Back Child Support State Of Mississippi
I'm a 43 year old father that got divorced back in Nov 03 and have had a decent, somewhat friendly relationship with the mother of my little girl.
There's certainly something to be said for those divorcees that have no children. No issue with cutting the string and just leaving everything behind. But that?s not my case. Whatever disagreements, arguments, and downright nastiness comes our way, we should never, ever lose sight of the absolute most important thing in this world - the emotional, physical and spiritual well being of our child. *period*
I was married for 5 years. Things were really good for a little over 4 of them. We had a daughter 3 and a half years into our marriage. I don't have to say that I love her more than anything. Her wellbeing is my number 1 priority - it always has been.
When we divorced, I made a huge mistake. I didn't get a lawyer. I had assumed that things will work out for the better for those that are honest. She had gotten primary custodial with child support ($300 a month). While leaving the attorney's office that November afternoon, I remember thinking, child support?? This is crazy! I couldn't even imagine not being able to be with that little girl whenever I wanted. These thoughts went running through my head...what will it be like with my daughter? I casually mentioned this child support deal to her...she downplayed it saying, ?I?ll never ask you to pay me anything Mark?. It is just a MS State formality. And that?s how it was....until the summer of 2009.
In 2004, I proceeded to slowly grind out the 1st year of being single. I was able to sell our modest house. Made a little profit. I gave her $9000 for her portion of the equity.
Everyone that knew me well, that knew my situation, felt like I had full custody because I had her 5 nights a week (including all day and night on weekends). My free time was only 2 nights a week (on weekdays). She was between the age of 2 and 3 at the time. Still, no mention of child support. I would, at times, ask if she needed anything etc... I was always told No.
Sometime mid-summer of 2004, I remember the ex-wife telling me she was buying a car. I didn't think much about it until a few weeks later she filed bankruptcy. I didn't quite understand that because I had just given her that 9 grand earlier in the year remember?
About June or July of 2004, I had decided to build a house. The underwriters at the mortgage company wanted to know about my divorce and any child support issues. I called my ex-wife up and mentioned it to her and she agreed to sign and date a paper stating that she has waived, IS NOT taking, requesting or desiring any child support. We both took copies. I know now, I should have filed it or had a change made to the decree.
In April 2005, my new house is complete. My child and I moved in and began to settle into this nice brick home. Sometime a few months later, the ex got pregant and had gotten married - I thought that was great. On August 29th, Hurricane Katrina struck the coast. This put the ex-wife and her new husband out of work. On the other hand, my job was safe and secure and was back to work within the week. Even without her having an income for a while, there was still, no mention of child support.
On Nov 31, 2005, I got remarried and sold my new house and we moved into my new wife?s larger house.
In 2006 I entered my daughter in preschool. She stayed until the summer of 2007 ? the ex and I split the cost 50%. This is when the schedule of where the child stayed changed. It became a split almost 50-50. On average, the child would stay with me 3 days a week and with her mother 4 days a week.
Throughout the next two years, there was no mention of child support. Custody was pretty consistent with the child staying with me Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and I would take her to school Monday morning. Then I would pick her up
from school on Friday and do it all over again.
Sometime in mid 2008, the ex-wife?s car needed serious repairing. In addition, the economy began to suffer which affected her pay by a large margin. She works for tips. Things weren't looking good in financial terms. But they weren't for me either. My wife was dealing with health issues that made it impossible for her to continue working.
In 2008, we had to do the responsible thing and move out of our house to prevent losing it. We were able to rent it out and moved into a less expensive, smaller rental only a few miles away.
So, early December 2008, after a few heated debates and discussions concerning our child (all via email) she finally mentioned, as a way to "win" this child raising discussion - CHILD SUPPORT. The argument wasn't even about money. In order to punish and control me at every opportunity, she has to use our young daughter.
In September of last year (2009), I get a letter from Mississippi Dept of Health and Human services saying that I owe over $19000 in back child support plus $350 a month. I called the ex-wife to ask her if she had called and reported this information - she said yes. She says, "I don't know what you?re going to do about the $19 thousand dollars you owe me". I mentioned to her about the verbal agreement and letter she signed years ago. She said "you?re going to have to pay me regardless". An attorney is not going to help you.
On Oct 12th, I called DHS and spoke with someone. I was told that I need to give them my human resources address to begin garnishing my wages.
I don't have a problem starting child support payments ? if I have to. Even though I have asked all along if the child needed anything. I was always told NO, don?t worry about it.
As a father, it is my responsibility and number one priority to stand by my child and to be the dad that she deserves. I?m not just talking about providing for her financially; I am talking about something more important. I will continue to be a consistent, positive and nurturing presence in her life - every chance I get, giving her a semblance of the emotional stability that we denied her by getting divorced in the first place. No matter who was at fault, we helped create the mess that she is forced to live with. It?s not just my responsibility to try to make things right with my kid; it?s a priority AND a blessing.
I did forget to mention that I pay 100% of all her medical. We are fortunate she isn't a sickly child. I also pay 100% of her school lunches for her kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade. I have all of this documented.
I always thought the formula for arriving at who pays what is based on overnight stays and parental income - not on the child?s expenses or who actually pays what.
I have an attorney now for the specific reason to address this back child suppport issue. We are going to court on June 5th. I see now that my tax refund might have been garnished. I'll know for sure early next week. I asked my lawyer about it and she said that I should go ahead and pay some money to DHS because it will look better if I have paid something rather than nothing. Now I'm really concerned because that's why I retained an attorney in the first place. To fight the back child support.
Remember, I have a verbal and signed/dated written letter stating that any and all child support is waived and not wanted. She does not and will not deny this. My attorney has taken this letter and attached it to the motion.
So, here?s the big question. If the main reason why this is going to be a losing battle for me, is because I didn?t have the original divorce papers modified and filed in court ? then that?s going to sad. I didn?t even know to do that.
In summary, I'm simply trying to show why, in this case, I feel this back-child support payment is unfair.
What do you guys think? Sorry for the book.