Child support advice

myfampgOctober 11, 2011

So I'll start my own thread instead of borrowing momof3's lol

Ex is now a month behind. He has never been behind, never not paid etc etc his employer garnishes it so it's never been an issue. I happen to be divorced to a man who loves to work so I've never had to deal with him being unemployed.

Anyway -- I do not believe him to be unemployed bc he is still as of this morning driving his work vehicle. So my thought is, maybe child support was lost, not sent in by his employer or some kind of misapplication by CSDU.

I've contacted the local office that handles my account and they simply say they have not received payment since August 28th. They said they won't notify him until he is 3 months behind. I feel this is unfair because I would have to go 2 more months, putting him near $3000 in arrears before they will send a letter. Unfortunately, waiting another two months isn't going to pay the obligations for dd that I have. I use CS for daycare and dance class, the rest reimburses me for whatever throughout the month, but I honestly cannot afford daycare or dance without the CS. Dance can be put on hold (so sad for Dd since she Loves going) but daycare, not so much. I have to have afterschool care for her. No way around it.

Anyway - what should I do? The CS office said to let him know it hasn't been received. I don't want to be one of 'those' that harps him about money but afterall it is his responsibility to support his child. Should i send him an email and let him know how much in arrears he is as of today? And say just FYI not sure what is going on, wanted to let you know it hasn't been received?

What's the best way to say it so that I don't antagonize him. CS is a very touchy subject. I'm either 1. Not using it appropriately 2. I'm not budgeting right if I 'need' it 3. I am reminded what it is for and what it is not etc etc

Help please!?!?

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I see nothing wrong in asking. Your case is not 'harping'. The guy has paid and paid faithfully month after month since the beginning. There really may have been an error somewhere or something lost. I would not (in your case) automatically assume he's decided to go deadbeat on you.

I'd either text and politely say something about 'hey, I'm a bit concerned the CS payment got screwed up or lost somewhere this month'. At this point you don't want to confront him with missing a payment, you're more thinking something happened to it and you want to see it fixed.

If you get a 'tough, I didn't send it and can't afford it this month' then you're in a whole different ballgame. Best find out which it is. It's not like him to miss as you he gets a heads up concern text (or call) to find out what the real reason is.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 6:40PM
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I would just ask him. If he did lose is job, you need to start planning now. The sooner you know the better. He will still owe you the current child support up until the time he files for a modification. Don't tell him this. I did try to live my life without needing the child support. Partly because my ex was constantly losing jobs, but also because you have no control over it. Most people losing their jobs are not getting jobs for the same money. My husband lost his job of 32 years and got another one pretty quickly for a 40% reduction in salary (it was partly because he was willing to take a pay cut and his profession that he was unemployed for such a short time-I know people that have been unemployed for over 2 years). Which means the cs will also decrease.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 6:47PM
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I don't believe him to be unemployed because he is as of today driving his company provided truck -- even if he lost his job today, that would not explain the last month.

I honestly believe somewhere it was applied incorrectly or overlooked by his employer. I mentioned that to the CS office and she said it would still be his responsibility to say 'hey it was not deducted from my pay, someone messed up... And contact all parties.

I believe the only reason he has faithfully paid is because it comes out before he is paid, by law. The first year, it wasn't garnished and I was always having to call him and ask, then he would only pay 1/2 or a little here and there.. But once we started with the IVD office, it has not been a problem.

Thanks for your responses!!

It's very hard not to live off of it when there are just expenses for the child that need to be covered. If I didn't need it, I wouldn't be getting it. The state would just expect me alone to provide .. I put a lot of it away but sometimes it has to be used. This month of ALL months, my daughter has many expenses. I had to purchase three dance shoes last month, recital fees and costume fees are due, the big end of year field trip payment is due, supposed to start braces this month, health insurance cost has gone up this month and he is supposed to be reimbursing a portion of it... So I really could use his support of his child this month because every single dime would be going directly to her.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 7:26PM
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I agree, it's not harping.

Well, BM told DH at the end of August that she was getting it set up to pay every two weeks automatically. He got a payment on 9/1 and again on 9/21, which is three weeks. Not sure if the payments are made automatically or if BM has to send them in, but obviously it's NOT every 2 weeks. Last week was 2 weeks & nothing. IMO, it would not be hounding or harping to say "is there a problem, I haven't gotten it." because you are just wondering where it is so you can make decisions about your DD. If you approach it in a non accusatory manner & inquire if there's a problem so you can plan things if there is... then he is less likely to feel like you're badgering. If you call up hysterical or make him feel guilty, then it would probably go badly. But, when you depend on it for lessons & stuff, no reason to not make an inquiry.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Lots of companies give perks when they lay you off. My husbands company gave him 7 months severance pay, a year of tuition for Northwestern University (a very expensive school), and they allowed everyone who was laid off to continue to use the facilities for 60-90 days. They also provided career counseling and free resumes. It would not be unusual for them to let him have the company car for say 60 days, to give him time to get a new car. We could speculate forever, you need to ask. As far as child support goes, it isn't about what you 'need'. No one cares, what you or the child 'needs'. It's a percentage order. If he gets the max unemployment benefits, it will be about $200/month. I have been on both sides of this. Works the same every time. If the guy makes $100,000 with one kid you get 20% of that, if he makes $10,000 you get 20% of that. It doesn't even matter if every single dime goes directly towards her or not. And they really are not going to think dance classes are important.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 9:40PM
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Ok wonderinginchicago I get it lol

Even if he found himself unemployed yesterday, he is still obligated to pay what is ordered until he asks for it to be modified. Since it was modified a month ago, he isn't likely to get a modification any time soon. By the way, it's more than 20% ... depends on the circumstances, income and how pissed off the judge gets when he files access modifications repeatedly without cause. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt here, which he doesn't really deserve, given the $45k in legal fees he has caused me; I think it was a mistake made not by him nor by malicious fault of anyone else. I just don't know how to present it.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 12:29AM
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If it was modified a month ago, it's possible that the child support office had his employer served with a new earnings & wage assignment order and it may take some time to process it. That makes sense, since he has been on time until then.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 12:45AM
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myfampg.... I've had this happen with ds16's support. I have always nicely called and talked to bd and asked him if he was still working. If he was I calmly told him I was worried because his support wasn't posted. He'd always say that it came out of his check. A couple times it's because his employer was on vacation. ONCE it was because the child support office put it on the wrong person's case. The check got sent to them and everything. Thank goodness it was finally found. (The person with the extra money of course never mentioned it) You could tell bd that you are concerned for him as well because you don't want him to look like a deadbeat and not get credit for his support payment. Then it at least looks like you are concerned for his well being as well.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 8:15AM
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Well? Any response from the ex yet, MyFam?

Ima might be correct in her thoughts above. After the last court stuff where he was ordered to cough up some past extras may have changed his withhholding amount. His usual plus now whatever they can legally withhold additionally towards the new judgement.

I feel bad for Little MyFam this month. Whether dance is necessary or not is a not the point for me here. The child gets to partake so little in activities because her father seems to think Little MyFam would really rather just sit and watch her stepsister do activities... and now this one thing is in danger. P*sses me off now that the one thing you have managed to get her into playing by the 'Dad Rules', she may have to miss out on until you figure out and correct what happened.

I know you'd hate to ask, but can your parents help out after school at all so you can handle and/or skip the daycare expense? Maybe help watch the kids or actually help with this months fees (I know you'd pay them back) Some daycare require x amount of payment whether child comes or not just to hold their place.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 8:20AM
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Thanks JMT -- that's how I feel too. It's very frustrating. I get paid Friday so I'm going to pay what's due and then go from there on everything else. Argh

I thought maybe the new order would be the reason for the delay but my employer and the CS office both said, a new order should not have changed the old amount. They should have still deducted it and sent it even if they got a new order the same day as pay day. They just have to start deducting the new amount on the next payday. No reason for the change to cause nothing being paid.

I emailed him. I was polite. I only sincerely notified him of my concern.

All hell broke loose. Omg!!! He flipped!! I was accused of harassment; I was told to NEVER contact him again. I was told that this was illegal for me to contact him about this matter AND he states it did come out of his check, he has never NOT paid and he has proof.
I was basically verbally attacked and still... Have no CS.

So I will wait. It will get misapplied or whatever for however long and then when the AG contacts him, then I guess that will motivate him to check it out.

My attorney said to just let it go. I'm really p!ssed and I am tired of being the one to let everything go. The jerk gets away with everything. I never can stand up for myself. I have to take his constant verbal/written abuse (which for me, being a visual person, written is actually worse than verbal) it's just never ending.

If my credit card company said they never received my payment b/c I gave it to someone else to pay and handle for me, I would definitely be thankful to them for letting me know before it got too out of hand. I guess it's different because in this case, the obligor sees child support as a punishment and a means of providing for his ex wife that he loathes instead of it being providing for his child that he created.

I'm SO angry. When they and I say they because I know HE didn't write this letter, 'she' did... When they write such hate, it's so hurtful to me and it sometimes feels like all these years of therapy have been for nothing. I still start shaking and I still cry and get so upset. Why in the WORLD would I let them control me this way? I will never understand! And since I can't defend myself because then that would be me 'harassing' them or could be held against me in court... It makes it worse!! No one should be talked to that way and then expected to just delete and move on. The more they abuse me (I am serious when I say abuse me) the more they win and will continue to do it. If my husband abused me, I would stand up for myself and leave. I can't leave this relationship. I'm glued to them and I guess I'm expected to take it.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 8:54PM
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You are not obligated to take their abuse. It is abuse, only if you allow it to be abuse and make you feel this way. I don't know what your history is but just because they call it harassment, does not make it harassment. Not everything can be used against someone in court either. I'm sure her hateful words hurt but if you look at it from another perspective, it may help to not allow it to hurt you so much. They are full of anger. They view it as paying YOU, not providing for his child that he created. You know this. I don't know what you wrote in your email to him but I would not crawl into a ball and ignore the one he sent back. (whether he or she wrote it, it came from his account, right?) If you could be assertive enough to write back & simply say "Thank you for letting me know it came out of your check, I'm sure it's on the way & the AG may be taking longer to process it." and leave it at that. Contacting him is not harassment. Inquiring about a late support payment is not something that can be used against you in court, in fact it makes you look better given the response you got. You are a mother that is trying to give a child the best life possible & depend on the support to do that. That is how the court will view it. Also, it makes him look bad to tell you to never contact him about it since you have proof of what you wrote (assuming it was respectful & non threatening) ~ even if it were angrily asking where your money is... does NOT constitute harassment... unless you call several times a day, send repeated emails, etc. Even then, you are attempting to collect a debt.... not harassing. You were not accusing him of not paying so his defensiveness and proof are not necessary.

People like that use the intimidation tactic to get people to leave them alone. Then they can pretty much do anything they want without consequence because people are either afraid of them or don't want the hassle. The only thing I can say about that is that you have a child & if nothing else, you need to stand up FOR your child and also demonstrate to your child, HOW to handle situations with difficult people... like her father & his wife. She will learn from what you do (along with her personality) but do you want her to see her mom fall apart & cry or be strong in spite of him being a jerk? (I'm not saying to discuss the matter with your child but let's face it, kids know when we are having a good day or having a bad day... they feel our moods, they read us like a book when we don't even know it. Show her how strong you can be and how strong SHE can be.)


    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 9:46PM
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Thanks Ima

I don't feel that I was threatening or accusing or harassing in my email to him. I let 4 objective people read it first and there were two lines I was told to delete because they seemed not important and just added to the length. My point was to send a short, FYI, notification, just thought you should know type of email. It was to the point and factual, no emotion and no attacks. Just simple.

I have not inquired about CS in 6 years bc I've never had to. I've never asked for modification or for a review. Since we were in Court and things came up like non payment of medical bills, not keeping health insurance consistently so the judge ordered a review. I am sure it angered them but direct your anger at the system, not me! Ya know?

I did respond. I was calm and I didn't 'apologize' I just basically said I was concerned at how hostile he had become and that I was not aware that there was a law or an injunction stating I couldn't converse with him regarding child support. But left it at that.

I don't understand why the words hurt me. They just do. I am 'told' my daughter is treated with this same hostility every day at their house. I think that might be why it hurts me. I feel her pain when I am in her shoes and I'm an adult! I can't protect her from them. I can't figure out how to teach her to stand up for herself when I can't do it for myself. I have a problem with confrontation. And criticism. I can't stand it Internalize everything that is said to me but only by certain people in my life. I'm CRAZY! It's why I'm in therapy.

For the record, I've never harassed them. I haven't called them directly in 3 years. In the last 10 months I've called their house 4 times to speak to my daughter. (no answer, so does it count? Lol)
I don't email often unless there is an issue but I'm very careful not to antagonize or accuse anyone of anything. I'm answered with 'mind your own business, not your concern, get over yourself, you need a psych eval'
Co-parenting is non existent.
Up until 10 months ago, for three years dad had supervised visits, SM had no access. I'm hoping that one day, we'll be back on that schedule. My Dd told me last night she wished they were still just doing the 1 Hour visits. But I can't really do anything with that info. I feel very sorry for my girl. She is going to need serious therapy one day. This is the SM that makes my Dd call ME by my first name in her presence while she calls SM MOM... Very controlling.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 12:08AM
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Myfampg, I'm so sorry they treat you like this. My ds16's sm somewhat treats me the same, hence the reason last week with the dental bill situation I refused to speak to her. Though bd will speak to me on the phone, so that's better. Keep those emails in a folder, including yours. You did nothing wrong. The IV D office told you to contact them, therefore it can hardly be harassment. The payment could easily have be misapplied to someone else and him not caring is disgusting. He should want his daughter to have that money. You should probably follow up with the support office and tell them what he told you. They may need to investigate on their end. It took awhile for my office to find their mistake.... then they told me I should have called sooner when I didn't get it. They told you they have to wait till he's 61 days behind, explain to them that he told you it was taken from his check. Ask them to please check to make sure it wasn't applied to another case. Be stern with them. They are there to work for you. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 7:26AM
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Makes one just wanna 'b*tch slap' that SM of yours, Myfam. What a foolish abusive thing to have responded the way she did. If Ex really paid and it has gone bad somewhere, the nut should be thanking you for pointing it out.

On the other hand, if something has indeed happened to Ex's job and no more money can be withheld from a paycheck from that place of employment...the little hate filled spew full of threats had nothing to do with anything YOU did wrong. You've said they have had debt troubles in the past. Threats (even untrue ones) are likely her standard retort.

Nope. No harassment, nothing illegal, merely followed the advice of the CS office with a 'heads up'. Of course you can't text and say something along the lines of 'where the heck is the money you deadbeat? I want it and I want it now or _______(fill in blank with threat)'. For starters, that's not your personality and secondly, that mode would get you nowhere but toss fuel on her fire. You've contacted him, been told to basically drop dead. Now you've just got to go the process and let the state figure out where the money went (if it was sent) and/or pursue him when the time guidelines allow. He can't hide from the CS office (he owns his home, they know where he is). He can't toss that hissy fit at them and get away with it, 'never contact me again' won't go far if he uses that line on the state.

Following up with the agency like Mom3 suggested is a good idea. They told you you could inquire, you did, there is still a chance there has been a mistake. You're doing nothing wrong. Nothing to feel bad and/or guilty about. Nothing illegal. the agency deals with deadbeat parents and/or blow up *ssholes all the time. Ex/SM's huffing and puffing at them won't affect the caseworker at's all in a day's work for them. SM is going to find out the hard way that spewing at the state agency is not at all like trying to blow off a private sector bill collection agency.

She's an abusive person. Her tirades are her power. Her punishments she deals out to others is what feeds her dysfuction. It's pretty simple, this woman's mind works in an abnormal way. It's not you, it's not's her. And it's your EX for allowing it. I wonder if he even knows you texted and that 'he' responded?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 8:33AM
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"This is the SM that makes my Dd call ME by my first name in her presence while she calls SM MOM.."

OMG That is wrong in so many ways...sorry I don't follow all the threads here like some do..but how old is your daughter? I can only relate to my kids....11 and 14 now....and I know if my GF of 3+ years or my ex's BF of 4+ years even suggested that they call them "mom" or "dad", they'd probably laugh in their face. I am guessing your daughter is much younger. But...I think you do have the right to let your daughter know that YOU are her mother and NOBODY else has the right to even suggest that she call her mom, never mind force her to. That is so messed up.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 10:17AM
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She is 10 almost 11 and she does it because she is scared. She said if she calls SM by her name, she gets ignored until she says MOM. If she calls Dad Daddy he reminds her daddy is for babies and his name is Dad. If she tells a story about me and says 'my mom' they say 'who?' they are crazy.

The therapist AND judge know about this and told him not to do this but now that we are out of court, they do what they want. He is in contempt on everything in the order and the order is only 5 months old. My lawyer says we need to wait a while to file contempt. A lot of things are hard to prove. It's really a nightmare. I never thought my life would be this complicated. I never thought I would be in a situation like this.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 11:45AM
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Wow....I am so sorry to hear this....those people are idiots. I wish I had some good advice for you...stay strong and don't stoop to their your daughter grows up she will understand who was really there for her.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 11:52AM
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Mkroopy I honestly take this as a compliment and I appreciate it!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 4:14PM
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I'm horrified Myfam.

I would talk to dd and find a special, secret just us two name that you can call her, and that she can call you. Secret names, that you don't tell anyone else.

Then start having her call you by your first name. Tell her when she's saying your first name, to think of your special names and know that names are power. Naming is power. All you have is your name, and "mom" is just a title. Anyone can be called "mom" (just look at SM!)

Tell her to think of MOM as an acronym.

MOM = Mind Over Matter
MOM = Mission Of Mercy
MOM = Moment of Madness
MOM = Must Obey Me

Then think of some acronyms for the two of you.

Mary Olivia Smith could be = MOS (MOSS) MADE OF STEEL/Sweetness

Laura Rachael Adams could be = Love Remembers Always.

You could draw pictures of your secret names so she has a visual to go with it. Maybe make a collage to hang in her room. Remind her people sometimes what things that don't make sense to other people, and that no matter what you called another little girl she still wouldn't be your little myfam, no matter if you called her DD or bug or twinkles or whatever special you call you daughter. She still wouldn't be YOUR DD.

So let go of the word "mom", it's just a title. Give it to SM, maybe you could even have a little mock gift ceremony. "here lies the word MOM, we are wrapping it in this gift box, and returning it to the word depot."

As to the child support, I have no advice. I'm really sorry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acronym Finder

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 12:46PM
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That is such wonderful, wonderful advice, Silversword. What a gift to give a child - a way to take control of the issue and wipe away the sting. That is a great tool in her toolbox of life skills!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 4:14PM
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I agree... silver that's awesome!! I love it!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 4:32PM
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