Guess what I did today? I started garnishment proceedings. Let me back up first.
The weather has been terrible here lately. I got a phone call around 5:30 this morning letting me know school had been canceled. I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t. I thought I would do something relaxing, like reading blogs or playing Candy Crush. Long story short I had a mini nervous breakdown thinking about the crap that’s going on- trying to get support modified, wanting to garnish CF so he can stop playing these games, wondering when in the hell he was finally going to pay another support payment (he paid half of spousal support on the 16th; he didn’t pay the other half until today), realizing I hadn’t heard from my attorney since Monday, potentially losing my partner at work who is applying for another job within the department (which will leave me by myself to do the work that 3-4 people used to do but has now been condensed down to 2 people doing it with lots of help from others), thinking about college costs for my daughter and taxes coming due, and any other catastrophe that can possibly come my way.
I call the mobster on my way to work as I do every day and I tell him I’m in a funk; I’m stressed. I actually cry on my way to work, although I don’t think he knew it. He’s trying to solve these problems for me, and he’s telling me there’s got to be someone I can talk to about getting him garnished. I tell him I tried calling before and it’s very apparent that there’s not. You end up with a recording telling you how to get a case started.
I go into work, still in kind of a funk. About an hour into it I get my weekly email which details my account balance. I haven’t been freaking out about CF’s non-payment because he’s religiously paid since the judge tore him a new one. I figure I’ve got probably $900 or so in my account and he still owes me quite a bit. Then I get the email which tells me I have approximately $360 in there. Oh fantastic! Let’s see how far I can stretch $360, keeping in mind I don’t get paid again until next Friday and my insurance will be due probably before I get paid.
On my break I decided to do as the mobster suggested and I called once again. Once again I’m given the whole spiel about filling out the application and how to go about getting one. Then I decide to try to push the button for the “other” option. Actually, it was, “If none of these choices describe you then press x.” I pressed X and I got a real live person! Oh, happy day!
It turns out I can begin a garnishment case before my child support is modified. In fact, as she told me, it is his responsibility to get it modified and because he hasn’t the old support still stands. Even better is the fact that they will indeed garnish the spousal support as well.
I made arrangements to take a long lunch. I drove home, collected all of my papers which were all still in order, found my kids’ birth certificates, and headed on downtown. After a slight mixup there we got ourselves on course and I now have a caseworker.
I told the receptionist how he had calculated support for Rock Star down to the half hour she graduated and how he had taken it upon himself to modify the order himself and simply cut it in half. She was looking at me, stunned. “That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works!” She sounded like the lady in the Geico commercial. She went on to say that judges don’t like it when you do their work for them and that you can’t just modify it on your own.
Well, I know that! He’s the smartest man you’ll ever meet so you would think he would know that.
I asked about arrears and she assured me that the state has a table and they do all the calculations for me. She asked if he was behind and I had to remind her how he refused to speak to a lawyer about modifying the current order and had modified it himself instead. I don’t remember her exact words but there was something about how this was not good (for him, of course), and digging himself a bigger hole. She looked genuinely distressed on his behalf.
This whole process will probably take somewhere between 60 and 90 days. Not exactly moving at the speed of light, but it’s definitely better than not moving at all. I wish I had known I could do this months ago because I would have done it. Every time I asked my attorney if it could be done she ignored my question. To be fair I usually asked more than one question in an email, but somehow that one was always left unanswered.
I emailed my attorney to let her know that I believed CF would soon be modifying support himself because I had started garnishment through my state. I reiterated that they will be seeking arrears for the entire amount and that they believe it is his responsibility to get this modified, and not mine. “I’m sure that when they start garnishing him $1800/month for child support he will be motivated to get this done.” I also asked about what I need to do to file a contempt of court motion for the $25,000 in legal fees he has not yet paid me (and which were due on December 28th).
Amazingly she was able to respond to me within an hour! Imagine that. Apparently, her understanding was that I would be coming by to pick up my file next week. She thought we could finalize everything then, and then she could send the order to CF.
It might have been nice if she had shared that plan with me. I’ve been waiting since Monday to hear anything new. As it stands now I don’t believe there is anything to finalize. It looks like my state is going to go after him for support and they’re going to fuck him up the ass with a cactus when it comes to arrears. Maybe he should have taken that first offer, huh?
I predicted he would be furious upon learning he was being garnished. He would see it as humiliating. Plus, that takes all the control away from him. He no longer gets to decide when I will get paid. It’s all done for him. With this latest bombshell he will be apoplectic. Arrears at just over $900/month since June? By the time they finally get around to garnishing him he will more than likely owe 9-10 months worth of back support. And he’ll still have to get it modified. Until he does he’s on the hook for two kids. He’s going to be real mad. Real, real mad. Better him than me, I always say. You would think at some point he would learn it does not pay to fuck with me. Checkmate, motherfucker.