Money Owed To My Kids

by Kathy

I am not a writer, and this is not a 2nd hand account of something that happened to someone I know. This happened to me, and I want everyone to know.

I grew up in Las Vegas, and when I was 16, I found out I was pregnant. My father disowned me when I told him, and I have not talked to him since. School was not an option, as I was having twins, and the burden of finding a sitter was near impossible when I wasn’t making money to pay for one, I dropped out, and I got a job working at Kmart as a cashier. The baby’s father was supportive enough, he didn’t have much either, and he seemed to love my children very much.
At 17, I packed everything I owned into one suitcase and flew across the country to raise my children in Ohio.

It is a better place for kids to grow up, and I at least had my mother there. This is when my boyfriend left, he had never been anywhere but Las Vegas, and was not adapting to Ohio very well. It was fine with me, as I didn’t want to be with him anyway. I thought he would at least pay child support and call his kids, but that was the last time I heard from him. My kids were 10 months old at the time.

Not long after that, my mom left. In the years since, I have seen her once; she wasn’t as much help as I had hoped she would be. The rest of my family were busy and living their own lives. I couldn’t count on anyone but myself. I was working at a health food store, making minimum wage and living in low income housing. I went back and earned my GED when I was 18, thinking I would be able to find a better job.

I found a baby-sitter in the newspaper, someone who watched kids out of her home. I couldn’t afford regular daycare, and my kids took to her right away. I started working at a bar, making decent money, but the hours were hard and it seemed like I never saw my kids.

My decision to go to college was hard. By this point, I had moved into the other half of the duplex, owned by my babysitter, and she totally supported my decision and said she would help as much as she could. My kids were starting school, so at least I wouldn’t have to pay her while they were gone during the day.

I had to get on Medicaid, because my kids needed their vaccinations before school, and the bar I worked at did not provide insurance.
I went to classes when I could, morning, afternoon, night, and my job at the bar was very accommodating to my school schedule. Those were the worst 5 years of my life. I never saw my kids, I hardly slept, and I was barely paying my bills, but, I knew it would be worth it in the end.

During these 9 years since I last saw my kid’s father, I received about $250 in child support and a letter saying he had to pay me $50/month for BOTH kids. I thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t. The last payment I received was in 2006 for $10.

I graduated from college in 2004 with a BA in Business; I walked in my cap and gown and got my diploma. I was so proud that I had done it! I would be able to get a good job, take care of my kids by myself, and not be on welfare for the rest of their lives.

Things haven’t really gone that smoothly, but I am not complaining. I had a few rough patches after graduating, but now, in 2011, I have a great job that I love, I got married to a great man who wants to adopt my kids, my kids get good grades (all A’s, some B’s), we are very close, they are respectful, they play sports, and I did it by myself.

I recently received a letter from Stark County Child Support saying I was getting a payment from my kid’s dad for over $3000! I couldn’t believe it, I haven’t heard anything in 7 years, and now all of a sudden I am getting this huge payment for back child support? I called the state, and Stark County, to verify that I was actually getting this. Both said I would receive 2 separate checks, one for $1000, and one for $2500.

I received the first check right away, gave my kids some money, bought them new shoes, and paid their school fees. I told them when I received the 2nd check; we would book a beach house in Virginia and go on vacation to Washington DC for a day and Williamsburg for a day. They were really excited!

I called over several time over the next 3 weeks to find out if the check had been released yet, and everyone I talked to said it would be released any day and I should be expecting the check. The last time I called, I was told the check was finally released, but it was going to Stark County to cover when my children were on Medicaid. Money, owed to me from my kid’s father, is now going to the state.

I am not a freeloader, I used welfare to actually help me get through school with 2 kids, and not just get money from the state to live on for the rest of my life, and they are taking my money. I know people on welfare, getting child support. When their kids turn 18, will they have to pay that money back?

No, because they won’t have it. So those of us who better our lives are expected to pay back the money we used for help, while others are allowed to stay on welfare.

This makes no sense to me. The chance of ever seeing another payment from my kid’s dad for back child support is very slim. If I would have stayed on welfare the entire time I was in school, at least I would have seen some money, but I didn’t want to abuse the system, and now I am being punished for doing the right thing.

I will never see that state child support money; it is gone, taken by the government, even though it is owed to me and my kids. It is no wonder people stay on welfare and abuse the system; you get more out of it if you stay poor and don’t do anything with your life.

Comments for Money Owed To My Kids

Click here to add your own comments

Child support
by: Anonymous

First off, I want to thank you for telling your story. I am going through a similar situation myself. My two children were only 11 months and 3 yrs old when I finally left my kids dad. He helped me a little here and there but eventually didn't send me any money to help pay for their diapers or food or anything.

I had to search for other means of help such as Medicaid, Foodstamps, and social security. My 3 yr old daughter had just recently been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and she needed immediate medical attention and therapy which I could not afford on my own so I went through Medicaid. I was only able to do so if I went through child support(attorney general's office).

I didn't want to do this as my kids dad and I were starting to get back to speaking terms and I knew this would make things worse for him financially but at the same time I knew my kids deserved it. He had always tried telling me he would always be there and help me do what needed to be done for them but in the end it was all just words.

I took my kids and moved in with my boyfriend who was so incredibly supportive and loved my kids as if they were his own and they loved him. He had been going to school full time and recently got his Associate's Degree in Studio Art and was going for his Bachelor's Degree in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. He went out of his way to get a part time job to help pay for an apartment and help me raise my kids. I rarely ever have time to see him or do anything with him as a couple since our lives are so hectic with school, work, therapy and doctors appointments and schedules.

I am struggling every month to pay bills and have money for food and diapers for my kids. I would love to go back to school or work but since I can't afford to pay for child care and I have no family or friends that live around me its very difficult. My daughter is now in school fulltime and next year my son will be able to attend a headstart program through the school district.

I am struggling financially trying to make my daughters little social security check stretch each month and now that tax season is here I was hoping i could file and get the child tax credit for them.

My kids dad hasn't seen my kids in almost a year....since Feb.2011 but all of a sudden wants to claim my son on his taxes because he's afraid of going to jail for not paying the back child support.Reading your story brought tears to my eyes because it gives me hope that things can and will get better eventually especially since I'm working so hard to better myself and my kids lives. He has his responsibility to pay the child support and only then can he see his kids and possibly claim one on taxes.

Thank you for sharing your story and giving me hope. It means more to me than you know.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ohio Child Support Questions.