(recently joined)
09/10/06 03:56 AM
Re: Get a grip GD...

"Defy"? Try 'defying' the fact that the vast majority of judges (not just certain judges) side with the mother in ex parte situations. And since this is often the first exposure the judge has with anyone involved - that judge forms a large portion of his opinion right then and there. If the person (most often the mother) exaggerates, or (God forbid) outright lies - what is that judges opinion going forward towards the father? Nice setup.

Unfortunately prior to being my Ex, she was diagnosed with depression, and after the forced separation (ie: ex parte order) she was supposedly diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome – not to mention the physical and sexual abuse she suffered as a child.

I was/am a good Father. I love my children. I taught them right from wrong. I provided for them. I didn’t make them into my friends and confidants (unlike my Ex). I didn’t evict them from my household. I got on their case when their grades weren’t good, and applauded them when they were good. Under my Ex’s sole supervision - my oldest son barely finished high school. She evicted him from her household later that year. He started college, then after Christmas break – went back for a couple weeks, then quit, and she allowed him back into her place. Two of my other boy’s grades are much lower now. One of them was required to do summer school this year simply because he didn’t do the assignments. He did fine on the tests – just didn’t do the assignments…at home.

I used to run the I.T. Department at a manufacturing company. I got my education back in the early 80s. In the late 90s I bumped from company to company (3) increasing my income substantially until I was laid off along with 50 others in early 2002 due to “economic reasons”. What income do you think I’m pegged at for the support order?

Many things have changed: Start with the huge change in manufacturing employment that has occurred just in the State of Minnesota in the last 10 years - I watched the jobs of fathers (and mothers) get shipped out of the country. Then throw in Y2K, 9/11, and the Dot.Com bust, and I watched more jobs evaporate. Bring in a few million Mexicans, and watch jobs reduced to less than livable wages.

In 2002 - with a 20-year-old-education, I thought ‘Good time to renew the education, and then get back in the saddle.’ (I wasn’t alone in my thinking) Well my then insecure wife believed I’d meet a pretty young girl at the school, and leave her. Despite her unfounded fears – I chose to go to school. A month later she forced our separation – hence the ex parte reference. A few months later – under the guise of potential reconciliation – she black-mailed me into quitting school, and getting the job I mention below.

As far as child support enforcement... Take it from a father who knows ($50K+ owed BY me!!) - There is no reality in this area. The so-called 'enforcement' is a perverse joke from the non-custodial parent’s side of the picture. I was forced from my good employment (1st time) due to excessive support. Once unemployed – the arrears started to build. Yeah, yeah – tell Social Services you’re ‘not employed’ – How many brick walls do you know that listen to you?

I get back to work, and despite getting over $2K a month (and even at that the arrears continued to climb) in support from me (60% of my net income due to the arrears) – the law of the State of Minnesota says that they must take my driver’s license due to arrears - doesn’t matter that my job depends on it. Forced from obviously good employment (2nd time). Unemployed again – the arrears build further. The only recourse for the license is pay up at least half, and sign an agreement to stay current (laughable – couldn’t stay current even when she was getting $2K/month!). Do you have $7K (at that point in time) sitting around? I didn’t / don’t. You’ll say “Go back to Court and get it adjusted” – fat chance with no job, no money to pay for a decent lawyer, a waiting line of 2-3 (or more) years for Social Services to provide that kind of help (if ever), and a “conflict” with Legal Aid due to my Ex’s 20 minute phone call three years ago (after which she hired a private lawyer) – therefore no Legal Aid help. In addition – try eviction due to non-payment of rent – due to unemployment – due to no license - due to… you guessed it – the Law of the State of Minnesota. Add homeless to the list.

A few months later – employed again… Still no license, living / working in the back office of a strip mall, totally reliant on others for every transportation need (groceries, laundry, parenting time with children, etc., etc.). As long as I work for the low wages I get – I have a place to live with minimum, or no expense (my ‘home’ is 10’ x 12’ – how big are typical prison cells?). Take home(?) pay (after support is deducted) would probably be better at McDonalds – and a lot less hours.

How much help do you think Social Services provides a non-custodial Father with a decent ‘gross’ income? Help to have an actual home? Help with food? Help with medical (I’m also forced to pay for medical insurance out of my income – my income alone – before they take the 50% they’re now taking due to the arrears). Try – zero “0” help. Which part of the strip mall do you think my children should sleep in when they come to visit me?

I’d like a life – a life outside of a 10’ x 12’ room. A driver’s license would be nice so that I could actually see my children once in awhile, and maybe a place of my own where my children could sleep comfortably if / when I could afford to have them over. I’d like nothing more than to pay a reasonable amount of support for my own children – an amount that allows me to live, and maybe even enjoy life.

~“What it comes down to is that it's far easier to get money out of someone who is willing, than someone that isn't, so it's the "willing" ones that get chased.” ----- Chased isn’t quite the right term. Persecuted, hounded, and legally abused to the point of being forced to wear the label of ‘Dead-Beat Dad.’

As far as “…flying under the radar…” ----- My Ex actually suggested I give plasma to subsidize my income. She also suggested I due some work “on the side” – that she “would not say anything about” to help me be able to afford to live.

Given that the laws of the State of Minnesota (and the laws of many other States) force a non-custodial parent (typically the Father) to try and survive by living ‘under the radar’ – given that I cannot afford a place of my own – given that I cannot drive to see my children whenever I want to / need to – why should I feel any sympathy, or support you in any way when you sit there and say "Geez, I wish I had, or I dream about a big lump sum payment...” even though your kids are “well taken care, and even planning for college." If you had a clue as to the Gestapo persecution that the majority of non-custodial parents live with because of the laws that have been created due to the actions of an extremely rare few truly Dead-Beat parents --- you might count your blessings.

Can you honestly say that money supposedly owed you has not (even in some little way) entered into your conversation with your children, or your conversation with your children’s friend’s parent (then to your children’s friends – and then back to your own children)? If you care about your children, and the potential relationship your children could have with their ‘other’ parent; If you truly want to see your Ex do the right thing: Try voluntarily eliminating all non-public arrears (you can do that), and settle for a reasonable percentage going forward, and work with (instead of against) the other person that helped bring the child(ren) into this world – before it’s too late.

I say ‘too late’ because my oldest son was killed in a car accident earlier this year, along with two other young men. All three had been smoking marijuana. I had not seen him in two years – until he lay dead at the funeral home. Prior to him turning 18 – it was my Ex’s (warped) decision (supported by the Court) that he did not want to see me, and after he was 18, it was his decision not to see me (based upon the twisted attitude about me that his Mother imparted to him – documented by the way.)

~Legally Abused / Seeking a miracle

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