Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No Court Today...

Child Support...

I needed it.... I didn't get it for a decade.

The court ruled in my favor, the assignment for both spousal and child support was issued, but it wasn't paid.

I raised and supported my children - all 6 of them - through some really lean times. The oldest was 16, the youngest 6. Every once in a while a garnishment would go through and I would get a little check of $100 or $200. Every once in a while meant several months or years between payments. I always treated it as a bonus, a special treat for the kids, since we couldn't count on it. Once I used it to buy a year's membership at the zoo. Portland, Oregon has a fantastic zoo. That was fun.

I didn't get the money, but it continue to accrue. For a few years it grew as did the 9% interest. But then the state gave up on trying to collect and zeroed out my account. UGH!!!!

I had to find out how to reverse that action, I kept running into brick walls. I couldn't even get the case reopened. In the meantime, I was getting sicker and sicker from the stress of raising 6 children alone, one of which is autistic.

I prayed for help... if you have ever had to work with a government agency to get something set right, you will know the necessity of this.

My prayer was answered at long last and I was able to get the proper form sent to me to get the case moving forward again. With this form I petitioned the state to add back the years of accrued support that were taken off the books. He fought it, but I won.

Then I learned that the interest isn't added unless I petition for it, even though it is plainly stated in the divorce decree that 9% simple interest is to be added on any past due amounts. So I petitioned to get the decade plus of interest on the books. It came to something like $86,000! I won that one last year. It is accruing close to $1000 a month interest alone at this time! It was and is important to me to have the correct amounts on the books, even if I never get it. I hope to get it though.

A few years ago my ex was finally located and forced to start paying a token amount. He was not consistent, so he was put on probation a year ago. The minimal amount was doubled, which still does not cover the monthly amount. He faithfully paid for a few months, then he defaulted again. This time it was a probation violation. A court date was set.

This is where I got the call last week from the D.A.'s office that I needed to come to court and testify against my ex-husband. My three daughters agreed (with reservation) to testify too. We were nervously preparing to go, when God saw fit to smile on us again...

I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from the D.A.'s office. She was reviewing the record and saw that he did pay support since his last court date in December. He made a double payment on Dec 18th, then a single payment on Dec 28th. I know he thought the second Dec payment would show up in Jan, but it didn't. No payment is showing in Jan, but he made another double payment last week (Feb). Because he was actually showing some effort, she wanted to hold off on bringing me in to testify and instead ask for a continuance on what was already in place, assuming he will continue to pay at least a single payment each month.

I told her I believed he did want to make the payments now. He has told both Michelle and Tiffany that he wants to comply. For the first time since all this started, since he abandoned us so long ago, I felt compassion for him. I believe he is sincere. I never thought I would ever feel that for him.

I have prayed to have my hard feelings softened. I don't intend to lessen the financial obligation, it is rightfully owed to me, and I need it. Those years of stress have taken a tole on my health and I am not able to sustain a job now. Believe me, I've tried. I am permanently disabled according to SSA. But I don't like the bitterness that is trying to take hold in my heart towards him. There were so many hurts. I don't want them. The Lord has promised through his incredible Atonement that those hurts can be taken from me. I want that blessing. I continue to pray and I feel the blessings of those prayers starting to take root inside me.

I guess the next step is for me to pray for him... and mean it.

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