When we first moved here to SW Missouri, I was on State Aid. When my youngest child started school, I entered the work force. I was on State Aid for about 3 years. After a few months of moving here, I was called in to interview with Child Services regarding the collection of Child Support from my ex. The State of Missouri wanted to recoup what they were sending me each month, rightly so.
A few years later I was sent for another interview in a different town, for the same reason. They hadn’t collected a penny from my ex but not for the reason I thought.
A few years later, I was called in again, in yet a different town for the same damn reason. I asked why, since this was 3rd time I had to go through this process. I was told that there were too many cases and my case had never even been touched. It had been 10 years since we moved out here at that point! This time, the case was handled by a local Family Law attorney. It was handled quite quickly this time but I didn’t know this until one afternoon when the phone rang.
I was outside washing my car when my daughter brought the phone out to me. I asked her who it was and she said, “I don’t know. Some guy.” It was my ex, her father. Imagine a man who supposedly loved his children so much that he couldn’t even say hello to his daughter and ask her how she was, or even tell her who he was! But I digress. He had quite the nerve calling me since I hadn’t heard from him in years. The conversation went something like this:
The first thing out of his mouth was, “You made your point. Can we work something out, please?”
I knew right away who it was and I asked, “What are you talking about?” At this point, I had no idea the state had even caught up to him yet.
“The state of Missouri wants Child Support that I can’t afford. Can we work something out?” He almost begged.
“I didn’t initiate this. The State did. It’s out of my hands. I don’t know what you expect me to do. If you’ve got a court order to pay that amount then making arrangements otherwise isn’t going to negate the order.” I explained.
He emphasized, “I can’t afford to pay this much.” I could almost see his face when he spoke. I had no idea how much the state was asking because I hadn’t even received any paperwork yet.
I told him, “You should have thought about that before…perhaps 10 years ago? If you had been making an effort to support your kids I would have reported that and the amount wouldn’t be so high. Now there are arrears to pay plus regular monthly payments.”
He said, “I’m going to lose my truck and then I won’t be able to get to work.”
“Not my problem,” I snapped.
“It will be when you don’t get your damn Child Support,” he snapped back.
I said, “No, that will still be your problem. Not mine.”
He continued to try to persuade me, “I have two $100,000 Life Insurance policies and the kids are the beneficiaries. I’m going to lose those, too.”
I said, “Still not my problem. You’ve made your own bed here. I can’t do a damn thing about it.” That’s when I hung up.
I know this man well enough to know that he did NOT have any insurance policies of which the kids were the beneficiaries, let alone for $100,000 each. He had accused me so many times about being “all about the money” as he put it. He thought the mention of a high dollar amount would sway me! I have never been one of those women who think only about money! Yes, money was a big problem in our relationship because we didn’t have enough to live! But if I was “all about the money” I would have never even dated him in the first place!
And the fact that he couldn’t afford to pay Child Support was absurd. When I received the paperwork from the state, they had listed his income. He was a truck driver and made good money. When we left him in California, he was making about $900 every 2 weeks and he was making even more at the time of this court order….more than double that amount, in fact. With arrears, the order was for $900some dollars per month. High? Yes, but his own damn fault.
Did he ever pay the Child Support? Well, yes and no.
About 2 or 3 weeks later I received from him, a document that he hired a paralegal to draw up, demanding that I pay for his court costs because he had to go to court in order to get his Child Support reduced to a lesser amount. The legal terms here escape me because it’s been a long time, so forgive the layman speak! I was in total disbelief! How the hell was I supposed to pay his court costs when I wasn’t getting any Child Support? I wasn’t even working at that point because I had started my own home business. I made some calls and was given the mailing address of someone (can’t remember exactly who now) and I sat down and wrote a nice, to the point letter. I explained the situation and said that I had no objections to him receiving a reduced Child Support payment. (I really didn’t want anything from him anyway, so I didn’t care.) I also made sure they knew MY living situation and that I was in no way financially able to pay his court costs.
Not long after that letter went out in the mail, I received a phone call from the person I sent the letter to. She told me, “There’s no judge in his or her right mind who would make you pay for his court costs, so don’t even worry about that.” I was sure glad that was settled!
He had to pay his own court costs and he got his payments reduced to an amount I can’t recall now but he didn’t pay it willingly. His wages were eventually garnished, and I started getting $334 in two payments per month. He lost his job after a while because “his boss didn’t like the paperwork he had to go through to have wages garnished.” That’s the story his mother told me when she called me. Yep. You read that right. She called on his behalf. I’m sure he put her up to it. That’s the story he gave her. I don’t hold it against her though. He is her son, after all.