Good day all,
I would like to start by stating this is not a "Dead Beat Dad" conversation. It is a serious conversation on a situation that a lot of todays
non-custodial parents face everyday in this current economy. That said, I would like to give you a situation, laid out to me by a friend and the
experiences I saw being part of it, that he has found himself in.
First a little background(with a little added flair in the attempt to show his emotional mind set and attempt to make it a more enjoyable read):
In 1991 (21yo @ the time) he was dumped by his girlfriend of 2 1/2 years, devastated he fell into the bottle. This led to wanting to party in order to
keep his mind off the situation, and working in fast food(He had always wanted to own a restaurant and had begun to learn the ins and outs), made it
all the more easy to do. Because his Love for her was so deep, he had solidified the picture of a house with a white picket fence, his wife,kids, and
the dog in the back yard, the American dream, into his mind.
One day, after work, one of his fellow employees walked up to him and slapped him in the face. She looked him straight in the eyes and said, something
like, "I am sick and tired of seeing you walking around with a shadow on your back! You are wasting your life! Snap out of it!". Something in what she
said did snap him out of it and he stopped drinking, went back to focusing on learning the Fast Food business, and began to date.
A little time later, his 22nd birthday to be exact, he met a girl.
This girl was 5 1/2 months pregnant, from an abusive man, who had threatened her life. This triggered the mindset of the American Dream and his
empathy took over. He opened his heart and gave it all without prejudice, and, with the (guiding) help of her parents, they wed 21 days later.
Instantly, the arguments began, and it got so bad that he found himself arguing over toilet paper. He took this as hormones and loved her even more.
Then came the baby girl.
He loved her as his own again without prejudice. The arguments became heightened to the point where she would scream at him, at any time, day or
night. When the little girl was 6 months old the arguments heightened again to throwing things at him. One day she threw a plate at him and it
shattered on the fire place mantle behind him with the pieces falling on the little girl in her car seat. One of the pieces of glass fell on her
cheek. It did not cut but was there none the less. He then said(by his quote), "I can not hit a woman, but I swear to you little girl, if you ever do
that and put our daughter at risk again, I WILL slap the living sh** out of you, because SHE can not defend herself." She never did throw anything
That was the turning point in the arguments that ultimately led to the end of the marriage. It calmed down for a while and he began to become sexual
with her again and she became pregnant. She instantly reverted back, except this time physically hitting him(hand, fist, anything within reach). When
the second little girl was born(2 years 3 days after her sister) the beating came more frequent.
On November 23rd(the day before Thanksgiving) he had had enough and decided to leave. He knew the girls were safe from her and that he would be living
in his car, so he made the decision to leave them there and walked out saying(by his quote), "Don't you ever have a guy stay the night or do anything
in front of the girls as long a I am paying the rent or I will terminate the lease and take the girls". He returned the next morning to spend
Thanksgiving with the girls and when he let himself in, he found his wife and another guy naked on the couch with his oldest sleeping on the floor.
To avoid conflict, that most likely would become violent, he went outside to his car and got his blanket and placed it over his daughter and carried
her to bed, and left. 3 hours later, she began to blow up his cell phone knowing that he had been there because of the blanket. He was so mad he
didn't want to talk to her but gave in later that day. She turned it on him by demanding what gave him the right to just walk in like that and
screamed about it for an hour completely ignoring what she had done. As soon as the Holiday weekend was over he filed the paperwork to remove himself
from the lease and started looking for a two bedroom apartment and she filed a restraining order(unannounced to him) stating that he hit her(later she
admitted to him that she had had her new boyfriend hit her for pics and called the police).
Two weeks later, he found an apartment, paid the first and last month and a deposit(using the last of the money he was willing to take from the
account for the girls sake) and moved in. The next day he went to collect the girls and she called the police. He was denied access to the girls and
was arrested for assault and violating a restraining order. He spent the next month in Jail because he could not make bail. The charges were dropped
and he was released but this led to 3 things:
1. He lost his job.
2. He lost his apartment and credit.
3. He lost his car to being towed and no money to pay the bill.
He gave up his pride and stayed with me(He went to see the girls every other day on the average). Within 2 weeks he had secured a new job(at the
bottom again) and began looking for an efficiency to get his own place. Within a month from that he was back on his feet, in an apartment and he began
paying $350 a month to his wife to help with the girls. Then the divorce began.
Due to the restraining order, a judge had begun a temporary child support of $180/month without his knowledge. Then in prelims another judge set a
temporary child support order, pending the outcome of the divorce at $180/month, beginning the day he moved out(therefore already in the hole). 30
days later a permanent child support order of $180/month beginning the day he moved out, was given completely ignoring the fact that the first girl
was not his.
He informed his Public Pretender, sorry, Public Defender(P.D.) that the child was not his on multiple occasions, along with the name of the real
Father and was ignored. He went to her boss and informed him and the answer he received was "We don't like to Bastardize children". He begrudgingly
paid the child support to his ex-wife(not because it was too much and he wanted to get it reduced, but because he didn't want to pay for someone elses
child). She never turned in the payments to the state and 2 years later he was arrested, while at work, for non compliance of a court order and a dept
of $19,480.00.($180/month X 3(the original 2 cases were never ended) X 3 years). He spent 30 days in jail(bench warrant) not able to see a judge, as
the ruling had already been made. Again he lost his job and apartment(along with some more credit)
He went to his P.D. and begged them to review his case. Finally, they found that A case was never closed and that brought the total down to
$12,960.00. He was then ordered to pay $360 a month. $180 child support and $180 in arrears, payable directly to the State.
I had moved out of state so he stayed with another friend of ours while he picked himself back up. He was attempting to find a job(at the bottom
again), save for a place to live and pay his child support all at the same time. The courts gave him 30 days to begin payments and he did not make it
on time due to pay cycles and a warrant was issued unknown to him. 3 Days after he moved into his new apartment they arrested him again for failure
to comply(Bench warrant), this time for 60 days and a $1,000.00 fine.(the fine does not go to child support it goes to the state). Again he lost
Because of the fact that he had not been around to see the girls and she was no longer getting cash in hand she moved without a forwarding address.
Two years later, he found her and the girls. She told him that he was not allowed to see the girls because she was not getting any child support but
$50 dollars a month(she happened to have a child support check on her to show she was only getting a support of $50) and until he gave it to her in
cash he could not see them. She moved again.
Enraged he went to the P.D. again demanding to know why the state was keeping $230 of his support and not giving it to his children. The answer was
because he was so far behind. This did not make sense as the arrears were the children also and he demanded an evaluation of his account and come to
find out it was over $19,000 again. Let me tell you he was ballistic. 3 months later someone just happened to catch that the second order was never
closed and that brought it down to around $7,000 in arrears.
A number of years later(about the time I moved back), he was the General Manager of a restaurant, had an apartment, paying his bills, etc. when he met
They fell in love(his heart half closed), he moved in with her and had a baby boy. 10 days short of his 4th month the baby died of SIDS(his temp
spiked to 114 degrees in about 10 minutes) and the woman blamed him for the loss because he was home. He lost everything, except his job. It was then
that he learned the true meaning of hate he says. He went into work as his life and eventually was placed on leave by the owner because he burned out
and needed to deal with the loss. He then remembered all the trouble he had when he went to the bottle and instead, picked up smoking marijuana with
some of his other friends. The owner found out and terminated him. He quit smoking and went out to find a new job. Yet once again, right after he
started his job he was arrested and held for 60 days causing a loss of everything.
He found a new job as a General Manager, began paying again, worked his way into an apartment and again decided to date. The woman he chose is a great
lady and he is lucky to have her. A year after they met he decided to break down the walls in his heart, love her unconditionally, and they were
married(going on 9 years, this month I think). He found another job working for a remodeling as it payed more. 3 years later his boss was indited with
embezzlement and the company folded leaving him out of work. With a 2yo daughter and a wife, plus child support he actively searched for a job but did
not find one in time and was arrested for 90 days and a $2,500 fine. When he got out he said(and I witnessed it) "FU** this State" and it was decided,
between himself and his wife that she would work and he stay home and she took over payments.
Shortly after his second daughter was born(with her) he again went to his P.D. and demanded that the State stop stealing the money from his kids and
give the full amount as well as removing the First child from the case. The state "Respectfully declined", so they decided to move out of State. The
reasons being were that the money going to child support could keep the family from having to get assistance from the state and it made no sense to
pay $360 to the States fund and then receive $616 in food assistance.
They switched roles again and he took another G.M. position at another restaurant. After securing all that he needed for his family he began sending
child support anyway(out of state and no extradition he didn't have to, but he really wanted to provide for his other child). They were gone for about
a year when his wife had a bad car accident and had three compression fractured vertebrae. It was decided that she would come back with the kids and
stay with family while he worked on getting a new vehicle to join her. Three months later he came back and stayed with me while looking for a job, so
he could bring his family back together in a place of their own.
Yep you guessed it, right after finding a job he was arrested and held for 90 days. The Family helped out and got his wife and kids an apartment
because she had gotten her old job back. When he got out they had a family reunion of over 7 months apart. He found out a few days later that the
oldest girl from his first marriage was taken into State custody(foster home for 60 days) 3 years prior without his knowledge.(If she was considered
his, he should have been notified. If not he should not be paying child support) He sent the Governor a letter describing the situation and in part
stating that "the State can take their child support laws and shove them up their....."
Just under a year later he decided he was not taking the chance of another child and got a vasectomy. Two weeks after his surgery they found out his
wife was pregnant. They now have a 1yo boy.
All this time he has been raising and teaching his children, his 8yo is in all advanced classes in school and her siblings are following suite.
A year later the court set a date to discuss the situation. He refused to hear their case until it was mutually beneficial. They said(paraphrased),
1st child stays on the order even though she turns 19 in Sept.( Which is when she is dropped from the case), All the money would go to the children,
the monthly support total would be dropped by $40, the fine would, instead of being raised, as per the number of violations, would go down to $1,000,
and instead of 90 days( the amount for the amount of violations) it would remain at 60, then instead of 30 days to begin paying 60 days were given.
His answer was that he refused to pay a usury on a loan he did not sign for, as the state is charging 23% on the arrears. They reached an accord and
it brought his total owed for arrears from over $28,000 to just under $12,000, but this was his last chance and next time it would be 2years and
$10,000 fine and the usury will be reapplied.
That 60 days is up on the 31st of this month and he has yet to find a job. All he knows is the restaurant business. They pay "Sea Shells" instead of
real money(figure of speech), and the positions are filled with collage kids trying to pay for school and ex collage kids because there is nothing for
them to go into, and remodeling which people never give up those jobs except in retirement or death. So he will most likely go to jail for 60 days
plus 11 days for the fine and loose the deal. putting him back in the hole $28,000.
The State pays toward fines $90 a day (just upped for the first time in 26 years from $60), yet the corrections department is payed $344/day/inmate.
Thats a difference of $234 going to the corrections department/inmate/day. Meanwhile his ex wife has 7 children from 6 fathers, lives with another
guy(not a father to any of them) and collects assistance because she is too over weight to work as well as any child support payed by the 6 fathers.
Her man is on the assistance as well and does not work.(according to a mutual friend that will not disclose her whereabouts so he can see the girls
all this is about.)
This is just one story of a mans plight in dealing with child support. Yes, maybe he made some bad decisions but with the economy failing as it is the
numbers of people who can not find work and end up in jail for non compliance of a court ordered child support will skyrocket and good people who want
to support their children will be taken from the families they live with and love, rendering other children without a parental unit in the home,
making it harder for the other parent to do it all them self and possibly forced to apply for assistance. Isn't it supposed to be about the Children?
As it stands it is the State and corrections making the money which comes from the tax payers which causes the State to get assistance from the
Federal Government which comes from the tax payers which is in the budget that they can't fix.
How say Ye?
edit on 12-8-2011 by IPILYA because: Had the wrong starting age and year