Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Child Support

So, if you've been with me from the beginning of this blog (a whopping 4 months lol) then you know a few things about me, one of which is that I have an ex husband. He was not a nice man. Oh, that's unfair. He was nice enough before we got married, but we got married too soon. Hell, I was 16. Anyw3ay- the marriage wasn't a pleasant place to be, not a great memory in my life. That sucks, not for the years I gave him - they were my doing, my choice, my loss. It's sad for the boys though, who haven't seen their father once in 13 years. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that he hasn't been interested in being involved in their lives. I wouldn't want that kind of man to have anything to do with raising my children, and though his absence has obviously had an effect on their lives, it has been preferable to having his presence influence them.

I suppose what I'm saying is that I wish he had been a different kind of person. One who wasn't so fucked up inside, one I didn't have to protect myself and my children from. One who would have stayed close enough to his children to feel like contributing to their financial support at least.

Thirteen years is a long time, he remembers them, no doubt, as 2 little boys, 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 and after all this time, I'm sure that's vague - easily pushed to the back of one's mind. The thing is, he's court ordered to pay support. Get this, a whopping $238 a month. I know people who get twice that for one kid, and he won't pay that.
That's less than $30 a week per kid.

So he and his wife and at least one child that I know of live in Tennessee, changing jobs as often as necessary to evade the wage garnishing. And through the miracle of red-tape and interstate legalities, has managed to do it for years. He owes over $14,000 in arrears, and hasn't paid a cent yet this year. By law, I'm supposed to get his tax refunds, and can't get them either, because one year he claimed the boys and got a few grand back in earned income credit, but got caught by the IRS and all of his refunds now go to pay back the government. So, between whatever IRS loopholes he's going through by filing married filing jointly with his wife, and the gov't taking his part of the refund, we still get nothing. North Carolina's court system can't do much about it because he lives in Tn, and Tn apparently isn't doing anything either.

So I looked him up online. I have for years (for some damn reason) remembered his SS# and now I know his address and telephone number. The question is, what the hell do I do with it? My evil female mind has been through plenty of ideas. First, to harrass him. Call him day and night - write letters to him and his family. Yeah, ok, a little psycho/Jerry Springer right? OK we won't do that. How about I post this info all over the internet - hope someone steals his pathetic identity and screws him over really good. OK, I know him well enough to know it isn't like he has a lot of credit or anything, even an identity thief couldn't do much with his credit.

I can't afford a private lawyer or the trips to Tn, which would be necessary, since the state of NC turned over the case to Tn, it's now in Tn jurisdiction. I've called those places, like SupportKids.com or whatever, and they take like 1/4 of the settlement, plus a cut of any money I get from him between now and then.

So, just like the last 13 years, my kids go without, and I'm at a loss.
Any ideas?

8 comments:

  1. If he was getting away with anything, living the high life (or even affording holidays) I would say go for it - I have been where you are.Your kids are adult or near adult after all this time? The most important thing is to give them no way they could compare you to dad, but to know they have one parent who plays fair and by the rules. Their attitudes a) to the law and b) about their 'rights', are way more important to their future happiness than things being fair right now. I know it sucks.
    (((((((you))))))

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  2. Ooh I just realised - you're the Erin on Pocketful of Poesy. Brilliant work! :-D

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  3. Hi you! Enjoyed your work over there too. Isn't Fiona an absolute doll?

    And yes, I've tried for years to "be the bigger person" but right now, with his address in hand, it feels like a weapon lol. In all honesty, I'd like to hunt him down and strangle him! He better be glad I have such an aversion to the idea of touching him at all :)

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  4. I don't know if this will help, but ammunition is always good.

    http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/

    and

    http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cse/extinf.htm

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  5. Anonymous6:20 PM

    A sign of our times, Erin, single mothers having to pick up the pieces and carry on. I hope you can get some satisfaction. Millard

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  6. Well, luckily I'm not single, and my husband is wonderful about doing whatever needs to be done.

    And re:satisfaction - not yet, but someday - even if it's only in knowing that in the end, he'll get his >:)

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  7. Well, they take 1/4 of the money...is it better to get 3/4 or nothing?

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  8. Ahh Dougy-sahn! If I could guarantee that he'd PAY that 3/4 I'd go for it!

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