Dad Is Slow to Repay Money 'Borrowed' From Son's Piggy Bank

DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for eight years and have a wonderful, kindhearted 13-year-old son. My ex-husband and I barely communicate because he was very hurtful and controlling. He was supposed to pay some form of child support, but has never given me a dime. He refuses because of my income, and he hides his money in his business.

I have come to accept his selfishness, but a month ago he "borrowed" $130 from my son's piggy bank -- hard-earned money his relatives gave him for doing chores, getting good grades and birthday gifts. My son has asked his father to return the money, but it has been more than a month and his dad keeps making excuses.

My son is devastated that his dad took his money. It didn't surprise me because my ex always felt entitled to other people's things. What advice can I give my son on how to get his money back, or is it gone forever? -- PIGGY BANK ROBBERY

DEAR ROBBERY: That your ex would steal money from his son and stonewall about returning it is shameful. Tell your son you are sorry his father let him down, and that the money likely won't be returned.

Then advise him that because the piggy bank wasn't secure, it's time the two of you opened a bank account for him and that the signatories will be you and him. This will prevent a repeat of what happened. If it's an interest-bearing account, it will earn money while it's there instead of sitting idle with "Miss Piggy."

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