The husband may play the role of breadwinner. The wife may play the role of organizer of the couple’s social life.The husband may be responsible for maintenance and repairs, while the wife is responsible for routine housecleaning. Lurking beneath those roles for both parties is a sense of power and importance to the relationship. The husband may feel because he earns more than the wife that he should have a greater say in the expenses of the family.The wife may feel because she is responsible for the majority of the shopping, social organizing, purchasing of clothing, and even payment of the family bills that she ought to be in charge of money.These power struggles are normal and occur in successful as well as unsuccessful marriages. The greatest breakdown along power lines is when these normal struggles turn into abuse. Alimony lawyers agree, for example, when the husband’s influence over family finances turns into secret bank accounts, secret credit cards, and ultimately a secret second life, the marriage is in real trouble. When the parties separate and divorce, this secrecy results in inevitable conflict.The husband will typically become even tighter with the family dollar as he perceives himself as the economic victim of the separation and divorce. He will feel he has the responsibility to earn all of the money and yet is deprived of the ability to influence the expenses. The wife will feel the strong urge to maintain the family lifestyle and/or compel strict compliance with a court support order. Now the power game is in full swing.Wives who do not receive the support they either expect or are entitled will play the role of victim and exaggerate her financial shortfall in assertions of false desperation.Husbands will intentionally manufacture reasons not to pay. She has a boyfriend – why should I have to pay her money? She is living in my house – why should I have to pay for her to do whatever she wants to do while I cannot even enter my own home? I am paying money for support but she does not use the money for the children. She took the children to the doctor without telling me. Why should I be responsible for co-pays and prescription costs?An alimony lawyer knows all of these comments are cries of frustration. When the husband exercises his thinly stretched outrage over his perception of the wife’s conduct by failing to pay support to the wife, he is exercising his power. The exercise of power is, however, fruitless. The wife will almost always be in position to strike back.If the husband violates a court order, he may well be sanctioned and be required to pay the wife’s legal fees for enforcement of the court’s order. If the husband pays support short and the wife fails to pay a bill that is in the husband’s name or in joint names, both parties’ credit will suffer. When the husband fails to pay support and the wife tells the children that they cannot have something that was previously a routine expenditure of the family, this childish exercise of power has just struck the children right between the eyes.Once the children become aware of the details of the support that is supposed to be paid and is not being paid, they inevitably blame themselves for the breakup. It may feel good for the husband to withhold support and flex his muscles in the short term, but in the long term it will backfire and hurt the husband, the wife, and the children. Once it starts, it is difficult to stop.If you make payments in cash, direct to the custodial parent and do not have proof, you will not get a credit from the support collection agency unless the other parent acknowledges receipt of those payments. In other words, you will be treated like a criminal if the court or support collection agency believes you have unpaid support.The truth will not come out without a highly organized presentation and proof of payments made or reasons for unpaid support. Mistakes can be made. You can be incarcerated, embarrassed, and inconvenienced as a result of mistakes made by the support collection agency.Assume that every payment you make will be challenged at some point. Keep excellent records, retain pay stubs, checks, copies of money orders, or any other proof of payments in sequential order and ready for presentation at any time.If a child is emancipated and you make payments beyond the date of emancipation and the money is paid off to the custodial parent or alimony recipient, the support collection agency will usually do nothing to help you get your money back.It is unfair and unjust, but it is the truth. Be prepared for it.