So, Matt's bio dad has been a non entity. Other than the random visits through his very early years that I could count on my fingers (and not use them all) and other than the brief couple of months he let M move in with him when M was rebelling years ago, he has not been a factor in difficult child's life. No phone calls, cards, gifts, visits, child support, letters, nothing. For past year or so there was so sporatic contact between him and M. M really stood up for himself and when his father promised xyz, M would call him on it and basically tell him to just DO something, no talk ahead, do it and THEN tell him because his word meant nothing. M called him on never contributing financially in spite of a good paying job. M really has dealt with his bio dad well, in terms of not listening to crud and lies and when he calls his dad out, he does it with a calm and polite yet assertive manner. I've been really proud of M !!! So, bio dad sent M money to buy school clothes. We were both shocked. Beyond shocked. He made another financial promise to M at that time, again said thank you for school $, please don't promise what you won't do because I'm done dealing with that and it will affect our fledgling new relationship. Bio dad followed through. Shock?!?!?! Puts in mildly. Seems bio dad really can be made to feel the shame that should exist in empty lies and promises to your own child. Bio dad told M last weekend that he wanted to get difficult child a cell phone. difficult child said he didn't need it, he doesn't use the phone at home anyhow so a cell is a waste of $. Well bio dad has NEVER called here, in spite of M telling him that I wouldn't do anything but answer and hand the phone to M (which is the truth , I have nothing to say to him). Bio dad said he'd feel more comfortable calling difficult child on his own phone, and even if difficult child didn't use the voice minutes in the plan, he could at least enjoy the text and the internet usage etc on the phone. Anyhow, M figured it was another one of his dads "things", offering something and it not happening. Well last night difficult child got a email from bio dad, a copy of the order confirmation for the telephone and the plan selected for data/voice minutes etc. So bio dad did follow through. The phone should arrive by courier tomorrow, and the bill is set up for auto pay each month on bio dads pay schedule. M mentioned to bio dad a while back that he wants... NEEDS... college tuition/books money. He passed on that I would forfeit the amount provided to difficult child for college from the severe arrears that bio dad owes me in child support and that I'd sign a legal document exhonerating him for the portion he gives to difficult child for college. Bio dad didn't want to believe I would do that. Funny since I've never taken him in the past 17 years back to court about his unpaid support. I figured eventually he'd get sick of having no drivers license, no credit cards, no bank loans, being unable to get a mortgage etc and sick of having a phenomenally awful credit report which can impact access to jobs etc. He still hasnt' paid but I've not once contacted him, a lawyer or the court about it. So no reason for him to think I'd not do this. My feeling is, if he coughed up some support direct to me, it would be paying for M's college anyhow. So since he will NEVER agree to pay me a red penny, why not get him to pay direct to difficult child and deduct it from my support arrears. Anyhow, M brought it up on the weekend again too and told his dad it is ridiculous that he take a loan with high interest to pay for college when he has a parent who spent nothing in 17 years but a few hundred bucks ONCE for school clothes, and a promise to pay a monthly cell plan. He told him well you have a good job and it would perhaps give you some pride to say you actually did something to contribute to the child you did bring into the world after all. He also told him that if he didn't step up to help him when he's workign hard at something he hates (school!), he can't see him having a relationship with him because a adult relationship is based on respect and it is earned. He told his dad it is time to earn it. M told me this morning he had a email from his dad that said he was going to speak to a lawyer about setting a account for M for college and ensuring there is enough there upon graduation, provided I do sign something first saying it counts towards his support. I told M to relay to his dad I would gladly sign something that states he gets deducted provided the account can be accessed by difficult child ONLY (not bio dad) and the terms would be: Each dollar provided to teh account for COLLEGE gets deducted from arrears but any additional funds provided to difficult child are GIFTS from a parent, NOT support, NOT college funds, NOT deductions. I said ALL funds to that particular account will be considered college funds, not birthday gifts, xmas gifts, grad gift, allowance, clothing money etc. That his dad should know this doesn't mean he doesn't still provide those gifts etc for difficult child. I dont' want to get my hopes up for M getting the funds. I am so proud of him that he speaks for himself and has expectations of his dad in order to build a relationship. I don't see M taking advantage or requesting anything. He didn't ask for clothing $, he didn't ask (or even want) a cell phone. He should be able to count on his dad to pay college. It should be additional to his support payments for the past 17 years that he hasnt' paid me. However I'm perfectly fine doing it this way. Good thoughts would come in handy right now. difficult child is prepared to live at home and I'll support him through college. I do NOT have the income or ability to take a loan, for him to attend post secondary. If he gets a loan for living money, his father still SHOULD provide help for tuition etc given the deal he's getting in return. I am feeling cautiously optimistic.