Well this topic couldn’t have found me at a better time. Here is my story:
A little more than 10 years ago I met a man who was much older than me. I was very young and naive. He was a desirable professional baseball player, and I was a young, stupid girl. He had his way with me, which I allowed him to do, considering his age and stature. I later find out that not only is he married with children, and has been with another girl aside from me, but also that I am now pregnant. I have not seen this man since then.
Fast forward about 4 years. I have gotten married and had more children. My husband wants to adopt my oldest son, but we cannot afford the lawyer fees at the time. So we go after the father for child support, something I wish I’d done sooner. During the court date the father of my son whines to the judge about his money problems. We all agree on a $50 per month support check.
Needless to say, I still cannot afford the fees to have my husband adopt my child. Now we fast forward another 6 years. For 6 years I have been recieving $50 a month like clockwork. Have never had problems. I have the checks direct deposited in an account used only for the child support. Two weeks ago I call said bank to get an account balance, I figured it would be zero as I had spent all of the money recently. The lady on the phone tells me my account has been closed for having a zero balance. She tells me it has been closed for 2 months, and now I am missing 2 child support payments.
I called the child support line Friday at 3pm. After going through numerous menus to attempt to get an actual person, they tell me all lines are busy and I need to call back later. It then hangs up on me. I tried for an hour and continued to get the same message. Monday I tried again. After half an hour of automated messages, and 15 minutes of wait time, I finally got to speak to a real person. This person helped me out and told me my checks would now be mailed to me. I recieved a $40 check on Friday. Monday I call back and ask where is the rest of that check, and the second check. I should have an extra $60. They inform me he has not made those payments. I ask what will they do to get these payments for me, as I could really use them right now, we are going through some financial difficulties. They tell me that there is nothing they will do until he gets $200 behind. Well that’s just not acceptable considering my situation, and I know there are millions of moms out there in similar predicaments. It is absolutely ridiculous that the parent who is left raising the child has to go to such great lengths to get a little bit of money to help raise such child. Especially in the case’s of the single parents. It’s even more frustrating when you need help from the child support division, and we can’t even get in touch with them!
How do we resolve it? Give parents better access to help from the child support division. Hire more people to man the phones so that when we call, we get a person, not an automated system. If they feel they need to save time by giving messages on the automated system, then at least have the option to speak to a person from the get go, and skip all the steps of pressing this number, then press that one, then listen to a message and press another one, etc.
If the non custodial parent missed a single payment, the child support division should take action right then and there, even if the payment is a dollar, that one dollar can be very important to the person who does not have it.
Maybe if they took a bit more action, the dead beats wouldn’t bother to skip payments thinking they’ll be safe. So many people rely on this system, it is almost as important as welfare for the poor. They need to back us up and do what is best for the child and custodial parent!