzy. I wouldn’t fight with her. I wouldn’t talk to her. My last words to her were “speak to my lawyer. I will not discuss this with you.”

She wouldn’t talk with my lawyer, for reasons best known to her…no, not known to her, either.

She couldn’t discuss it with Cinderella, because Cinderella said, “this isn’t anything to do with me. I won’t talk about it.”

That left Othello.

Othello saw his mother hurting, angry, and afraid. Very afraid; a custody battle includes possible money losses, and that equates to a threat to security for Zelda for whom money and security are equivalent. Othello (I learned last night) tried to calm her, saying, “I don’t think Dad is doing this for the money. Accept the court decision and just don’t pay the support.”

And she took his advice.

Whoops.

I found out today that the State of Oregon billed Zelda before I put in paperwork for them to do so. Apparently they are taking an active interest in delinquent support payments. Well, good.

I wish Othello had spoken to me about this months ago; I would have pointed out that his expenses are high, and his make-up schooling will be higher. I would also have pointed out to him that 17 year old boys should not give legal advice.

I am appalled that Zelda took legal advice from a teenager. More appalling is that she called him yesterday to chew him out for giving bad legal advice. It is now his fault that she is in for heavy payments (not he fault for leaving him alone in Corvallis, not her fault for screwing with the process, which raised the payments twice).

I was very careful, last night. I did very little talking. I pulled Bridgette back from talking. We let Othello talk; he had a few things to say, which is unusual. The gist is that he is resentful of the position he is in with her. It isn’t clear where he is assigning blame.

I did tell him that her decision to follow his advice was her decision, not his. And, that teenagers are not generally knowledgeable enough in the area of law to be a reliable source of guidance. Then I shut up, and spent the rest of the evening not wallowing in guilt and not fixing problems that weren’t mine.

Wish I could, though.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry

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