Child Support Establishment Struggles

As you can probably tell, or read in my previous posts, I am a single parent with zero support from my child’s father or his family. To this day he is not involved in our son’s life and I mainly just hear from him when he has a court related question or occasionally on a holiday. I wanted to sit down and talk about my process establishing child support because quite frankly, it deserved a whole post. So enjoy!

 

MY EXPERIENCE:

Our child support process began last year in November of 2017 and was a tough battle from the start. In order to really begin the process, the other party has to be served. This was a problem because his address kept “changing” or we “didn’t have it right” which was interesting considering he is military and stationed in California.  

Then he decided he wanted a DNA test. 

Fast forward to December 21st. He still hadn’t been served and he was home on leave the entire month of December. Now before you say, “He is entitled to his test,” “he can have proof if he wants it,” blah blah blah, he knew this child was 100% his, he just did it to prolong the process. He got served at the DNA test. 

Our first court date was set for the first week of January and my naive self thought it would be an easy in and out process. After sitting there from 8am to 1pm, because the judge was running late, I was told to come back at the end of the month since our DNA test results had not come back yet. 

A few weeks later I had our second court date. This time I was there until noon just for them to tell me he was allowed 90 days to fully understand his rights and laws regarding establishment since he could not physically be there. 

Our third court date was set in late March. At this court date, I stayed again until noon for a new judge to tell me he was allowed 90 more days because he didn’t sign any of his paperwork. SHOCKER. He said he “never received them.”

The next court date fell in June. Number four. There is no way they could push it back further, I thought, but there I was being naive again. This court date determined that since he had not signed his paperwork still, he would be appointed a lawyer. I just kept telling myself it’s all for Ronan. 

August brought on date number five, by then I was a pro and started bringing a book with me. My caseworker told me his lawyer never showed up and they couldn’t get ahold of him, so I would have to come back in 2 weeks. 

Now we were six court dates in, yes six, and there were still more to go. I believe this court date held another paperwork issue if I remember correctly and miscommunication between my ex and his lawyer. 

Court date number seven was held in October, shortly after my son’s first birthday. Luckily I didn’t have to stick around too long for this one. My caseworker and attorney had agreed that this establishment case had been going on so long that they would prefer I come back at the next court date to be seen in front of one of their regular judges because there was a stand in judge that day. 

If you’ve made it this far, you’re a champ and I appreciate you sticking with me through my experience! One more date I swear. 

The last court date happened a few weeks ago and lasted all day long, but it was finally worth it. My ex’s lawyer tried to push it back another month and gave plenty of excuses to try to get him out of it, but the judge wasn’t having it. I’m almost positive I hold one of the longest records for an establishment case by the look on her face. Victory was ours. 

 

SO HOW DID MY EX TAKE IT? 

To put it simply. Not well. 

Over the past few months he had been a lot nicer to me when discussing the case, and he had been dealing with a lot mentally, I didn’t think much of it other than I was glad we were being civil. 

When I found out how much he owed and would be paying, we had talked it out and were considering lowering it, but I said I needed some time to think about it. I chose to keep it where it was because Ronan had no fault in any of his mistakes and I realized this was all for my him and his dad has not put a dime towards him yet. 

Supposedly he sent him a birthday present we have been waiting on for 2 months now. 

He acted like he didn’t care, it was fine, no big deal.. until we actually got established. Then I got the totally cliché angry baby daddy paying child support text. “So why am I paying 90% of your bills now while you sit around and pay nothing?” 

I work full time, I’m a full time student, and I raise my son completely alone with a little help from my mom if I need to finish up some homework, to shower, or if I just need a 30 minute break from life. There was a point where I was working two jobs and the one time I asked him for help he ignored me and blocked me. And he had the nerve to say it. 

Then to make matters worse, he went on complaining because he would only have half a paycheck left after his support and rent were paid. With our incomes together, this man makes up 78% of it. I rarely have as much as $10 left at the end of the month as a single mom, and he’s complaining about his money as a single bachelor with no responsibility. 

Now I feel like I’m just ranting, so let me stop right here before I write an entire book on ignorant baby daddies. 

By no means is my experience a normal one, but I was not prepared for this incredibly frustrating and slow process. Everyone told me because he was military it would be a breeze, but that was not the case at all.

Maybe this will shed some light, maybe not, but that’s my story. 

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