Why Does The Court Let Her Get Away With This

My wife and I married in Cook cty, IL. I have been a self-emp painter since 14. We moved to a rural area 3 hrs from Cook after we were married, following work. after our 2nd child, she became a dug addict and began to go out, leaving the kids with her father. When her father died, we hired a babysitter which turned out to be a boyfriend of hers. I came home one day and found him in my bed, I was arrested for battery.


While I was in jail, she moved him into our apt. and filed for divorce, and married the babysitter. She was given full custody b/c I was loud in court over it all. I was made homeless and lost my contract work for over 2 months due to my arrest. I also had to purchase clothing and tools to restart work, and rent an apt., so I had to move to another cty to afford rent and pay support. She was pregnant w/our last child, which I have only seen 2x since the divorce. He is 8 years old now. The divorce and ch supp case was held in Cook, I could not get a lawyer, but she was given one. The based support on what I was making at the time. Whenever work was slow and I wasn't able to send the full amt, she complained to the court and a 6 mo mod was issued, but every time the mod was still more than what I could bring in, but I gaveher what I was able, even losing my electricity and gas utilities to give her money. I now live w/my brother because I can't afford rent, becuase they took my license away after the second mod. I need the license to both find work and keep a job. The town I live in (and anywhere w/i a 50 mi radius) is rural and there is no pub trans. half the peop in the area are on some kind of assistance - unemployment was high before and it's really high now. My elderly mother dives me 3 hrs to the Cook court, my ex and the kids live in another cty. Both my and her ctys are served by Freeport, not Cook, but the judge won't transf because my ex doesn't want to. She has child abuse cases in her crt dist, and my oldest daught was court emancipated at 15, but the mother has ignored the visitation order for 6 yrs now, when I called police in her dist, they told me that the Cook order was not valid in our dist.

I was never told of the emanc. My oldest is now 20, and just last mo the court took her off order for support, but they will not credit the support paid for 5 years when she was on her own in California. Now, without a driver's license, it is next to impossible to maintain work, and anything I send is not enough. I am now on pub assistance, but the judge is upholding the full original imputed ch supp order, and will send me 2 jail if I don't come up with $5000 of arrearages in 60 days.

My ex is laughing in my face, saying that she's happy if I go to jail, because for every week that she doesn't get full support, it is added to arrearage w/interest and contributes to her future bank account. She has been intentionally trying to keep me from gainful employment to accumulate future money for herself. The kids are abused, but the Cook cty judge won't do anything b/c the abuse and emancipation cases are in our dist., not Cook. Her husband makes $50k a year, so the kids are not deprived, they have everything, cell phones, cars and I have nothing and can't do anything about it b/c I don't have an attorney, and can't get this trans to my dist. At least in my dist they understand the need for driving to get work. In Cook, they suppose I can hop a bus and work at McDonalds or sweep restaurant floors. I would gladly do so, but the nearest McD's is 17 miles from my home, and the nearest hiring restaurant is over 29 miles away.

I could get painting and other jobs w/i 50 miles, but i need a d/l in order to do that - and tools of trade. I need a license even if I go by horse.
The judge suggested I move to Chicago, were supposedly there are many jobs and pub trans (not free), but I have seen lines and lines of unemployed in Chicago as well, do not know anyone who will let me live with them in Chicago, and rents in Chicago are more than what I could afford even when I was gainfully employed, so moving to Chicago just makes it easier for the court to jail me in Cook. All I need is my D/L and a fair mod, and I can't get either one b/c she is taking advantage of the system to keep me down so she can get whatever life ins my mom may leave. She has told me to go kill myself so she can get my SSI. She is still a drug addict, and still abuses my kids. Her husband is on the verge of divorcing her b/c she is seeing the babysitter, this time a female.

ILLINOIS law is not working for my kids - it's just allowing a abusive custodial mother to be able to collect an unfair debt once the kids are grown, and has kept me from knowing my kids. Last year, she used my full name to apply for heating benefits, and my last name to apply for public assistance in her dist. Her husband doesn't like me but has told me that she uses the kids names and mine to apply for credit and benefits. She did not disclose her marriage and hh income and I was denied benefits due to this. When I told the judge for the umpteenth time that she was married and objected to her using my last name, he finally got the truth out of her about her marriage, but it didn't change a thing ecxept now she is refeered to by her married name in court.

Is there not a free lawyer who can represent an unemployed father to address this and get case transferred to Stephensen Cty, IL? She lives in Ogle Cty and I live in Jo Daviess Cty. The case is in Chicago, where we were married and had to be divorced. 4 out of 5 of the children were born in Jo Daviess Cty, only the oldest was born in Cook. Legal aid has told me that because they are representing her, they cannot represent me. A low-cost attorney is out of reach, I have no money, no savings, sold most of my tools to pay partial support, no assets and no job. Any advice or info is appreciated.

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by: Child Support America Team Member


Thank you for your questions and sharing your situation. Unfortunately the only FREE legal program is Legal Aid in your area. You can try to contact your local office and apply to see if any attorney can help you free of charge. We do have a V.I.P. membership plan offered that may be of some assistance. Have you looked into our V.I.P. plan?

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