DEAR ABBY: I divorced my husband of 12 years. We were together for 16. We had a 4-year-old at the time we separated. To avoid possible loss of the 401(k) or to have to pay him alimony, I didn't ask him for child support. I knew he wasn't able to afford it at the time. He has since gotten a good job but hasn't offered to financially support his daughter. My new fiance has no respect for him because of this.
I have let it go to keep the peace so we can co-parent and my now-9-year-old daughter won't have to see what is going on. This is becoming a problem on holidays because we've always celebrated with her together. She has grown to love that we do this for her. However, my fiance doesn't want to be a part of those special moments. He doesn't think my daughter would mind, and he doesn't want to risk losing his cool in front of her.
This is putting a strain on our relationship. Is it wrong of me to want him to fake it so we can all get along? Or is he wrong to make other plans to avoid these situations? -- FOR HER SAKE IN GEORGIA
DEAR FOR HER SAKE: Because your ex-husband's employment circumstances have improved since the divorce, have a calm, adult conversation with him. Many exes would not have been as understanding as you have been. Because he can now afford it, he should share in the cost of raising his daughter. If you can reach an agreement, have an attorney draw up a document in writing. However, if he isn't willing to step up, contact a lawyer who specializes in family law to discuss what your next steps should be.
Also, with your new engagement, your personal circumstances have changed. Your fiance should not be compelled to interact with your ex if it makes him uncomfortable.