Adult daughter disowns mother for not giving her the back child support money that her mom was owed for years

Mary Duncan

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a friend who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.*

When it comes to co-parenting relationships I have had it so much easier than most women. I count my blessings on a weekly basis every time my daughter Tori’s dad James drops her off on Sunday nights and we have a pleasant exchange before he promptly leaves. No arguing, no drama. We have a don’t ask, don’t tell relationship. I don’t ask about his personal life and he doesn’t ask about mine. We parent like it’s a business relationship, which between us it essentially is.

James and I were never together as a couple, and we worked out before Tori was born how things would be. He was adamant about not going through the courts for a custody and child support arrangement because he is a staunch Republican and always said:

“I’m not going to let the government dictate to me when I see my kid.”

James was a good man, a stand-up guy, and he swore that he would take our daughter Tori two nights a week and pay me six hundred dollars a month in child support until she turned eighteen. Two weeks after Tori was born he took her from me for the first night, with his mother’s supervision and guidance, and he has kept up his end of the deal ever since. His dependability and financial stability have never wavered.

My friend Melody and her daughter Savannah were not so lucky.

For the short while that Melody and Savannah had Savannah’s father Joe in their lives, Joe was abusive to both of them. He was rough with the baby, didn’t know or care to learn anything about baby safety, and Melody didn’t feel like it was safe to leave him alone with the baby. He also occasionally hit her when he was drunk, which was often.

Melody took the advice of her friends and family and dragged Joe into court. He was ordered to pay her child support, and to stay out of their lives otherwise. He did not get any custody of Savannah, nor did he want it.

Sometimes Melody would get paid her child support. Sometimes she would check the balance on the state-issued card where the money was deposited and she would find a few hundred dollars here and there, but it was always thousands and thousands less than she was owed.

It wasn’t until after Savannah was grown and Joe passed away that Melody did finally get the money she was owed as part of the estate he left behind. Little did they know, Joe was making good money for years, he just hadn’t been paying Melody.

Well, for some reason, Savannah thought she was the one entitled to that back child support money that Melody had been owed the entire time.

Savannah apparently did not consider the fact that Melody was working hard as a single mom to support Savannah, living paycheck to paycheck for most of her adult life. All of the “extra” money that Melody made went to Savannah - for nicer clothes, school trips, cell phones, and cable subscriptions.

“That’s MY money,” Savannah told her mother when she found out what Melody had inherited.

“No, honey, it’s not,” Melody told her gently, but Savannah wouldn’t have it. She told Melody to give her the money or say goodbye to her forever.

Melody didn’t believe her daughter would cut her off over money, and she couldn’t afford not to keep it. The money she inherited paid off years of credit card debt she’d accrued putting Savannah through college.

Weeks went by, and then months, and then years. Melody tried repeatedly to get in touch with her daughter, even showing up at her apartment multiple times and banging on the door, until one time a stranger opened it and told her that Savannah had moved away, and she didn’t know where she’d gone.

If Melody had known Savannah really would have disowned her, she would have just given her daughter the money and kept their relationship, as toxic as that may have been. Now, years later, Melody doesn’t even know where her daughter lives.

What would you have done if you were Savannah? Do you think she was out of line?

Hi, I hope you enjoyed this story! I am a freelance writing single mom trying to create a better life for me and my daughter through words. If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a small donation:

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I write about the weird complexities of relationships to make a better life for me and my daughter through words.

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