Child Support Again
posted at 4/20/2009 11:15 AM EDTReindeergirl - are you the same reindeergirl aka little olwen as I know from the chat? My heart is aching for you.
Maybe your best bet is to return to court. If you cannot afford a lawyer, I believe the state will help you. This is not a way to live for you as well for your child. There are several lawyers on these boards, maybe you can have them chime in and give you advice on how to proceed from here.
Wishing you and your child the very best - Pingo
Child Support Again
posted at 4/20/2009 11:15 AM EDT
Yes, pingo, it's me. You're such a kind person - I'm crying over your compassion.
I took your advice, and wrote a letter to the Women's Bar Association of Massachusetts. That group found me a pro bono attorney when this process started a few years ago. Like everything else, the group is subject to budget cuts. Back then, when the economy was good, I was on a year-long waiting list.
I wrote this time to ask if I am still eligible for their services, as my divorce/custody case was closed four years ago.
Tina - I will bring up your advice if/when I am assigned a new attorney. Thank you so much.
To both Tina and pingo - valuable advice from each of you, that I am following up on.
Thank you so much. And I apologize for my so-late reply.
Child Support Again
posted at 4/20/2009 11:15 AM EDTLast spring, I followed Tru's advice to the letter - wouldn't you know, the DOR entered my complaint into their system, then neglected to save it. There I was, waiting the mandatory 40 days to find out if my ex had received and responded to the DOR's demand for payment of child support arrears. Nope - the two DOR letters never went out. I started the process all over again this fall. I have to check early next week on the status of that.
The DOR says that beyond sending a letter to the RMV (his license would be suspended if he does not get out of arrears, or at least make a payment arrangement with the DOR), there is nothing they can do after that. It will be up to me to seek a Contempt of Court decision against him - and get him on a payment plan.
Before 12/12/07, he was in arrears of a couple of thousand dollars. Since 12/12/07, he has not paid a cent to his child.
If I return to Court, I will be paying the attorney to represent me - her fees coming to about what he owes. I used to be eligible for Legal Aid, but Legal Aid is drastically cutting back due to the economy.
So, it will cost. Do I pursue this for ethical reasons, so my child will know I fought for him/her? (I am leaving this gender neutral, so his relatives won't recognize me from the post.)
In the meantime, he remains in Contempt:
-- Alcohol is forbidden during the visits and in the 24 hours before. He drinks through the visits. He has missed visits because he has been in a drunk through them.
-- He continues to bad-mouth me and tell our child that I am nobody, and s/he will be too if s/he follows my path in life. Bad-mouthing is forbidden by the Visitation Order.
-- He has convinced his sibs that I am the witch of the clan, because visits have restrictions due to his alcoholism. (They know he's an alcoholic, but they are a circle-the-wagons kind of family.)
In addition, he can't travel on his own with our child (a family member has to be present) because he drinks and drives. His family continually guilts me over this, "Oh, I feel so sorry for little ... [name of child]" when s/he can't attend a family event because there is no-one who can drive our little one and supervise (our child is a 'tween). (Back-story: they are Victorians who don't believe former spouses have a place in their lives, even when there is a nephew/niece/grandchild involved; they won't let me attend family events with our child.)
I am under tremendous stress. I know I need to return to Court; don't know how in the world I'll pay for it; know that his family will hate me even more for returning to Court. I am having chest pains evem as I write this, just thinking about it.