It came to me in a Eureka! moment that had previously been lost within the silly notion that I must maintain a good paying job to support my family. I mean, that is a moral prerogative as much a secular one, correct? No one can hope to support a family without a good paying job, correct? No one would should ever get married unless they have the mental capacity to understand this, correct?
So...that is what I did, albeit in as many steps as we had babies over the years. So it took awhile and we still had money troubles (shortages?) for obviously there is never enough when you have stair-step kids. But we managed over the years through family and friend donations (and WIC, for awhile). Life was hard, but then we weren't promised happiness here, were we? Then, perhaps unwittingly, I made what turned out to be (in one sense only) one of the biggest mistakes of my life...
I agreed to move to Kansas, a very good state to live in despite the promotion of Kathleen Sibelius to D.C. and her part in the ObamaCare debacle (don't hold that against us). I accepted a job that paid a good hourly wage and where the overtime and production bonuses gradually increased my gross wages. A promotion to the office increased my overtime and, now-sales bonus, to the point were I found myself in the yearly salary range that one finds on an online form that asks demographic information about you: $75-$85,000!
Whooo! Aahhh! I had become a millionaire! I had hit the big time! Our money troubles were over!
Uh...oh...wait. a. minute. Wait just a gol-darn minute...I still got's 10 kids, a wife and a mortgage to support!
Ah, shucks. Exhilaration over. Fortunately, we continued our struggle.
But...unfortunately for me, 10 years down the road making that much money was to be my doom. When my former/ex-spouse (Dear Lord, how I hate those terms!) initiated her divorce, that is what all of the support obligations were based upon - my Gross Salary. Not the Net salary, mind (which was only about $18.33/month), but the Gross. I found myself obligated to paying spouse and children less money than equaled the normal monthly expenses of our home, but also far more than what I could afford to pay. Now-separate expenses of apartment rent, food, gas, insurance, haircuts, previous financial obligations, the necessary funds for activities during visitations...well, you can take it to its logical conclusion and understand that there was almost every month a negative amount in my ability to pay fully what was required. And, its only gotten worse since (but that's for another post, perhaps...)
So, what do you do? What is the solution? Listen up, now...
In order to prevent an un-wanted, unnecessary and imprudent divorce, I highly recommend that you never -EVER! - accept employment that pays much more than what is at the lowest income level you can maintain that prevents eviction and starvation for your family. If you subscribe to this theory in practice voluntarily, it will prevent you from having to do so involuntarily, should the unthinkable happen. Now you should, of course, be truthful, honest and open to your betrothed/spouse that this is your intention and ask her/him if she/he can live that way. And tell them why...be transparent as air about it. Leave no question unanswered. Lay it all on the table with one roll of the dice. Far better to find out now the limit of your intended's love, than after it is sorta/maybe too late (if your're already married, its too late, just so you know.)
So...if you're both in agreement now, read on.
According to the 2013 US Census, the median US income for 2009-2013 was $53,046.00. But wait! In the state of Kansas where I live, it was only $51,332...a much better figure for sure when a divorce attorney starts totaling up the dollars he/she, your spouse, and the court will take from you. So be sure and look at the median income for your state before you go looking for a job. Take the lowest of the two figures and seek out a job that limits your potential for advancement in salary, bonus and overtime to at or near those levels (McDonalds, anyone??) By doing so, you will ensure a long and stable marriage, for neither one of you will truly be able to afford a divorce. Assuming, that is, that you have more than the average 2.51 persons per household in Kansas (or the 2.63 in the US). And you probably will, unless you use contraception (or NFP outside its accepted grave reasons.) This is the required action that will ensure that kids remain in a two-biological-parent home. The one event that may force two spouses to settle their fully reconcilable differences or face the surety of a decimated family, obliterated parent-child relationships and the sacrificing of your children's happiness upon the altar of personal self-fulfillment (AKA: personal happiness).
So, there you have it. The cure-all for divorce. The negation of the need for the 2015 Family Synod. The solution needed to preserve marriages and families:
All I have to do now is figure out a way to market the darn thing...
Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved