Interviewing Attorneys

My son is being screwed by the state about child support AGAIN. What is he doing wrong? He’s complying with his court order.

Apparently the state now wants all child support to be funneled through them. They’ve seized his bank account and all the (considerable) funds in it. They seized his $4,000 tax refund and gave it directly to his ex-wife. “But he’s not behind!” she protested. “Take the money and keep your mouth shut!” she was advised. She did. Son was pissed, because he was planning on putting a new roof on his house with that money. He was also pissed because she was complaining about extra expenses with her husband and THEIR three children, so he was paying extra. And she took his $4,000 and didn’t bother mentioning it to him. Or me. Or her husband, who found out and was quite angry about it. He called my son and told him, which is how he found out that the state had seized his federal tax return. He didn’t bother filing his taxes this year.

His court order says that he must pay her the stated amount weekly. He does. He usually pays more. He has it direct deposited directly to her account every Friday because he works 12 to 16 hour days, often seven days per week, and he no longer has a banking account to send her checks from. He’s never gotten a court order to do otherwise, like pay the state a weekly fee to administer the child support, plus the child support, plus pay the company a fee for taking the child support out of the check.

Now they’re taking away his driver’s license and all his permits and registrations.

“You better call them!” I told him.

“Mom, I can’t! I’ve tried and tried. Nobody ever answers the phone. It’s all automated, and it cuts you off.”

I tried to call them. It was automated. It told me all agents were busy. It told me to go to a website. It cut me off. I tried to call several times. I spent over an hour doing it. I never got to speak to a person about why they were doing this and what legal basis there was for it since my son was in compliance with his court order. (If he wasn’t, I’d hear directly immediately from the former DIL.) Son does not have access to the internet. He used to, but he is home so little that he cancelled his land line and internet access. For going online, you need a case number. He doesn’t have one. He’s screwed.

The last time he went through this with the state of Florida child support enforcement, he told them to send the order to his company to get child support payments taken out. That was over a year ago. His company can’t take out child support payments because they have no order to do so and nobody to pay it to.

I told son I tried to go online, but I got nowhere because I had no case number. I told son that that was fruitless as well. “Welcome to my world!” he sighed.

So, I’m currently interviewing attorneys. A consultation starts at @ $250 but the ones that I’m talking with do not have any openings for two weeks. How messed up is a system that requires a person who has done nothing wrong, who is complying with court-ordered child support payments as per the court order, to spend thousands of dollars to prove that he is doing exactly what he’s supposed to do? This is not right.

Son called me again. “Mom, I guess I’m going to just have to lose my license. The day I’m supposed to meet with child support enforcement and pay the money that I don’t owe to keep from losing my license and truck registration and anything else they can think of, I’ve been ordered by my company to be on the other side of the state.”

I looked at the phone. “Son, you drive their company truck.”

“I know.”

“Are they aware that, if you do not show up, that they will have an unlicensed driver hauling their employees around?”

“They know.”

“Well, okay then.”

*sigh*

They’ll probably also put out an order for his arrest.

His girlfriend drives his truck when he’s out of town to keep the battery charged, etc. And he’s always out of town. I hope that they don’t arrest her for driving a truck with a suspended registration.

In the meantime, I’m sitting here waiting for a call back from an attorney’s office in town. I think I’ll go ahead and take him off my list.

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kcduffy said,

    Good ol Florida – they don’t just lose the children who are seized by DCF, they also pull this kind of shiite. Nice.

    Automated systems are the third ring of Hades, in my opinion.

    Best of luck to all of you – let me know if there’s anything I can do to help…and I do mean anything.

  2. 2

    swampie said,

    Well, I’ll secure some doors at a FL Dept. of Rev. building and drench the building with gas if you want to strike a match. Then maybe they’ll be ready to give out the gawddamn telephone number that connects with an actual person.

    I was so desperate, I called the business tax section in the FL DoR building. (Child support collections is in there, too.) I tried to explain that I needed a number to call so that son could talk to them. He told me that the child support collections office does not have a telephone number and I can only call the 1-800 number that nobody answers. And if I couldn’t reach them, that was my problem, not his.

  3. 5

    John M said,

    Gott im Himmel, what a morass! I have a friend down in Homestead who has a similar problem.
    OT, I was wondering what happened to Seablogger. You are the only rare reader I could remember to ask.

    • 6

      swampie said,

      John, I have no idea about Seablogger. I guess somebody decided to close it down and move on. Like you, I went there to find it gone. It’s sad, as though he died all over again.


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