When Child Support Services FAILS
Readers, I am outraged, and I want to hear from YOU single parents of minors who are also outraged at the lack of enforcement by County Child Support Services!
Here's my story. I was married, had a baby, and left that marriage when our daughter was only a year old. The marriage involved domestic violence, so with answered prayers, God provided my way out. I got a job six months before we left and I was able to rent an apartment and pay child care on a $12.00 p/hour salary. My ex and I agreed to a meager $200 p/mo. in child support, via stipulation.
I waited two years before filing a child support case with the Department of Child Support Services in my county. When it was all said and done, my ex said he could only "afford" to pay $350 p/mo. This would include current support, half her child care and $45 p/mo. towards arrears. I agreed. Due to missed payments and a pile-up of arrears, he was put on probation in June 2004 through June 2005. Since then, he's now up $17,000 + in arrears.
What does DCSS do? I requested a contempt hearing in 2008, and after two "continuations", a hearing was supposedly held in November. No Order After Hearing ~ no action was taken!!
Due to the recession, I became unemployed between December 2008 and May 2010, living on the maximum weekly benefit amount of only $475.00 p/week. I couldn't afford health insurance, so my parents jumped in to keep me covered. My daughter was covered by Healthy Families ~ that's how little income I was making. I cashed in my retirement account to pay off debts so we could make it without losing our home. I have been responsible to never be late on bills, including my mortgage.
I saw a pattern develop in child support payments: he would pay one month; skip two; pay one; skip two. What did DCSS say? "He has to be delinquent for three payments in a row before we enforce"???? OK ~ he's allowed to make four of twelve payments a year. Nice. DCSS will simply put his missed payments on his "tab". What about us?! Let's test DCSS and the court system a little more....In August of 2009 child support payments stopped completely! It's been over a year now! He's got it all figured out. He's only dealing with a barking 'dog' that has no teeth!! That's what DCSS and the Courts amount to. And if he's figured this out, how many more Obligors laugh at the threat of child support collections?
Are you outraged? I keep hearing from other mothers that had child support cases open in other counties where their ex'es got put in jail for missing a payment, or for unpaid arrears. Why don't they at least have him on probation?! Ha, ha ~ I asked this question of DCSS and it turns out he was ON probation when he was doing the one-on, two-off payments! What a joke!
He has no JOB to garnish. He has no BANK ACCOUNT to lien. Why? He's allowed to be in his own "cash-based" business. THAT'S WHY THERE'S DCSS and COURT ORDERED AMOUNTS, right? They could force him to seek work. Instead, he claims he's filing for disability....poor guy. So on we go with the "wait to enforce" syndrome. Where's the accountability? Where's the enforcement? So what ~ they suspended his driver's license. He still drove. They put a stop on his passport. He still went overseas several times! Come on ~ what's wrong with this picture?
I FINALLY had HOPE when DCSS officially charged him with contempt after a year's missed payments. He was officially arraigned, pleaded 'not guilty' (haha) and was assigned a public defender. His hearing was held............only to be continued AGAIN for three more months! What?! Turns out they are giving him time to get his 'disability', for which he's now filed. If he does manage to manipulate the disability system, the courts can no longer force him to seek work. He knows what he's doing. Wicked is as wicked does. He's never filed disability before now ~ can't they 'see' the writing on the wall?
I finally consulted an attorney. Guess what ~ I can have an attorney file a notice of delinquency. This will put a 6% p/mo. interest charge on his arrears owed and will increase that amount by up to 78% within a year. It's not like he'll ever pay it. If such a motion can't accomplish anything, other than a greater tab; if the County isn't responsible to do what they say they're going to do; if it's the State's responsibility or the Fed's responsibility, we need to find out. We need to get to the bottom of this issue for children all over America.
I even emailed my Congressman and Governor, and the News. Obviously, they have far more important things to concern themselves with. I'm just ONE MOM out here in this Country, in this County. How many countess others are being "victimized" by exes and the judicial system that is supposed to be intolerant of 'silver-tongued devils'?!!!
Please leave your story ~ your comments ~ this is an attempt to get some attention to this matter via the WEB. Let's MAKE SOME NOISE, Mothers (and Fathers, too) out there!!! Our children are to be taken care of! I HAVE NO EXCUSE not to take care of her!! Why is he given an excuse(s)? He doesn't have custody of her, so I take ALL the responsibility, including every penney of the financial end, too? DO SOMETHING, GOVERNMENT; DO SOMETHING!!!