Child support is exhausting. The sheer reality that it needs to be laid out in print by an attorney for another human being (that consented and discussed the prospect and desire of children with you and proceeded forward with the idea with joy and no hesitation, going as far as announcing YOUR big news to friends and family before you could even make it home upon the of discovery) that they now must partake in a small part of the financial aftermath of the act from a distance, is depleting of mental energy and health. It is in and of itself, a labor. A psychological and emotional task. A time consuming, strenuous job. It is work. It is filing and then re-filing, packet after packet of never-ending reporting and stress, conferences-both periodically and contemptuously, lies and excuses, and overall, an unequal and unfair response to the responsibilities of parenting. It is taxing on any person to span years of your life tied in legal battles; tediously putting details into order, culminating numbers and gathering facts, and spending copious amounts of time endlessly standing strong for what’s right and just to obtain an appropriate and fair order. Imagine yourself constantly and tiresomely pursuing even the smallest sliver of justice while being dragged through the mud at every possible public, private, and social media opportunity by a male chauvinist man-child, his less than reputable and even less entitled girlfriend after you, and his overly obsessed, abusive family vilifying you in every creatively false way possible, all the while being strung along by a less than just legal system for this more than deserved order. An order that you’ve barely seen pennies of during the entire almost decade you’ve been clawing through their mud though they were to have claimed on many occasions that you were to have been reveling in it. Of course this is barely a sliver of the actual life you’re constructing and creating and living in, but the toxicity of the situation seeps into the watercolors of your world nonetheless and the conferences leave stain your days.
The Current Issue:
In more recent years, and even more recent months, I’ve come to find, it’s another war entirely when you find yourself not only battling the monster that is the “deadbeat dad” but you now have to contend with the “deadbeat employer”. Having a fresh new battle to contend with when the culprits you are now facing are negligent and immoral business owners who decide to disregard their court ordered wage attachments; signed, sealed, and delivered directly from the county are a little bit more frustrating. I don’t recall ever finding any particularly outstanding business articles or headlines that stemmed from corrupt conduct or from the profit of mistreatment of children due to the heresy or opinion of an irresponsible employee that made their company soar. I had always envisioned “family companies” to be of a family orientated nature. That families, whether of their lineage or not, were of an utmost important nature in the world around us and something we should aspire to protect and uphold, not tear apart secretly behind closed doors because we didn’t feel the need to abide by a court’s decision that a child was entitled to be taken care of simply because an individual employed by the company had decided to abandon them and continue to reproduce without care. But, no, these bullshit companies won’t even work with or take care of their own families when it comes down to it, so why not take the side of your buddy when he wants to toss a child to the wind and say “screw it”?
When these payments are willfully, purposefully, “forgotten” and remain unsent, it is, of course, the defendant, who is legally responsible for these payments and falls into arrears and may end up in contempt of court. In my opinion, rightfully so, if you can’t stay on top of your own obligations instead of relying upon someone else to take care of your responsibilities for you. But shouldn’t the employer also hold some of the liability as well? Aren’t they the ones that have actually received the paperwork for the court order and are responsible for disbursement each pay period? How else does the payment get withheld from the actual paycheck, or direct deposit, and get sent to the office in Harrisburg for domestics collection? Because they are, in fact, liable under Pennsylvania Statute. Section 4348 Title 23 Domestic Relations Paragraph (i) (3) 3 states that a payment must be sent within 7 business days of the date that an employee is paid. It is now well over several weeks since my payment has been sitting carelessly in their office. “Forgotten” as they claim every time this occurs, which I assure you, happens quite often. What I find the most peculiar is how frequently a person whose job consists of distributing payments, can forget to mail out or distribute a payment. I believe it has been close to a dozen in the last year and a half. Now (i) (4) does state clearly that this order is binding upon the employer in case they were completely oblivious to that fact, which I’m sure they’re not. In my best understanding, which is to what I’ve witnessed and heard previously, as my ex had been employed by this same company before, is that the employer and him are in agreement about their willingness to not submit the payments, as they simply do not want to. This was much easier years ago, as he paid him strictly under the table in cash. Either way this scenario helps no one. I understand the logic, of course. They believe they are hurting me, this is what they are striving for. But in the larger scheme of things, they are going to ultimately ruin themselves. As of this point in time, his balance is now over several thousand dollars due to games like these and I fully intend to do everything in my power to enforce these laws to the best of abilities for the sake of my child and all children who facing these egregious actions. Section 4348 Title 23 Paragraph (k) states the effects of noncompliance of the employee including adjudged in contempt, committed to jail, fined by the court, liability for any amount they have withheld but not forwarded to the domestic relations office, and attachment of funds or property of the employer.
I have been cordial and mature and professional to the best of my abilities throughout the years. I have been lenient on some occasions and factual on all. Because I’ve always had my shit (and my paperwork) together, I’ve always been accused of trying to ruin his life and being hard on him, when I’ve actually been nothing but fair when I should have been anything but. At this point, I am no longer hesitating to get annoyed and to push these laws if this what needs to be done. When you are in your thirties and have no responsibilities, (you don’t live on your own, have no bills, etc.) and you make very good money, you have no excuses as to why your one monthly payment is not being made. The rest of humanity makes their dozens of monthly payments and bills on time every month with no hassle. And when we don’t, we have consequences. Late fees, drops in our credit score, utility shut offs and car repossessions if it’s extreme. If I miss a payment on my monthly medical premium, my medical insurance will be shut off. My monthly medical premium, that is calculated based on my income and the child support I am supposed to receive. I laugh at people that think support payments are simple monetary payments to me, like someone handing me a small handful of cash. That payment dictates what I pay every month for my medical insurance, what I pay for daycare, what I write on the income sheet for the childcare and school food programs (which I am now leaving blank because I refuse to submit income I am not receiving to a state food program for my child and dozens of other children), and every time the payments cease, as they always do, I am tasked with calling and reporting it all over again to the agencies and medical assistance for adjustments.
There are clearly so many issues in our world that haven’t even begun to be repaired and may never be able to come close to a fixture, but I believe if we can start somewhere, anywhere, with how we treat and care for our children, we can come close to some semblance of humanity in the future and at least give them the care and tools they need to help us with those repairs. Companies and employers ignoring wage attachments and defying their obligations to the courts, for whatever reasons, should be penalized by the court systems and held in contempt on the first offense. Their businesses should be audited, if cash payments, “under the table” are frequently suspected to be unreported, and they should be held accountable to as much as the defendant owes in these circumstances as much as they would be to pay their own debts, as well as court fines and fees.
This is the reality of dealing with an inadequate “parent”. This is the reality of handling the other party’s unending negligence and irresponsibility. This is the reality of seven and a half years filled with contempt conferences, enforcement conferences, modifications, court dates, reviews, and hell. Whomever thinks trying to recieve even the slightest bit of child support is a cakewalk, is either very uninformed or very ignorant. The expression “pulling teeth” isn’t even quite descriptive enough for the process of trying to enforce a law evading sociopath. The misconceptions of the situation, the agony, and the extremely disappointing end result are disheartening at the least. But this is my reality. My sometimes brutally draining, maddening reality. I have been posted about, lied about, talked about, fought with, and disrespected continuously, all because of this. All because of a “cash flow” that I never even receive 95% of the time. This is page upon page of proof of the lying and whining being spewed and defended in my direction. I post it now because I was previously unaware it was required to prove my complete innocence and honesty to parties entirely uninvolved and misinformed.
( click on Overview title for full view of PA statute)