Custodial Mother: 'The laws protect the deadbeats'
Los Angeles, CA--"[T]he laws do not protect the kids and custodial parents. The laws protect the deadbeats. "[My ex] quit his job as a paramedic and job hopped for several years before deciding at the age of 40 to go back to school and 'pursue his dreams.' "I have begged, pleaded, yelled, cried, and done everything I could think of to keep him involved with our kids, but he just had one excuse after another as to why he wasn"t." A letter I received from a reader who is an unhappy custodial mother. I asked her if I could share it with my readers: Dear Glenn, I am a custodial parent who has owed over $61,000 in back child support and over $10,000 in medical support. I have tried for years to collect the money – but the laws do not protect the kids and custodial parents. The laws protect the deadbeats. Our case is filed in Riverside County, California and the ex now lives in Utah. He quit his job as a paramedic and job hopped for several years before deciding at the age of 40 to go back to school and "pursue his dreams'. I have begged, pleaded, yelled, cried, and done everything I could think of to keep him involved with our kids, but he just had one excuse after another as to why he wasn"t. Often, I would get an email stating simply "personal matters prevent me from seeing the kids'. While I dried the boys" tears over why they weren"t seeing their dad, I let them blame me because I didn"t want them to think badly of him. When he would finally want to see them, often they wouldn"t want to go, so I played the bad guy and forced them even though it broke my heart. Being the self-serving, money grubbing custodial parent that I am, often paid the plane fare because he claimed he couldn"t afford to, even though he vacationed quite a bit. For many, many years, child support was $380 for two children who spent less than one week with their father, only to have him not even pay that measly amount. Not only did he not help me support the kids, he even diverted insurance money for our youngest son"s braces by telling his insurance company the kids lived with him in Utah so the check was sent to his address with instructions to forward it to the dentist. Well, he didn"t forward it – he cashed it and spent the money on Christmas presents for his wife and kids, while my kids got nothing (not even a card) from him for Christmas that year. To add insult to injury, I was required to pay the dentist the $1,200 he stole because they felt that it wasn"t their problem that he didn"t follow through with sending them the check. On top of this, he continuously tells me what a horrible and evil person I am because I won"t cut him a break since he is, after all, a starving student who only works 6 months out of the year. Oh yeah, did I mention that he"s a trust fund baby? That"s right – his family is extremely wealthy and has assisted him in hiding all his assets so there is nothing for the state to lien. I have done everything in my power to get the states of Utah and California to act because he is truly a deadbeat dad – but I"ve been told there is nothing they are willing to do since he"s making an effort. Really? I didn"t realize that purposely remaining underemployed and hiding assets constitutes making an effort. I lost my job over a year ago and opted to not request a modification of child support (the support had been increased to $731 per month two years ago for both kids) because I wanted to be fair. In that year, I lost all my life savings, all my equity (I"m currently over $250,000 upside down in my home) and haven"t been able to get any job (even as a grocery checker). I finally lost the battle and went into foreclosure. My children and I are now facing being homeless. The day after I realized that I would no longer be able to hang on to the house, I received an email from him telling me all about the 24" boat he just purchased in cash with money that he"s had stashed. An hour after the email about the boat, I received another one from him telling me that his seasonal job is ending and I won"t receive any more child support until June 2009, so I should "plan accordingly'…and by the way, he"s filed for a reduction of child support because he"s now unemployed. Keep in mind, this man and his wife (who also doesn"t work) have three children and take several big vacations per year, spending weeks at a time in California visiting all the amusement parks – of course they don"t see our kids. After I got done throwing up and crying my eyes out due to worrying about the kids" and my future, I responded with a plea that I really needed help. I lowered myself to explaining my situation with the impending foreclosure and asked for him to please do something to help me. He responded that he could care less about my situation because I brought it all on myself due to living beyond my means. Gee, last time I checked, having in excess of $100,000 equity, $25,000 in emergency savings and 0 debt other than the mortgage wasn"t considered overextended. He went on to explain that he has no sympathy for me because if I wasn"t such an evil person these things wouldn"t have happened, and that he felt I should go get an apartment and a job at a fast food restaurant. In the meantime, Utah and California both refuse to escalate this case. He still has his driver"s license, and he still has his hunting license. Even worse, he"s employed by the state of Utah as a wildlife biologist (a seasonal position that counts fish in the streams for $10.47 an hour). I have an abstract of judgment and also a writ of execution, however Utah has declared that they will not enforce either one. I don"t know why they won"t enforce the writ or the judgment because someone didn"t notate the reason – so all I know is that they won"t. The reason I"m telling you all of this is because I want you to know that there really are deadbeats out there. Be they moms or dads – there are people who choose to work the system for no other reason than selfishness and hatefulness at the expense of the children. In my situation, the father has all the rights and the kids and I don"t. The laws that are supposed to protect us have no teeth and we are out of options. Father"s aren"t the only ones who need help. There are moms (like me) who desperately need it, but it"s not there for us.