We Need A Change
by Derek Ruell
(Hartford Wi. )
After a 18 year marriage my wife decided to spread her wings (I say her legs) but anyway, when she decided to leave I had just lost my job. During the court proceedings for the divorce the wonderful court system subjected me to $800 a month for child support with no job. Can we say arrears piled up right away! I did get a job making far less than what I was making at my previous job.
The court order stayed for current child support so I was subjected to pay 75% of my income to pay support and arrears. Federal laws says 50% maximum, HA HA HA... that works for your paychecks but not arrears. The month of December I will never forget as long as I live. My oldest sons birthday was the 12th and we all know Christmas is in the same month as well, so by the time I made my rent, car payment, and electric bill, I was already ten dollars in the hole for the month.
I did not have enough to eat on, let alone put gas in the car to go to work. I filed exempt on my taxes after that (wonderful non financial advice from my attorney) for 6 months. Well, we all know what happens when Uncle Sam does not get paid, as he seems to get even too. So I did the all American thing and ducked doing my taxes. Did you know that the feds and child support have just about the same interest rate? Child support is a little higher I think.
Well, I got a better paying job after that and lied to my ex that I was making more money as she was already getting $800 plus medical for 2 kids as it was. With the amount I was making at the new job she would have received $1250 a month putting me right back in the poor house. The divorce was finalized I got away with the $800 a month (for now) even though I lost everything in the divorce, except $18,000 in debt and my 401K that, you guessed it, was worth about $18,000.
But there was a bright side, I was given six months to close out all the debts! So every one is clear, I love my kids and saw them every other weekend, took them whenever the chance arouse. I still do to this day as the children are the best part of my life.
Two years have past and I was caught up on arrears, government, bills and had a bachelor apt. My ex married her wings companion, he is a super role model for my kids, he is an ex-con with a rap sheet so long it would take a week to read. Drugs, 3 drunk driving tickets, 6 battery charges, and numerous public intoxication and lued behavior charges. Did I mention bail jumping and a felony act to commit harm to a child?? It was his own kid too.
Then child support sent a letter to the ex and myself asking if we wanted another court apperance because it had now been 3 years and it is up for review. I did what any red blooded American would do I threw it out. Not the ex., she needed another day in court. Why? Very simple, I was not living in the cardboard box that she had promised me during the divorce.
I lost in court (go figure) and had to pay arrears for the 6 months it took to go to court in the sum of $450 for 6 months to make up the difference of the $1250 she should have been receiving instead of the $800 she was getting. So, I will do the math for you, I owed $2700 in arrears. Instead of waiting till the end of the year to collect off of my taxes, child support yanks an extra $50 out of each paycheck with out telling me they were going to do it.
Then I remarried (please do not hold that against me)and decided enough was enough and lets go after custody. My wife and I bought a house and I figured it would be better than having my children living in a trailer anyway. In the winter they have no running water and it has to be tanked into their trailer and my children can not stand up in their own bedrooms because it is a loft.
EXCUSE me but $1250 for child support is my mortgage payment!!! So I spent 8k for the all mighty great white shark attorney to help me with this monumental task. It was as ugly as the divorce, a real knock down drag out as I was told I was a drug addict/ alcoholic that deserved no extra time with my children as I was a bad influence. (remember what she married?)All I have done is support the children to the best of my ability.
The courts do not care about the welfare of the children this I am firm on, it is all about the almighty dollar. Counseling between the ex and I did not work in fact it was a screaming match in front of the family court counselor. That was a $200 bill for each. Then came the Guardian at Lidham who had a price of $180 per hour, court ordered of course.
Then came the home study that I will swear on the bible she slept on our couch while she listened to the home study. Meanwhile, after coaching my children on what to tell the court appointed attorney, her lovely new husband smacks her in the face giving her 2 black eyes and he gets sent to jail for three months!
The ex then pulls another sneaky and tells the Guardian at lidah I am a severe drug addict and the courts should do something. So I get a letter in the mail to take a drug test for the courts. I respond to the test in less than 24 hours so the results are in right away. The ex is supposed to do the same, it takes her 30 days to complete the test.
How long does it take to get @#$% out of your system? I was told 30 days. Oh well, it does not matter as she is the mother. The case study worker and guardian at lidham both decided that the children need to be with their mother. As I was told I have no BOND with my children the great white attorney says we will never win unless the courts back us, I dropped the case. So after all that, I have not gained any extra time with my children and still pay $1250 a month for support.
It does not cost that kind of money to raise two boys a month. There needs to be a change. Oh yes, and by the way her husband has a child support order for two boys as well and he only pays $400 a month. How does this work? What is good for one should be good for all.