How many damn times have I received a letter like this?
I share joint custody of my daughter with my ex-wife. She was granted physical custody. A few weeks after the custody hearing, my ex-wife brought my daughter back to me and I’ve had physical custody ever since (almost 4 years).
Our divorce decree came a short time later and it stated that I should pay $700/month to her in support of my daughter. Since I had already gotten my daughter back I never paid her.
Recently I received a letter from the Department of Social Services stating that I am being sued for child support on behalf of my ex-wife. It seems she has been collecting welfare and my daughter is on her budget as a dependent.
The magistrate at the hearing refused to listen to the fact that my daughter lives with and has been living with me for the past 4 years. He entered an order for me to pay her $700 starting 1/1/08. Help!
He raises the kids, she commits de facto welfare fraud, and the government wants him to repay the money she filched. No mention of getting the money back from her or going after her for her welfare fraud. And of course, the judge won’t hear a word of it–he just wants dad to shut up and pay.
Granted, dad was foolish to fail to resolve the situation several years ago, but many of those inexperienced with the child support system are under the illusion that the system is rational. They don’t understand the nefarious financial incentives that underly it.
Some fathers even think that the system isn’t biased and stacked against men. They’re in for a rude awakening.
Now this guy has to pay stiff child support arrearages for a kid he’s raised largely by himself. When he’s unable to, he’ll be a “deadbeat dad” and will be lucky to stay out of jail. Refresh my memory–how exactly does this help his daughter?