Court went way better than expected, he wasn’t there when I got there he showed up right at time or late. With his fast-food in hand. When I got there they gave me a sheet of paper to fill out. I did it and turned it in. They gave him a book to fill out when he got there. He filled it out then sat there in the hall outside the court room and ate his food. He was wearing old jeans, FLIP FLOPS and a a dresser shirt all wrinkled and un-tucked. His hair is down to his shoulders and looked dirty. While his beard and everything was all nasty looking.
When he came in I happen to be looking that direction we looked right at each other and he looked away quick and looked at the floor and walked by me. He never said two words to me at all sat looking at the floor most the time. But when he walked around the corner and we looked at each other I seen him the adrenaline that went through me was horrible. It was that fight or flight reaction and mine was just fight, fight fight was all I could think. I felt like I was going to puke, I felt like I was going to have a panic attack, and I started shaking it was so bad. I shook the rest of the time I was there for the most part. I did not expect that feeling at all, but I guess it shouldn’t surprise me with all the hell he has put me through. Like before when he would come near me or touch me I would flinch.
He went and checked in and came back with his paperwork to fill out, he went down past me and sat down on the next bench a little bit away from me because the rest were full. A guy came and sat by me, I got up and went to the bathroom and came back, another guy had come up and he sat where I had been sitting. When I walked back up the only place to really sit was on the bench father of the year was on by him or on the other end of the bench almost right against Father of the Year again. I couldn’t make myself go over there and sit down. I looked at the two guys and there was a spot between them, I walked over and sat down between them. There was probably still about a half foot to foot between me and each of them. I couldn’t sit next to father of the year had there only been an inch between each of us. They didn’t want us standing around or on the other other side of the hall.
There were 5 cases in front of us they went by his last name or we would of been like the 2nd ones up. They called us into the court room and I was looking around to see where we were going to sit. Most the time they have a table on either side of the room one for each of the parties that are there. I am sure you all know how a court room is set up. We walked in they had one table across from the judge set up with two chairs. The chairs were so close we would of been touching each other. Again this thought went through my head and that fight went through me. I was thinking I am not going to sit there with him. I can not sit there with him like that. They are going to get mad, they can they can say what they want but I can’t do it. About that time they stopped us and the lady who called us in told me to go up by the judge and sit. In the little witness box I guess they call it. She then told him to go sit at the table across from us.
The judge asked us each to state our names then told us to raise our right hand. I raised mine and I heard her say something. I looked up and she was pointing at him and motioning for him to switch HANDS. He had his left hand raised. When she was motioning for him to switch it took him a few minutes to figure out what she was saying and change it. After that the lady from child support enforcement went over why we were there that he hadn’t been paying or what and that they wanted him to pay $2500 or do 60 days in jail. I wanted to smile and laugh but I didn’t I held it together. I was expecting them to say give her $500 or do a few days in jail so when they said 4x what I was expecting I was floored. But still was 50/50 on how to think it was going to go.
They asked why he hadn’t paid and he said he had gotten behind and was starting to get caught up and wanted to start paying. He wanted a chance to fix things and make it right.
The lady from child support enforcement said got behind you haven’t paid anything at all.
He said he wasn’t making as much as he use to and his wife was sick and had cancer and he was trying to take care of everything and work. The judge looked at him and said you have three kids and they can’t take care of their selves. Whatever is going on you still have to take care of them. You haven’t been paying anything or doing anything for them. What should we do about this or are you going to do to fix this?
He started with his he wanted the courts to give him a chance to get it caught up and work with him and give him sometime.
Other things were said through out the time we were in there I don’t even remember all of it because every time they would say something to him he come off with the something he wants to fix it and make it right.
Then they asked him if he was working he said yes. I was shocked but he also knows I have pictures and things of him working so that is probably why he said yes. Then they asked him how long he had been at his job. He told them about 3 years. That just made him look worse than because he is working and not paying he had said he wasn’t or hadn’t been but he didn’t he said he been there three years. The lady said and you didn’t feel that you should be paying child support all this time and taking care of your children?
He come off with he didn’t know what to do or how to pay it. She said you have a direct order to pay it to her. He said something else she turned around to me and said have you all ever had a conversation about child support and paying?
I said yes we have had a few, I said he told me I’m not paying you anything if you want me to pay or want the support go to child support enforcement and let them handle it. I said I told him that is fine you want it to go through them lets go down there and set it up. I said I told him tell me what day and time you can go I will do what I have to in order to make sure I am there. We can do everything and it will be done you won’t have to worry about it anymore. I said when he seen I was willing to do that it was he didn’t have a ride and he wasn’t doing it if I wanted it to do it myself.
She turned and said something to him they talked a minute. He went back to his can’t afford it was trying to get caught up and things again and not knowing where or how to pay and handle it or what to do about it.
The judge looked at him and said here it says that you got a letter Telling you to start paying child support enforcement making your payments there. Did you not get that letter? He said yes he got that letter. She said so you knew where to pay it.
He said well when I got that letter I didn’t know how much I was supposed to pay or when and how often. I was confused.
The judge said you had an order already in place that tells you how much to pay. You still have to pay that amount.
I said can I say something? She said just a minute and said some more to him. Then said go ahead.
I said he is sitting here saying he didn’t know what to pay, how to pay, that he was worried about not paying through the court or child support or it would be considered a gift and all these excuses about why he didn’t pay. I said he told me to go to child support enforcement and we had the conversation about going there and setting it up. So he knows they are there and what they do. If he had all these questions and he knows he can pay it through them, why didn’t he pick the phone up and ask them his questions or go down there and say I need to pay but I want it to go through you all how do I take care of setting that up or whatever other questions he had? He knows they are a resource to use.
The judge and child support lady just looked at him waiting for him to answer he mumbled I don’t know or something and just sat there looking at the table.
They went back and forth with things again and he was talking about wanting a chance to fix things and pay it and not making enough. The judge said something about going to jail he said he needed to be there for his wife and things her being sick.
I said I have a question. The judge said yes.
I said he keeps saying he isn’t making enough, he isn’t making as much as he use to and things. I said I am a single mom with 4 kids. I said I have no help from family, friends, a boyfriend nothing like that. I said I have to make sure that anything and everything doctors, school, or whatever else comes up with them they get there and I am there to handle it all. I said and I am working 60+ hours a week struggling to get by and hardly get to see my kids.
I said be is a single male who does not see or do anything with or for his kids so he don’t have to worry about anything like that or daycare.
He says he is not making as much as he use to and not making enough to take care of his responsibilities why don’t he go out and get a 2nd or 3rd job so that he can? Like I do on top of taking care of 4 kids on my own. She looked at me smiled and said your right and looked at him to see what he had to say. Of course he didn’t say anything.
I said and while he says he is not making as much why he stop paying. I said he has never paid consistently and has been behind. I said before he cut all contact with the kids the only way I could get him to give me anything most times was to say my lights are going to go off, I don’t have it or my water or I am short on rent. I said I was working and going to school he knew I needed what he was supposed to pay and wouldn’t. I said I would tell him if you do not give me the money and I lose my home I am going to have to take the kids and leave the state. I can’t afford to live here and do it all. I am going to have to go somewhere I have family and help with the kids why I work. I said at that time he did not want that and would give me what little bit to keep things on or pay rent. I said so why he acts like he was paying and something happen he never really has since the order was put in place.
The lady from child support said your honor there is a declaration here showing there is more back pay owed. What we are asking for is just what he is behind since we got involved in November.
The judge said we will come back and take care of that, right now lets take care of this and figure out how we are going to handle this and resolve it.
She looked at him and said something about how to get this taken care of. He said he would like to set up payment arrangements and work on getting it paid off.
The judge said you could of been making payments all along and haven’t this needs taken care of now your kids need this money. So this is how we are going to handle it. It is 9 whatever right now. You have until 12:45 to figure it out. I want you back here at 12:45 and I want you to either have $2500 or be prepared to do 60 days in county. If you do not show back up at 12:45 I will send them to come and get you, so regardless you better be here. She turned looked at me and said you do not have to be back at 12:45, you can call me then and we will let you know if he showed back up and what he decides to do. You all free to go have a nice day. I said thank you and turned told the child support lady thank you.
We walked out of the court room they let him go and stopped me. The ladies said here go in here and get a card and make sure you call in this after noon and see what happen now and smiled.
I went out he was gone. I was kind of glad but also had wanted to see how he got there and who was with him, no one had come in with him. I pulled out went down the street beside the building there he stood beside the back smoking. No cars I knew around no one else around. I just kept going. I got to the end of the street and figured out I wasn’t anywhere near where I thought I was going. I was way out of the way so I had to turn around and go back by. He was still standing there waiting.
I went to the child support office to fill out a paper they said needed done before I went to work so I didn’t have to take off work go down there again. Then went to work.
I was only an hour late for week luckily. I waited until about 1:30 and called the number on the card they gave me. The lady read a bunch of things off just going over what was done that day in court. Then she said and the order for the $2500 purge was paid. I said so he came back and he paid it? She said yes. She said I should have it some time next week. I am guessing mommy and daddy paid it but not sure. I really don’t care. He also has to pay weekly now not monthly or whenever in the month he feels like it. Each week he don’t pay I can contact them to let them know and they will contact him over it. I will not have to deal with him.
They also told everyone before they started all we are here about is money and getting the person who owes to pay. We don’t care if you see your kid or not. If your not go to the other end of the courthouse and file a motion to go in front of a judge for that.
I am going to wait a couple weeks go back to child support and ask them what I can do to get the rest of the back pay he owes me? Will they go after a lump sum like they just did or will they add it to his weekly payment? Because they can take up to like 48% of his pay to give me.