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Why We Should Always Read The Entire Letter!
Kelli Decides to Return to School
In the fall of 2011, my significant other Kelli decided that she was going to return to school for the spring semester. I had been encouraging her to pusue her goals and that there was no better time than the present, so this seemed like a great idea. After all, she was an intelligent and perceptive person, quite capable of excelling in the college world.
After a few weeks of studying brochures, researching online and several meetings with school counselors, Kelli decided upon a course of study. The next step was enrollment and the always pleasant financial aid application. Everything was falling into place.
Then came a fateful trip to the mailbox and a surprise that we never could have imagined.
Surprise in the Mailbox
One afternoon Kelli walks into the room holding up an official looking letter and announces that her daughter's father had filed for child support. It appeared that she owed $200 a month, retroactive for two years and that any money she received would be taken and applied to back child support.
I told her not to panic, that her ex and herself had arranged for childcare expenses without going through the court and advised her to talk with the father first. This seemed to be the best recourse at the time. I was certain it could be worked out with no hassle.
So the phone calls began and the situation got more confusing. After several calls to various agencies and courts back in Ohio it became apparent that there was no record of a child support judgement. How could this be? There has to be a record of these things.
In the mean time, the college enrollment was put on hold until the child support mess could be sorted out.
Her name is William?
Kelli has always been the type who likes to be independent and handle things on her own and I have never been the type of man who assumes I can fix another person's problems. So I offered advice when she asked for it and left the rest to her.
This went on for several months and she was becoming more and more frustrated with the whole situation. Phone calls were getting nowhere and the only avenue left untried was contacting her child's father, something she avoided out of stubborn anger.
It was at this time that I read the letter for the first time. There had to be some detail that we were missing.
So there it was, written at the top of the letter, the answer staring me in the face. The letter was addressed to a man named William. Apparently the previous resident in our apartment owed back child support and the notice was sent to his last known address.
It may not have been the right thing to do, but I couldn't keep from laughing. After a few seconds Kelli joined me in laughter. Imagine all the trouble that could have been avoided by simply reading the entire letter.