Back Child Support And The Bias of the Legal System
(La Crosse, Wisconsin)
I am a father of three wonderful little girls. Their Mother decided she wanted a divorce in 2009 and we are in the final stages of that because she refuses to split the custody of the children evenly even though I was the one who stayed home with the children,etc. For lack of a better term, I was a "house husband", watched the children, cleaned the house and took care of other duties around the home, worked part time and went to school.
I was saddled with support payments which apparently gave her the green light to quit her job (which payed very well) and go back to school. Now, with penalties, fines, etc., I am very far in the hole with child support. Making a monthly payment is out of the question because I am only bringing in roughly $37 a week in unemployment.
I have a chance at a security which pays $9.75 an hour but I read on the form for the security permit that the state of Wisconsin can deny your application for back child support. I have tried continuously to contact the county child support agency to see if this will be a problem and prevent me from getting a permit for this much needed job but it is staffed predominantly by women, all of whom apparently take very extended lunch breaks as I have not reached one of them during normal office hours.
Christmas is coming and I have no money to live let alone give my children presents. I have thought about asking their Mother to forgive the back child support but as vindictive as she is and full of
unjustified cruelty, I doubt that dog would hunt.
The system is unduly biased against men and places us into indentured servitude. They take tax refunds and in Wisconsin, you cannot claim your children if you owe back child support so even if you provide for them while they are with you, you cannot claim it but the Mother gets to. It is a system that benefits the custodial parent, more often than not the Mother, and penalizes the parent who only gets visitation.
It isn't fair, right or just. There is nothing in our background to have the court award her primary placement, nothing other than the fact she is a woman. It is an outdated system, antiquated and broken. My children suffer because of it, I suffer, we all suffer and it has taken its toll on my children and myself while their Mother seems to enjoy seeing me dangle.
I want to work and need to work but how can I when the one job I have found and pays something I can live with around here I can't get because the state can deny me a permit to conduct the work. Nobody should have to live under these conditions. Bad enough I don't get to see my children as I used to.
Bad enough I have to settle for telephone calls because they are away from me a week or more at a time. Now I have to sit here unemployed because of the law and the knee jerk reactions that put fathers like myself in with the true "dead beat dads" who gave up on their kids a long time ago and forgot them.