Parents Shouldn’t Get Child Support If They Don’t Have Custody
by April Hayes
Let me start by saying I am not an Idaho resident. I am an Oregon resident. My child support order began in Oregon in 1999 (or so). My ex had physical custody of our 2 children and I received visitation. After years of going back and forth in court my ex moved from Oregon to Idaho and started a child support case in Idaho, so now Idaho is charging me for him starting a case there which is unfair considering I have been having my wages garnished in Oregon from the state of Oregon for 5 years already. Well in 2005 my ex had a great idea he asked if my current husband would be interested in adopting our boys.
I said YES YES YES. My ex wanted to do an open adoption for the purpose that he would still get visitation of his children (which I agreed to) and never have the possibility of having to pay child support. So the kids came to live with my husband, my daughter (from my current husband) and myself. We had the paperwork drawn up by an attorney, and my ex even agreed to "erase my child support arrears" and I thought WOW. I even had the consent for adoption paper signed and (notarized) by my ex. What I didn't know was that HE DIDN'T HAVE TO STOP THE CURRENT CHILD SUPPORT ORDER. I went to the child support office (in Oregon)
They told me I COULDN'T STOP IT BECAUSE OF THE COURT ORDER. They said only another court order OR my ex could stop the child support case. I left crying. I tried again a year later and they told me the same thing. So by this point I didn't know what else to do so I did nothing. I had no money for an attorney, and I didn't have the money to have the adoption paperwork filed (which would have stopped the child support) and my ex refused to have the child support stopped. He just kept telling me to have the adoption completed, and I kept telling him I can't pay for an attorney while having my checks garnished and supporting our children.
The last time I contacted the child support office in Oregon I finally got someone to listen to me and she helped me and told me what paperwork to file. And although the child support order was in the process of been stopped when my husband and I filed our tax returns this year IDAHO got $3,901 for child support arrears. ( I don't know why it didn't go the Oregon child support first, that’s how all of the other child support stuff has always gone though). After doing some research I found out that because it was a joint file they hold onto the check for 6 months (in order to give my husband time to file a injured spouse form)
So I wrote letters to Oregon and Idaho child support, asking when I am going to get that check back because the child support current and arrears have been stopped. Neither Oregon nor Idaho child support has bothered to contact me, and I haven't received the check yet. This whole time I am getting eviction notices every month because I can't pay child support, support my children and be able to do things like pay rent and buy food. Even before paying child support my family has been living well below the poverty level. WHY ISN'T IT CONSIDERED FRAUD WHEN SOMEONE CONTINUES TO COLLECT CHILD SUPPORT WHEN THE HAVE GIVEN UP THEIR "PARENTAL RIGHTS"?
My ex has collected OVER $17,000.00 in child support payments JUST SINCE MY CHILDREN HAVE BEEN LIVING WITH ME. That money could have been used to pay rent, buy food and I would not have to worry every single month if we would be evicted, or have our electric turned off or starve.
Everywhere I have looked it appears that there is nothing I can do to sue him for that money back, because it wasn't illegal. So many times I have been to the point of tears (even again now just thinking about it makes me cry, from frustration and outright anger) And I can't hire an attorney because as I said even without having to pay child support, my family still lives well below the poverty level. I am just at a loss at what to do. So what I can legally do?????