Lost Job But Still Ordered To Pay Now
by Debby Krebs
This is actually about my son. He and his wife are divorced. They have two sons. They are 12 and 7. She walked out on him and both of the boys 5 1/2 years ago for another man. She stayed in the boys lives. They each would have them for a week. She actually had the youngest one and took the older one to her mother's house. This worked well for almost 5 years. She then began to make lots of changes. She moved closer to her mother and filed for divorce. She asked for mediation with my son.
At the time of mediation she sobbed and screamed until he finally gave in to her wishes. He ended up agreeing to have them every other weekend, holidays and every other week in the summer. This too worked well for a while. She then filed for custody and child support. She lives with her boyfriend and he is employed.
My son had been working at the same job for over three years. He filed his 2009 taxes and claimed the kids so he would have enough money to pay for an attorney. His attorney did absolutely nothing in the court room to help him. It was a real joke. The judge ended up saying that the mediation agreement would remain the same.
Each one having custody, her having physical custody. The oldest son lives with his grandmother and the court is aware of this. But he ordered him to pay 573.00 per month support. Some of that he said was arrearages. The original court date was in Nov. 2009 and they set a new date of April 2, 2010. So he stared out in arrears. Now
my son was only making $10.00 an hour.
Even though that was leaving him hardly enough to live on he began paying her. He was not ordered to go through DSS but to pay her directly. He went to work on Monday May 17, 2010 and his employer told him he had to let him go. He said there were too many tractors and things being returned by customers saying they were not fixed right. My son was considered the mechanic's helper. His employer was supposed to be the head mechanic. The first thing he did was apply online for unemployment and then he went to the court to file for an ammendment to the support until he could find work.
He does not even have a phone interview with unemployment until July 29th. She in the meantime was very upset and was telling everyone he quit his job and then that he got fired on purpose. She had papers served on him and they went to court yesterday. The judge ordered him to continue to pay the support as previously ordered plus and additional $1,005.00 by October 5th. Plus he has to file an amended tax paper by then and not claim the kids.
How in the world can he expect anyone to pay that is looking for work. My son understands that he will still owe the money and it will have to be caught up at some point but this court order is impossible. He was also told he could not get a court appointed attorney and of course he cannot afford one himself. There is no agency around that does free legal aid concerning family law.
What can he do to help himself?