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I May Be Spending Christmas In Jail

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posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:11 PM
I’ll know December 10th. I’ve been in the Family Court system for over 17yrs. During that time I’ve spent a great deal of time with my two kids (every weekend when they were young) and always paid child support. Over those years I’ve been able to increase my income from the mid $50s into the six-figures. My child support has gone up all along as well. When I was doing well, I was paying $2400/mo plus their health insurance and every odd expense that came up. Also over those years I’ve driven to get my kids and then bring them home on the weekends we’ve been together. That’s 4 trips each weekend. Conservatively I estimate I’ve driven over 136,000 miles or just over half way to the moon.

Over this same time my ex, who graduated with honors and later went on to get a teaching certificate (which she has never used), reports that year after year she earns about $16k. In our state the first $20k doesn’t count on the mother’s side. Financial documents came to light in late 2007 showing that she makes this $16k by working about 30hrs a month at $42.50/hr. That works out to about $88k if she worked fulltime.

As the economy took a dive between ’07 and ’08 my business suffered mightily. By this time I was only paying for one child at the rate of $800/mo (plus health insurance) on annual income in the $30s. By late summer of ’08 my daughter was preparing to enter college. Her mother refused to help her and I was on the financial ropes. But I was able to sell some assets to free-up my credit and able to qualify for a Parent PLUS loan whereby I could pay for her first year (except for what her Stafford loan covered). So I was paying about $18k or 87.5 weeks of child support. This covered room, board, tuition, fees, health insurance…

By Spring of ’09 my wife and I were losing our home (and my business). I explained to my daughter that she would have to convince her mother to help her with school since as much as I wanted to I was without options. My wife and I desperately waded through the government’s homeowner assistance programs, spoke regularly with our bank and I worked non-stop to find work or new business to stop the bleeding.

My ex refused to help my daughter and she was forced to withdraw from school. The two of us worked on her resume and finding her a job. A week later her mother relented and cosigned a loan for her. A few weeks later my wife and I got a letter from an attorney saying our home was in foreclosure. Not many days later the sheriff is at my door. Naturally I’m assuming it’s about the foreclosure. It’s not. My ex has filed a contempt of court complaint over non-payment of child support. And alleging that I had not made payments (in 2007) which I had and for which I had provided her attorney with copies of the checks in question. She was alleging $20k in back support since the money I had paid for my daughter’s college didn’t count.

I went to court on November 5th. I gave the judge chapter and verse about my payments, my having paid for my daughter’s college and my current financial peril and impending foreclosure. He took it under advisement. The same day my wife and I finally learned that we had been approved for the mortgage modification program and that our foreclosure had been stopped, I learned that I had to pay $2500 by Dec. 10th as partial payment against arrears, enter a weekly job search program at the court and do two days of community service each week (you know, the guys picking-up trash on the highway). Not to mention the 300 miles of driving each week and the gas expense involved. Otherwise, I go to jail.

Had I not paid for my daughter’s college she would have been off child support and there would be no arrears. But because I did what I sincerely believe to be in the best interest of my child --- get her into college --- her support would continue and I would be punished.

So now I’m faced with a desperate decision. Do I take the money that my wife and I had set aside to pay our (now modified) mortgage and go to jail on the 10th? Or do I pay the $2500 to my ex and see my wife’s and my home go back into foreclosure?

Is it just me or does the family court system just not get it? Why am I run through the wringer yet my ex, who is entirely capable of working, gets to skate and do nothing financially for the kids? Just since 2002 I've paid over $140k in support (not counting what I paid for my child's college). During that same period she has only earned about $130k.

Merry frigging Christmas...

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:17 PM
Sorry to hear that.

... but is it in the right forum? Haha!

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:22 PM
Sad story. I understand it perfectly because I pay child support and reallized it is tilted in favor of women.

It will never be changed because women have more votes.

I personally would go to jail. Paying your ex you will lose the house and maybe even your current wife.

I would also get all the receipts and make a big stink over the whole mess. I would try to get the newspaper, tv, state politicians and anyone else to listen to my story.

It just isn't right. I would also hope that your daughter would speak up on your behalf and tell the court about how sorry her mother really is.

Feel for you and really wish you the best.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:22 PM
A friend of mine was facing jail and considered a deadbeat dad, even though he sent most of his earnings to his son's mother. He told the court of his other child, who's mother did not want child support, and his payments got cut in half.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:30 PM
What's the point of sending someone to jail after so long a history of paying quite a bit of child support, over the years, and then because he can't do it right now and his home is in threat of foreclosure... Whatever, we know the story.

What I'm trying to get at is, what's the point of sending someone to jail when it will only make it worse and ultimately the child support will suffer or end? I'm not sure how it works. Not to mention the expenses federal and state will have to pay to jail someone.

Seems like some kind of sick ritual, to be honest. No win/win situation at all, just completely negative in all aspects.

However, if the person was just a scumbag (which the OP is not, I believe his story) and the man never paid child support and was an alcoholic etc., then I would understand. However, this is just completely destructive whatever angle you use to look at it. Everybody suffers to some degree in the end.

You know the saying, "The end justifies the means."? Well if the end is horrible in all aspects, and the means are just as bad... then what is the point here?

[edit on 20-11-2009 by SyphonX]

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:33 PM
Well, I would consider paying for college as being part of the child support as you are Supporting the child. I suggest looking up the legal definition of child support.

there is one more route you could go, in zeitgiest this man was allowed to keep his home because he suggested that since the bank never really put up any real collateral they simply created a entry in their accounts that stated that he got X amount of money, as for where they got it...they made it up and thus they never really gave him anything for his house and thus his house was still his.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:35 PM
In the words of the Dude:

Sorry to hear about that man. I had a divorce a few years ago, but since we weren't married for to long, and I never made more than $20k a year, and my daughter lives full time with me, I was fortunate to not have to pay child support.

Not to sure what kind of advice to give to you regarding where to put the $2500 (Im sure you could think of a few places where you'd like to stick it, lol).

Just a question, how long of a jail sentence would you be facing?

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:35 PM
There is no doubt that the system needs reforming.

You are suffering for the generations of men who abused and discounted women as mere housekeepers and nannies.

That doesn't make it right, but it IS how the culture of the courts has become so out of whack.

Your wife sounds like the type who just wants to hurt you to satisfy herself.

I find it disconcerting that a judge would take this path, given what you have told us. I assume you were unrepresented or went into court 'pro se'.

If you were represented, slap your lawyer for me... there are other ways of exercising justice than burdening society with yet another prisoner that shouldn't be one.

Negotiation of terms is what failed here... not you.

I hope they see the light. And I hope you CAN have a merry Christmas.

[edit on 20-11-2009 by Maxmars]

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:40 PM
I say let the house go into foreclosure and forget about the place. Also pay any money the courts say you owe for support. Then forget everything about your ex wife as well as the kids. Attempt to start a new life far far away. We only live 90 or so years, please don't waste it! There is no shame in saying I give up and starting a new life.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:41 PM
reply to post by shyataroo

Well, I would consider paying for college as being part of the child support as you are Supporting the child. I suggest looking up the legal definition of child support.

According to my child support order, I only have to pay till my daughters finish high school.

But I know others who say they have to pay for college.

I think the law should say that at the age of 18, the child gets the child support directly.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:48 PM
thats terrible seeing as I've known people who have never paid child support let alone know their childs name...

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:51 PM
This story breaks my heart. The OP has my full sympathy.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 02:58 PM
reply to post by jtma508

I May Be Spending Christmas In Jail

Well, you've just laid your life out on the web for millions to see. No sense in worrying about privacy at this point. I would suggest a letter to your local newspaper to see if you can drum up some public support... opinion wise if not perhaps financial. The court of public opinion is still, even in this day and age, a powerful tool if approached openly and honestly.

I would also suggest seeking legal counsel... as much as that might break you as well.

Finally, I can only suggest that if you must err, err on the side of your children. At least you won't spend your time in jail that you could spend elsewhere trying to repair the mess.

If you do choose jail, it could look like a selfish act instead of one that is morally sound... and give the courts a bit more leverage against you to then, label you a deadbeat.

I hate it for you, man. Best of fortune


posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:02 PM
My little girl's dad will be going to jail in December also, because of a one night stand many, many years ago (like 11yrs ago, he was a dumb teen, she was reaching her biological clock at 30+) that resulted in the wh*** being entitled to money he does not have, for the rest of his life....

He's a fulltime university student...With a kid... That he's already having a hard time providing for....

Going to jail will make all those years he's gone through in college, worthless...

I basically forced him to contact this wh*** from many years back, and beg her to ease off him, forgive him for how bad the lay must have been, and let it/him go. She...refused. So, he basically ruined any chance of being with me. His daughter will have to go without her dad while he's put away. And I have no idea what will happen with his classes when he can't show up to them.

I honestly wouldn't blame him if he stopped wanting to live.

I really, really feel for you... I wish that somebody with some common sense would make some changes. I really, honestly have fantasies about hurting people quite badly over the whole situation... And that scares me.

My hope is to get through school and be a political Men's Rights advocate, if I can get enough support... Because I know that men are in a bad place, and sincerely need help. Wish me luck, I hope I am not alone.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:05 PM
Despicable. I hope you get everything resolved in your favor if your story is true. I know someone who is going through something similar, having to pay a lot of alimony and child support even though his children live with him, and he supports them fully. His ex was trying to take half of everything he owns, even the things he owned prior to them being married! The mothers of both children are hardly ever around, yet they still benefit. It is unbelievable. The court system in this country can be completely idiotic at times. In fact I've been frustrated with it for quite a while and made a post about it here only a couple of weeks ago. It kills me when I see good people being hurt by our "Justice" system. I could rant on and on about this. I'll spare you the pain of having to read it all.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I think the mother of your kids should be jailed for basically trying to extort you out of everything. Your daughter should really make it a point to go to court with you and defend you against your ex, her mother.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:08 PM
I think our whole legal system is corrupt, and broken. Trust me, I know. I have a black mark that hangs over everything I do, for something I did when I was 17 years old. It ruined my chances to finish school and be a physicians assistant.

Good luck to you man, thats a tough situation.
I agree with alot of other responses though, go to the media, or politicians. Local news should eat that up, they love "injustice" stories. Research the laws until your eyes hurt, try to find a loophole.

If that doesnt work, then I would pay off the fines, and forget about the house. You do not want to be locked up. Id rather be homeless than ever locked up again. Youre no good to anyone locked up.

Once again, good luck. My heart goes out to you.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 03:45 PM
I feel for ya man. If everything you posted is accurate them I can not see why the judge would put you away. Pay what they want then turn your ex into the IRS for unclaimed income

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 04:07 PM
well spoken Maxmars.

If feminism was a religion, this could be called extremism.

Protection of a majority? these are no equal rights!

OP, I hope the best for you, this flaw in the system needs to be solved.

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 04:25 PM
reply to post by jtma508

Your ex-wife sounds really bitter.Did you leave her for your new wife?
A lot of women want revenge when they are replaced.Some women
get really greedy over the child support,others get lazy and live off their
kids' support.
Good luck at court!

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 05:36 PM
This is unfortunate. My sympathies.

This is why college is a load of crap! In the olden times, if the parents were financially tight, kids were supposed to send themselves to school, right?

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