Today I had to do something that I thought I’d never have to do again after my children grew up. I went to the division of child support enforcement. It was my second stop of the day. This was the first step. My shot heard round the world.
My first stop today was to my grandchildren’s maternal grandfathers’ place of business. It’s where they’re mother is suppose to be working. She’s supposed to pay child support, and of course has only paid $3000 in three years. I’ve called her several times to find out if and when she intended to pay. I marched straight into their office. Her father is a financial planner and a very wealthy man. When I arrived he was with a client. I strolled right in and looked around. When I walked into the office that I knew was hers there were pictures of the boys on a ledge. That made me even angrier. Within minutes Dan appeared and told me that I wasn’t welcome there. I made sure that his client heard how his daughter wasn’t paying child support. (Ok I know it was childish, but it felt so good.)
I thought to myself this is war and it’s not gonna be pretty.
It bothers me to the deepest level that there grandfather’s so wealthy and yet he refuses to help us care for these children. I don’t understand how any person can walk desert a child. How can a parent or grandparent not care about what happens to children? Nor do I understand how anyone can turn there back on a child that’s handicapped. Especially when you’ve heard time after time they may never make it to adulthood. I don’t understand. How can they live with them selves? Anyway!!!!!
I had forgotten how hard it was to try to get support. It’s like fighting a constant war. You’ll loose many battles but if you continue to fight sooner or later you’ll win the war. There’s gonna be casualties, blood shed, tears. There will be times when you feel like giving up; but don’t. There will be defeats and victories. There’ll be many scrimmages and peace talks. If you persevere, continue to fight and never give up. In the end you’ll win the war. You have to win for your child’s sake.
When my children were little there dad didn’t want to help support our children. I was awarded a measly $33.33 a month for three kids. You have to understand back then there was a good ole boy system. There weren’t any guidelines and each state did what they choice to do. If you didn’t have any money to pay for the right attorney, you were screwed. I was part of a very small group of women that formed A.C.E.S. It stands for the association for child support enforcement services. We picketed judges’ homes, the court house; we had a rally at Mount Trashmore. We did everything we could to get attention to our cause. We lobbied congress; we talked to congressmen, senators, anyone that would talk to us. We held news conferences, gave speeches, talked to other women, and monitored the courts. We gave out annual turkey awards for the judges that handed down the worst court decisions. Mostly we helped each other. It’s in that spirit that I decided to also add a place to share my knowledge on this subject.
I’m not an attorney. Just a woman who’s been there done that. A woman who helped to change the child support laws. I was part of the solution and now I’m going to pass along my experiences. If you listen to me and follow these steps you’ll either get your child support or you’ll drive them out of town. Either way there’s no grandfather clause on child support. Once you have an order for support they can run but they’ll never be able to get rid of the debt. These days there license can be suspended, they can go to jail, bank accounts frozen, homes and cars seized and sold, income tax returns intercepted and well as wages garnished. In some states they pick you up and your job when your 30 days late. They can become an instant celebrity on the most wanted list and have there face plastered on post offices around the country. You can even attach social security disability payments.
When I was giving speeches and fighting the fight. I had a woman tell me a tale that I still tell today. She raised her three girls all alone. Her ex refused to pay child support despite their court order. He lived in the lap of luxury while her and her girls lived in poverty. For several years she tried in vain to get him to pay. Finally she gave up but continued to keep track of him. Once the girls were grown and she found out that he was not in the best of health. She went in and seized his house, car, froze all his assets and started garnishing his disability check. When she faced him at the auction he asked her why she was doing this to him. She told him that he didn’t care enough to take care of there children and that what goes around comes around. When he died a few years later she took the money that was left from his estate…………..patients……..
Step one. Get an order of support. You don’t need an attorney to file paperwork to obtain child support. Take a copy of your divorce decree, custody papers, birth certificate etc to the clerk of courts for juvenile and domestic relations. Call first and see what there hours are and what you may need. You’ll be presenting a motion to the court. (Telling the court what you want) Most courts have a form that you fill out. Be sure to state everything you want. The judge will only hear and rule on your motion. If you forget something you’ll have to file another motion. Make sure to state what you want exactly on the form. You can request bank statements, subpoena people, request to have a home study. What ever you want put it on the form. Understand you may not get everything you want, but you won’t get anything if you don’t ask.
Make sure to request that he (she) be responsible to pay for all attorneys’ fees if you have to take them back to court for failure to pay. Some states allow it some don’t, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Don’t be nice here and think they’ll do what there suppose to do. GET IT IN THE ORDER. Think about insurance, co pays, braces, school needs, summer camp, clothes, deductibles, prescriptions, college, summer vacation any thing you can think of. What ever you think he/she may need in the future. You can have the support continue until they finish school. You can ask that they pay for all or part of school and college.
I AM GOING TO SAY THIS ONE MORE TIME. Don’t think they’re a good person and will do the right thing. What happens when there’s someone new in there lives? Or
They can’t buy that fancy whatever because they promised they’d take care of the children? How about you make them mad? What’s the best way to hurt you? The children are. You’re not together for a reason. I knew a woman one time who swore her ex spouse would never ever not take care of his kids. It wasn’t in his nature. He was the perfect father, coach, at every parent teacher meeting; always doing things with the children. No sooner had the ink dried on there agreement, when he stopped being the perfect parent. He stopped paying their agreed amount of child support. Stopped doing
Everything he said he would do. It wasn’t in the court order so he knew he didn’t have to do it and he didn’t. It took her years to get the order changed and by then she was broke. He knew he had her from the start. She didn’t ask for attorney’s fees either. So he had the money to pay for a high priced attorney to drag things out. I have monitored many cases and more times than not I’m right.
From the start remember this is business. Not personal. Marriage and making babies, that’s personal. Divorce and getting child support is always business. For the other party it becomes all about the money. It may be personal to you but to the court this is about finances and getting down to business. If you don’t start with that attitude you and your child/children will be eating beanie weenies’ while the other parent’s eating steak. Those people that go in with the right attitude fare much better. I’ve seen people go in from the beginning and go for the juggler. The best cases I’ve ever seen the custodial parent started ruthless and stay ruthless. This first court action sets the tone from then on.
This is war and in any war you have to play the games. Keep track of all information. Find out where the non-custodial parents payroll department is located. Don’t sit back and wait for someone to do the work for you. This is your case and your life. They have a new car. Get the VIN number and run a car fax. Take down the license plate number. You never know when you’ll need it. Get yourself a war folder. Keep track of everything. Make copies and keep records on a disk. Give it to someone you trust for safe keeping. You need to become a super sloth and do what ever it takes. You’re the best first response to insure your child’s financial future.
This is the first step to getting your child support. You have to get a support order first and foremost.