When our divorce decree allowed for splitting expenses for our children in half, I thought it would be easy. All things being equal, with two kids, half means I pay for one kid and he pays for the other, right?
So mid-January I received notification that it was time for our biannual payment for “pizza day”. It’s always a complete PITA to organize and I wish that they’d let us just pay the whole thing up front because my ex can’t manage his way out of a paper bag…but I digress.
The school has an online payment system, but (because of the paper bag thing) my ex insists on doing everything manually, so he has to visit the school and bring in a cheque.
So mid-January, I sent him a very simple email explaining that the payment was due and that I’d paid for our daughter already and that her brother and her had exactly the same orders, so if he’d go into the school and pay for his half, both of them would get pizza on pizza day and everything would be fine. (In cases like this, I usually pay for my daughter because it usually means I can be assured that he will take care of it because in his mind our son is more important…)
But (of course) I received no communication back. Radio silence. Zero. No acknowledgment whatsoever.
Not unexpected, but as I’d like not to micro-manage the relationship, I let it go for a week. The response I received at the end of January:
“I have spoken with School an they inform me that the Pizza Money is not due yet. They stated not until mid February.”
I let it go. For another week. On the day that the online system told me the payment was due (February 6th), I asked again for confirmation. To which I received (yet again) no response. I guess they allow tons of extra time for parents to get it in because I received an email notice from the school on February 13 suggesting that orders were due that day. I didn’t ask again, I just forwarded him the notice. I finally received a response that said:
“I paid my half of Pizza. You can’t pay half on line at present. I expect you too provide your half by Cheque. I’m sure you’re aware of this.”
I did a bit of a Jackie Chan.
And yep. I lost it a little. And sent him an email explaining that we have two children and that basic math dictates that if I already paid for one child, I have paid half because 1 of 2 = 1/2 = one half.
OK…I may have been a bit more condescending.
OK…a lot more condescending.
Which I really, really try not to do. But of course, two more days passed and I received an email today stating:
“I paid my half of Pizza. You must provide School with your Cheque.”
So…I just called the school and explained and they’d already figured it out (because they know how to do math).
But this is what I’m dealing with folks.
Anyway, I wrote a little bit more about my ex’s mindset in my post up on DivorcedMoms today entitled “Co-Parenting: How I Deal When He Makes Promises To The Kids He Doesn’t Keep.”
How about you? Do you and your ex have good communication? How do you handle shared expenses?