NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission. All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.
'My husband has learned the hard way that it doesn't pay to be a responsible noncustodial parent'
From Sherri, a reader: "My husband has learned the hard way that it doesn't pay to be a responsible noncustodial parent. He was divorced in 1994 and ordered by the court to pay child support. In 1999 he was taken back to court for an increase in child support, which was to end on the child's 18th birthday. "The child turned 18 before graduating from high school, so mom contacted the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to get the support to continue until he graduates. He is failing several classes, so graduation could be awhile. "The state did a mandatory case review and found 13 missed payments from 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003. We have never been notified of any delinquency. We never had the chance to prove that we paid it. A new withholding order was issued to include the arrearage. "To make things even more frustrating, his employer only keeps records back 3 years so no way to prove it was taken out of his checks, because silly me I didn't keep 8 years worth of pay check stubs. "We got no satisfaction from the State. They just said 'well, prove it was paid.' I said it was court ordered to be withheld from his pay check and he never changed jobs. They said 'well, you should have kept pay the check stubs.' Such a run around. It is sad that they use the term "deadbeat dads," but the state turns around and creates them. "I want to get the word out to other non custodial parents not to trust the system. Not to trust that because they are forced to have the child support withheld from their check that it will get to where it needs to go. A noncustodial parent needs to keep track of every pay stub. We could fight it, but our attorney fees would be more than the arrearage. "Oh, and the kicker...my husband has to pay child support until his son is out of high school, but we can't enforce visitation because he is 18 and he doesn't come over because he is working over 30 hours per week. What is up with the system?!"