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Complicated child support issues - I am SO lost!

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oh, please someone, HELP!

Okay, it's a VERY long and complicated story, so I will sum it up as fast as I can.

DH has a 12 yo DD from previous marriage. Ex wife HATES us and uses custody of daughter to get back at us for things. It's bad. She threatened me for years never to have children because she didn't want her daughter to have the competition from MIL (so she says).

When she found out I was pregnant a year ago, she lost it and called the state on my husband and told them he's never paid child support. The thing is, we have paid it. We've overpaid it in fact, and we always paid a week or two early so she wouldn't have overdrafts. Even when my husband was laid off for 6 months, I worked extra to pay his child support and DD's insurance.

Well, the state immediately started seizing 1/2 of DH's pay. They say we owe her over $20k! They also intercept anything that comes our way including our economic stimulus check that we needed to get a car and also our tax return - even mine. DH tried calling them, but they treat him like he's a criminal and are very rude and refuse to help him. We tried sending in the paperwork proving that we had paid it all, but they will not accept it from us stating that it's just considered "gifts" unless the mother sends it in with an affidavit saying it's been paid.

So we went to her to send the stuff in and she swears she did it twice, but they keep telling us that the paperwork is "lost." Both times. DH filed for a review so he could go to court over the phone (we live in HI, they live in TX) but each time he files, they tell him the review paperwork was "lost."

We can't get a lawyer. We've tried. We are barely surviving right now - living in an efficiency and barely eating. We have NO MONEY. Not even an extra dollar. I get so angry every time someone tells me to get a lawyer. We have nothing and no one will help us.

I work full time from home and DH works full time as well. He's on salary, so he can't get an extra job or anything. he works 10 hours a day 6 days a week.

What do I do? Isn't there some way to file a complaint against the state or something? It's horrible what they are doing to us and I don't know who to tell or even if they would listen to us. Everyone is treating us like criminals who don't want to pay our child support.

Anyone have any advice? I had consigned myself to living in poverty until DSD turns 18, but the food prices just shot up about 1/3 and I'm so scared! We can't get government help. They won't let us because DH "makes too much money." They won't figure in that the state is taking 1/2 his paycheck. They don't let you claim child support here.
post #2 of 27
I don't really have any advice. I think it's horrible that your sd's biomom has put you in this position. That's why I recommend to fathers that they have their child support taken from their checks through the state, so that the biomom can't say that the money was just a gift or that it was for something extra.

I hope the situation gets worked out for you and that you don't have to wait until your sd is 18.
post #3 of 27
We were screwed by DH's ex, too. We are in TX and IT SUCKS for CS issues. DH paid his ex over $10,000 before it was ordered to go through the state for tracking reasons. The ex denied ever receiving any CS payments from him prior. DH refused to pay anything extra for years. He is paid in tips, didn't receive an actual paycheck until last year, and always owed on taxes. So, nothing was ever taken out of his pay check.

However, we went to buy a home last year and could not get approved for a loan until the back CS was paid. The state claimed he owed $8,000. We had all the cancelled checks from the bank. We sent copies to his ex to get her to "see" that she received more than that amount that was not accounted for. Not only that, but DH had a ledger that he had her sign off in saying she received a paymet before it was going to the state. She refused to sign anything saying she acknowledged those payments for the state, though. We ended up having to pull that money out of our down payment to pay her just to get our loan approved. We still have to go to court to fight for that money back, but we have to first deal with the issue of changing custody. We do not want to do both at the same time and make the custody issue look like it is being done because of the money issue. kwim

This was one of the worst things we ever had to deal with. Your situation sounds even worse considering they are now taking his paycheck. My best advice it to figure out some way to get a lawyer any way you can. I understand why the state is so hardcore on child support. It just SUCKS when the fathers end up getting screwed by the mothers for no reason other than she is looking to screw him over. Where is the father's protection, especially when it is affecting your livelihood?
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strangeduck View Post
I don't really have any advice. I think it's horrible that your sd's biomom has put you in this position. That's why I recommend to fathers that they have their child support taken from their checks through the state, so that the biomom can't say that the money was just a gift or that it was for something extra.

I hope the situation gets worked out for you and that you don't have to wait until your sd is 18.
Thanks

Yes, he was having his child support taken out of his paychecks for a while, but then he got laid off suddenly and we lost all our income. He had no job or income security. We lost our house and everything. It was awful He needed a lawyer to go back and get things changed for him, but we were flat broke, so we made a verbal agreement with her which is legally binding, but I guess not if she says it never happened.
post #5 of 27
So sorry about what you are going through ,

It sucks but nothing is legal and binding with custody issues unless it is put into the court system and documented with them.

When my husband was paying child support he did not wish to set up the payments to directly come out of his paycheck so he arranged and made payments to the "child support clearing house" and they would document the payment and then send her out a check .. Made things less of a hassle when he switched jobs ..

go to one of those free advice web site and see what the lawyers there have to say
post #6 of 27
aww, honey. i'm so going through the same kind of thing right now. lies, lies, lies. my husband never had to pay child support before because they had joint custody, but he had a settled upon sum that he paid each month - in CASH (what were we thinking??)

anyway...i don't have advice other than try to get a lawyer. some sort of pro bono or something. and just try to take it one day at a time and rejoice at the small victories of the day. i am so in the same horrible, terrifying, brain-eating state right now. we just have to stick together and try to live day to day.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cicada View Post
aww, honey. i'm so going through the same kind of thing right now. lies, lies, lies. my husband never had to pay child support before because they had joint custody, but he had a settled upon sum that he paid each month - in CASH (what were we thinking??)

anyway...i don't have advice other than try to get a lawyer. some sort of pro bono or something. and just try to take it one day at a time and rejoice at the small victories of the day. i am so in the same horrible, terrifying, brain-eating state right now. we just have to stick together and try to live day to day.
I'm SO sorry you are going through it, too Yes, you described it exactly as terrifying and brain-eating. Sometimes I just sit for hours staring and trying to figure out how to fight it and end up running in circles.

"One day at a time." That's my motto.
post #8 of 27
This is awful! Are there no records or bank statements to prove your case?
post #9 of 27
That ought to be illegal for the government to not count your payments just because it wasn't funnelled through them.
post #10 of 27
I sent you a private pm.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post
This is awful! Are there no records or bank statements to prove your case?
Yes, we have copies of all of the checks she cashed and also the Western Union payments we sent. The problem is that it's only considered a payment if the mother files an affidavit saying that she received them as child support payments, otherwise it's counted only as "gifts."
post #12 of 27
the university of hawaii has a law school with clinical programs, including a family law clinic and a general pro bono clinic. call them and ask about getting one of their students (supervised by a licensed attorney) to represent you. here is there website: http://www.hawaii.edu/law/site-conte...ics/index.html
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiekat View Post
the university of hawaii has a law school with clinical programs, including a family law clinic and a general pro bono clinic. call them and ask about getting one of their students (supervised by a licensed attorney) to represent you. here is there website: http://www.hawaii.edu/law/site-conte...ics/index.html
Thanks, I can try that. I already went to the child support office here and the lady gave me some advice and also gave me her copy of the federal child support guidelines, but she said that the laws vary from state to state. I suppose a student attorney could study the Texas laws too, though.

We did try some Hawaii attorneys, but they said they could not work for us from here. I wonder if a student attorney could do that for us from here. We live in Hawaii and DH's ex lives in Texas.
post #14 of 27
that sounds horrible. but the only thing you can really do at this point is get a lawyer asap. maybe ask friends or family for a long term loan to pay for this if you can. but get yourself a lawyer now.
post #15 of 27
We are in a very similar boat. Its been a nightmare and I am sorry to hear your family is dealing with it to. ((hug))
post #16 of 27
Have you looked at legal aid in the area? Have you called an attorney willing to do a free consultation? Have you contacted the law schools in the area to see if there are students who can help (some students can be admitted to the court) or at least point you in the proper direction?
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princessenoire View Post
Have you looked at legal aid in the area? Have you called an attorney willing to do a free consultation? Have you contacted the law schools in the area to see if there are students who can help (some students can be admitted to the court) or at least point you in the proper direction?
Yes, we have done all but the last. Calling law schools in the area is what we are trying next.
post #18 of 27
I was told by Friend of the Court that if you did not pay through them, than it was considered a gift and did not count as child support.

It doesn't help you but it's something keep in mind that this is apparently how the courts view it.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetree View Post
I was told by Friend of the Court that if you did not pay through them, than it was considered a gift and did not count as child support.

It doesn't help you but it's something keep in mind that this is apparently how the courts view it.
Yes, that is what our problem is.
post #20 of 27
I assume that child support was ordered as part of their divorce decree, so how could it be considered a gift? As part as DH's divorce, they started out with not going through CSE. The payments he made were not considered a gift when they finally decided to go through CSE......I would think if you took it to court, with all you proof you would have a case.

Do the payments say child support on the memo?
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