Issues With Back Child Support
(Bella Vista, AR)
I live in Arkansas. I am the non-custodial of two boys 15,17 that live with their mother 250 miles away, but still are within the state. I have since remarried and have a 2 year old and 4 year old.
My child support decree always stated payment by month except the last one done in 2004, it specified by week. I started making what I thought was the correct payment of weekly times 4 and was never notified otherwise. My EX took me to court over a medical bill and my wages were garnished 500 per paycheck for 3 paychecks leaving me unable to pay child support.
So she turned me over to DHS/OCSE for failure to make payment. Thats when DHS/OCSE calculated that since 2004 I owed her 52 weeks of payments instead of the 48 weeks I had actually paid which put me 6000 dollars in arrears. Plus 10% in penalties of course. They also raised my child support from the 550 I was paying to 650.
In addition to that have killed my ability to obtain a passport, absolutely ruined my already bad credit rating, garnished my federal and state income taxes so now I have not money to catch up on medical bills or pay my property taxes.
What is so frustrating is my EX uses child support to eat out and take fancy vacations. My current wife and I haven't had a vacation in years and rarely eat out. I am two months behind on my house payment. Why should I have to struggle to keep from losing the roof over my head and keep my two year old in diapers when my two oldest boys see very little benefit from the extortion that the state has imposed on me ?
I talk to my 2 oldest boys weekly. I haven't seen them in a year and a half. My divorce degree say's every other weekend I get them, but that has never happened.
After this whole child arrears thing came up I complained to a lawyer about my visitation and he said that until I am caught up forget visitation because I judge will just look at the dollar signs. Even If a judge ordered us to meet half-way I couldn't afford it. We are living about as
lean as a family can.
I'm sure there are others out there in the same sort of mess that I am in. It sucks to think you are caught up on child support and living tight then the state comes in and says your are 6000 behind due immediately and then you get treated like a criminal. In the eyes of DHS/OCSE I am a deadbeat dad and am treated about the same as a convicted felon.
The fact that I always paid my child support payment until a small claims court judge garnished my wages and screwed up my finances means absolutly nothing.
To top it off knowing that big checks being cut and sent to my EX so she can travel (probably a foreign country) when I can't even legally leave the US sucks too.
DHS/OCSE should be ASHAMED to say they represent the children. Who my oldest children? They don't get watched after and see very little help from the money that is extorted from me. My youngest children? DHS/OCSE acts like they don't even exist since they are after the divorce. DHS/OCSE represents the custodial parent, period.
I'm just really tired of explaining to my wife it will be better someday and it just seems to keep getting worse. Its almost like DHS/OCSE is trying to get my wife to divorce me so they can add another case to my list and have another 15 years of penalties and fee's collected.
So my question in a nutshell. Why doesn't my wife have any rights? Or my 2 year old and 4 year old? Another question. If I traveled across the state to see my boys early on in the divorce, why can't my EX be responsible for getting them to me now? Wouldn't that be 50/50 and fair. By the way, she has NEVER brought them to me.
If I don't fork over the money for a road trip and hotel and eating out to get there I don't get to see them which is why it has been a year and a half. I just can't afford it with the two little ones.
I look forward to the day I can once again buy Christmas or birthday presents. Its been four years now and counting...
Thanks for hearing me out.