The horrible state of Tennessee....

by heather mathis
(Ridgely, Tn)

My sons father and I met back in Dec. of 2006 at a factory we were both working at . At the time , we just kinda talked awhile and then things evolved from that . We moved in together about two months later , and then in May of 2007 we found out I was pregant . It was a big shock , mostly to me I think , he was pretty for it , but I was nervous and kinda scared . But hey , its happened and I had to deal with it . So we decided to have the baby . A month later , he and I split up , mostly due to arguements and what not , but knew we had to be there for our baby. And so we were . After our son was born , things went very well , he lived in Indiana , and I lived in Tennessee .

He came down all the time to see his son , and well , everything was great . In December of 2008 , we had child support court . We both agreed on a set amount , we didnt care , just as long as our son was being taken care of . Afterwards when the judgement was entered we were looking at the order , and were totally outraged about the income they had me under . I was not working at all , and they had me at making 8.25 an hour and working full time . It was almost 1500 dollars a month they had me at . They had him at working 30 hours and making just under what they said for me .

When we called to see what that was about they said they had to base me off of minimum wage . I told them I did the math and they had me at over minimum wage . All they could say to that was pretty much oh well its already entered . So I just said whatever and put it out of my mind . My ex was paying his support and we didnt have any arguments after that . Well then he gets laid off from his place of employment and files for unemployment through the state of Indiana . He was eventually accepted in June of 2009 and recieving benifits towards the middle of June . We called both Indiana and Tennessee to have them withhold his child support .

However both states were sending us all over the place to get this done . Indiana said we had to call Tennessee to have them forward the order to them , and when we called Tennessee they said they could not do that . All the time my ex was paying me cash every week . Finally over six months later , we had enough of this back and forth and went to the local office and asked what was up . Our case worker says , in quote " oh I can do that right now " . I was just in shock because he had incurred over 2500 dollars in arrearages since June up until January of 2010 . When we asked them if they could allow the cash payments as just payments for child support , they said no they could not . So I called Nashville to ask someone there and they said by all means they would consider cash payments as long as I could sign and have noterized that he had actually made the payments .

So I did , twice . And still they denied him the right to have claimed that money as actual child support payments . We were totally disgusted in the system , because not only was he one of the few men out there actually taking care of his son , but I was right there with him , and they still denied him . The state of Tennessee really needs to take lessons from the state of Wisconsin on how to run their system for child support . The county of Dyer really needs new people working there to be able to really do their jobs and help their clients . And lastly , I think the whole child support system is about a joke here in the state of Tennessee . They pretty much try to screw the men and or women paying their support and let the dead beats get away with murder before they do anything . Thank goodness I am moving back up north where things make a little more sense and they actually do their jobs .

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