Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Daddy's Girl

I'm taking a huge risk right now. I'm not going to write anything funny about my evil roommate, my cheap landlord, or my crazy kindergartners. This is a full on venting, so if you don't feel like reading you can stop now and I won't be offended.

My parents are divorced and my mother was awarded full custody, meaning that my father was ordered to pay $150 a week for child support. My mother was so heartbroken after my father cheated on her and left us she didn't bother to ask for alimony. Just child support. At the time my mother didn't have a job, we didn't have a car, we didn't have a phone, my Nana was clothing us and my Grandpa was paying to keep food on the table. I had no idea at the time but we had almost nothing.

In the beginning my father was working and paying child support regularly. We saw him every weekend and things were going well. At some point over the past fourteen years (that's how long they've been divorced) my father lost his job and stopped paying child support. Please keep in mind that he is only ordered to pay a meager $150 a week for two children. He now owes my mother over $10,500. He has tried to emmancipate my sister and I several times with no success.

My mother has worked 50-60 hours a week since the divorce so that my sister and I could have a nice life and go on school trips, vacations, movies, and college. She gets court dates about every 6 months to try and get her money. She goes to court, they demand my father to come up with about $1000 by that Friday at 4 pm, and if he doesn't pay they issue an arrest warrant. Most of the time he doesn't, they come arrest him, and his $1000 bail miraculously appears within the hour. This was a common occurance until about a year ago.

Last year my father decided to try to apply for permanent disability (as he has several times in the past). While he applies for permanent disability he gets welfare from the state of New Jersey. Welfare does not offer any support for my mother and the only support if offers my sister and I is coverage through Medicaid which we don't need because the only thing my mother does have is good health insurance (Thank God). He gets $250 a month and $150 in food stamps and doesn't have a damn thing to spend it on since he doesn't drive and lives with his mother.

So he calls my mother this morning and wants to play "Let's Make a Deal". His deal was to pay her $5,000 of the $10,500 that he owes her and allow him to stop paying for my sister in May when he stops paying for me. Great deal right? Yeah...


Paige said...

And where pray tell does he plan to get the $5K. I would take that in a hurry and not mention to him that it is not up to your mother whether he still owes her--that is the State's deal.

Men that pull that crap suck, it is a shame there are so many

Sounds like your mom has been a great example

sAm said...

Wow - that's just wrong.
I was divorced 8 years ago, parental rights for the father were terminated (by his request and all my work) 5 years ago...he still owes big bucks. A couple of kids with other women later, the state has taken him to court...I now "get" child support (past arrearages) and quite honestly (I know this may seem like a bad parent thing, sorry) after working so hard for the past 8 years and not being able to provide for the "fun" stuff, I take that child support and make sure DS & I do something fun before I even think about paying a bill. So - just keep in mind your father's horribleness is in no way on a comparative scale to your mother's awesomeness - don't let it get you down.

Joanie said...

You know damn right well the money is coming from your grandmother. Too bad your mom didn't insist on alimony. I hope your mother didn't take his "deal". My child support ends when Dani graduates from high school in June, but my alimony is in place until Dec 2014.

Queen Bee said...

@Paige: She is and I'm lucky to have her.

@Sam: I'm glad to hear that you do find the means to do the fun stuff. You won't regret it.

@Joanie: Luckily my mom gets child support until my sister and I are no longer full time college students. I'm done in may but my sister just started. (Not that he pays anyway)

Lorraine said...

Some people just never learn that you can't bargain with responsibility. Hope things work out in your benefit.

Lulda Casadaga said...

How about sending you guys the food stamps! Then you can resell them and make some extra money...:D
It is really sad that there are so many dead beat dads out there...But one thing you should be aware of that karma will get them all in the end!

Hang in there Queen and I will send positive vibes to your mom for maybe one day in court she'll win!!

HoodChick said...

I've seen both sides of this. Dad's ordered to pay so much they can barely afford to live - have to get a room mate to be able to pay for a crappy apartment and then fight with the ex to get to see the kids when they are supposed to.

Dad's that won't take care of their responsibilities just suck. And the system sucks.

Irish Chicken Soup said...

Hope all works out, growing up my best friend had a similar problem. Lucky for her she had a mom like yours too.

Queen Bee said...

@Lulda: He won't give us food stamps because they're only good in New Jersey and my sister and I both go to school in Pennsylvania. We can use them when we're home but he still won't share.

@HoodChick: I've seen stories like that too. I work with a woman whose son is paying child support and they're fighting for grandparent's rights because the mother never lets them see the kids. It's a shame when one parent uses the kids to get back at the other.

@Irish: Thanks for the wishes =)