Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Child Supprt, Visitation, and the Absentee Dad...

"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons." ~Johann Schiller


Thinking kid

       Waking up in the morning to a cussing match with my two oldest kids' dad is not a fun thing. But that['s what happened on this fine April morning in the Scott home. My kids' father Jerry and I have been struggling with each other for the past 9 years. And by struggling I mean, I struggle to make him pay child support and spend quality time with the kids, and he struggles to get out of paying me anything or picking up the kids. 

       Jerry and I split up when Savannah (my second born) was 3 months old. Being 21 and a mother of 2 babies was difficult enough on it's own, but throw in a dad who fought me tooth and nail against paying child support, turned it into a NIGHTMARE! I was working for a car dealership at the time but the pay I was getting from there just wasn't cutting it. We had to move back in with my mom and that's when the now 9 year old fight ensued. Jerry wouldn't help me with the kids. He fed me excuse after excuse as to why he couldn't send me money that week or why he couldn't pick the kids up for his 1 out of 2 weekends a month. My favorite excuse was always, "I can't get the kids cause I have to work, and I can't pay you if I can't work." I mean, what could I say to that? But the bad part was, he would rarely pay me. Finally after dealing with the excuses and the poverty, I decided enough was enough. I watched a movie on Lifetime that had Lori Loughlin in it (Becky from "Full House") and she was going through the same thing I was. (The movie was Abandoned and Deceived) The difference between her and me however, was that she got off her butt and did something about it. She fought for what her kids deserved. That movie gave me the extra inspiration I needed to stop feeling sorry for me and my kids and to make him take care of his responsibilities. 

       Going to Georgia's child support enforcement office was quite the adventure. After going back and forth and giving them Jerry's last known address, 2 years later, I got my court order. I must add that it took 2 years for them to locate Jerry.  I had given them the correct address and they kept sending his paperwork to the wrong one. That lasted for TWO FREAKIN' YEARS! True story. And I must also add that he paid me maybe 500 dollars within that time period.

       Okay so I FINALLY got the order. They garnished his wages. He still didn't get the kids. The child support order worked great though. Until he quit his job. The payments quit coming. So it was back to fighting with him again on a weekly basis. He was always good about telling me he was sending me the money, but never sending it. This went on for another 4 years. He would send me money periodically. He would get the kids when the mood struck him, but neither of those things were consistent. Finally, after all my hard work with the child support, I was stuck with another blunder. Little did I know at the time though, that since we had a court order, back child support was accruing. THAT was consistent. Also little did I know that he had accumulated over $10,000 in arrears. Little did I know that if he wasn't paying it off, I would get his income tax refund (ALL OF IT), every year until the balance was paid. That really helped out. But it was only the back child support. And by this time, I was married and had another baby with my husband. I finally had enough. Again. I took my mad butt up to the courthouse and did something I should had done long before then. I took out a child abandonment warrant on him. He didn't show up for court so I got the warrant by default. Plus the fact that he hadn't seen the kids or sent me money in forever.

       The funny thing about this, is that once I got the warrant out he started paying me AND getting the kids. He was really good about that. And then he got arrested. The warrant may have took 6 months to kick in, but those cops did their job finally. Once he got out I didn't have any more trouble out of him. Until now. Within the past month, Jerry has written me two bad checks and has screwed up my bank account so bad I don't even know if the damage is repairable. I will never understand why some women have to go through such desperate lengthsto get what's owed to them and their kids. From the kids' own father! I would never let my kids go without. Never. I would never allow another woman to take care of my kids like he is allowing my husband to do. Where is the honor in that? My kids love their dad and I know Jerry loves them too, but I don't know how much more of this my family can take. Looks like he may be due another visit from the boys in blue...

       If you or anyone you know is going through the same thing, I'd love to hear from you. I always find solace when I feel like I'm not completely alone in a situation. If you are going through the same thing, I urge you to contact your local child support enforcement office. You may have to go through what I went through, but the positive thing is that back child support is owed until it's paid off. Your kids might be 30 years old and if your owed 30 years of child support and you have an order filed, you will eventually get your money. To my knowledge there are only a few entities that will automatically take tax returns in lieu of owed money. Child support is one of them, but you HAVE to have an order in place. I hope this post has been helpful. We moms have to stick together and support one another. God knows, every little bit of support helps. :)

~XoXo Jess

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