What's good for the Goose
(San Antonio, TX)
When my children we 3 and 5 yrs old my ex-husband became, my ex-husband. Over the next seven years he popped in and out of our lives. The were two seperate twelve month periods that we did not have any contact or financial support. There was another year of no contect but we did get child support payments. In 2003 he was taken to court as he owed $12,000 in back child support. In 2007 he obtained custody of our children and I was ordered to pay $325 per month in child support. At this point he still had a balance due of $8000 in arrears.
He wasn't letting me talk to my children. He doesn't live in the same state. He basically blackmailed me; his new wife told me "if he has a zero balance I can guarantee you that your relationship with your children will improve" she also said they had just spent $4000 for the kids to get braces.
I owed about $1000 to him and he owed about $8000 to me. Against my better judgement I signed off on it and we each had a zero balance. For the next couple of years I voluntarily had 50% of my paycheck garnished for child support. For ten months the children were not living with him, they were with my parents.
And I found out that my parents in fact not my ex-husband paid $5000 for the kids braces. And by now I an unemployed. Anytime the kids wanted or needed something extra they would ask me to pay for it as I wasn't making payments since I had no job. If I sent the money through the child support registy it would not be used for what the kids had asked for. Even if his wife asked for it I couldn't send it through the registry. If you add up all the extra's such as gymnastic for my daughter who is a flyer on the varsity cheerleading squad, varsity cheer warm ups, high schhol years books, online game membership fees, out-of-pocket expense for the braces (remember I wrote off $8000 of back child support he owed me for this when in fact MY parents spent $5000) and then ten months of child support that accruded while the kids were not in his custody.In fact they didn't even see him once during those ten months. Now I am being taken to court on contempt charges and enforcement for arrears in the amount of $9000 is being brought against me. When my court date comes up in three weeks I most likely will be going to jail for 180days. That means I will be in jail when my daughter walks across the stage and accepts her high school diploma.
Is this justice? Am I completely off base in thinking that I am getting royally screwed here?