Arrears still accumulating after adjustment.

Reply Sun 25 May, 2014 08:50 pm
I was in an extremely mentally, emotionally and sometime physically abusive relationship. My son's mother literally cared almost nothing for him. Even going so far as to scream at me for him wanting to see her when she came home from work to get him away from her so she could watch tv in peace. My son's mother and I split up after three years of being together after I had had enough of putting myself through her tyranny. That was three years ago. Upon my sons mother and I separating I went to the child support office and told them that my sons mother had been harassing me for money and even threatening to not let me see my son anymore if I didn't give her so much of my paycheck. After selling the two cars that I owned and bankrupting myself to give her money she still threatened to cut off my visitations ( which were not court ordered, the CSEA had not even filed a case against me yet). After a time I became fed up with her using my son as tool to get back at me for leaving her. A child should NEVER be used the way she did my son. Needless to say I was a bit enraged. I went to the child support office in the county I live in and I ASKED them if I could open a case so I could start paying child support so she would stop harassing me for money that I didn't have. They proceeded to inform me that unless she or the state actually filed a case against me they couldn't do anything about her harassing me and using my son as a tool to hurt. At the time I was employed with her aunts boyfriend making a substantial amount of money. About a thousand dollars a week. Shortly after my visit to the child support office I received a letter telling me that since she filed for a medical card I would be ordered to pay child support. This was not an issue for me because I am a firm believer that a father whether with the mother or not has a financial obligation to his child. So I went to a hearing to establish how much I would be paying monthly. Since I was well off at the time making almost a thousand a week I knew that I would be paying a substantial amount of money. Again that was fine with me. I would have given all of my money to see my son. They ordered me to pay around 480$ a week. I was fine with that. But shortly after I was fired from my job ( remember I was employed by my ex's aunts boyfriend who upon our break up demanded he stop employing me). After I was fired I went to the child support office to tell them that I was was no longer employed. All they asked of me was my name then assured me that they "would take care of it". I assumed that all was good. About 6 months later I received a letter telling me that I was 6 months behind on my child support. I was still unemployed at the time as I live in a rural area and having sold the only two vehicles I own to satisfy her greed I had no vehicle to get me to a job. So I was behind 480$ a week for 6 months. Do the math. After I received the letter I went to the child support office, naturally confused and angry and asked them how it was possible that I was behind so much. You have to understand that I had never had dealings with them before and had no idea how the system worked. They informed me that as soon as I was unemployed I should have come to them and asked for an adjustment to the amount of child support I was ordered to pay. What? I told them that I had been in the very week I was unemployed and that they had assured me they would take care of it. They automatically assumed I was a liar because in order for them to have adjusted my income I should have filed a paper asking for an adjustment and since I didn't at the time it obviously wasn't true. So I did. I gave them all of the information that they asked and hand delivered it to my case worker. I found a job with a previous employer that was within walking distance of where I lived at the time making LESS than a quarter of what I was making when the order was filed. Upon becoming employed again my first action even before my first day of work was to go to the child support office and tell them I had found employment. They had me fill out paper work telling them my employers name and rate of pay and whatever. So I started working. My first couple of checks were what I expected them to be. Barely enough to survive but more than I had. My next check however was for about 35$. That's for two weeks of work! I immediately went to the child support office and demanded to know why they were trying to put me on the street by taking almost everything I made. They again informed me that because I was making so much when the child support order was filed that they based the amount they were taking from me on that. So. Once again. I filed for an adjustment to my payment. Three or four months went by with me making 30 or 40 dollars a paycheck ( even a low of 25 dollars on one). And this was for two weeks of work. So I went to my county's child support office and asked them why they hadn't given me an adjustment hearing yet. They had my case worker come out with my file and tell me that I hadn't submitted all the necessary information for them to grant me a hearing. I assured them that I had and as I watched my caseworker thumb through all of the paperwork I had given them she noticed that two pages were stuck together. The information she thought I had not provided was in my file the whole time. She actually looked at me and LAUGHED! In my face. I had spent the past four months working for 25 to 35 dollars every two weeks because she didn't care enough to contact me or thoroughly do her job and she laughed about it. I later found out that my ex has a lot of family friends that work in this particular office. Though I can't prove it I am convinced that that had something to do with it. My question is where Is my justice? Even after I finally managed to get an adjustment hearing they lowered my payments 30$. So I work a job making at most 250$ a week but they still expect me to pay nearly 450$ a week. Also on top of that they are taking an extra 30$ for back support. Which means even after an adjustment, even with me paying child support every paycheck. I am still wracking up close to 200 dollars a paycheck in back support. I have been waiting for a sherif to show up at my house with a warrant for my arrest for months now. For not paying my child support. Even though I pay. Every time I get paid. What am I supposed to do? There is so much injustice in my case that I am at times literally I'll. but what bothers me the most is how the people treat me when I go to the child support office. They look at me like I am a piece of garbage because I can't afford to make the full payments on my support. They look at me like I'm an insect. Even going so far as to insult me to my face. I can't say anything though. During one memorable experience at their office I witnessed a man chased from the office and threatened with arrest for DARING to stand up for himself. After seeing that what could I possibly do? Why is it that men get treated like garbage when from my experience and from other men like me I've talked to they have done nothing but loved their children? Why is it a crime for a man to leave an abusive woman? Why is it that women can claim a man is abusive and receive all the sympathy and help they could ever need but when a man is put in their shoes they are just a piece of crap? I want to know what is wrong with the child support system where a man who has done everything to show he cares for, and is willing, and even wants to support his child, is treated like I am. What can I do? Help me.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 07:02 am
They're called lawyers. Get one. Your own advocating for yourself is worthless and you obviously are VERY bad at it. Avoiding a lawyer might well get your well meaning butt locked up.
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Reply Mon 26 May, 2014 07:55 am
By now you have hopefully fully realized that the child support office is not your advocate. They do not represent your best interests. And you should never assume that they do. That was your first mistake. That person is not "your" case worker, they are representing the interests of the State, which are more closely aligned with the interests of the mother of your son.

If your circumstances have changed (i.e., you lose your job and your income is reduced), it is incumbent upon you to "notify" the Court of this fact. That notification does not mean you call up the local child support office to tell them. Or that you physically walk into their office. That is not a proper "filing." Might that result in a reduction in your child support? Possibly, I suppose. Or possibly not. Why would you leave that to chance? You should have filed with the Clerk of the Court a Petition or Motion to reduce your child support based on your lower income, and served a copy of the motion on your son's mother. I assume the law in your jurisdiction is that your child support cannot be reduced retroactively, meaning that only the support obligations AFTER you filed your Petition to modify can ultimately be modified. You may be out of luck trying to convince a judge that your pre-filing ordered payments should be reduced. The judge probably does not have the jurisdiction to reduce those.

You speak of an "adjustment." What was adjusted? Did the Court ORDER that your current child support is reduced down from $430/week (which, by the way, is a very high amount, IMO), to some lower monthly amount? Did you actually see a copy of the signed order? The order will usually contain two orders for payments: one is the amount of your current support obligation, and the second is the additional amount you are ordered to pay toward your arrearage. The arrearage will continue to grow by the amount of your current monthly support obligation that you do not pay. That arrearage will also accumulate interest on the unpaid amount.
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