Family maintenance got you down?

Over the years I’ve heard many stories about families separating and it’s usually the women and children that get the blunt end of the stick.

Separations are never easy and custody battles make them that much more difficult, but can be made easier when there is a deadbeat father in the picture.

My hat goes out to the women that continue to struggle through financial and emotional stress along with mental fatigue all the while raising their children and trying to make a better life for them at the same time.

I’ve written about a lady last year that saved up her 5% down payment then bought a house after receiving her college diploma and raising three children on her own without any financial support from the children’s father. The father wasn’t in the picture at the time, nor provided any financial support to his children whatsoever-and likely still doesn’t.

One always hopes that you never hear more of these stories, but there are likely many hundreds of them out there in Red Deer alone.

The most recent story I heard is of another lady that was happily married with three children, then without warning, her husband left never to return. She too raised her children while going to school to obtain an education so that she can earn a higher income. For years he didn’t see the children, but they did have an agreement, he’d pay her $377/month child support for three kids.

Wow, what a man! Three hundred and seventy-seven bucks to feed, clothe and house three growing children. With all of the extra money she has I bet the kids are getting excited for their annual trip to Disneyland.

Here’s the kicker, he’s been in the oilfield for many years, is now a self-employed consultant (we all know how much many of them enjoy telling us how much they earn), but keeps his personal income low for tax and child support purposes. So he’s out there likely driving a $50,000 truck, living in a decent house, taking a few vacations with his new family (oh yeah, remarried with another child) all the while the other family suffers through trying to make ends meet every month.

The good thing here is that she’s getting her day in court for a review and he’s trying to hide his income from the judge, like it’s the judge’s first day! Silly man, tricks are for kids, not judges!

She’s likely going to get an increase to what he’s currently paying but probably not all that she’s deserved as she cannot afford her own lawyer.

You are likely wondering what this has to do with mortgages, but it goes back to our basic instinct of success and shelter. Her goal is to buy a house and she wanted a plan to figure out how she can obtain one in the next 12-18 months.

A couple of times a year there’s a woman that comes through my door that despite what’s put in front of her raises her children without much or any assistance from her previous relationship. They overcome many struggles, and move on regardless of what’s put in front of them.

The best part is, once in a while some of these guys come in to my office to apply for a mortgage earning a strong oilfield income- often times acting all tough- not thinking of what’s to come once I see family maintenance listed on the credit bureau. At first they play sympathy card, but oops, wrong mortgage agent!

Jean-Guy Turcotte is an Accredited Mortgage Professional with Dominion Lending Centres-Regional Mortgage Group and can be contacted for appointments or questions at 403-343-1125 or emailed to