Have to go to court, AGAIN.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I woke up this morning to the dogs going frantic over someone knocking at the door. I didn't answer, then get a call from a deputy saying he's leaving a summons for court on my door. Fine. I figured it was the show cause filed by the GAL in March finally showing up. Then I remembered that the court clerk told me in May that there was no sign at all about that and I remembered my mom's threats and thought it might be another custody issue, so I ran and got the papers.

    Is it either of those two things? NO. Department of Juvenile Justice filed for child support. I was aware that they probably would require me to pay child support, but here's the weird part- they filed thru (and specifically requested it be paid thru) DSS (child support enforcement division). I'm not sure that is typical. It might be but difficult child told me some parents were having to pay child support when the kid was in processing (after first being turned over to Department of Juvenile Justice) and there would be no way to have time to go thru this process that quickly so I figured Department of Juvenile Justice was just sending the parent a bill. I could see this if I had receieved bills from them and not paid them, but I haven't received any request for money from Department of Juvenile Justice. This was filed right after difficult child was transferred from processing to his current facility, so it probably is typical for them to request child support.

    Other factors to consider include that they are asking I keep medication insurance on difficult child and/or pay medication amounts exceeding a certain amount, yet medicaid dropped difficult child saying they can't keep him oin while he's in Department of Juvenile Justice because Department of Juvenile Justice was responsible for medical care.

    Also, there is an area where the requested amount of child support can be checked and they checked "per guidelines". What are the guidelines if someone is unemployed? If this goes thru DSS, who has technically never been involved in our lives before, will they pursue establishing paternity with difficult child's father, just like if I filed something with DSS?

    And I noticed that this case was assigned to a different courtroom than all difficult child's cases have been. They normally keep all hearings about the same person with one judge, but this courtroom is a different judge, who will not be familiar with our family at all. This could be a bad thing and I wonder if the GAL had something to do with this. Or would they have asked the judge? Wouldn't she be at least notified and in attendance under these circumstances?

    As a side note and referencing the thread a couple of days ago in the WC about families and adult kids being legally responsible for their parents when the parents become mentally or physically incapacitated, there is also an option on this form where the petitioner is supposed to check if they are requesting financial support payments to be paid FOR a parent. Janet- thanks for the heads up on that one.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I would guess that the new court takes care of financial issues since you received a generic form. Doubtful that GAL would have anything to do with the collection of monies for Department of Juvenile Justice. It does not impact the best interests of the child one way or the other as "the child" is already placed in an institutional environment.

    Does it tell you what documents to bring? Does it tell you how much? Or how the amount is determined?

    We did not have that obligation when easy child/difficult child spent six months in a Department of Juvenile Justice program, much to my surprise. Like me, I am sure you have all your records together so you'll be able to respond appropriately. DDD
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    It sounds pretty standard to me. I wouldn't worry, just gather the documents you need and go to court.

    Are you seeing a therapist about your level of anxiety? It seems to be escalating instead of calming down with difficult child in Department of Juvenile Justice. I know when my anxiety went through the roof, I needed Buspar and Xanax to calm down and once I was on the medications I couldn't believe that I had functioned as long as I had at that level of anxiety.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Nope- I'm not doing medications. My anxiety is actually a lot better than it was- it does peak when I wake up to more carp to deal with though. LOL!

    There's not much paperwork to present right now. I am unemployed and difficult child was dropped form medicaid so neither of us have medication insurance. I can get something in writing saying why difficult child was dropped from medicaid. They did say to bring pay stubs (if applicable) and a brochure or something stating cost of medication insurance. I can get that, I guess. Also, I'll take whatever is applicable if I'm working by then.

    I called difficult child's CM at Department of Juvenile Justice and she said this was standard but she didn't know anything else about it except that she thinks it's handled by the parole officer. It sure would have been nice if the PO would have mentioned it to me when we talked one of those previous 4 times so I would have been expecting it. He was supposed to call last week to set up an appointment for us but hasn't called yet. I'll ask him my questions when he does.
  5. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Yes, they will probably establish paternity if they can, why not? Also if you are unemployed they may assign you with minimum wage income and base CS on that. If he gets SSDI (if you are in the US), that can be used for the CS. You can go online an figure out what might be, but local courts have their own way of figuring it out. They all follow 'guidelines' but some take into consideration the payment of medical premiums, some don't, some count other income like other CS income, and some don't.

    by the way often for support cases if you have no special circumstances you want to plead, you can just fax in your documents and let them run it thru the computer, then they send you the results. Call and see if you can do that and save yourself some time.

    Good luck with this, it won't be as bad as you might think.

    (Is there money they can get out of difficult child's father for support?)
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I hope you are not in Ohio, where they can base support on "imputed income" - meaning what they think you can make.

    This is what they did to husband. His was based on imputed income, BM's on what she had made the year before working 16-20 hours/week. So she is supposed to pay 33% of what the kids "need". Never mind that it is her actions that made husband's job hunting such an issue and that the wage they assigned him was 2.5x what she made per hour. Oh, and husband was unemployed at the time. (She also owes us over $1700 in uncovered medical alone...)

    However this does sound standard. They will require that you pay something. Now if they do bill - it will be sent to Child Support Enforcement and tacked on as arrears.

    Good luck, hon. Lots of hugs and I'm wishing a stranger hands you a winning lottery ticket.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You know, it gets a little outrageous when there is child support, plus difficult child's restitution, plus I can't work full time hours half the time (which means I lose pay plus benefits like medication insurance and is how I lost the job) due to court dates, meetings, mental health care appts, etc, FOR difficult child. No one person can cover all of that.

    I remember asking difficult child's probation officer last December if she preferred that I supervise him 24/7 and take him to appts, or go to work so I could continue to support him and pay his restitution and put food on the table. She, and her super, told me that was my problem, not their's. This is where bio-parents get the shaft. We get no assitance- either financially or with help for the kid. We just get blamed when it becomes impossible to do everything that they are requiring. Then we get taken to court and trashed and punished.

    As far as difficult child's father- until/unless paternity is estableished, he legally does not have a ffather, WSM, so there has never been child support paid by him or to me.

    No state agency has ever gone after him to establish paternity because the only agency that's ever technically been involved is Department of Juvenile Justice. Now, if DSS is involved, they might but I doubt it because difficult child's father is out of state, and never paid child support for his first child and doesn't work legitimately so I doubt they would spend the time and money to 1) go out of state and find him, 2) chase him around enough to actually fight thru court for a blood test, 3) stay on his butt enough when there is little or nothing to be gained financially from him.

    They might write down they they are looking for him, and maybe even run an ad in the paper like they would be required to do if there was a custody issue. I doubt they will do anything more- particualrly since even though I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the only person that could be the father, they only have my word to go on.

    I was reading the finer print on this standard form and it talks about parents having to cover costs for different things in a variety of cicumstances- some that don't apply to me, it's just general info. I can understand having to pay CS and making a parent reimburse attny's fees if a court appointment attny has been assigned to a parent or juvenile, then they find out that the parent really could afford one. But, I don't understand that a court can appoint a GAL for a child at their discretion, then make the parent reimburse them for the GAL's fees. Fortunately, that one hasn't come up yet, but my feeling is, if they appointment a GAL, they should cover that cost. I can't tell you what difficult child's has cost me, indirectly, and she has never done one thing that has helped difficult child at all. I would resent the carp out of it if I had to reimburse her fees.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    klmno... I feel your pain... husband has had to handle this too... Which is why I've paid for most stuff throughout our marriage... I don't hold it against him, but against BM indirectly.

    What field are you in? Is there any way you can commute virtually? My Mom does - she doesn't even have an actual office in the building 5 miles from her home - and it's very, very flexible...
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    In VA, they can "impute income" if they want to get nasty.. but aren't likely to if you show you are trying in good faith to get a job. Do you receive unemployment? They can and do use that with the guidelines.. and can garnish it.

    I don't think going through DCSE is that unusual.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Nope, I don't get unemployment because I wasn't officially fired or laid off. I had changed to part time hours at first in order to get difficult child to all appts, supervise him after school, and go to court so many times. That's when my benefits were cut so I was going into debt to cover the medication insurance out-of-pocket. Then, difficult child kept becoming more unstable and required even more time, which could not be foreseen ahead of time, so I took a leave of absence. Then after difficult child finally was sentenced and I calmed down and could return to work, they had already hired 2 part time people (not requiring paid benefits of course) so they could not bring me back. That's when I just let the insurance go- but it was only my insurance because I had gotten difficult child on medicaid. Then, I called medicaid to tell them difficult child's change in status as far as him not being in psychiatric hospital but being in Department of Juvenile Justice custody and medicaid dropped him saying Department of Juvenile Justice covered the cost. All I can do is explain that to the judge- that medicaid says it's up to Department of Juvenile Justice- Department of Juvenile Justice says it's up to me/insurance.

    They'll have to assume some income amount somehow if I don't have a job and they are make to make me pay something anyhow. The petition requested the court to base the amount of CS on "the standard guidelines". Maybe I can find those online. Department of Juvenile Justice had told me before that they don't require CS payments if the parent is unemployed, but again, the left hand doesn't always know what the right hand is doing. When I go over there to see the PO in a couple of weeks, I'll walk over and see which judge has this courtroom. (At least I think each judge stays in the same courtroom, no matter what kind of case it is.) It will put my mind at ease to be able to ask other parents about the judge before I go to court. Also, I guess I can expect to pay back CS from the time difficult child was committed to Department of Juvenile Justice.

    What concerns me slightly about the judge change is that the previous judge has kind of ruled in my favor, somewhat, a couple of times and this last time, she didn't support the gal when the gal was trashing me. I'm hoping that the judge has not been changed due to some of the people over there saying that the first judge has become too sympathetic toward me. on the other hand, it could be considered a conflict of interest if the judge that difficult child typically gets was also assigned to hear my case. I'm not sure how that works- do they want the same judge for everyone in the housekhold and pertaining to that child, or do they just want the same judge for the child's offenses?
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Normally DSS handles all child support...just so you know. It goes through what is called Child Support Enforcement. The courthouse normally has one courtroom dedicated just to child support cases. Or one day set aside. Usually it is one judge that works that courtroom. I remember the judge that used to do all the child support cases. He was a real hard behind. I remember one smart alecky kid thought he was going to beat child support by getting a whole bunch of his buddies to tell the judge that it could be any of them that could be baby daddy. Well...judge looked at them and told them that all of them would be paying child support until the paternity tests came back in...lol. Talk about some shocked and mad buddies....lmao.

    Well judge came down off his high horse when his wife divorced him and started making him pay child support...lmao.

    Here there is a minimum amount that you have to pay as child support based on minimum wage. This is also if you are not disabled or receiving SSI. If you receive SSI, you dont pay support. I think the base minimum is somewhere around 75 a month.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh- that info makes me feel better. Do GAL's normally attend the hearing? If the parole officer sets it up because difficult child is in Department of Juvenile Justice, does he attend? I'm not sure that would be accurate. He doesn't collect the money and it's that division of DSS that montiors payments.

    PS- I like the story you told!

    I'll definitely be asking them to get difficult child's father involved- paternity tests and child support. I'm just not holding my breath. Interestly enough, the guy I've gone out with emailed today so I briefed him on this. He said he thought I should get them to go after difficult child's father- that he should be paying CS. I found it a good sign that a guy who has kids of his own said that.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Well, I am sorry that no one knows what anyone else said, or even the official policy on these things. Heck, sounds like even the JUDGE doesn't know, which is somewhat scary, in my opinion.

    ALL child support in every state requires that child support be handled by one specific division. Otherwise you would end up with terrible inconsistencies, lots of lawsuits because the same situation would have totally different amounts even with same circumstances. So this is not surprising to me, having it go through a different court. I researched the laws when my uncle was having such a hard time since his vicious exwife drove his daughter out of her home. I signed an affadavit about his and hers fitness as a parent. I did the research because I wondered if every state was as strange as OH for this stuff.

    Don't stress. Get a letter from medicaid or the people you went through to get it saying that because he is in Department of Juvenile Justice custody they will not cover him. That is important. The phone call is not official. You should have gotten a letter stating that coverage ended and why it ended. If you didn't, or can't find it, then call or go see the caseworker you worked with.

    I also think you should see a doctor about the anxiety and depression. I think most people would find it impossible to get through this without medication. I required prozac, topomax and xanax to get through it all. There is no shame, even if you have to go to a free clinic. You can call the hospital to find out where free clinics are. My little town has one, so I am sure your area will have one. Or call your reg doctor and tell them what is going on and that you have no $$ to pay for a visit because all the legal and health stuff that difficult child needs. The doctor may be able to call medications into Walmart or another pharmacy with-o seeing you. Or know of a free clinic. I say walmart because they have the lowest prices. A 3 mo supply of many medications is just $10 (1 mo is $4) so the doctor may be able to call there if you know what is on the list and rx one of those.

    Here is a link to the walmart pharmacy. If you scroll down it shows various disorders - allergies or arthritis, for example - that you can click on to get a list of all the $4/$10 medications. Have it handy when you talk to the nurse or doctor and ask why the medications on the list would not be good for you. If the doctor wants you to take a brand name then tell him you need samples and help with the www.ppa.org forms for free/reduced price brand name medications.

    I hope that this goes smoothly, that medicaid covers things and is reinstated, and that you have no more problems like this.

    Take care of yourself.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I just missed your post. Of course biodad should be charged for CS. He knows difficult child exists, doesn't he? I assume he does from other posts. Sorry if that is a wrong assumption. PUSH CS division to make him get tested. They don't go and do it. They contact that jurisdiction and have those police/courts take care of it. You may even get back CS, which would be a big help right now so I hope they charge him with that also. A guy who doesn't pay CS is NOT a guy in my book. He is a weasel.

    As for the date-guy, it is AWESOME that he feels that way. A sign of a REAL man, in my opinion. That he was open with you should make you feel more comfortable with him.

  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I realize a lot of people on board feel I should be on medications. My decision is not to go on them. Final decision. I really hope people here can accept that and quit bringing it up and that this doesn't get me more posts to go on them.

    As far as the father- yes, he knows but will not admit it or acknowledge difficult child. It would take a court order to have cops find him, physically force him to take a blood test, then find him and physically force him to court to pay child support, then go thru the same again to show cause when he didn't pay it. I know this because this is what it took for his first child- who he never paid CS for. He hid from bondsmen and everything else to avoid it- and got away with it.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  16. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks- I have been talking to others and looking into more online- it does appear this is all standard procedure. I found the law and for basicly being unemployed, parents only have to pay a really low amount. Hopefully, even if I have a job by Sept., the amount I owe for the arrears will be based on being unemployed during that time. Although technically, I'm not in arrears because they have never sent me a bill for anything. I'm not sure what you call it when they make a person pay for previous months. To make this situation worse, we were never married and we live out of state- two circumstances that didn't even apply to his first child.

    I'm getting ready to start another thread about better news.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sorry about the mention of medications. I didn't know you had considered them and decided against them. I mentioned it because I got so much help, help I didn't even realize I needed until the medications kicked in. We just want you to feel good and find your way through this. If medications are not in your plan, that is fine. I just didn't realize that you had made a decision. I thought maybe you had gotten overwhelmed and just forgotten about it or been unable to handle anything else.

    Mea maxima culpa. I know they are not for everyone, so I am sorry I pushed them and made you feel uncomfortable.

    The courts may very well force him to take a paternity test and pay back CS dating back to when he was born, or when he learned difficult child was on the way. Here there are some cases where support was ordered before the child was born if the mother was existing solely on WIC, Food Stamps, welfare and subsidized housing with medical care by medicaid. Part of it was making the judge mad with their attitude, some for dumb things like telling the judge you have other kids you don't pay support for and you refuse to pay no matter what for this kid either. Babymama got to sleep with him, so that is ALL the payment she needed because he is SOO good in bed. (yes, this was in the papers here because it was so dumb a thing to say and it made the judge SO mad.) or else the mom could SHOW that the guy was working somehow because he had a nice house and a fancy car and expensive jewelry, etc... The judge told him to sell the stuff and pay the support or go to jail. The fool took jail and all his stuff had to be sold because he couldn't get out until support and court fees including her lawyer were paid. He also had to pay a fee for being in jail to go to HIS support! Even jail isn't free anymore!) This is RARE, but once in a while it happens.

    I hope and pray you get a great judge who will order the CS from biofather and give you minimal if any CS and make medicaid or the Department of Juvenile Justice pay for medical.

    Sorry I upset you, and praying for the best.

    So I
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It's ok, Susie. I consider you a friend and supporter and didn't get mad at you- I just had a STRONG recommendation from my best therapist long ago to never go on psychiatric medications unless I was suicidal or homocidal. Not that it applies to everyone- she wasn't against medications as a rule- it pertains to my drug issues from the past. I don't want to get into specifics, it's just that with me, I will turn things around better thru other methods.

    I do appreciate the intent though.

    Back to the father, his first child's mother had been on public assistance which is why that state did as much as they did to try to get him but he managed to always slide by them. Until this last occurence, I had never been on public assitance for myself or difficult child, which is why paternity never got established. The state won't pursue it under those circumstances and I wasn't about to take what little I had to hire a private investigator and go after him. Now that DSS will be involved, I hope they do go after him. I told the judge last year that pulling difficult child's father into court and having him answer to some of this and acknowledge difficult child as his child might just go farther in helping difficult child than any therapy.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    K...now that difficult child is involved with the "system" they may very well go after biodad for support. Child support is getting more and more strict as each day passes. This country is getting tired of paying for kids. So, while my oldest sons father got off scot free for my oldest son, he is paying thru the nose for his other kids.

    The county will go after the father...you wont even have to lift a finger. They will do the dna testing, they will track him down, they will force him into court, they will send him to jail, they will garnish his wages, they will take his drivers license, they will take his fishing license, his hunting license...did I mention jail? Oh yeah...jail again. They will take his tax refunds. They will do it all...and they will set an arrears back to when difficult child was born. Child support can get ugly. I have seen some really nasty cases. They will take the money they need for difficult child while he is in Department of Juvenile Justice but then you will be set up for afterwards too.