Deadbeat Dad gets the glory
by Heather Davis
(Santa Rosa, CA)
In 1997, I conceived my third child Mariah Blevins. Once I became pregnant and told this biological father that I was pregnant he flipped out on me. He verbally and emotionally abused me. He also threw me and my two small children out on the street. He told me that if I was not going to have an abortion (which he was happy to pay for although he would not help me pay for birth control) that he wanted me to leave. So I had to find my way back to California, where I had some family and where I had been living for so long.
I gave birth to my daughter, Mariah Blevins, on September 3, 1998. Upon Mariah’s birth I applied for Child Support Services in San Joaquin County (California). At that time I was on Public Assistance so naturally I was going to be applying for services anyway. For three years, San Joaquin County tried to obtain a Child Support Order for me. They were unsuccessful despite the fact that I told them he was in the United States Air Force and I provided his Social Security number. The County of San Joaquin Child Support Agency stated that the Department of Defense said that Ed Blevins was not in the Armed Forces, even though he was, and I was prohibited from getting any financial support for my daughter Mariah.
Ed did not care throughout my pregnancy and he was not there when I gave birth to her. He would not even come see her so I had to sit on a Greyhound bus for a week to take her to see him in Oklahoma, as this is where he was at the time. I tried to remain in contact with him so that he would hopefully be a part of her life and hopefully assist with her support but he moved frequently being in the Air Force and eventually I had no idea where he was.
No one seemed to care if I received financial assistance with my daughter Mariah and I just tried to move forward and better myself. I went to school and worked to try to make a better life for my children and me and was able to get off of Public Assistance. I have struggled significantly trying to support and raise my children and not rely on the taxpayers to support my children. Mariah was a sickly child. She suffered from asthma, which often landed her in the hospital, and her allergies were severe. I was with her every step of the way taking care of her and financially supporting her on my own no matter what sacrifices I had to make while her father lived a life of good things and financial stability. Nice homes, nice cars, a new wife and two children etc. He forgot all about Mariah, although he never really cared to begin with. He never called, never sent a birthday card, never sent a Christmas card and certainly did not assist with her financial support. Some how I managed as I always put the needs of my children first above everything else, including myself.
In November of 2008, the economy was starting to affect me financially. So once again, I decided to try to obtain child support for Mariah. I filed with the Sonoma County Child Support Agency as this is where I live now and within a week they located Ed Blevins and made contact with him. He called me immediately although he had not bothered to call in over ten years. He suddenly had my phone number. He did not want to deal with the Courts and he tried for at least a year to get me to sign a child support agreement with him. Initially I was going to sign the agreement as I was trying to be amicable and my motivation was just to get support for my daughter. However, the child support agency indicated that it was not in my child’s best interest to close the child support case because should something ever happen to her father she would not be entitled to any benefits. I told Ed Blevins that the only way I would sign an agreement with him was if he signed a Declaration of Paternity and as long as the agreement he wrote up was acceptable and was in the best interest of Mariah. Ed Blevins sent me an agreement but there were many things that I wanted changed. He also sent a photocopy of a Declaration of Paternity as he had forgotten to have the previous Declaration of paternity notarized but he never filed it and it was not legitimate. I felt that he was not be legitimate so decided not to sign the agreement with him and to allow the courts to proceed, especially since my financial situation had changed significantly. I was now raising 6 children on my own with very minimal support given the cost of living and meeting out basic life necessities was so high. Ed Blevins became very angry with me and I had to endure him being very verbally abusive. During the course of all this, the case for child support was still open but California determined that they were not going to handle my case and they gave jurisdiction to the State of Florida where Ed Blevins lived. They stated that this was because the child was not conceived in California. This was very bothersome because she was not conceived in Florida either and by them handing the case over to Florida they took away my ability to be able to appear on my own behalf and to advocate for my daughter. The courts did not get to hear my story and everything that I provided to the State of California to turn over to the State of Florida was never even considered. Edwin Blevins hired and attorney and to drag the case out as long as he could to keep me from getting child support that much longer, he denied he was the father of Mariah Blevins even though he signed the Declaration of paternity which I provided to both the State of California and California provided to the State of Florida. It was a total of 19 months that everything drug out before there was even a hearing for my child support. By the time there was a hearing on June 29, 2010 the State of Florida used income against me that I no longer had, even though I reported several times that I had no income. I was first on disability and then I lost my job completely. So I am, until I can find a new job, raising and supporting my children with no income and a small amount of child support. I refuse to receive welfare because the tax payers are not responsible for my children but unfortunately the fathers are not being made responsible either and the little bit of child support that I do receive does not provide sufficient support for the children. My children are entitled to the same privileges that their fathers provide to their other children. Once the hearing occurred on June 29, 2010, they did not even order Ed Blevins to start paying child support until August of 2010. As if she did not need support for June or July of 2010. I was also told (and I have it in writing from the State of California) that they were going to obtain arrears for me going back to January of 2009. In the end the lack of communication between the two states and Florida disregarding everything that was sent to them and reported to them, I did not receive any arrears and this father, Ed Blevins, who abandoned his daughter and had not supported her for well over 10 years was able to get everything he wanted, not have to be held accountable or responsible and what I was told I would get, I did not.
First and foremost, I would like to some how have a Court Order for child support and to have it in the California courts, therefore removing Florida from the picture all together. Florida has stated that they could request a second motion and have another hearing to reflect the accurate income for me, which is currently nothing but that they would utilize minimum wage against me, even though this is not a factual account of my income. They have threatened me, told me that they will use whatever income they see fit, and they have said that if I pursue another hearing they it will lower my child support. They are also not refusing to ask for arrears when I was told that they would order this for me.
I am desperate to find someone that will help me fight these injustices and to help me get a decent Child Support Order and arrears. I feel that the Department of Defense should be held accountable for lying and protecting Ed Blevins from having to pay Child Support and that he should be held accountable for abandoning his daughter and not financially supporting her for all of these years. I have printed out over 30 e-mails between myself and the case manager here in California showing the lies that were told to me and the threats which were made, all because no one wanted to do their job and because they do not treat each case with a case by case approach.