Orange County, CA Family Support ignored my pleas for 3
years, and routinely filed for a higher modification at their usual 3 year
mark. Before court, my ex tried to convince the DA that he
saw our daughters 20% of the year. My boyfriend and I chuckled and pointed out
he saw them the 3xs a year we traveled to CA. The DA let my ex know who
I thought it was one of the DA's who came
over and said, "These are for you." and handed me papers. Unconcerned,
I didn't even look at
them. My boyfriend did, "Cheryl! You've been served!" I
felt very confused. I'd been served with papers to
have support reduced to $220 a month. In terrible fear and despair I
dragged myself to the DA, sat down with wobbly legs, and asked, "Can he do
this?!?" I felt so worn out and hopeless.
In court the CA DA nearly quadrupled the
child support to $1295 a
month. The courtroom audience gasped. My ex mumbled, "But your honor, that
doesn't leave me enough to live on." The judge wasn't sympathetic.
In court a couple of months later I
represent myself against my ex's attorney. The man seemed to hate women,
and he took it as a very personal vendetta to reduce the child
support. As his attorney bullied and verbally battered me, my ex
squirmed and looked more and more uncomfortable as I produced the childcare
receipts and other supporting paperwork. I'd been thru so much, I didn't get intimidated or angry. At one
point my boyfriend, in the little office with us, blew up. I stopped him,
"It's ok Mark." The attorney seemed very frustrated that he
couldn't fluster me.
discovered that the judge had made an error in assigning the support at $1295 a
month, calculating a 5 week month rather than a 4.3 week month. My ex's
paychecks were garnished for back taxes, taxes I'd tried to get him to file
jointly with me after he left. He refused. He filed on the back
taxes married but separate, no dependents. I guess he was afraid to
cooperate with me regarding the taxes. I later
filed married but separate on all the back taxes, with all four kids as
dependents. I received a large refund.
The judge gave him a $50 a month hardship
My ex suddenly wanted to exercise the 20% visitation, which helped
reduce his monthly support to $866 a month, an additional $30 a month towards arrears.
I'll never forget the sight of his attorney jumping up and down for joy over and
over as tho it was his child support that had been reduced, my ex sitting there
uncomfortable and dejected. He'd paid the attorney $3000.
The reduced support was ok with me. A year
after her dad left, our 7 year old had planned her suicide over her father's
neglect. I got her to a therapist, and demanded her dad give her the attention
she needed. He made some lame attempts at phoning. That's when my new
boyfriend and I started traveling 3xs a year from Vegas to CA so my girls could
see their dad, and my boyfriend could try to see his son. Our little daughters needed
their dad. If money was what finally got him to give them what they needed, so be it.
My ex filed bankruptcy. The 2 car
loans, the taxes, now fell to me. Like I had any money to give them.
One car loan company believed my ex's stories about how I was ruining him
financially, and in cries of retribution the loan officer took it personally,
screamed at me over the phone at my work, and
tried to garnish my newly increased child support, money I hadn't even begun to
receive yet. He demanded postdated checks turning over to him the entire monthly
child support amount each month until the car loan was paid off. I luckily had a new friend who was a paralegal. She wrote a
scathing response to their suit. They backed off and the man was in
trouble with his boss.
My credit stank, but I never filed for