One Step Forward, About 100 Steps Back

Let’s start with the good news first, shall we? First, CF has paid his self-modified child support every month since losing his job. My mom seems to think the email I sent did some good. Last month he paid approximately half of his court ordered spousal support, which pretty much means he’s finally caught up with February. He also sent me some money for spousal support this month. I hate to say it but he’s actually been doing better paying now than when he had a job. Perhaps the key is to let him pay whatever he feels like paying. Or, perhaps it is to be so desperate that when he actually sends half of what he’s supposed to you’re grateful. Needless to say, it has meant I haven’t had to take on a second job.

Second, I got a raise. It’s not much of a raise. I believe it comes out to approximately $11/week more. Of course, since CF lost his job I cranked up my exemptions claimed to get an additional $80/paycheck so now when I go back down I’ll actually take another pay cut!

Oh, how I envy those people who start a job and see pay increases over time. For me, it’s always been decreases. Get a paycheck. That’s your baseline. Then start contributing to a 401k. Boo! Less money in the paycheck. Get a raise. Hooray! More money. Start paying insurance premiums. Boo! Lot less money. Get another raise! Hooray! Little bit more money. Cut out all exemptions to cover taxes for spousal support. Boo! Lot less money. Get my annual review raise. Hooray! CF loses his job. Boo! I raise the number of exemptions paid. Kind of a win/lose situation for me, because I know it’s going to mean I pay taxes next April but it also means instead of $50 left over each month I have about $200. One day… Anyway, the good news is I got a raise and I am now making a whole $14.05/hour! College education and two years of relevant work experience gets me less than $30,000 a year. Better than a kick in the head, I suppose.

The bad news? Let’s just say I think CF is going to get away with everything. Along with those people who get a job and see only pay increases I also envy those people who have found the courts or child support offices to be helpful and easy to navigate.

I do realize my situation is a little different because I found out he was cheating in Virginia. I filed for divorce and intended to remain there. He hightailed it back to Kentucky, and soon after I was forced back to Indiana.

Thursday I emailed the caseworker. It has been more than 90 days since I had heard from her.

Back in March when we first began corresponding she made mention that they were waiting on, among other things, payment history from Virginia. I told her at that time there wouldn’t be any payment history because he paid me directly. There was never an order for him to go through the state. She then told me she would send me a direct pay affidavit once she received the necessary paperwork from Virginia.

When she replied Friday morning she let me know they had only received the certified orders the prior week because they had had to request them twice. She also let me know they still had not sent the affidavit of payments.

There isn’t going to be one! He paid me directly. I told her that back in March. She was planning on sending me a direct pay affidavit.

She asks me again if he paid me directly or if he had the payments sent to the Clerks and then distributed to me, or if there was a child support office involved.

Um, nope. He paid me directly. I don’t know how much clearer I can be. He. Paid. Me. Directly.

Finally, she tells me that if I’m unable to create this log of payments that it may stop the case from going forward.

Say what? If I don’t have a log of all his payments made to me I can’t get him garnished? That sounds stupid.

I write her back to let her know that I do indeed have such a log but it’s at home on my computer so I can’t get it to her until after work. I also tell her that according to him, he’s current as far as child support goes but our daughter graduated from high school last year and he never had the child support modified. I go into that whole long story about how I was trying to get support modified because he refused, how my lawyer was swamped and didn’t get new figures to him until December, how he refused to use those numbers, and how finally I talked to someone at their office who told me it was his responsibility and not mine to get the order modified so I dropped it.

She gets back to me again.

Unless the self- modified order has a Judge’s approval it does not stand.

Well, that sounds good. That was what I was told. Had it stopped there I would have been fine. But no. She goes on to tell me she needs a log of the child support portion only when I come in. She needs to set up an interstate appointment with me. At this meeting she’s going to generate the documents she needs to send to Kentucky.

It gets even better. Because Rock Star graduated she will need to send a request to modify to Kentucky. At that point she will be requesting that Kentucky take “controlling exclusive jurisdiction of the case” and it will then be them modifying, enforcing and registering the order. If for some reason they refuse the request (and she states that it is unlikely) then the case would revert back to Virginia.

Finally, she ends it with this:

You may choose to communicate with your attorney concerning the spousal support since we cannot address that matter.

Oops, she actually ends it by telling me that if I don’t have the payment history log she can’t move forward at the appointment.

At this point I’m spiraling into a meltdown. They want to hand the case over to Kentucky? I paid $35,000 for a divorce in Virginia because that asshole tried to convince the judge he had PTSD and shouldn’t be imputed at his previous wages. He offered me a whopping $700/month in spousal support and $800/month in child support. Yep, they could live on over $10k a month while I would live on about $2700. That sounds fair. I had to hire an expert witness. $8000 that could have gone towards my daughter’s college education but instead was spent fighting him.

Now I have to take my chances with a new judge? One that might sympathize with him and use his actual wages that he earns because he refuses to move out of Kentucky? He could move me and his kids all around the country but God forbid he leave the hills of Kentucky now that he’s fucking his cousin. Oh. Hell. No!

I am NOT going to hand that sonofabitch a substantial decrease in child support! I am the one who has done all the damn work. I’m the one who encouraged him to consult a lawyer. I’m the one that has paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $600-$1000 to get support modified because he wouldn’t. I’m the one who had to start garnishment proceedings because he couldn’t manage to pay on any kind of schedule- even when I told him he could choose whatever fucking schedule he wanted so long as he stuck with it! I’m the one who has kept on the caseworker and who wouldn’t sit by and let him pay nothing.

What has he done? He’s done what he’s done all along. Whatever the fuck he wanted.

Hey! You might want to consult a lawyer because child support has not gone down by 50%.
<<Ignore.>>
Hey! Seriously. Child support has not gone down 50%. It’s more like XXX.
No, it isn’t. I’m cutting it in half and there’s nothing you can about it.

And there pretty much isn’t.

I pay money I don’t fucking have to get it modified on my own. I’m called a cunt. My lawyer puts me on the back burner and takes forever to get a new order to him. Then he wants to argue the support amount. “If we are updating the child support amount owed, then we need to use the actual figures from today to make everything correct and proper.” At no point does my lawyer tell him, “Look asshole, unless she’s making 25% more you need to use the previous figures.” Instead, she says, “Oh yes, the judge would require that.”

Oh hell yes. If I’m making a dollar more per hour then he needs to make sure he’s not paying a single dime more than he should. Forget the fact that I’m still supporting his daughter- college tuition, car repairs, health insurance, car insurance, phone, sorority fees, food, allowance. No, instead let’s focus on the fact he’s only legally responsible for one child now. Obviously, if I get $100 more that he thinks I shouldn’t then it’s only going to pay for my nails and hair. Not his other damn kid.

For a year I went along with him paying whenever he wanted to pay. First it was divided up into four payments and then it went to six, before going back down to four again. But I rarely said a word. If he was paying I kept my mouth shut and dealt with the chaos. Then after finally saying, “Enough!” when I had only received one out of three payments from him in January by the 25th I called the Child Support Enforcement Office again.

I was so proud of myself for finally getting through to a real live person. Just as an FYI: It has never happened again. I was ecstatic to learn I could begin the process even though it hadn’t been modified. I was ecstatic to learn they would garnish him for the original child support amount because he hadn’t ever modified it. I was ecstatic to learn they would garnish spousal support from his check as well. That motherfucker had been playing games with me since June and finally he was going to get his comeuppance. Finally! For once things were going my way and he was going to be in for a very rude awakening. Checkmate, motherfucker.

But nope. After telling me it would take 60-90 days to get this done I later find out, after he loses his job, that it will take 60-90 days to get the information from Virginia, plus another 60-90 days to get it to Kentucky.

After I wait the first 90 days (because of course it’s going to be the full 90 and not the 60) she tells me they won’t garnish the spousal support, which is 75% of what he has to pay me. Even better, they’re going to hand the case over to Kentucky where a new judge will make all the modifications and enforce the order. And of course, if I don’t have a log of payments they couldn’t go ahead with the case anyway.

I did email her back again closer to the end of the day. I asked her if we were talking about the same thing. I was speaking strictly of garnishment and wondered if she was speaking strictly to arrears. I made it a point to tell her that I specifically asked about garnishing spousal support when I called their office and was told they would indeed do that. I went on to tell her I had some serious concerns about handing the case over to Kentucky. Our judge knows who and what he is and what the story is. He imputed him because he refused to move to find a better paying job and he found the girlfriend to be a major cause behind his decision to quit his steady, well paying job of 15 years.

That’s where we are. If we are indeed talking about the same thing then he will get away with everything. It turns out he absolutely can self modify child support! What’s going to happen? Nothing. Either I turn it over to the state and end up with less child support or I drop the garnishment process and allow him to do whatever the fuck he wants to do whenever he wants to do it.

I’ve run the numbers. If they use his current salary and my current salary, plus my very generous $90 credit per month for the more than $400 I pay out for insurance premiums, he gets a $400 decrease from what he’s supposed to be paying. It’s still a $200 decrease from what he’s actually paying. So what good does it do for me to have him garnished? It benefits him and screws me.

Additionally, I will have to haul his ass back into court in Virginia once again in order to get the arrears and the $25,000 in legal fees he still owes. You know what that means? More fucking legal fees. I work almost 22 hours to pay for a single hour of my lawyer’s time. No problem. I just need to work for a full month to pay the next round of court appearances. Plus, I will probably still be screwed because I’ve had two raises (small ones- combined they don’t total $1) since the last time the damn support was figured.

If I choose not to do any of that? Well, then it turns out I’m a big, fat, fucking idiot who spent $35,000 on a divorce in order to collect spousal support for one whole year! One. Whole. Year. he managed to pay. And now he’s not, once again.

I’m so fucking pissed. I’m pissed off at him for never managing to do what it is that he’s legally ordered to do. I’m pissed off at my lawyer, too.

If she had put this order together back in July when she said she was going to all I would have to do is send the orders to Kentucky. Boom! We’re done! There would be no weighing the pros and cons of letting a judge in Kentucky decide because the order would already be amended. Instead I’m left freaking out wondering what this new judge will do and on top of all of that I’ve had two additional raises. What he will probably owe in child support, even if we get it modified in Virginia, won’t amount to anything substantial. I wouldn’t have gone to war over $50/month.

2 thoughts on “One Step Forward, About 100 Steps Back

  1. I’m so sorry Sam. He’s obviously counting on wearing you down so much you just give up. It’s what these bastards do with their chaos and drama. Most of the time it works too. You may be down now but I suspect you’ll be like a dog with a bone soon and coming back at him. Surely karma’s got to get him sometime? I hope so for your sake. Hang in there. Big hugs from France!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Create your own log, Sam.

    Print out the cancelled child-support checks (or the image of the check) in a stack. Type up a summary of the dates, amounts, and put it on top. For the final page, get a generic affadavit sample to type out for you to sign in front of a notary at the bank.

    That is the log. Scan it so you have an electronic copy to email her with, if she asks.

    Child Support Enforcement is not Spousal Support Enforcement. You’re stuck there but you absolutely can create your own log. Gov. authorities are not into piecemeal. If you present her with a tidy, legal log, I think she (and others) are very likely to accept it.

    Like

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