My husband has/had a child support order for $680/mo. He opted to have the court take it from his paycheck and send it to his ex-wife.
In March of this year, my husband's ex called him and state she could no longer "handle" my SS - he was out of control, he wouldn't listen to her, he was doing poorly in school - and she agreed to have him come live with us. In regards to the child support, my husband and his ex agreed he would continue to have the child support deducted from his check and sent to her, and she would then give it back to him. I had my misgivings at the time (as did he), but it's his ex-wife and I really don't care to deal with her. When my husband picked up his son on 3/19/11, his ex also gave him a check for $300.
In April, my husband asked for the child support back, and she stated she "couldn't just pull the money together." Okay, I can get that. The next week, she had gave my husband a check for $300. (My SS was going to her home every weekend, Fri-Sun) In May, my husband once again asked for the child support re-imbursement, and she once again fussed about giving it to him. It took a couple of weeks, but she once again gave him a check for $300. When my husband handed the check to me for deposit, I noticed in the "Memo" line she had written, "May support for [censored]." That's when I realized she had no intention of returning the full amount of the support she was receiving. For anyone who might be interested, the $300 we were receiving covered the before/after school care costs and the costs of school lunches (which my SS ate whether or not we packed him a lunch).
At the end of May, my husband and his ex agreed my SS needed to continue to stay with us through the 7th grade. At the beginning of June my husband and I started to look at options for summer care (my SS could not stay in our home alone), and we decided on the teen/tween summer camp through YMCA. Problem was, it cost 160/wk, and my husband was still, in essence, shelling out $380/mo to his ex-wife in the name of child support even though his son was living with us. My husband had not done anything to change the order, because his ex-wife has an extremely short temper and he (among others who are close to her) are fearful of what she can do. I told him if he wasn't willing to modify the order, we had to cut our budget from somewhere: cable, cell phones, even more from the grocery - something had to go, and he would have to tell me where. He then opted to contact the court to modify the order.
We didn't need to appear or anything, but the court contacted my husband's ex, and she confirmed my SS lived with us. Naturally, the court then stated they were discontinuing the deductions for child support from my husband's check. When my husband went to pick up his son from his weekend visit, his ex-wife was furious. She accused him of reneging on their "agreement," stated she never agreed to have his son live with us past the 6th grade, would not allow my husband to take his son, let alone speak to him, and kicked him out of her house. My husband has not been contact with his son since that time.
The Monday after this happened, my husband called the court to inform them the child was now residing with his mother and the support order needed to be re-instated. My husband was told the case had been closed and the mother would need to call in to re-instate. HUH?!?!? Okay, so we wait. We refused to send checks to her ourselves because of her volatility, and even with our ability to attempt to track records, what is our assurance the court will accept that? We wanted a 3rd party involved to insure our payments were recorded.
By the end of August, we still had not received word of the child support being re-instated. My husband's ex is on disability and cares for an elderly woman in her home, for which the state pays her, so I know she is not making the big bucks. A loss of child support would be a hard hit financially, especially with a 12 yr old boy in the home. I bugged my husband to call her and find out what was up. (He HATES talking to her, and I can't say I blame him, but it's about the kid, not the mother) He finally called on Labor Day weekend. Her immediate words to him was that he had "broken their agreement," (still upset about that) and how much she is suffering financially from not having child support. Okay, I get that, so...make a phone call!! My husband asked her if she had called to re-instate the child support, because he couldn't do it. Her response?? "I've been really busy lately and I haven't had the time." EXCUSE ME????? I really don't know how my husband held it together when he asked her, "Do you think you might be able to call soon and get this resolved?" Her response? "I don't know when I'll get a chance to call." I was speechless...
I was incensed. Can it be that a father, who is willing and able to pay child support, has to sit around and wait on some "mother" (and I do use this term very loosely) to "find the time" to call to re-instate a child support order??? Can it be that his hands are tied? Can the courts really expect that ALL mothers care more about the well-being of their children, and there isn't the remote possibility that there are some out there who have more than a few screws loose?
I contacted the child support services myself, explained the situation, and asked what could be done. Turned out, my husband had been using the incorrect term, and no one at the CSS or the court either caught on or corrected him. While only the MOTHER, supposedly, can re-instate the order of support, EITHER parent can INITIATE an order of support. WTH!?!??! But, while my husband's ex and re-instate the order with a simple phone call, my husband has to take off time from work, go down to the office, and speak to an agent to get this straightened out. He's going to do it, as it is what is best for his son, but I just can't believe orders of support are even written in this manner.
Oh, and why is "mom" doing this? There was an incident at her home between her and her adult daughter (something for which I had to phone in a child abuse report, but that's something else), and her adult daughter told us her mother has been raging about the child support. It appears that, because my husband did not do as his ex wanted him to, she is out to "punish" him. She wants to hold off re-instating the child support until the arrearages build up to such a point that she feels she can hurt my husband financially. Yeah, she's willing to allow her son to go without in some midguided attempt to "punish" her ex-husband because he didn't do as she wanted. My opinion? This woman is pure evil.
So, are support orders really this messed up? Is it always supposed the mother is sane? Is it always presumed the mother only has the best interest of her child(ren) at heart? I'm becoming so disillusioned with family courts, child support, etc, if they can allow this woman that much control and not see how seriously mentally challenged she really is.