Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Family oddities and child support

In his late teens or early twenties, my uncle L got two 'girls' pregnant at the same time. My sole source of information on this is my father (mother was in the room, but I mostly remember her as doing the verbal equivalent of nodding along) and the anomalous entry on grandma's page of cousin L's genealogy.

The entry showed a daughter for uncle L and J, and a date of marriage. I only knew about my cousin R, the son of uncle L and J, who I had assumed were divorced. Dad explained the double yolk event and that L had been pressured to marry the girl who was the daughter of one of grandma's friends, rather than the one he actually liked. (gunny sacked resentment against grandma)

After drama, there had been a divorce and child support and visitation. Then baby mama had remarried and grandma advised him that if he wanted to stop paying child support, he should be sure to always go to their house to pick her up and to flirt with her mom, in front of the new husband, while he was there. This would inspire new husband to want to adopt the daughter, disqualifying her for further child support and visitation.

Dad was disappointed that his mother would advise this. He was also disappointed that his brother went for it. You could tell by the way he told the story that he couldn't decide whether L was weak for being influenced in a bad way or if he was negligent and uncaring for liking the idea.

Sadly, it worked exactly as described. So my sisters and I had a cousin that we never saw and that no one ever talked about. Of course, grandma had some sort of ongoing connection.

The whole thing would never have come up if she hadn't tried to shoehorn this cousin into the list. Dad always thought that if L had married J, they would have made a go of it. He was also sure that L only dated baby mama because grandma's friends daughter couldn't find someone to date and was feeling bad. If the older women had stayed out of it, there wouldn't have been a second pregnancy.

Possibly this all occurred just before L shipped out and the big event and subsequent marriage ended his time in the service, which dad had hoped would distance L from their mother and make a man of him.

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