Fiancee of a violated dad
My boyfriend left his ex for me 10 years ago. Soon after we met, we had a typical new relationship fight. He ran back to his ex and had a one night stand. He came back to me, we patched everything up and life was good. But, we then find out the ex (who at the time had three other kids) is pregnant. (Some months later, she admitted that she poked holes in the condoms, but no one cares about that.) After we came to the point where the baby was coming, like it or not, he agreed to be a part of the child's life - but I was going to be a part of that package deal. That pissed her off, so she sued for child support, and stopped letting my boyfriend see his son.
We live in one of the more economically depressed states in the country. My boyfriend lost his good paying job, but no one would let him adjust his support order. He has spent the last few years trying to catch up - every tine we had some extra money, we'd send it to pay on the arrears. He keeps in touch with his support order worker - telling her everything she needs to know about his employment situation. And every time, she tells him "thanks, I know you're trying, but it doesn't matter". Mom in the meantime has not worked since the son was born (he will be 9 this December), and has had two additional children since. None of the other two dads pay child support, so she and her 6 children live off my boyfriend's support check and welfare.
Every few years, the ex lets us see the boy. And we welcome him into our home, we take him on fun trips and educational trips, he has a room in our house - there's rules and structure, but I work with kids, I know coming to spend time at our house where it's clean, quiet, spacious and no other children to share a room with is a lot more fun that staying with mom and five siblings in a noisy dirty apartment. He likes it with us. I've not forced him, but he likes me. Last time he was with us two years ago, he started calling me Mommy Monica. That was the ultimate dig for mom, so she very abruptly cut us off, and we have not seen her or the boy since.
The support order continues though. My boyfriend had to leave the state to find a job. Back in June of this year, a very unfortunate situation led him to have to leave his job and return home. Unemployment has not paid him because they can't figure out which state is liable. So he has had no income for the past 12 weeks - through NO fault of his own (he wants to work). His support order worker called him a few days ago and said mom contacted the office to say she hadn't been paid, and so his license would be suspended and now there's a warrant for his arrest. She told him she was being nice to give him this head's up, that she didn't have to tell him, but since he had always let her know everything, she felt compelled to warn him. But there was nothing she could do to prevent him for being arrested for not paying money that she knows he does not have.
My question is this: If he is arrested, can they really keep him in jail if he legitimately does not have the money to pay? I am a woman - a childless woman admittedly - who feels all the fathers' pain on this board. The system is completely and utterly designed to screw you at every turn. What I don't understand is - if a mom and a dad were married, and one of them lost a job, the whole family would have to cut back. Why, just because a woman is single and has a support order, is a man obligated to continue paying even when he doesn't have a job? My boyfriend is still paying the amount he was paying when he had the initial good job. He was told "They probably won't reduce your payment because mom's not working. They will look to you to shoulder the burden." Why??? How is that even remotely fair to the man - and to anyone, like me, who comes along after the support order?
Thank you for letting me and my ovaries rant on your forum - I love my boyfriend very much, and I know that we would have been married a long time ago, but he does not want to expose my financial situation to this woman who is very jealous of me. We have been through a lot, and now the threat of jail time, it's getting touchy.