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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I would like to get some other perspectives on the current situation my partner and I are facing. My partner is divorced and his ex wife has an alcohol addiction. As a result he got physical custody in the divorce and she can only have supervised visitations with the children (5 and 10) until such time as she's undertaken a rule 25 assessment and followed a recommended treatment plan.
Things seemed to be going well, she was sticking to the court order albeit she never had the Rule 25 assessment. She still drank when not with the children, I guess as a functioning alcoholic, and not every day, but now she has been going on days long benders again.

Unfortunately, it's now at the stage where her work have told her if she doesn't enroll in a treatment plan this week, she will lose her job (she has been absent on way too many occasions due to this.) She has never done anything to help herself before and has remained in denial about needing treatment and having an addiction. There is always an excuse - even when previously she has been taken to hospital and they've tried to get her into a center to help, as a fully grown adult she's refused and there's nothing they can do.

She currently has no insurance. Why I'm not sure. She never took any insurance when my partner took her off his after the divorce. She's claiming that without insurance she cannot get in a treatment plan and she needs a sizeable sum of money to make this happen now. The amount of money she claims it costs varies.

During the divorce my partner got the marital property to bring up the children, and she has a lien for her equity. He's unable to pay her in full at this time, instead he is making a monthly payment. If she does not pay the child maintenance she's ordered to pay, or other related bills, he deducts what she owes from the equity.

We have discussed and I am going to be buying into the property. I do have the funds to clear the whole amount straight away, but we have discussed that if we do so we fear:
1. She will blow it all on alcohol and end up killing herself
2. She would have been paid everything and any failure to pay for her financial contribution towards the children would fall on him and that would make it difficult for him to live. At least this way, if she fails to pay a bill, I can send him the money and we call it a payment towards the equity.

In the past, many people have offered to help fund her treatment, even before they separated my partner did many many times. But she refused. As I said, there's always an excuse.

A little about her: this is from my perspective and based on what my partner and his family have told me, but I feel his ex wife is a narc and also has no sense of personal responsibility. She got her job as a family friend got it for her many many years ago. She never learned to drive since my partner would always make sure he could, she would never help him with that burden. When she talks, she only talks of what has happened to her. She only ever contacts my partner when she's drunk and wants to blame him for it, never to ask how the children are or to speak to them. Now she is blaming her company for not sticking by her after 23 years service, yet they have stuck by her for years and tried to help her. It is always someone else's fault. I feel she is childlike in her mentality.

So now she needs to find some money quickly or she will lose her job. I am in a position to make that happen. We have discussed whether it should be offered as a release from her equity, but neither of us think she would actually use it for treatment to save her job and save her from hitting rock bottom and the pain that would ensue with the children not being able to see her. We made a decision that if she was serious about getting help this time, she could present a plan to her employer that she will go to free AA meetings or something as a start, get insurance, and then get enrolled. If she doesn't take even those options, then she has already chosen she won't get the help, she won't take the personal responsibility of making it happen.

She has so far lost everything except her job, she's alienated so many people around her. Does she need to hit rock bottom to climb back up or would you release the money (which she is owed but not by me) and hope she does the right thing with it? Her equity portion is fast dwindling due to non payment of bills. Is it better to keep it so that when she has solved the problem for herself, she has something to start rebuilding her life with?
 

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Until she accepts that she’s an alcoholic you are wasting your time trying to help her. It’s everybody’s fault except hers, this is how she lives her life and nobody except herself can change that mindset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Until she accepts that she’s an alcoholic you are wasting your time trying to help her. It’s everybody’s fault except hers, this is how she lives her life and nobody except herself can change that mindset.
Up until now she has denied needing treatment. Something at least has shifted in that. Perhaps it's finally taking for the risk of her job to see it. But now she is saying she needs it, hence our dilemma?
 

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During the divorce my partner got the marital property to bring up the children, and she has a lien for her equity. He's unable to pay her in full at this time, instead he is making a monthly payment. If she does not pay the child maintenance she's ordered to pay, or other related bills, he deducts what she owes from the equity.
This is a horrible idea unless it's part of the court orders. She could easily sue for the money owed unless the deductions for missing support payments has been signed off on by the judge. Conversely, your spouse could also take her back to court for those missing support payments.

We have discussed and I am going to be buying into the property. I do have the funds to clear the whole amount straight away, but we have discussed that if we do so we fear:
1. She will blow it all on alcohol and end up killing herself
2. She would have been paid everything and any failure to pay for her financial contribution towards the children would fall on him and that would make it difficult for him to live. At least this way, if she fails to pay a bill, I can send him the money and we call it a payment towards the equity.
What she does with the money owed her is not your problem or business. The money is legally owed to her to do with as she pleases.

So now she needs to find some money quickly or she will lose her job
Not your problem.

. We have discussed whether it should be offered as a release from her equity, but neither of us think she would actually use it for treatment to save her job and save her from hitting rock bottom and the pain that would ensue with the children not being able to see her.
Again, not your problem. If she continues to fail as a person and parent that is on her. Yes, it is sad for the kids. But the reality is that she's an alcoholic and not a good parent or a good influence. ACOA exists for damn good reason.

Frankly, with her being an alcoholic, I'd want her completely off the home related paperwork ASAP lest her actions result in some type of legal entanglement you two get caught up in. Buy her out, get her off the paperwork and the lien removed, and let her sink or swim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is a horrible idea unless it's part of the court orders. She could easily sue for the money owed unless the deductions for missing support payments has been signed off on by the judge. Conversely, your spouse could also take her back to court for those missing support payments.
At the moment, these deductions are agreed to by both parties and a record of the payments is kept and shared between them. Of course, if that turns sour then both would have to go back to court.

What she does with the money owed her is not your problem or business. The money is legally owed to her to do with as she pleases
I do agree. However my partner cannot refi to pay her at this point owing to some marital debt which he took as part of the divorce settlement. He's paying as much as he can every month with a minimum set by the court, but often he's paying her more.

Not your problem.
Does it not become part my problem when the children are distressed that they cannot see their mother because she's in a ditch somewhere, or worse?

Again, not your problem. If she continues to fail as a person and parent that is on her. Yes, it is sad for the kids. But the reality is that she's an alcoholic and not a good parent or a good influence. ACOA exists for damn good reason.

Frankly, with her being an alcoholic, I'd want her completely off the home related paperwork ASAP lest her actions result in some type of legal entanglement you two get caught up in. Buy her out, get her off the paperwork and the lien removed, and let her sink or swim.
I hear what you say, we just struggle with that approach since we fear she will sink. But perhaps you are right, perhaps this way at least it's known rather than limbo state. And we can then just focus on the children and what is best for them and if she's in a ditch, so be it.
 

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Does it not become part my problem when the children are distressed that they cannot see their mother because she's in a ditch somewhere, or worse?
Coming from a man who is dealing with an addicted XW I can tell you that NO it isn't your problem.
 

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Don't let someone drag you or the children I to something that only they can fix. And speaking about the kids, you can't protect them from the consequences of an addicts decisions. In fact, you shouldn't for two reasons. One, it will guarantee that they will have no false impressions on the type of person she is. And two, it's the best teaching opportunity you could have.

My XW spent time in the court system, in prison and in recovery. I did not hide any of those fact from my kids and answered any questions they had about their mother. Yes it was hard and sometimes painful but them knowing the truth and seeing the consequences of her actions was necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I've had another conversation with my partner and his absolute view is that he has a court order to pay her X amount per month. That is what she's entitled to and not a lump sum.

My agreement with him is that I will be buying into the property at X amount per month but I will not be paying as a lump sum unless the exchange rate is advantageous. It currently is not so it would be foolish to pay it all now.

He said his view is that if she makes steps to solving this herself then he will look what can be done, but otherwise he feels he would again be solving her problem when there is no legal responsibility to do so. He no longer morally feels he should either. Instead we should focus on energy on making sure the children are well cared for and dealing with any fallout that comes from this with regards to their welfare only.

It feels 'cold' to me, but it is his decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Don't let someone drag you or the children I to something that only they can fix. And speaking about the kids, you can't protect them from the consequences of an addicts decisions. In fact, you shouldn't for two reasons. One, it will guarantee that they will have no false impressions on the type of person she is. And two, it's the best teaching opportunity you could have.

My XW spent time in the court system, in prison and in recovery. I did not hide any of those fact from my kids and answered any questions they had about their mother. Yes it was hard and sometimes painful but them knowing the truth and seeing the consequences of her actions was necessary.
Thank you for sharing this. This advice is aligned with what the counsellors told my partner during mediation. They advised the kids are told. He wanted to but she requested he didn't. Now we're just preparing to sit them down and explain why they won't see their Mother this weekend as planned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You sound like a very kind and loving person, but this woman is not a rescue project. Stay out of it. It's not your problem. People have to face the consequences for their own actions. You are injecting your own thoughts about the children. They will be fine. Just stay out of it.
Thanks. Quite blunt and to the point, but you are right and probably what I needed to hear.
 

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Thank you for sharing this. This advice is aligned with what the counsellors told my partner during mediation. They advised the kids are told. He wanted to but she requested he didn't. Now we're just preparing to sit them down and explain why they won't see their Mother this weekend as planned.
Truth is always better, gives the children time to process and grieve. I believe that if I hadn't have been upfront about it that it would have done more harm to the children in the long run.
 

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He said his view is that if she makes steps to solving this herself then he will look what can be done, but otherwise he feels he would again be solving her problem when there is no legal responsibility to do so. He no longer morally feels he should either. Instead we should focus on energy on making sure the children are well cared for and dealing with any fallout that comes from this with regards to their welfare only.

It feels 'cold' to me, but it is his decision.
Yes, it is his decision and for you to insert yourself into the matter would show a great deal of disrespect for him. Please don't do that.
 

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So I've had another conversation with my partner and his absolute view is that he has a court order to pay her X amount per month. That is what she's entitled to and not a lump sum.

My agreement with him is that I will be buying into the property at X amount per month but I will not be paying as a lump sum unless the exchange rate is advantageous. It currently is not so it would be foolish to pay it all now.

He said his view is that if she makes steps to solving this herself then he will look what can be done, but otherwise he feels he would again be solving her problem when there is no legal responsibility to do so. He no longer morally feels he should either. Instead we should focus on energy on making sure the children are well cared for and dealing with any fallout that comes from this with regards to their welfare only.

It feels 'cold' to me, but it is his decision.
This seems like the right thing for everyone involved, at this point. His ex has to want to change for herself, otherwise it will probably just be temporary to appear as though she has changed.
 

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I would have thought it's unlikely that any health insurance she takes out would cover her for alcoholism due to the fact that it's an ongoing issue.
If anyone does give her the money for rehab, they need to make sure it's paid to the rehab centre and not to her. She may well drink it all away.

You mention the exchange rate. Do you and your partner live in different countries?

In the end she isn't your problem. They are no longer married and she must take responsibility for herself.
Yes it's sad for the children, having a useless parent is sad.
 

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I would have thought it's unlikely that any health insurance she takes out would cover her for alcoholism due to the fact that it's an ongoing issue.
If anyone does give her the money for rehab, they need to make sure it's paid to the rehab centre and not to her. She may well drink it all away.

You mention the exchange rate. Do you and your partner live in different countries?

In the end she isn't your problem. They are no longer married and she must take responsibility for herself.
Yes it's sad for the children, having a useless parent is sad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, it is his decision and for you to insert yourself into the matter would show a great deal of disrespect for him. Please don't do that.
I'm not 'inserting myself' into the matter. He has raised the thoughts with me and asked my opinion. It is being talked over. He said he did think about asking me to pay everything now to be done with it, as MMJEAN suggested. So I am involved and invited, but I am not making the decision and any final choice is his.

We're 2 people with a set of views, and we like to consider all options for fairness, hence the question here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Truth is always better, gives the children time to process and grieve. I believe that if I hadn't have been upfront about it that it would have done more harm to the children in the long run.
Thank you. Do you know if there's some resources out there we can use to prepare ourselves to do the best with that conversation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I would have thought it's unlikely that any health insurance she takes out would cover her for alcoholism due to the fact that it's an ongoing issue.
If anyone does give her the money for rehab, they need to make sure it's paid to the rehab centre and not to her. She may well drink it all away.

You mention the exchange rate. Do you and your partner live in different countries?

In the end she isn't your problem. They are no longer married and she must take responsibility for herself.
Yes it's sad for the children, having a useless parent is sad.
Thanks Diane. That consideration was given to whether it was paid to her or not. But again, I guess it would be her money if we chose to go that route.

Yes, we are UK-USA. The pound dropped alot in the last month and on this sum of money would be a sizeable impact.
 
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