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I’m Stuck in Between My Parents’ Child Support Trial

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From the U.S.: My divorced parents are using me to get information about each other to use in their child support trial. I thought I could confide in my grandmother for support, but she ended up telling my mom everything I said and now my mom is using that information to use against my father in court.

My father is claiming that he doesn’t need to pay the unpaid child support from when I was younger, but my mom thinks otherwise. I do think my mom deserves to be paid back, but knowing my father and how he is unemployed and having health problems I just don’t see the point in asking him for money when he doesn’t have any to spare.

I want my mom to be rewarded for raising us as a single mother with no help from child support, but I can’t stand seeing my father go through any more money problems. When I see the poverty he lives in and how well off our family is, I just don’t see the point in asking him for money when he doesn’t have it. But my mom deserves to be compensated.

They both use me for secrets about each other to use in court and I can’t stand it, because I don’t want either of them to get hurt and I don’t want to have to choose a side. They both haven’t talked to each other in person for over five years, and I’m a busy college student having to act as a mediator between the two when I don’t have the time or patience. I don’t know what to do.

I’m Stuck in Between My Parents’ Child Support Trial

Answered by on -



A: What you do is exactly what you want to do: Stop being the mediator, translator and soft shoulder for both of them. There is no way you can participate in the argument between your parents without hurting your relationship with both of them. Leave it to them and their lawyers to work it out.

Do not fall into conversations with either parent about what’s right, just or fair. Do not let either of them tell you secrets and swear you to secrecy. It’s inappropriate for them to do so. It’s equally inappropriate for you to even pretend to listen. Simply remind each of your parents that you love them both and that this is their problem to figure out, not yours. People can be wonderful parents even though they were terrible partners. You have a right to have a loving relationship with each of your folks, even if they can’t even talk to each other.

I do suggest you contact the behavioral health services at your college and make an appointment with a counselor — not because I think you are ill but because I think the situation is understandably distressing. You need to be able to vent to someone without worrying about tales being carried to either parent.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I’m Stuck in Between My Parents’ Child Support Trial

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I’m Stuck in Between My Parents’ Child Support Trial. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 4 Jan 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.