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Thread: Child Support

  1. #1
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Child Support

    I hope this isn't overtly political. I feel that no matter which side of the aisle your leanings move toward, you can't help but feel that the child support system is broken once you hear my story, and that of my friends. The main reason I'm posting this here is to find out if anyone else is or has experienced similar circumstances.

    As you may well know, I reconciled with the mother of my son back in March, and she and our child moved in with me in April. We have lived together now for 7 months, during which time I lost my job back in July. I had been under a child support order, and even before I lost my job, both she and I went to the court to try to get the support order lifted. The court refused, and said that her word that we were living together and caring for our child together wasn't good enough to end the support order. We were told we'd have to pay $150 to file a motion with the court to get the order lifted. Then came July when I was fired from my job, didn't receive unemployment, although after the fact, in two separate cases, my former employer was found to have fired me without cause and also forged documents to deny me unemployment benefits, though I still received no monetary judgment. Obviously, when you're not making anything, you can't pay anything, any type of bill whatsoever, and I fell behind in quite a few areas, one of which was my child support for the son who was living under my roof. The agency started coming after me for arrears, have filed an order to take my tax return, threatened to suspend my license, etc. We filed our motion to have the support order lifted, and without so much as hearing any testimony from either myself or my son's mother, our motion was denied. So, our next step was to request a state hearing, which was also denied without us once getting to tell our story to a court, judge or magistrate. I appealed that decision, and requested a state hearing yet again, and once more my request was denied without the opportunity to speak to anyone with the authority to make such a decision. We both agree that it doesn't make sense that we should be paying a state agency to funnel our money (because we share expenses, we feel that the money brought in by each of us is OUR money). On top of that, they have imposed a medical insurance order requiring that both she and I carry separate health insurance coverage for our son, even though the doctors only accept one insurance provider for health care, which is another $200 a month that is basically thrown away for no good reason. We've been told by the CSEA that the only way to get the support order lifted is for us to get married, and whether or not I want to do that, I feel is moot, I don't believe a state agency should require us to marry simply so that we can stop having them take money from us to give us money back for the support of our son. If we did want to get married, it would be nice if we could make that decision on our own when we were financially able to give her the type of wedding that I feel she deserves.

    Another friend of mine has had custody of his two kids since last May when he got them back from his ex-wife, yet he is still being ordered to pay her child support each month when she only has them for one weekend out of the month.

    Still another friend has a joint custody plan with his ex-wife where they each have their two kids for six months out of the year, but because he makes $70,000 more a year than she does, he's required to pay her $825 a month in child support even during the six months of the year when he has the children.

    Where are decisions like this helping the kids? How can an agency claiming to be in the best interests of families behave in such a manner as to hurt those that it is set up to help?

    I don't understand it.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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  3. #2
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    Alternatively, why should the court rescind the child support order every time people get back together? There are people out there with kids who are on again, off again like they are in a high school relationship. They would be in and out of court all the time. The only way to prove otherwise is to get married.

    That's why I personally don't see a problem with anything that's happening here. Go get a marriage license, you're living with her and you have a kid, the opportunity for her dream wedding passed you by already. If you're financially able to throw a big party down the road then have a ball, but right now the right thing to do for that child is to get married. You're wasting money otherwise for no good reason that I can see except that you think she deserves a huge wedding. She's not who either of you should be putting first at this point.
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
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  4. #3
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful View Post
    The only way to prove otherwise is to get married.
    savafan, I think Redsfaithful has the solution!
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  5. #4
    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    Pesonally, I don't think it should matter if they're married or not. If the mother comes to the court and decides for whatever reason that she doesn't want child support payment then it shouldn't be forced upon the man. I know a case where a mother has by-passed child support payment from her ex (who isn't involved in anyway and basically ran out) so that she doesn't feel obligated to ever share custody of her kids. This includeds 1 mentally handicapped kid, and 2 that are now in college that she's basically raised on her own for however long now. Presumably her ex is a *****, but if she doesn't want to press for child support so that she can feel comfortable knowing that she's doing it all on her own and won't feel obliged to force her kids to be a part of her ex's life (I don't think the kids want any part of their father from what I've been told) then that should be her right.

    We've all heard the stories of guys paying child support who later learn that the child is not theres, have proved it thru DNA records and still struggle to get the child support payments removed. Unfortunately there have been a lot of dead beats who have made the system as much of a struggle as it has. Good luck in your situation.

  6. #5
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    I deal with criminal nonsupport cases all the time and all I can say is that each county is different. If you want to fight it without getting married, your best bet is to hire an attorney familiar with the CSEA and Domestic Relations court in your county and ask them what you should do. I don't think anyone outside your county can give you advice without knowing the policies in that county. The other option is to get married.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  7. #6
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    One thing to keep in mind is that the basic principal of child support is that it is a duty owed to the child aNd not the custodial parent. The financial situation and/or wishes of the custodial parent may be taken into account, but the court is not required to do so if it feels its not in the best interest of the child. (Legal information, not advice).
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  8. #7
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    RF, you make a moderately valid point, and we had already decided to get married before I posted this... we've just decided to move the date up now, because she's more angry about this situation than I am. Tell me though, what is to stop a couple from getting married just to put an end to the support order and then terminate the marriage, particularly since I've discovered that it's cheaper to get married than it is to attempt to fight the CSEA in court.

    After she told them that we wanted to stop the support, they send notice today that they have more than doubled my monthly payments beginning next month, taking roughly 50% of my pay to send back to us... after they take their poundage of course. This is seriously bordering on harassment. There is no need to increase the support payments from $337 a month to $712, particularly since she's now making more than she was when she filed, plus working overtime. It's a last chance cash grab on their part, and I had several people in law tell me today that they don't see what legal ground they have to stand on.

    Also, my fiancee called CSEA today to tell them we're getting married, and they told her now that just getting married isn't enough to lift the support order, we'll still have to pay to file another motion and get it approved. Seriously, they still want to be paid to put our money on a debit card that only she has access to and has limitations placed on it.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

  9. #8
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    This is typical of dealing with a big, bureaucratic gov't. This is how I would have handled it:

    Have your girlfriend write you a check for whatever the childsupport was, say $500. Then you in turn make a $500 child support payment to whatever place you were supposed to be making the payment. Your girlfriend the gets her money back. Problem solved.

  10. #9
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    This is typical of dealing with a big, bureaucratic gov't. This is how I would have handled it:

    Have your girlfriend write you a check for whatever the childsupport was, say $500. Then you in turn make a $500 child support payment to whatever place you were supposed to be making the payment. Your girlfriend the gets her money back. Problem solved.
    The problem is that I don't get to just make a payment, they garnish it out of my paycheck.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

  11. #10
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    The problem is that I don't get to just make a payment, they garnish it out of my paycheck.
    So if you're out of work they don't let you make your payments? There has to be some method of making payments if you lose or change jobs.

  12. #11
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    So if you're out of work they don't let you make your payments? There has to be some method of making payments if you lose or change jobs.
    Oh, there is, you send a money order. However, if you change jobs, you have to report it immediately or else face fines or possible jail time for contempt.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

  13. #12
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    I know that some states, like Texas, have privatized portions of their public assistance, including child support. Is there a private company handling the financial part of this? If so, that may be part of what's making it hard for your family to unring this bell.

    It's a separate layer of corporate bureaucracy that does the government's bidding. Instead of low-paid government drones who operate inflexibly within a tight set of rules, you deal with corporate drones whose employer has a financial incentive to keep you in the system.

  14. #13
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    Tell me though, what is to stop a couple from getting married just to put an end to the support order and then terminate the marriage, particularly since I've discovered that it's cheaper to get married than it is to attempt to fight the CSEA in court.
    Well, for starters, when you go to Domestic Relations court and get a divorce, the DR Judge or Magistrate will put a provision for child support into the divorce decree and you'll be right back where you started. The only way to avoid paying child support for children under 18 is to get married and stay married or die. Again, although it is paid to the custodial parent, child support is money you owe to your child, not your baby mama (sorry to put it in such crass terms).

    The amount you pay is based on your ability to support your kids, not how much your baby mama makes. Each county CSEA and DR court can set its own standards for determining how and when to terminate support payments for people in your situation. I suspect the authorities in your county is being such pains in the behind so as to prevent situations you just described, where unmarried couples with kids work out some agreement to get married, but it's really just a sham marriage just to allow the father to get out of paying child support.

    I really am sympathetic to your situation. There seems to be a lack of consistency from county to county in this state when it comes to how these cases are handled. From talking with friends, family and acquaintances in similar situations, urban counties tend to be much more difficult with non-custodial parents because they have a high number of deadbeat parents, whereas some rural counties tend to be more easy going. For example, I know a dad whose divorce went through in a large urban county who has to pretty much buy his kids shoes, clothes and school supplies because the mom is using the child support that should go to her kids for her own use (even though she is remarried and has a new husband to support her) and he can't get rid of support payments. Even when he's been out of work, he's had a heck of a time getting support reduced, so that his new wife was essentially supporting him, her own children with him, his children with his ex, and his ex-wife. Meanwhile, a neighbor who is a custodial parent has her case in a neighboring rural county and her deadbeat ex keeps getting his payments reduced or suspended, yet gets his visitation time increased. Her ex has substantial arrears, yet has never faced criminal charges for nonsupport. Of course there are exceptions to both cases, so don't take this as suggesting you should move to the next county and try to get your case moved there to avoid dealing with your current situation.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  15. #14
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    Interesting, my fiancee dug out the original paperwork from when she filed 2 years ago, and in it, here is what Hamilton County CSEA says:

    Child Support must stop if:

    Your child marries before age 18.
    Your child joins the armed forces.
    Your child becomes self supporting before age 18.
    Your child comes to live with you and you obtain legal custody.
    You die or your child dies.
    Someone else adopts your child.
    You and the other parent begin or resume living together.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

  16. #15
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Child Support

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    Oh, there is, you send a money order. However, if you change jobs, you have to report it immediately or else face fines or possible jail time for contempt.
    Fine. Have your girlfriend front you the money and then send in a money order. Why can't you do that? It's a lot less hassle than what you're going through now.


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