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Much Ado About Child Support

June 23rd, 2010

We had family court yesterday.  This particular case was to transfer M’s child support payments from the oldest children’s mother to the state because His son is currently in a private mental facility/addiction treatment center, and his mother signed him over as a ward of the state.

Apparently they only need the signature of the parent with physical custody (they have joint custody, but the boys lived with their mother) for that, because M’s not been asked to sign anything.  O.o

What’s cool is we won by default.

DSS screwed up their paperwork.  They filed for only a portion of M’s payment to be transferred to the commissioner’s office, so the judge let it ride with what they asked for, and removed the oldest two children (they’ve aged out) from the order without prejudice so that, if the oldest boy moves back in with his mother and goes back to school, she can re-add him to the support order, since he’s only 19 and the law is 21 if they’re in school.  So M’s support for that set of kids was reduced. 

His mother said she’s not sure she’s going to take him back.  He’s 17 in a couple months, and the staff of the facility he’s in doesn’t intend to even consider releasing him until February, unless he makes some serious progress between now and then.

I’m still not really sure what happened.  We were told the youngest was thrown out because of a fight with the oldest.  The ex-wife is telling us it’s because he was out of control, and she couldn’t handle him anymore.

They keep asking us if we’re going to go visit him.  But they put him way up north, and we don’t have a car.  And then they gave us a week’s notice for a family meeting that would end up being a day trip for us, so M would have to take the entire day off.  It’s summer.  Everyone’s taking vacation time.  They can’t spare M for an entire day with a week’s notice.

Shortly before all this happened, he asked if he could come live with us.  I told him his father and I would have to talk about it, because a) he’s batshit fucking crazy (I didn’t tell him that.  That would be counterproductive, I think.  Not to mention mean.), b) supporting ourselves on what M brings home is hard enough without adding all the extra expenses of bringing a child who has special needs into the home, and c) it would take us at least $3500 just to get ourselves in a position to take him in, which we don’t have, and it would take us forever to raise it even if we cut back our “entertainment” (Read: the few activities we still participate in that keep us from going batshit crazy.) to nothing.  Getting back the child support we’re paying for him would alleviate that a little, but not much, and unlike M’s ex, even with adding a third person to our household, we aren’t eligible for state or federal help.  M makes too much, before taxes and child support, for them to legally, or in good conscience, wave the maximum income allowance for a family our size.

If the other county would stop losing His money, we might be able to support a third mouth.  But not one who needs extra care, kid gloves, immense amounts of attention, and close supervision.  I wouldn’t be able to get a job outside of the home, what with the amount of attention and supervision he needs, and finding a job I can telecommute for that doesn’t pay in sex toys is next to impossible.  We probably still wouldn’t be able to afford health care, though we would have to have it, and the copay for the boy’s therapy would break us.  Meaning taking this teen in would result in him being removed, anyway, because we wouldn’t be able to care for him.

And all DSS can offer is “Well, obviously we’d stop the child support for this account.”

Damn skippy, you would.  Fuck if we’re gonna pay you, or anybody, child support for a kid we’re supporting by ourselves.  But there’s really nothing you can do about the other account, because M’s not paying even close to the max.  The ex agreed on an amount years ago, when M’s salary was much less, and back then it was too much for Him to be paying, but now, it’s really not enough, according to state guidelines.  But since DSS and the support unit weren’t involved in this particular case in the beginning, and M’s ex hasn’t felt the need to ask for an increase (And why should she? As it is, she hasn’t had to have a job for years, just departed on a month long vacation with the kids, and is spending two weeks at something for NASCAR after that.), DSS can’t force an increase.

Which was great until they offered her a cost of living increase, she asked for it, and they started charging M for it without letting Him or His employer know.  And, by the way, they never once asked M if He had received a cost of living increase, or a raise, or anything, in the period of time between the first order and their gracious offer (He hadn’t.).  Nor did they bring it before a judge.  And that, my friends, is legal.

This is part of the reason for the arrears they’re telling M He owes.  But from the date they say this order was issued until today, that only amasses an unpaid balance of $1440, which is less than half of what they’re saying He owes.  And they’re claiming they’re not charging interest, and the amount is all unpaid child support.  The only possible way for that to be is if the money was taken out of M’s check but never sent.  And if that’s the case, heh… There will be hell to pay for someone.

I really didn’t mean to talk this much about this.  Heh.  If I have time, I’ll write something more fun later.

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