Monday, January 19, 2009

But Sir, it's your DAUGHTER!

I love my daughters, I'd do anything for them given the proper circumstances. I even tried to petition my own child support. Crazy hmmm....? Unfortunately, the court petitions are not written that way, so no matter what, I can't volunteer to pay into a "formal" state-run child support system. "She" has to petition it... so no matter what, every other Dad and I are forced to look like a loser who doesn't want to take care of his kids.

How it works.
For those not participating, Child Support sounds like a great idea... Make those losers PAY! From the inside though, that rose-colored glass is stained with blood. It's gotten a little better in recent years, but still... Here in NY State, Child support is automatically 17% of your GROSS income for one child... but that doesn't stop them from trying to sneak one over on us Dads... it was 17% when I had my day in court and the "child advocate" wrote down "17.8%". Of course, I didn't know it was only 17% at the time and I was too depressed to find out, and of course "SHE" wasn't going to say a thing. They also make you fill out a Financial affidavit which of course they don't look at, because they don't believe it... "aren't you going to check my expenses?", I asked. Her reply, "Sir... This is your daughter!" and she never looked at the affidavit. She could have looked and said, "You can get by with a local phone plan and $80 a week for groceries", but she didn't even try.

So this past year like many people, I had lost my job, Child Support payments were taken from my unemployment check until it ran out. Now, I haven't had to even think about Support payments since that day I left court, it's been taken from my paycheck every week and sure it's something I have to include on my income taxes but other-wise it's automatic. When unemployment ran out so did the automatic payments. "She" waited 6 weeks to ask me about it and Child Support never sent me a notice. So I called them and asked what my options were and elected to pay via electronic transfer direct from my checking account. My first clue was when she said,
"Sir, it may take 45 days for this payment to process"
(Mind you, Walmart can cash an electronic check before you get home from shopping)
"ummm.... what? My bank told me you can fax them a document and it can be done today..."
"We can but I can't guarantee that it will be sent today. What's your bank's fax number sir"
I gave the number.
" it should be posted within the next 45 days, will that be all?"
"Yes, Thank You..."
45 days later, the fax was never received, the payment still hadn't been made, I had called the bank, checked my account online and in person, So finally I went in person to my local child support office and asked... as it turns out, NO ORDERS WERE EVER PROCESSED ON MY ACCOUNT THAT DAY. So Now I was 12 weeks behind, with my bank account frozen. No Job. And no access to my savings from when I was working. Welcome to Life with Child Support!

How does this Help?!
So now there I was, ready and willing to make my payment and someone deliberately sabotages not only my life, but my daughter's and "hers". This is proof that this system needs to be changed. What good is it to my daughter if this sort of thing can happen. Not only is it important to me that "she" gets the money I put in, but it's important to me that my daughter benefits from it directly. Under the current system, "She" can take that money and spend it all on drugs, booze, clothes, a new car, or whatever, my daughter is not required to see one dime of it. This is WRONG!

The Future of Support!
  1. Support payments should be a percentage but max out at minimum wage. Kids really don't need all that much, and all of what they need can be bought by someone making minimum wage.
  2. Support monies should be given to the mother in the form of debit card vouchers only redeemable for food, children's meds, or children's clothing. There can be a separate card for birthdays and holidays and another portion for childcare and transportation. While I agree that it'd be nice to drive around in a new car, "she" can pay for a new one with her own money, my daughter will survive just fine if her mother drives a used car.

Don't get me wrong
It's not that I don't wish "her" well. I don't hate her, and I can care less what she drives. If she's successful my daughters are better off. I get along with her Fiance. Every year we all have Christmas together and the girls spend every other weekend with me, sometimes every weekend when I can afford it and all summer.

I'm just tired of being abused simply because I'm a Dad.

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