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Child support laws in Michigan are unreasonable...

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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 08:29 AM
Original message
Child support laws in Michigan are unreasonable...
Look at this scenario: A father makes $50,000 a year, $1,000 goes towards child support each month. Father becomes unemployed, he continues to pay $1,000 a month, or he will go to jail. Mother can't or won't agree to a temporary lowering of the payment, and if the mother did, the father is still subject to arrest for failing to make full payment. Father applies for a court hearing to lower payments while unemployed, however must wait for months for the hearing while continuing to pay the mandatory $1,000 a month. Father finds a job while waiting for the hearing, and by the time of the review, his payments are increased because of his new job.

This is happening to someone I know, he is at risk of going broke because his payments continue regardless of the situation. He does more than his fair share of the work raising his son, which costs him money above and beyond his child support contributions. He will eventually become unable to pay, unless he finds a reliable source of income immediately. If and when he cant pay, he is subject to arrest, and faces time in prison, where he is still obligated to make payments.

This child support issue is bleeding responsible fathers dry, it doesnt matter what they do, they are fucked. How in hell can anyone expect fathers to continue to make payments even when they are hit by bad times, then expect them to make payments while in prison for not making payments? Michigan needs to realize how many fathers sincerely care about their children and stop persecuting them unfairly.
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proudbluestater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. Do you have the text of the law?
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 08:36 AM by proudbluestater
The part that says even if you are unemployed you are required to pay the original amount?

I think if he makes 50,000 and he pays 1,000 a month, he is getting off cheap.

I don't understand his problem here, if he got another job. How can he be unable to pay?

It's my feeling that deadbeat parents of either sex RARELY face jail time. Just doesn't happen. Lots of threats are made, few are carried out.

Do you know if you are caught with a prostitute they can take your car in Michigan? For paying for sex. But they cannot take your car if you in arrears for child support for ten years. Just some perspective.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. While he is unemployed, possibly for months, he still must pay...
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 08:53 AM by KingChicken
Because of new legislation arrest warrants can be issued if a father defaults on payment. It used to be difficult because the mother was responsible for going after the father for the money. Now the state goes after the father automatically.

What i'm saying here is that while unemployed a father must continue to make full payments, untill he has a hearing which can take many months, during this time payments could be 50% - 75% of his unemployment benefits. This is causing people to go into debt when they can least afford it.

You must realize that $1,000 a month comes out of his net pay, after taxes and child support he only nets about $24,000 a year (- $12,000 + $15,000). He also takes care of his son at least 50% of the time, and pays all extra expenses. He is left with nothing.
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ET Awful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Perhaps you missed the part where he was unemployed for a while
and had to make the payments WHILE UNEMPLOYED, and the hearing process took so long that he was employed again by the time anything could be done. Meanwhile, the father who, until losing his job, was making payments fine, faced an exhorbitant amount of money for an unemployed person to pay, especially if the primary guardian of the children is employed and can absorb a little more of the cost of the support.

It seems a fair concern to me.
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. What do you base that "feeling that they rarely face jail time" on?
I have been in child support courts here in NC for 10 years, I can't think of one time where people weren't locked up for non support. Also, those who didn't show up were ordered arrested under contempt charges and were not released until they paid off the amount owed.

I have to agree with the first poster. There is a father doing what he should and loses his job. What if that family hadn't split up? Those kids would be living on what the dad's income dropped to for the period of unemployment - it's not fair to penalize this way. And while the courts loudly trumpet this triumph in the "best interest of the children" including providing an attorney to bring each case of non support on behalf of the custodial parent so that they don't even have to take the time to go to court - the non paying parent is responsible for that bill also. Even when it turns out that the payments have been made (many times through income withholding) and the state took months in some cases to apply it to the proper account. And when the custodial parent refuses to comply with the rest of the court order about things like visitation - tough, go hire a lawyer, spend more thousands and try to force compliance.

If the courts were really worried about the best interest of the children, they'd make visitation and support tied together and get out of the debt collection process. As it stands, they mask what they really do as being best for the kids, when all along it's set up to make sure that the kids don't become some welfare burden for the state to pay for - if there was anything else as close to "debtors prison" in this country, I don't know what it is.
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Rainbowreflect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
20. You are correct about non payment of child support leading to
jail time.
The only way that happens is if a person fails to appear for an ordered court hearing, if they are found in contempt and put on a payment plan & fail to meet the order payments or if the case goes for federal prosecution.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. A local guy was picked up for non payment last year...
He was pulled over for speeding and arrested on site because of the warrant.

He never failed to show up for court, he ran out of money from being laid off.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. That's a bench warrant
And they are completely useless unless you are - like you said - picked up for another crime. They won't even go out to a known address to demand payment with one of those.

You can have a bench warrant out for years against a deadbeat with absolutely nothing happening, as is often the case.

I don't count those as cracking down on anyone, the vast majority of the time they amount to nothing.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #27
33. Yeah bench warrant, but eventally you will be arrested just the same.
Eventally you would have to show up for a court review at some point, and if you don't go then you are in contempt again. It's the same result either way...
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. "eventually"
Eventually isn't good enough when your kid needs to be fed today, your rent is due today, your kid is about to be kicked out of daycare for nonpayment, and you're in danger of losing your job as a result.

When you fail to show up for a court review, then what? Another bench warrant? Big whoop.

I had a bench warrant out on my ex's employer for about a year and not a damn thing happened. He withheld child support from the ex's paychecks - but spent it on his own kids instead of sending it to the court. The arrest warrant was less than useless. The guy didn't show up for a single court date, nobody lifted a finger. The only reason I ever saw the money is because eventually he got divorced, and needed his credit fixed so he could rent an apartment.

Any law that relies on the deadbeat to be stopped for a driving infraction before enforcement can take place is an insult. I'm sorry you view it as too extreme.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Why do you keep citing child homelessness, and not being fed?
Everyone seems to equate this issue to be tetering on homeless and unfed children, the cases i'm talking about here involve people who not are risking the child's wellbeing because of money, i'm simply saying that the laws in this state are unfair and do not help children.

The laws in this state are too extreme in destroying responsible fathers while encouraging the deadbeats to drop out and run.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. the reason they aren't risking homelessness/wellbeing
is because they're relying on others to pick up their slack.

He doesn't need to pay because her family is providing support. He doesn't need to pay because her husband has a job.

Please. I can guarantee if your friend marries a well-off woman, you won't be back here arguing that his child support should be increased, because his new wife should be expected to use her income to support his child.

It sounds like he has a good education (at leasst he ought to with that amount of loans). He has a decent career, though he had a few weeks or months without income. And so long as he doesn't drive like an ass, there will be no real consequences to him if he doesn't pay.

If you want to talk about teetering, let's be honest. He is not teetering on the edge of destruction.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. How can you say that?
Now your saying he can get away not paying? He want's to take care of his son, but he wants to do it like a normal father, not like a slave!

You still don't seem to understand, he has no problem bending over backwards for his son, the problem is the inflexibility of the system. He has a serious problem right now with income, he needs the system to give him some room to breath, he will pick up the slack with his time....

Oh well Im exhausted from all this talk, I just feel bad about the situation, I just can't feel bad for the mother in this case, she has everything she needs for herself, and he provides most of the rest for the child. No victim, just unfair laws in the state of Michigan.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
4. Sounds like the kids should quit eating and expecting shelter.
Unreasonable brats -- food, shelter AND MAYBE even clothing/shoes? Really, the problem is those GREEDY moms, who should be able to support their children on $1,000 a month -- that should pay for housing (in Michigan, $750 a month is CHEAP rent in a mediocre neighborhood), food, clothing, gas, electricity, water, and maybe a phone for emergencies. If mommy goes to work 40 hours a week, then we have child care at a MINIMUM of $200 a week.

Yup, poor daddy. Its all about him, isn't it?

Somewhere between your "compassion" for this man, and the concept of "responsibility" for his children is REALITY. His paltry contribution of $250 a week is NOT enough to financially support his child(ren), which means his ex-spouse has to work, which means child care expenses. Now, if you were to tell me that this man, undergoing the trauma of a job loss, was providing child care for his children while their mother was earning an income (even if they weren't living with him), I might feel sorry for him. If you add that he's picking up bottles on the side of the road at ten cents each to help pay for their groceries, gas, electric and water bills, and maybe a pair of shoes every few months, I might even have some respect for him. If he isn't doing those things, and is simply "unemployed" and collecting funds for it, then I'm going to think he's a useless bum, and I'm okay with him going to jail.

In fact, I sincerely hope the threat of jail helps provide him INCENTIVE for not having his children become HOMELESS. Being a grown-up stinks sometimes; being the child in the situation you describe stinks worse.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. He is extremely responsible, he does everything...
I'm not saying people should feel sorry for the father, i'm pointing out that the system makes it nearly impossible for fathers to surivive, which hurts their children. The more he works the more he pays, the less she works the more he pays, if he takes a fall the state kicks him while on the ground.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. I disagree with you.
"The more he works, the more he pays." Uh, yeah. He's supposed to be working FOR THEIR BENEFIT because they are HIS kids -- not mine. I'm a taxpayer in Michigan; he can pay for his own kids. And the fact you are saying "the less she works the more he pays" translates to "he's not providing child care" -- and how long has he been unemployed now?

Being a parent is a full time job. It involves raising your children, paying their bills, doing their laundry, cleaning up after them, and supervising them. Either mommy, daddy, or a child care worker gets to do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Mommy and daddy don't get paid. The day care lady does. Two parents available to do so -- and it sounds like mommy is the one doing it in this case, which means she's not out earning an income, which means daddy needs to so the children have that whole "food and shelter" thing.

The Michigan economy totally bites at the moment. I live here; I get it. But his NUMBER ONE PRIORITY needs to be his kids. He collected unemployment money for months. We both know damn good and well he didn't spend every available minute he was awake looking for work, or coming up with new ways to earn money because that's not how people behave UNLESS they have a reason to do so -- like needing money REALLY, REALLY BADLY. It doesn't sound like "paying his child support" was a good enough incentive for him; perhaps "not going to jail" will be.

He and his ex made the decision not to work together; maybe he was the world's greatest husband, who just chose to sleep with a stupid, evil bitch, got her pregnant, and was completely stunned because of it because he didn't know about condoms or something. Or maybe he was in love with the woman at one point, but they couldn't make it work, so they parted on good terms. I don't care which scenario is true -- I just want him to pay his damn child support so *I* don't have too. I don't care what his excuses are, I don't care what his reasons are (unless he's been hospitalized or something because of an unfortunate car accident and is going through therapy due to his missing limbs), I don't CARE -- PAY THE DAMN BILLS SO YOUR KIDS DON'T END UP HOMELESS.

How tough is this to understand?
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. She is doing fine, not homeless by any means...
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 09:43 AM by KingChicken
Shes raking in the cash because he pays for everything, she even bought a nice car recently, with his money. Her family has money and supports her, all she has to do is let the money roll in.

I diden't say he has been unemployed for months, this just happened three weeks ago, he has been out on the job hunt since then. He is one of the most responsible, intelligent people I know, I can't imagine him not scoring a good job, but when he does she will be out like a hawk looking for more money.

Once again, the time and money he spends on his child is far greater than his support payments, his total contribution exceeds the mother's, and the state doesen't care.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #17
26. "She's raking in the cash --" because his $1K is SO MUCH MONEY.
Nervy wench even BOUGHT A CAR -- ooh! (Is he hoofing it everywhere?) Why, that's TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR -- still below poverty level in Michigan, but hey, why let reality interfere with your "poor him" fantasy?

I love how you refer to it as HIS money -- actually, it is HER money. He is making a financial contribution to the support of HIS child (and a paltry one at that). I am okay with him going to jail if he stops making those payments. You obviously feel sorry for this guy; I don't. She's taking care of her child, and expecting him to behave like a responsible adult -- I'm sure he was projecting himself as someone she could trust when he was sharing her bed. Babies happen; I've read further down the list how it was "all her fault" because of the "birth control scam" but I think you had it right with your first take: he was being irresponsible, and got someone knocked up. Now, he is being held financially responsible until the child turns eighteen.

Welcome to adulthood -- the bills don't stop because bad things happen.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. Her job, her husbands job plus his support.
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 11:20 AM by KingChicken
Do you understand what i'm saying here? She has financial support coming in from her family, her husbands job, plus her own job and his support payments, plus his additional financial burden with extra expenses plus at least 50% care time.

Do you relize that the mother is pulling in several times the amount of money that he is?

You are turning my words completely around, she has no more burden for taking care of the child than he does.

I do feel sorry for this guy because he loves his son more than you can imagine, but has to deal with this bittersweat experience because it's causing him to go broke while the mother gets fat.

How can he provide his son with a good environment if he is poor? How can he afford a decent home or car for his child? I remember when he drove around a 20 year old honda to save money so he could at least have something in the bank.

This guy is playing fair, and you are trying to nail him to the cross. This anti-men stance is insane and it's ruining the democrats chances of winning back moderate Americans. I'm just asking you to be rational on this issue, but you are just angry...
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. ROFLMA -- Its ANOTHER man's job to support HIS kid?
At least I understand what the problem is now: YOU and this guy don't think he has to be RESPONSIBLE unless its CONVENIENT.

Further along in the thread, you reveal this guy didn't think it was important for his child to have a stable, two parent home. Fortunately, the child's mother is smarter than that, because if she only had YOUR guy to count on, she and her child would be homeless. You reveal your guy had "bad judgment" when it came to who he slept with (because she was an untrustworthy slut, while he was an irresponsible idiot).

And you honestly seem to think TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR is "getting fat!" (But she can go to HER family for help, while he apparently can't?)

So, he's going broke, and shouldn't be held responsible for a PALTRY amount of money (as in, PALTRY when it comes to paying for the expenses of raising a child), because he's been unemployed for three weeks?

Tell him to sell his snowmobile or other toys, and pay his damn child support. :eyes:

Oh, and tell him to quit whining/lying while he's at it. Unless you sit down and get the other side of the story from the mother of the child, you don't know what went on between the two of them, so you have no real idea of what promises were made in their bedroom (and his story is the ridiculous type of nonsense men tell their new women when they want to look like "innocent victims"). Either way, he has a LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY to pay his child support, and if he doesn't, he can go to jail. Its NOT an option; its the law. Yeah, Michigan!
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. Of course it's another man's job
Once the mother forms a relationship with another man, the father is relieved of any responsibility to support his own child.

It's interesting that she works, she has a husband who works, but we know that the car she bought came from the child support money.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. I guess that makes sense -- if you're sleeping with her,
You get to pay for any and all kids she has. LOL! :)

And I totally agree with you on the "bought a car with the child support money" -- this guy is hysterical, and doesn't even know it!
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #37
44. I will argree on that, I don't know if thats the money for the car....
I really think she is just saying that to taunt him, I don't know if thats why she could afford the new car, she did that after his payments increased which looked bad...
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-03-07 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
67. Interesting that the OP is going out of their way to make certain
people on this thread know that he's there for his son and WAS in fact meeting his support obligation in full and without complaint...

...and then you pipe up and paint it 180 degrees reversed from the actual situation.

Somebody badly wants to call fathers who legitimately cannot meet their obligations deadbeats.

Let me ask you two direct questions:

Is there such a thing, to your mind, as a legitimate inability to meet the financial child support obligation?


Should the presence of the father in the child's life mitigate his child support obligation?

Take your time.

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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-04-07 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. Take my time, when you respond to a post from TWO YEARS AGO?
Whatever. :eyes:

But, to answer your questions --

"a legitimate inability to meet the financial child support obligation" -- I have no idea what you are talking about, unless you are referring to a catastrophic illness or complete disaster ala Katrina. As a parent, you have choices, and if it comes down to taking care of yourself with "extras" or taking care of your kid and the obligations incurred therein, I have no respect for those who choose NOT to pay their child support.

And, as for the second question: "Should the presence of the father in the child's life mitigate his child support obligation?" HELL NO! Charm with occassional interaction, et al DOES NOT put a roof over a child's head, nor does it put food in their stomach, clothes on their back, etc. Buying "fun" extras (ipods and Christmas presents) does not cover the electric bill.

I will also go further and state that this opinion holds true regardless of whether the non-custodial parent is male or female. Take care of your own bills!
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exacta Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #68
101. Child Support
You seem very angry, The laws in Michigan and everywhere else should be changed. The non custodial parent has always been taken advantage of male or female. It takes two to have a child and it takes two to provide for that child NOT THE WELFARE SYSTEM. If and only if there is NO documented abuse(prior)to the seperation by either parent the parents should recieve joint custody NO CHILD SUPPORT. If one of the parents refuse joint custody for any reason that parent should pay child support not according to their income but a base amount 1 child this amount 2 children this amount and so on if you can't afford it joint custody it is for you. This "the child's life style" should remain intact is plain BullShit. Children of divorce are affected plain and simple. If the mother never worked it is time to man up and get a job and provide the best her income can. If the father losses his job he needs to provide the best he can. I would bet money that all of the white collar employees that lost their jobs and losing their homes wish their children could still have the lifestyle they were accustom too also but unfortunately that is not always the case. The money doesn't matter to the children it matters to the scorned parent. Children want love not a child support check. Adults with or without children should live within their means. By all of your comments it seems you have never faced a difficult financial time and lucky for you, but if you every are faced with a real hardship it just might soften you alittle.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-16-07 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #67
72. Death, Incarceration, Quadraplegia
Those would be legitimate reasons....In these cases, SSI or SSIDisability picks up the slack, somewhat.

As a single mother, who spent 6 years trying to track down a deadbeat, I did collect bottles on the side of the road, cleaned apartment hallways, cared for disabled, anything, to keep the kids fed and clothed, and we skipped the dentist for several years.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
5. Married unemployed fathers don't get to put supporting their kids
on hold. Just an observation.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Don't be ingnorant, not all single fathers are deadbeats...
Do you assume that all single father's sole contribution to their childrens lives is the child support payment? My friend dedicates his life to his son, I realized early how much he takes responsibility for everything.

The mother stopped taking birth control while they were seeing each other, she didnt tell him because she wanted to force him into marriage. When she realized that he didnt want to marry her she decided to make his life a living hell.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. I said nothing about or implying Deadbeat Dad syndrome...
Your friend sounds like an involved, loving father. It is unfortunate that he's now in a position where the courts decide what he can & can't do. Just an observation--if he were still married he'd have the same responsibilities.
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displacedtexan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
8. On the other side of the issue...
is the dad I know in Michigan (I lived there for 5 years) who decided to quit his job and live with his parents, in order to avoid paying any child support whatsoever.

Your friend has a court-appointed advocate, who can mediate a deferred payment plan with the approval of a family court judge.

The state doesn't expect a dad who is trying his best to find work to face jail time for circumstances beyond his control.

I fear that your friend didn't give you the whole story.

Ask him if he has petitioned the court on "grounds to modify" his child support commitment?

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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. He can petition the court, however it takes months...
It will be at least 3 - 4 months before a hearing, and he will have to pay until then. There is no guarantee that the court will even see him, and regardless he will be subjected to court fees, which he can't afford because the state keeps jacking up the price.
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Dangerous Felon Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
52. A father who reduces his income to avoid support
Can and likely will have income imputed to him based on his exercised ability to earn. Not that I did not say "non-custodial parent" In my considerable experience, Mothers who do no have primary custody can remarry, decide to become "stay-home-moms", and the Courts will NEVER impute income.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #52
54. Source for that claim?
Able bodied, educated, and skilled, my ex decided not to work for awhile, moved in with his folks. The amount of money he had to pay, based on that imputed income - $20 per week. That's what it remained for several years.

I would question the statement that noncustodial parents don't get imputed income if they are female - do you have a source for that claim? Not that I consider $20 a week significantly better than nothing when it comes to raising a child; I'm just curious.
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GreenEyedLefty Donating Member (708 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-20-10 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #52
102. That's not true.
At least in my case. I was a non-custodial mom (my daughter is now an adult) who remarried and opted to stay home with my subsequent children. The courts imputed potential income (how much I was able to earn) in determining the amount of support I owed.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
10. whatever you do in the dark soon comes to light.. so in the long run
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 09:06 AM by sam sarrha
fucking around isn't as fun as you thought it would be....

one must consider all the consequences sexual activity... people need to evolve beyond thinking with their gonads.

i had a vasectomy a LONG time ago.

Here is how it works

"Love" is the chemical reaction produced by ritual behavior, 27 visual/tactile steps in our species. that results in the production of other chemicals, ...Amines, that make feel the Love thing.

The ...Amines are related to amphetAmines, which take more drug over time to get the same reaction... and a line when you cross it, inevitably, produces no reaction. This is when the guy strays or she says "I love you, but i am not 'in' love with you"... and take the children.

this has evolutionary survival aspects, it guarantees, in the to speak, that a woman will have children with varied DNA and a better chance of some of them surviving through epidemic.

relationships based on Oxytocen last longer, couples that practice Art, Music, repetitious exercise and/or Meditation have a 5 times higher incidence of staying together.

this is why Porno is so popular.. it is a cheap date ...and the DVD cant sue you.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. I agree totally, but everyone is young at some time.
It's maddening because the mother secretly stopped taking birth control to get pregnant and force a marriage. He was irresponsible for not taking his own measures however it's not unresponsible to expect her to be truthful with her own contraceptives.
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eternalburn Donating Member (400 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. I'm not sure how it works in Michigan but..... Illinois the parent who is receiving the payments has to be the one to initiate action against the non-custodial parent for nonpayment of child support.

When I got divorced in 1993 my ex was required to pay $100 per month. I saw 3, maybe 4, payments. He started not showing up for visits and basically dropped out of our lives. I have never gone after him for back child support which has accumulated to over $10,000 owed and he has never been questioned on it by any agency, state or federal.

I figure my son is better off without his influence or lack of priorities.

I think your friend could probably get by with paying as much as he can per month as long as his lack of work is documented by an outside objective party. You can't get blood from a stone, ya know. As long as he shows he is trying to help care for his kids the courts will take that into account. Relieving the mother of some costs, such as child care (while he is unemployed he can watch the kid/kids) would probably be helpful as well.

I wish your friend luck :)
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Too idealistic, reality is harsh, things usally don't work for the best...
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 09:20 AM by KingChicken
He really doesen't have the money to hire an expensive attorney to go to bat for him. The courts are unlikely to side with the father in any case.

BTW: My father was also required to make $100 monthly payments, he never paid, he would owe $16,000 today but that was back when fathers could "slip through the cracks". My friend has now paid much more than that in a 5 year period, he takes care of his son most of the time, my father split town and I never saw him again.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. That's how it works in Michigan also
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 09:44 AM by lwfern
Believe me, if my ex (here in Michigan) misses a month or two, he is not automatically locked up. When he was half a year behind and I filed papers with Friends of the Court, he was not locked up.

If the dad has the son 50% of the time, he can get child support abated during that time; he ought to have that written into the settlement. If he's paying for extras by choice above and beyond that, that's his own decision. Extra gifts by choice don't give him the right to pay less support. You don't get to give a child extravagant gifts or dinners out, and then not pay for their basic expenses to compensate.

I don't know the age of the child, but if a portion of that money was going to daycare because the mom was working, then he should realize daycare expenses don't stop because he's unemployed. If he stops paying so he doesn't go into debt, all that means is that the mom will be going into debt in his place.

$50,000 is more than enough to pay $1000 a month in support, and still save something for emergencies like that. Most people recommend saving 3-6 months living expenses in case you get laid off. Hell, I was a single mom earning $25,000 a year, getting no support for a time, and paying for day care. It sounds like even after his support expenses, your friend's annual salary was still more than my net pay - even with a few months of no salary. Basically he just needs to learn to live within his means.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. You're not paying attention, he pays for things like daycare...
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 09:51 AM by KingChicken
When his son was going to daycare he was 100% responsible for the cost, in addition to his support payments.

He pays for all kinds of stuff, he is taking the majority of the burden.

The mother is free and clear, she works when she wants, she doesen't have to worry about money because everything is paied for.

Stop the ignorance, maybe you are fair in your situation, but the system always sides with the mother no matter what. If she's pissed off then he has to pay the consequence.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. The system always sides with the mother?

The "system" is a little chart that has a scale. If one parent makes this amount, the other makes that amount, they each pay $X.
The system is gender neutral.

If she is getting other things paid for - gifts from family to cover the mortgage, for example, or an inheritance she received, then he ought to list it as suspected income for her, and the courts will check into it. They aren't mind readers.

What "all kinds of stuff" is he paying for?
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Buddy, the court is not gender neutral...
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 10:45 AM by KingChicken
In a perfect world you would be right, however the "scale" is tiped towards the mother, by default.

It takes months to adjust payments, and each time there are court fees. It doesen't work out in the long run.

He pays for health expenses, clothing, daycare when it's necessary, and all the small expenses when it comes to raising kids, and of course food.

What people are suggesting is that he should pay 100% of what he doesnt need for his immediate needs, while the mother lives far above her means, with the availability of family to help her out. Who do you think is going to be responsible for the child's college expense? He has no choice, the mother has him by the balls, if he doesnt pay all she has to do is quit her job and request that support payments be increased to make up for the income.
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dlcloum31 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #24
74. The mother's are favored...
I know this subject is way over..... but just to add something.

The mother's are favored by the court systems and the state.

Why is it that mother's have to claim child support as "income" on their taxes every year, but the father's are not allowed claim child support as "deductions".

And then the mother's get the Earned Income Credit for the child/children, but even if the father provides half of his income on child support for these children, he has to get the mother to sign off to allow him to have the Earned Income Credit.

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michiganlady Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-19-08 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #74
97. True - mothers are favored
This is a topic that is far from being over. It won't be over until something is done to stop the nonsense.
Our courts are run by circus monkeys that wouldn't know a thing about fairness if it bit them on the hind-end.
I definitely agree that mothers are favored, in many ways.

When (some) women get pregnant, the state gives them a helping hand, and spits in the fathers face as if he created the child by himself.

I personally know a female that deliberately went off birth control, and told certain people she was hoping to get pregnant. Well she got her wish... The state helped her get her own apartment, paid her rent, utilities, bought her food, and medicaid paid her medical bills. A big pat on the back for a deliberate act.

Guess who the state is making life hell for? They also tacked the hospital bill (for the birth) onto the fathers child support..

I'm not saying the father shouldn't have to help take care of his child, because of course ALL parents should be doing their part in supporting, and RAISING their kids.

My only point is that the state gives the mother a pat on the back and throws the book at the father.
It's really rediculous.. She chose to go off birth control, she wanted to get pregnant, yet none of the bills were sent to her. They instead gave her money and an apartment!

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GreenEyedLefty Donating Member (708 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-20-10 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #74
103. I actually found that rather unfair.
And I was a non-custodial mother. Even a pro-rated deduction for my child would have been nice. Not necessarily for the child support that I paid, but for the amount of time that she stayed under my roof. It wasn't like child support was the only money I contributed toward her health and well-being. I paid for food, clothing, etc. just as if she lived with me full time.
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-20-10 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #74
104. the CUSTODIAL parent gets to claim the deduction/tax credits
whether that parent is the father or the mother.

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michiganlady Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #18
91. Extra Gifts?
If the custodial parent purchases clothing or other needs for their child it is viewed as taking care of their child. Why is it that if a non-custodial parent purchases things their child needs it is called a "gift" and not part of support for child?

It should count just as much as anything a custodial parent purchases for their child.

These are needs of the child/children that are being taken care of, regardless of if the parent is in the home or not.

It is that much less that the custodial parent has to buy for the child so maybe it doesnt count in the eyes of the state which we all know to be crooked anyway, but right is right and wrong is wrong. It's all support for the child. Basically what this is saying is that a non custodial parent can have their child 50% of the time, which means all of the childs needs are being met by the non custodial parent during that time, additionaly the non custodial parent can take their child out 2 or 3 times a year and buy all of their clothing and shoes needed and it doesnt count. It is considered an "extra"

So what this boils down to is that the non custodial parent is supporting the custodial parent, since the other 50% of the time that the child is with the custodial parent, the non custodial parent is paying support for as well. What is the custodial parent paying for?

See how things are stacked against non custodial parents?

What man or woman would want a situation like that anyway? I shouldnt ask, because clearly there are many that will gladly accept someone else paying their bills with no shame whatsoever, and be the first one calling the court when a payment doesnt show up. People like that should be ashamed of themselves.

You are part of the problem, and you are hurting your kids as well as thier "non custodial" parent.

I call it mooching at it's lowest on the custodial parents part, and theft by the state with the threat of losing everything if the non custodial parent doesn't pay up.

A higher up is watching over what is going on and sooner or later what comes around goes around.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #91
92. You've just confused "gifts" with "needs".
The point is, NEEDS need to be taken care of first and foremost. Gifts come after that.

That's not stacking the deck against anyone. It's ensuring the NEEDS of the child are taken care of, and take priority over gifts.

My kid's grown now, but when she was with me, I was the one paying for things like her health insurance - even when she spent a week here or there with her dad. Her insurance costs didn't just disappear because she wasn't sleeping at my house. And I'll give you one guess as to whether dental visits were scheduled when she was with him vs. with me, and who was paying for graduation fees and other school expenses. All those bills? They didn't go away because her dad took her out for Sushi when he was "unable" to pay support.

Now that she's technically an adult, all of my take home salary goes to ensuring she gets a college education. For every dollar I spend on that, her dad spends maybe 5 or 6 cents. Last year, he paid exactly 0 dollars in tuition, room and board for her. So forgive me if I'm not overly concerned about the "higher up" you imply is going to come pay me back for "hurting my child". :eyes:

You are so far out of line with this "You are part of the problem, and you are hurting your kids as well as thier "non custodial" parent" that it's hard to even convey the full extent of your ignorance here.

But thank you anyway for your concern.
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michiganlady Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-19-08 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #92
93. Needs vs Gifts
I haven't confused anything. The last time I checked, clothing and shoes are necessity. Those are called necessity when someone wants the check, but not when the non custodial parent buys them? It can't go the way that is convenient to people, and when it becomes something that doesn't favor the one that wants the money, it's a differnt story.

I'm perfectly aware of what needs are. I raised 4 of my own.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-19-08 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #93
95. Needs vs gifts
Shoes and clothing are a necessity when they are a necessity. If a child already has all they need, pants, shirts, boots, jackets, etc, then buying them more clothes as a gift is a gift, not a necessity. If the noncustodial parent feels the basic needs aren't being handled correctly, despite support being paid, there's a process for that which ought to be followed rather than deciding against court order that they'll pay their support in "alternate" ways.

I have no problem with gifts on top of support, just to be clear. But there are controls in place to ensure that needs are met FIRST, and let's be honest - a noncustodial parent gets more emotional reward for buying a child a gift they don't really need than they do by paying for that non-glamorous stuff that gets no thanks, like getting their teeth cleaned.
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michiganlady Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-19-08 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #92
94. Part of the problem
I'm not part of the problem, I can view this from an impartial position. I'm being real about what is going on.
Your situation is not necessarily everyone elses situation.

If a father is taking care of his children at least 50% of the time (lets not conveniently say "just because the child isn't at my house, because if the child is with you, we say it differently- "I am taking care of my child") feeding, clothing, or and whatever else those needs are, his contribution to the care of his child should not be called "a gift" unless you want to say your contributions are gifts as well.

We can't have it both ways, and always in favoring what works best for the custodial parent.

If you take my post as being directed at you then maybe you are too focused on your own situation to see the bigger picture. It's not just about you and your situation.

Most people don't pay for thier own insurance for instance, and some non custodial parents have coverage for their kids.

If you choose to be angry and see things one sided, telling people they are part of the problem for being straight about what is happening to MANY non-custodial parents then it is you that is part of the problem.

I'm about fairness and the state of michigan, and unfortunately many custodial parents are not. I have heard many custodial parents laugh about the situation. They find it funny that their ex is being forced to pay them money that they should not have to pay them.

Before you make judgements about someone that views the situation with wide open eyes, you should have read the part where I said

"My comments do no apply to deadbeats"

The state is really unfair to non custodial parents.. if you lost your job should you go to jail for not having the money to support your kids?

Should the court add arrearages for the time you were unemployed?? Should they take your drivers license from you so it's even harder for you to straighten the problem out?

You shouldn't be treated any different just because "the kids are in your house"
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-19-08 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #94
96. The expenses when a child is at the other parents house
Edited on Wed Mar-19-08 11:39 AM by lwfern
are ALREADY addressed through abatement of support during that time. If they aren't, that parent needs to go back and get the agreement renegotiated.

The issue is that a noncustodial parent doesn't and should have unilateral authority to decide to replace support payments - which cover real financial needs that transcend whose house a child is at - with gifts. There's a reason there are controls in place, and that reason is that when the controls aren't there, they get abused.

So a parent will take the child out to a fancy restaurant dinner, or buy them toys, when their obligation to cover BASIC needs haven't been met. It's human nature - we see it often in adult relationships as well, often we try to "buy" affection through gifts. I'm not saying that always happens, but the controls are in place to ensure that it doesn't.

Meet the basic needs, and the rest can be paid however you want.

Arrearages are there because when you aren't paying support, in effect you are taking an interest free loan from the other parent without their consent.
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michiganlady Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-19-08 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #96
98. Agree to disagree
I'm fully aware of what arrearages are for .. and I did not say that the non-custodial parent should be able to decide to replace support payments. I am saying that the arrangement is unfair.

If the childs needs are being met, and the non-custodial parent has the child at least 50% of the time then the non-custodial parents expenses are not going to be different than the custodial parents. If one parent is paying for health insurance, the non-custodial parent should have to pay half of that cost, but again, most people do not pay for their own insurance.

The non-custodial parent that has their child 50% of the time and keeps their child clothed and fed, (necessities) has the same expenses that the custodial parent does. The support is about taking care of the child.

If that is taken care of why does the custodial parent think the non-custodial parent should be giving them money? In situations like the one I describe, the only difference between the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent, is the paper it is written on. The real life situation is no different.

Just because someone enacts a law doesn't mean it's fair or right. Throughout history people have been victimized by the law, just because it was made law.

Let's just agree to disagree ..

I am in favor of life being good for all involved.

You can't lump all non-custodial parents into one basket... circumstances need to be considered on an individual basis, and even if the law books say that is so, it's not. We need to apply common sense in real life situations.

Also, if a non-custodial parent is just as loving and caring of their child as the custodial parent (not that all custodial parents are fit, or caring) they should have the same rights to make decisions concerning their child as the custodial parent. Divided homes are just that .. the parent should still have equal rights.

It would be doing a great service to children of broken homes if people would think more about the relationships between their child and the non-custodial parent. No one has the right to infringe on that in any way, least of all the courts.
The courts are responsible for the division of children and non-custodial parents far too often because of the way the system is set up. The relationship seems to be last on the list of priority if it even comes into the picture at all.

Again, I am not speaking of deadbeats!
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
22. The child support laws need to change.....
I understand the plight of the mothers who are hostile to what Im talking about in my post, however their solution is extreme and out of anger.

The child support laws in Michigan, are clearly extreme solutions for a problem that has existed and continues to exist in some capacity. I have stated my case, my friend is obviously doing his part, above and beyond what he is socially, morally, and legally obliged to do, however many people ignore this and turn him into a stereotypical deadbeat father.

Both democrats and republicans are against single fathers, repubs because of the family values thing, democrats because of the image of hardworking single mother, trying to make ends meet. I was raised by a single mother, we were basically poor, we even lived in a car for a few months because she lost her job, in this case it was my father who caused the problems in the first place.

The father is not always the culprit, we can't just nail responsible fathers to the cross because we have a problem, we need to look at this rationally.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. There's nothing extreme in the solution
And nothing hostile to fathers. It's gender neutral.

It's not hostile of me to suggest he has a look at the papers and gets an abatement when he's got custody. That's a constructive suggestion. Nor is it hostile to suggest that he reports her unclaimed income, if she is indeed being supported by her family, to Friend of the Court.

If you are a responsible adult, making that kind of money, you should be able to live within your means - even if you are paying $1000 a month in child support - and save for emergencies.

Learning to budget your money is not "extreme."

If he's been paying for extras beyond what he was socially, morally, and legally obliged to do, that's fine - but that's something he ought to have done AFTER saving for emergencies. That's part of being a responsible parent, whether you are married or not.

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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. The guy is 28, what do you want?
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 10:59 AM by KingChicken
Idiot Americans make $70,000 and up and can't seem to save a penny. He is paying off over $30,000 in college loans, and he has saved money, but it goes quick being unemployed.

I understand what you are saying, however once again, court dates take MONTHS, not weeks, and there is no guarantee that he will even have his hearing, he can easily be rejected. When he is seen the friend of the court will give priority to the mother in deciding the fairness of the payments, you are relying on the mercy of people who have broad decision making abilities, there is nothing from stoping them from increasing payments when they should be lowered.

Wake up, you seem to think that everything is supposed to work out, but the laws werent made to be fair, they were made by people with political ambitions.

The solution is extreme, its called pay till you die, then go to prison, and pay some more. Basically this guy will be paying this debt long after his son is married and has kids.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. What do I want?
I want him to budget his money, like my parents did when they were far younger than 28, and like I did, when I was far younger than 28 and making half his salary getting no support.

And I want him to stop acting like a victim just because he's expected to cover the basic expenses of his child. Pay til you die? Unless he's planning to die when the kid turns 18, that's obviously not true. College loans aren't related to this issue, any loans he took out are also a result of his own decisions, he's not a victim because he took out a loan and now he's expected to pay it back.

And I want him to stop whining about being tricked into being a dad, and thinking that there should be a sliding payscale for dads that are tricked, and dads that aren't tricked. He obviously loves the kid, or he wouldn't be taking care of him 50% of the time, so maybe it's time to let go of the resentment. It's not healthy for him, and it's certainly not healthy for the child.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #22
29. Let's try the new system for a while before we change it.
Let's see if it "incents" people to make their child support a priority instead of an OPTION. If a whole bunch of responsible, hard working people (men and women, because Michigan doesn't automatically give custody to the women, and does require they pay child support) end up in jail, and the number of deadbeats doesn't decrease, then let's talk about changing it. In the meantime, since a whole lot of deadbeats weren't paying, now everyone has to be inconvenienced.

In your story, the only folks who had consequences to your father's irresponsible behavior were you and your mom. Has your dad suffered since for his irresponsibility, or was everyone just expected to "get over it?"

I'm against deadbeats of ANY gender. If your buddy has custody of his child, then he can demand child support. If he chooses NOT to have custody, then he pays child support. In the meantime, his bad judgment in screwing around without using protection is NOT my problem -- its his, and that's how it SHOULD be. Yeah, Michigan!
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. He can't have custody.....
Edited on Fri Jan-14-05 11:30 AM by KingChicken
As long as she wants custody and she is not on crack or abusing the child then she keeps him. You don't seem to understand that, the mother always wins, no matter what.

At birth she requested full custody which was granted, with a challenge the father was able to get weekend access, however extra time is mutual. She uses him as a daycare, when ever she wants because she knows how badly he wants to see him. She can control him that way, because she knows that the court will do her bidding if she throws a fit.

He has lived up to everything a husband would be expected to do, what else can I say.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. You do seem to have a victim mentality here
"the mother always wins, no matter what."


"Statistics showing that women gain custody of their children 90% of the time are deceptive. These data reflect the fact that over the past 50 years, fathers rarely asked for custody. A study of Utah custody decisions between 1970-1993 shows that only 13% of fathers requested custody (Mason and Quirk 1997: 217).

When fathers do contest custody, studies show they win anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of the time. Maccoby and Mnookin studied 930 divorce cases in California in the 1980's and found that only 14 of these ended up before a judge. But of those cases, fathers won custody 50% of the time (Maccoby & Mnookin 1992)." /

Perhaps his attitude that he was "tricked" into having this unwanted child had something to do with him not winning custody. Just a thought.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #35
46. There is no victim here, i'm not claiming a victim, just unfair...
It's just a problem, that all! It's an unfair situation, and this issue should be heard, the father is not crying himself a river, he just feels trapped by how the system handles his case.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #32
36. Incorrect. Michigan is VERY gender neutral.
My step-father got custody of his three children THIRTY YEARS AGO. He can also re-ask for custody every six months. The courts look at what is in the best interest of the child; your guy is feeding you a line, and you seem to be buying it. Have you noticed he has an excuse for everything? "I don't have any money, which is why I can't hire an attorney to get custody of my kid, which is why the world is so horrible. Wah!"

Why don't you take a second, and think what YOU would be willing to go through for your kid? Would you sell your body on the street, if it was the only way for you to keep your kid fed? Or fill in the blank with whatever horrid SACRIFICE you would be willing to make for the health and happiness of YOUR BABY? Would you borrow money from your friends and family to pay for an attorney so you could get custody?

After you think of these things, you might want to ask yourself, why isn't this guy doing that? The answer is probably, because he doesn't really want to. Having a child in the house 24/7 is ... inconvenient for many people, despite the talk.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. Stop using sensationalism to sell your point...
Several posters keep referring to children being homeless and not being fed due to lack on money. This case and many others don't involve people teetering on the brink of despair, the child here is not going to end up on the street over this. The issue i'm trying to point out is the many middle class child support cases in which the child in not at risk of not being fed or clothed, it's about the imbalance in the system that encourages responsible fathers to drop out rather than contribute.

You seem to make this into a fight over responsibility, when both sides are willing to take responsibility, rather this is about what is fair for all parties involved, this is about how the state turns responsible fathers into deadbeats by slamming them into the ground.

I'm not trying to advocate taking money away from the mother, Im trying to say we must automate the system and get rid of the red tape when it comes to changing child support terms. We must change the laws in Michigan concerning this issue or you will see a much higher dropout rate among single parents.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Stop using sensationalism to sell your point
He's not paying til he dies, he's not being destroyed, women don't automatically win custody all the time just because they are women.
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KingChicken Donating Member (814 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Do you have any suggestions? What's the solution?
I think you are wrong, women win custody by default, the father must challenge and prove that she is unfit. The women always has the upper hand, however regardless the point is this case is stuck, and there are no options.

You're not really helping, your proposal doesen't offer anything other than the obious actions, I can't blame you seeing how you come from a different perspective, it's just two sides of the fence.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-14-05 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. The statistics say I'm right
Do you have anything to back up your statement on gender bias? Or you just think it's wrong, even though the studies contradict what you think?

I am helping, I've given two specific suggestions, and a third would be that police ought to actually go to a nonpaying person's house to arrest them, rather than only arresting the ones that get a speeding ticket.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-15-05 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #41
49. Stop using ignorance to ignore reality.
You keep trying to say this guy should be able to lower his child support payments because he is temporarily unemployed. That argument does not wash because the expenses incurred on behalf of the child -- rent, food, heat, clothing -- do NOT go away because of his current situation, and he is legally responsible for making sure they are paid. In this case, living in Oakland County, Michigan (assuming he is near you and me), we both know that $1,000 a month will only provide housing in a crack hood neighborhood in Pontiac, so thank heaven's the child has a good mother who works, and a decent step-father who helps out!

This is a question of responsibility. Either pay your child support (and in many, if not most cases, when a parent doesn't pay, bad things happen to the custodial parent AND the child), or go to jail. The purpose of the law is to make sure that child support *IS* a priority instead of an option, just like the rent, and the grocery bills.

I like this system, and I think it is about responsibility. There is NOTHING you have said in any of this thread that makes me feel sorry for your irresponsible, whiny, "everyone else needs to take care of my responsibilities" friend. He's a grown man, who has a child. Pay the damn bills, and quit complaining already. He's getting off cheap, in my opinion, and your comments about the mother of the child "buying a car with his money" and getting support from both HER family and HER new husband are OFFENSIVE in the extreme. Your guy can go to his family, and get money from his new wife, right? Or maybe he can learn that extremely valuable lesson about "whatever it takes to get the job done" -- you know, the one the rest of us responsible adults figured out a while ago!

And as for your logic problem -- you don't want to advocate taking money away from the mother, but you want the child support lowered -- I laugh at you most heartily. I repeat again, if he doesn't pay, I *WANT HIM* to go to jail. Check back with me in a couple of years before you approach me about changing the law; I want to see if it works first, because I know the old system did leave children homeless, and appears to have created attitudes (like yours) about the entitlements an adult should get, versus what a child is owed -- and I go back to those crazy concepts of FOOD, SHELTER, HEAT, CLOTHING, et al.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #51
55. That IS what happens
If the noncustodial can't pay, he obviously won't. And - as has been noted above - the child will get less money in the interim (long term if he has support recalculated), and nothing will happen to the parent (the dad in this case) as a result, while he waits for an appointment to change the support amount. Yes, it takes up to 60 days from the time he notifies the court in writing to the time the court reviews it. However, the original poster implies that the man is in danger of being thrown in jail immediately if he doesn't pay. The reality is that the mom can't even begin to petition the court for enforcement assistance until he is at least 4 weeks behind, at which point they will see that his request is already in the system.

To answer your question directly, if an intact family of 3 has a dad earning $50,000 a year, and they can't survive a month of no income without impacting the child, I would say the dad (if he were handling the finances) was irreponsible in budgetting his money, and he was an irresponsible parent.
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hickman1937 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #41
53. Your friend needs a lawyer.
He needs to reorganize his finances, cut his expenses to the bone, and get a lawyer. He also needs to stop spending any money not specifically dictated by the terms of the divorce decree. I work in a factory, and have seen a lot of abuses by both the custodial and non custodial parents. The parent with the most financial rescources is usually the winner. I've seen it happen time and time again. It's happening to my sister right now. Everything needs to be put on paper. Custody, responsibility for specific expenses, visitation rights(be very specific) etc. Then stick to it. I can't find anywhere in your post that says they were ever married. I don't know how that effects anything, but he needs legal advise. He needs to apply as much time and energy to this as he would another job.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-16-05 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
50. If you have never dealt with the system do not speak of it.
Child support in Michigan is the toughest in the union. I have been paying into the support system since 89 my son will be 16 in August. I do understand the bleeding of responsible Fathers. I myself had broken both my bones below my right knee 9 years ago and being a truck driver had to rehab for six months before I could go back to work. Child support does not stop, nor is it easy to get reduced. Lucky for me my wife did not try to up my support when the enemy of the court aka friend of the court pressured my ex wife to up my support.
The enemy of the court is the only government function that supports itself. The only way the enemy of the court makes money if it enforces the support order, it's not given federal tax money.
Some father somewhere will go postal on this messed up system that favors the mother 95percent of the time and as a payer into the support system since 89 I will be glad when I stop getting the threat letters every month.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #50
56. Michigan is NOT the toughest in the Union
If you look at collection rates, only 10 states do worse than Michigan. 39 states do better.

In 2003, only 42% of support ordered in Michigan was actually collected - the national average is a pathetic 50%.
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stavka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-05 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
57. Maybe both abortion and murder should be easier....
I know I wouldn't want to work for an ex-wife and children I didn't care that much about.

In other words - this is a very broad topic, totally tangled with personal baggage that makes most who speak of it very bad spokespeople no matter where they fall.

My feelings are that families weren't meant to break apart, thats why we don't choose to have one.

Maybe there's a "Pottery Barn" lesson to be learned here, maybe not.

Biggest problem, that I think most would agree with, is that its the kids that suffer.

Don't want the headache? wear a rubber, or make sure she's really that someone special - something most can't even understand until you are about 30 years old
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. When the child support gestapo comes to your door then talk to me.
My leg was broke and I was 24 they took me to jail. It's hard to pay your support when you are out of work, they don't give a damn. As far as your wear a rubber snip I hope you end up having six kids and end up paying child support on all of them. I'M 36 now and caught up and will never have another kid again, it's been a grand experience having your kid be a case number.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. hopefully you love your kid
and don't think of them as a case number. That's a pretty harsh statement.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #59
60. Love for my kid is not in question, If you have kids and Divorce then your
Kids become a case number with the Michigan Friend of the Court system. I have never been in trouble in my life and to get arrested for not paying child support when you are out of work is just insane.
People are treated like felons for being three or four grand behind on child support.
I am not talking about dead beat dads who are fifty to sixty grand behind. The average Joe who falls a little behind because of being out of work is treated like a felon. The state of Michigan now takes the fathers car and car license if they are so much behind in support. The Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox ran his campaign on Child Support. The system is out of control and is only going to get worse. The state may be laking a little on collections but that is because many are out of work, trust me from experience the state is one of the toughest.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. Kids don't "become" a case number
They have a case number assigned to their case. They are still a child, that's a ridiculous attempt to blame Friends of the Court for dehumanizing them. I have a social security number, that hardly means I've "become" a social security number.

Three or four grand behind on child support can be a huge deal to the parent who expected the money. One thing I noticed with my ex, even when he was out of work, no income, couldn't possibly find a way to provide food for our daughter - he still was magically able to afford coffee and cigarettes and pay his own rent.

When you are out of work because you break a leg or something, you're responsible for letting Friends of the Court know about it right away and request a change in the support level. If you're out of work for months and do nothing to inform them, there are consequences.

Again, less that half of the child support money in Michigan is actually paid. I don't know how you get any more lax than that, unless you just do away with child support completely.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #62
63. Friend of the Court does nothing right away, LMFAO.
You still have no clue. Ask any Mother/Father who has had to deal with Friend of the Court and getting your payments lowered is the hardest thing to do.
I just love how you keep talking like you have dealt with them at your door step.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. You think I haven't dealt with them?
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 02:07 PM by lwfern
You think I haven't gone to get payments refigured after taking a huge paycut? If so, you're wrong.

It's an administrative PITA. But it's certainly not how I define my relationship with my kid, I can't imagine looking at her and thinking she's a number because of it.
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bummer Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-31-07 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. where is my childs house,i pay for?
i asked for a drug test on both of us fighting for custody.It didnt happen.I wanted custody but after spending $5,000 on the project and getting very little headway i realised it would take another 6-8 court sessions and thousands of more dollars.With the bank starting forclosure on my house i knew my son wasnt the one in trouble.I knew the best thing for him was for me to protect family assets.
now you people say $750 a month for cheap rent.wait alimony was banned.We both had a separate place to stay before our son was born.So shouldnt I only be paying for diapers and food?Are you telling me that her living off my child support is fair? if im paying for him to have housing then why is she leaching off of that?why is she telling me she cant wait to get another guy ,to get her pregnant so she can bring in another $1000 a month?
Why is she telling me that she has been on crack all along and her new tattoos were bought with my child support?
if there is no alimony then how could she get by without a job for 6months on just my childsupport? should we rename it childnmom support?
the problem is the support is too high if it was a household fact that child support was $250 a month you real cost of diapers and food and indexed for would hear some deadbeat bragging about getting out of paying cause anyone in their right mind would beat the guy up.fact is support is so high that people ARE trying to get out of it without feeling imbarrassed.And when they talk about the amount they pay they ARE getting sympathy.
and sure you can talk about daycare but it normally comes down to grandparents watching the kids.
I just dont see why im paying for her housing, if they are homeless they should lose custody.i have a house so i should have the child ,i dont do drugs ,i dont drink ,i dont smoke.
The court told me the child is owned 50/50 by each of us but she automaticly gets him because she is the mom.all the proof of her being a crazy stalker didnt mean anything so.
now here i am paying for her to have a place to stay,something she already had,but remember ALMIONY was banned.
and for you still not convinced i know people that have 6 kids these parents are earning less than $30,000 a year so explain how they are spending $6000/mo on their children ($1000 for each).
lets face it children cost less than $300 a month each and crackwhores are getting pregnant by the dozen earning a living on the childsupport commodity.
And why would one child get more than another anyway? is my kid not as good as bill gates kid? why would one mother get more support than the other?
If child support was $300/mo for everyone you would see alot of people tomorrow giving up custody and the real parents would stand up ,that are not in it for a profit.
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
61. methinks thou dost protest too much!
are you sure you're talking about a "friend"?
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michreject Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
66. If they throw you in jail
You still have to pay support while in jail. The county adds it to your arrearage
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-05-07 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
69. I worked for a temp agency once, in their office, and it is bad.
I helped with insurance, payroll, and state deductions before taxes. One week, I was going through all the checks when I saw that one guy literally had a check for only three dollars or something like that (I remember it was less than five). I yanked it out of the pile and showed it to my boss, who grabbed his file, thinking we'd made a mistake with payroll. Nope. The Friend of the Court garnering was for almost the entire amount of his check. She got really mad, and she had me call and report it. It turns out there's a law on the books that they can't take beyond a certain percentage (I forget the number, but I remember feeling it was too high still), and they fixed it. We got a new amount faxed to us so that we could fix his check in time for him to get it, and we put a copy of that fax in his envelope.

My parents got divorced when I was five, and my mom fought to not have child support. She won, and Dad never paid it. It was the right thing--made things tight sometimes, but it was right.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-13-07 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
70. His children continue to live regardless of the situation. Something
stinks about this scenario and isn't being said. My cousin receives $500 a month from her ex husband for their two children. Based on his reportable income. Said ex husband is currently trying to prove that my cousin's terminal illness doesn't exist and that she should be forced to work. Even though she has been disabled for 9 of the 16 years of their marriage. Three doctors will come up from Ann Arbor to verify what he already knows.

It is not bleeding responsible fathers dry. It's helping take care of children...who are defenseless victims in our stupid adult battle of wills.

Two sides to every story. I suspect we're hearing an edited one here.
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LisaM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-14-07 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. I read through all the posts and he is blaming the woman for not taking the pill
Excuse me, if he didn't want to marry her and didn't want kids, birth control is his entire responsibility. He should either get a vasectomy or use a condom if kids aren't in his life plans. Yes, women go off the pill from time to time. Men need to be responsible for themselves and their actions. I hope he's found a job in the last two years.
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michiganlady Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #71
90. Birth Control Responsibility
I disagree that birth control is entirely the mans responsibility.
In fact since it is the woman that will get pregnant, it is more her responsibility to protect herself.

I'm a woman and if I don't want to get pregnant, I'll make sure I'm protected, or I will abstain. I would never depend on a man to take care of that, and any woman that does needs to have her head examined.

Women have to be responsible for themselves. Yep, I'm a woman and I'm saying it.

Does that take responsibility off the man if a child results from unprotected sex? No, of course not. It happened and both parents have to own up to their responsibility to the child/children.

The problem with the state of Michigan is that there is no fairness once you end up in the child support system.
I understand both sides, the custodial parents and the non-custodial parents. Even the ones that make irrational statements that come from anger and resentment, which do nothing to help the situation, but nontheless, I understand.

Why I feel the state of michigan does not care about the kids of non-custodial parents, and why I feel child support laws in michigan are outlandish, ignorant, and unfair.

NOTE: (My comments of unfairness in the system do not apply to deadbeats. You know you are in the wrong)

1) As someone mentioned somewhere else in this discussion, if the parents were together and the father lost his job, the family would simply have to do whatever they can to make ends meet. The father would not be placed on a deadbeat fathers list, nor would he be taken before the court and placed on a payment system, arrearages and court fees included, with the risk of being sent to jail for inability to make the payments. Nor would he have his drivers license revoked, which in the state of michigan can happen.

Why should it be any different for a father that is not living with the childrens mother? (assuming he is a father that is involved in his childrens lives? This should not be happening. That father should have the same rights as any father that is living with his children. He should be entitled to keep his drivers license, and go look for work without living in fear that he will be taken to jail... The children of non-custodial parents should not have to live in fear that their parent will be taken from them for inability to pay.

The state of michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the country. It's all over the news all the time. Depending on where you live in Michigan, your situation may be more difficult than other areas. I was born and raised in Flint. I remember when the Flint Journal employment section was at least several pages long during "hard times". Open it up today and you won't find even half a page of job listings, and another small area devoted to those with medical degrees.

Times are tough indeed, and the state of michigan knows this. Yet, still, anyone can be affected by the problem without penalty EXCEPT a non-custodial parent. These are the only people that are penalized for the unemployment problem.

I can hear the irrational voices now- "then MOVE if it's so bad". Before anyone goes off on a rant about that, remember, it takes $$$$$ and plenty of it to move. Lack of money is the problem to begin with. If you happen to be fortunate enough to have family that can help you get things straight, be very thankful. Many people do not have that.

2) When custodial mothers are out of work, the state helps them by giving them money, paying their bills, shelter included, helping with food and medical, and the work first program helps them with job placement. If the job does not pay enough, the state still helps them.
What if the state decided to haul these custodial parents off to court and put them in the same position that they do non-custodial parents? Everyone would be up in arms about that.

Why is one parent given help and the other is treated like a criminal?

You may be thinking, well, the custodial parent is living up to his/her obligation to their kids. No they aren't. Not if you want to view the obligation the same way as the state of michigan does. To the state it's all about the money. Nothing else.
Keep in mind that many non-custodial parents have their children with them at least half the time, and in some cases more than half the time. So where do you draw the line? Why is the unemployed non-custodial parent considered a deadbeat that belongs in jail?

Why should inability to pay be punished by losing their drivers license, and spending time in jail?

What is this accomplishing?

There is so much focus on the money that no one has mentioned the fact that children and thier non-custodial parent are being ripped apart in this rediculous, circus of a system.

What happens to these kids? Yes they have to eat, yes they need clothes, shoes, medical, etc...
They also need both parents! Loss of a job should not cause them to lose a parent to the SYSTEM! Once you are in the system, it's a vicious cycle that for some is almost impossible to get out of. You will need to find a way to make a LOT of money to get out of it.
Dare you try education to fix the situation. If you are picked up on a warrant, there goes all of your time and effort. You can be right in the middle of learning a trade and have it ripped out from underneath. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to be out of jail in a week or two, and won't have your license revoked, allowing you to get back to where you left off. Maybe...

Imagine how it must feel to the kids that have a close, loving relationship with their non-custodial parent to know they are sitting in jail because they didn't have the money to own up to the courts rediculous judgement. For the irrationals that are ready to pounce I KNOW that money is needed to pay for food and clothes, bills and shelter! I KNOW! I'm 47 years old and have raised 4 kids of my own. I'm fully aware of life necessities.. But we need a solution to the problem. The system as it is, is NOT a solution. The courts are in the middle of the family situation and they are not helping matters.

Maybe it makes certain people feel good to see a non-custodial parent sitting in jail.. I fail to see what it accomplishes. It does you no good, it does the children no good. No one wins.

Jails are for criminals- drug dealers, theives, child molestors, rapists, murderers, etc ...

Being down on your luck is hardly a crime...

Why is it ok for custodial parents to lie to get more money tacked onto the non-custodial parents arrearages? Isn't this illegal?

I know someone that told her caseworker she works 30 hrs a week, paying 20 dollars a day for childcare when in fact she was working 15 hrs per week. Then she quit working altogether, and refuses to tell her caseworker she has no child care expense. The father has an order for child support for one child, and also an order to pay an additional 250.00 per/mo. for non-existent child care costs.

The father went to see a judge about it, and the judge told him to let the caseworker know. He called the caseworker and was told that the mother had to let him know if thats the case. She says she won't tell them. Any other time fraud is illegal, but not when it's against non-custodial parents. Custodial parents can claim anything they like with no burden of proof.

The system is very flawed, and in child support cases the cards are stacked against non-custodial parents. I personally think the state should be sued. It's not impossible to do.

Shame on the State Lawmakers!

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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-21-08 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #90
99. Welcome to D/U and enjoy the many great forums.
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dlcloum31 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
73. Child Support Laws ARE unreasonable...
My husband and I have been put through some shit because of the child support laws. My husband has two cases he pays child support on, one case is three children and the other is for one child and we have three of our own, since from day one when child support was ordered it has been 15 years. He has been employed for 13 and unemployed for 2 years off and on. First of all, the courts never lowered the child support when he was on unemployment because they said "it would cause hardship on the children to lower the support cause then it would be a heavy burden on the mothers to have to try to change their way of living based on the fact that the support they have been used to for years was lowered". It was a hard time for all of us but the courts did not care about the three children we had to support at home. Now my husband is employed and grosses $1,600.00 a month and pays nearly $800.00 a month in child support for four children which wouldn't be so bad, but then we have to provide full transportation, round trip, every other weekend to all four kids. One lives about 100 miles east of us and the other three live 250 miles south of us. So now, we barley see the kids that live 250 miles away cause our visitations are every other weekend form 8am Saturday to 8pm Sunday and at the price of gas, we can't afford the gas every other weekend to travel 500 miles in two days. We are able to see the child that lives 100 miles away a little more often, so now we find ourselves trying to chose who we can afford to see and who we can't, beside the fact the children never get to be all together.
And another thing, my husbands child support arrears are over $50,000 now because of the two years he was unemployed and couldn't pay anything. Because he was not married to either of the mothers and because they were on welfare for several years, they stuck my husband with paying back the State for all the years the mothers were collecting welfare, they also stuck him with the entire cost of the birth of each child, even though he helped raise one of them for four years and another for two years, the court still went back and charged him child support for those years because they were not married. Oh, the State also adds on interest every January and July when you owe any arrears, so that is a good chunk of the arrears alone. That is one law that definitely needs to be changed. As a woman, I know that my husband didn't get me pregnant all on his own, I did have a little something to do with it, so why should the man be entirely responsible for the birth. Most women say "because we carry it for nine months", well that's bullshit. We might carry the child for nine months, but in the long run, the men pay for it in child support alone, beside that, they charge the man for all medical and welfare collected during the nine month pregnancy. I know the $800.00 a month my husband pays in child support does not even come close to how much we are able to spend on our three children we have at home. I have to depend on my parents helping me pay for school clothes and gifts on holidays for my three children because my husband and I can not afford to do it ourselves. And in regards to the action courts take against deadbeat fathers, my husband had a good paying job as a truck driver and when he got hurt on the job and the company refused to bring him back, the courts pretty much said tough shit, after a couple months went by and he didn't have a job yet the courts took his CDL Class A drivers license away. That was his damn job! Are they nuts! That's why it took that extra year and a half to get another job. Then he had to take a job at half the pay he was making before, but did they lower his child support, HELL NO! They actually raised it and we had to go back to court to get them to lower it back down to what it was at his previous job. And during this time he had no job, they put out a bench warrant because he didn't have the gas money or a vehicle to get to court 250 miles away. Then our local cops showed up about two months after the bench warrant was issued to tell us that they were there to give him a WARNING and that he had 30 days to make arrangements to get his ass down to the county where he had court and turn himself in or they would come pick him up. Now tell me that the child support laws are fair!
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #73
75. Seven children is a lot to support.
Edited on Sat Jul-21-07 11:53 PM by lwfern
It doesn't matter whether you are divorced, unmarried, or all living together. If you have employment problems, 7 children will put you in the hole no matter what. I guess not being married doesn't give you a pass on that financial burden.

I imagine it's also hard for the other mothers. Trying to raise 3 kids on welfare must be a nightmare, even with $50 a week per child (sometimes not paid) added in. Doesn't sound like the system is "fair" to her, either. Not sure if you've looked at it from her perspective or not.

I know that when my ex decided not to work, his pay was figured at $20/week, that was all he paid for years. I'm glad to hear the rates have gone up some, because I really felt like that was an insult.

That's not to say I think it's easy for the dad here, either. I'm sure it's not. Like I said, seven kids would put a great many people into bankruptcy in this economy, regardless of who the kids were living with.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-27-07 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #73
76. Here is a math suggestion for you --
take your husbands income @ $1600 per month.

Divide it by 8 -- thats 7 portions for his children, and one portion for him.

That will be $200 per child to live on, and $200 for him. (Since his children can live on $200 a month, I'm sure he can, too, right?)

You can support yourself because you are a grown up (just like the other mothers of his children), and I'm sure you want your step-children to be taken care of, right?

That means one of his children will have to live on $200 per month (eye roll on how THAT happens), while the other two sets of three of his children might combine funds for housing, etc. at (drum roll) $600 per month -- woo hoo! Now, if each of the mommies matches the funds, only ONE of them will be living out of a cardboard box in the street!

I don't think you will pardon my saying that I don't think its the child support laws that are "screwed up" in this case -- its the idea that $50 a week is enough to "support" a child. Why on earth this man decided to have three MORE children with you when he already had FOUR already is beyond me, but as long as he can afford to support them, more power to him. Fortunately, you only have to match his $600 per month for your three, so the rest of your money can go to support yourself.

Maybe you can invite him in from the cardboard box he would be living in on $200 per month?
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dlcloum31 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-30-07 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #76
79. no math suggestion!
Your not actually giving us a math suggestion, that is exactly how it works. My husband brings home 35% of his gross income a month, so those children are well taken care of, at least I think so. As for the other mommies living in cardboard boxes, I hardly think so. First of all, one of the mothers works and makes a little more than my husband does and she has been on three vacations with her kids so far this summer. We haven't been able to afford to take our kids anywhere since they were born except for two trips to the zoo. Besides, we get along very well with this mother.

The mother in the other case that my husband has three children with, well that's a different story. We hope she would be taken good care of his kids, but she don't get any of the child support he pays because she has been living off of welfare for 18 years. That is where I feel my husband is "getting screwed" by the state. The state adds on fees upon fees upon fees because she refuses to get off her ass and get a damn job like the rest of us. If my husband can't afford to pay what they want him to, they just add it to arrears and then they add interest ever January and July.

Now I don't know if you know anything about welfare, but when I needed help once, I had to go through a "Work First" program. Until I found a job, I had to go to a program at Michigan Works for 40 hours a week to get help from the state. This "other mother" has no physical problems and has been collecting tax payers money and putting us in debt for 18 years. I hardly say that's fair.

One last thing. If you have ever been in love you would know that you can't chose not to love someone because of their past. So why should I have to live my life with no children because the man I love already had four from before me. That's not fair to me. And by the way, I do make a living to help support my family, it may not be alot, but at least I am not collecting welfare.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. It doesn't sound to me like your husband's getting screwed by the state
It sounds like the state is borrowing money from other taxpayers to make sure those kids are provided for, and then using the money from the father, when he pays it, to reimburse the tax payers.

That actually sounds quite reasonable.

You will probably be much happier in life if you drop the attitude that you have the right to peruse some other woman's detailed finances, on account of your husband supporting his children. If you've been on welfare yourself, you probably understand that obnoxious attitude some people cop, where they think being poor means you give up your right to privacy, and suddenly every item on your grocery bill or every pair of underwear you buy is up for public inspection by every-random-person.

Your husband needs to pay what the state says he needs to pay. You all need to quit thinking that paying child support entitles you to run their household in accordance with how you see fit. You aren't in charge of buying their outfits, you aren't in charge of deciding a name brand box of pasta is too extravagant for them, whatever vacation they decided to go on, it's not your job to find out whether they stayed with friends or in a hotel, or if they knew someone that was able to give them a break, or if that woman's boyfriend paid for it - it's a hard thing to grasp for some people, but that's not your life. Your life is the one that happens inside your own 4 walls.

Nobody here has said you have to live your life with no children. I doubt he wants your children raised at the expense of his other children. I'm guessing he loves them all.

If he leaves you for another woman and decides to have yet more children with her, would you really want the courts saying he doesn't have to support your kids, because he's got newer ones to deal with now? Would you want the new woman feeling like she's entitled to pour over how you spend the little money you have, and complaining that you don't deserve any child support unless you vow never to take a vacation during the time you receive it?

The way you'd want the state to treat that situation if it occurs, there's something to be learned from that.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-31-07 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #79
81. You can whine all you want -- I think the situation is perfectly reasonable.
You "fell in love" with a guy who already had children, and now he has to pay to take care of them (as opposed to ME taking care of them). Apparently he has not been consistent about paying timely or whatever over the years, and his ex is collecting welfare for some unknown reason. I'm not sure why, but whatever -- not my problem.

I don't feel sorry for you. I don't care WHO you fall in love with -- you've ALWAYS got a choice about how you want to live your life. I "fell in love" with a recovering alcoholic once. He was a great guy, but we ended up not "staying together forever" because he needed to be with someone who could handle the time he needed to spend at meetings, etc. and also go to meetings herself. While I could applaud the commitment he made to sobriety, it wasn't a decision I wanted to make as a lifestyle choice for me and my future children (who would have needed to deal with being children of an alcoholic) when I had a choice about it. We're still friends, he's a great guy, and I am madly in love with my husband of ten plus years who is *NOT* a recovering alcoholic.

YOU had a choice about how many siblings and broken families you wanted your children exposed to. You married a guy who has a history of not staying with the mothers of his children (based on the fact that you are #3). Odds of SOME of those kids having emotional problems is pretty darn good -- but the "play dumb" philosophy so many people exhibit will most likely have you a) blaming it all on the "other mothers" and b) maintaining an oblivious attitude about your own husband's role in the success or failure of their upbringing (usually by NOT being a regular part of it -- what were those distances you quoted? hundreds of miles, and every other weekend? Is that *really* what you think would be in the best interests of YOUR OWN children -- every other weekend dad time?) ARGH!

You are a step-mom of four other children. Quit whining about the fact your spouse has other children who are Just As Entitled (if not more so) to HIS money and time than you and your "new" family. The fact that your actions could be viewed by total strangers who don't know you (meaning me) as selfish, self-absorbed, and really kind of stupid probably doesn't phase that "poor me" victim mentality of yours (because YOU certainly can't be held responsible for your own action (eye roll!)), but whatever. Karma will most likely bite you in the butt sometime -- it usually works that way. If not directly on you, then on your children. Sigh... :(

With the God-Awful situation you have described, the pitiful amounts of money your husband is sending ($50 per child per week) should be the least of your worries!
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dlcloum31 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-03-07 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #81
83. I would hardly say I am selfish...
If I were selfish why would I have married a guy knowing he had other children that would always be a part of my life and if I were selfish why would I have kids with this man and do as much as I possibly can to work with the other mothers on visiting time just so my children have good relationships with their other siblings. Also, I work from home and my husband works second shift from 2pm - 12 midnight, so who do you think takes care of his other children when they come for a visit, who do you think makes plans to do stuff with them so that they are not bored when they come visit, and who do you think deals with problems or attitudes or anything his other teenage children go through. Unfortunately it's not him, it's me. Why, because I do care about and loves his other kids just as much as I do my own.

My only intention when wrote my original blog is to get people (critics) like you to realize that it's not always the mothers of children that are struggling. How do you think my husband and I feel to know that $800.00 a month in child support is being paid out to support his children but one child only sees $200.00 a month and the other three only see about $100.00. If the courts were so worried about these children being provided for then why not give them the damn money that is being paid for them! Why add 8% interest on arrears every January and July? If the State would stop adding interest every year, maybe it would be a little easier for the people paying child support to catch up on arrears so that way the children really did see all the money, but no, the State makes sure that they get paid before anyone.

One of the mothers is owed about $3000.00 in arrears and about $4000.00 in arrears is owed to the state for the time she had the child in daycare and the state paid for it. On our last years taxes the state kept our $4500.00 refund to put towards arrears. The mother called the state to find out if she was gonna get any of that money and they said "no, the state keeps all arrears until we are paid off". So how can that make sense to anyone. I would think that the mothers would be paid there arrears first so that way the money would go towards helping the children. All my husbands other children are teenagers and by the time the state decides to pay them their arrears, the children will be on their own. When it comes to situation like this, the state is wrong on the way they handle child support.

When it comes to spending time with these children, I am the one who has to prepare for it. I buy the things they like to eat, I plan things to do with them while they are here, they never come prepared so I buy them several new outfits every time they come so they have more than two or three outfits to wear, I am always the one to pick them up and drop them off, I get them home when they need to be there for other family things like their other siblings birthdays, and I always talk with the other mothers when it comes to visiting or school problems or whatever.

So you telling me that I am selfish and self-absorbed is a bunch of bull shit. I don't know any other woman that would take on four children that wasn't hers and love for them and care for them the way I have for these kids.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-05-07 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #83
84. I will expain to you once more why I think YOU are selfish.
He has FOUR other children -- and you decided YOU wanted THREE MORE (that he realy can't afford to support on his current salary).

YOU make sure "your" kids have relationships with their siblings (who don't get the PRIVILEGE of seeing their father very often).

You value YOUR reationship with HIM more than you value HIS relationship with HIS children.

You KNEW he had children that he had obligations to before you married him -- and he's THOUSANDS of dollars in arrears to someone else. How was that child going to have food, clothing, etc.? Which bills are put FIRST in your household -- the child support, or your own housing, food, etc.?

I'm not saying you married a brain surgeon. And maybe you think the "sacrifices" you make everyday so that his "other children" (who you LOVE, but God forbid YOUR "real" children have to live like THAT!) can see their daddy for two days every other weekend make up for it. I don't. I think you knew exactly what you were getting when you got married, and you put YOUR WANTS ahead of what HIS children wanted -- a father who was involved with their lives on a DAILY basis.

Like attracts like. I know more about both you and your husband than I really want to, and I'm not going to bother responding to you anymore.
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-05-07 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #83
85. your whole attitude DRIPS selfishness and now you're trying to play the martyr...
you went into this situation with your eyes wide open, and knowingly had THREE MORE CHILDREN when you knew he could not support the ones he already had.

You are selfish and a whiner. Don't expect other women to support the bad choices you made.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-06-07 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #83
86. It does look a little selfish
Previous post: "So why should I have to live my life with no children because the man I love already had four from before me. That's not fair to me."

Current post: "why would I have kids with this man ...?" Yes, that's a good question, worth asking. Sacrificing YOUR wants to ensure his existing children were well provided for wasn't what YOU wanted - that wouldn't have felt fair to YOU. If it wasn't for selfish reasons, why DID you have three children with this man? How do you see that as a "sacrifice" you were making for the good of others?

Additionally, I see another set of bad choices in your last post. "I buy them several new outfits every time they come." That is poor decision making, and reeks of bribing them for their affection. If you are behind in child support, pay the support, and AFTER that is paid for, buy gifts for the kids IF you can afford it. Otherwise, do what other poor people do - get them a few used things from thrift shops to keep at your house, if they aren't coming with clothing packed.

Also, your "facts" are making less and less sense to me as the conversation progresses.

Earlier: "the other three live 250 miles south of us. So now, we barley see the kids that live 250 miles away cause our visitations are every other weekend form 8am Saturday to 8pm Sunday and at the price of gas, we can't afford the gas every other weekend to travel 500 miles in two days."

Now: "I am always the one to pick them up and drop them off," ... "I don't know any other woman that would take on four children that wasn't hers and love for them and care for them the way I have for these kids."

First, seeing kids once (or twice) a month doesn't entitle you to say you "took on four children."
Second, are you really trying to convince us that you drive 500 miles on your own round trip to pick up the kids, you bring them back to your house, and then the following day you drive another 500 miles round trip to drop them off? 1000 miles round trip between 8am Saturday and 8pm Sunday is an interesting claim. How much time do they actually spend at your house, then?
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Scout Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-27-07 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #73
77. Lots of whining in here ...
If you can't afford the children you have, DON'T have more of them!

Just because your husband lost his job, does not mean his kids don't still need food and clothes...

I don't have the link to the study at my finger tips, but in the majority of cases where men actually bother to SEEK CUSTODY of their children in a divorce, they get custody.

Sorry, no sympathy here.

I had a husband who had to pay child support for three children from his first marriage. I helped him navigate Michigan's child support system. When you do what you're supposed to, you don't have nearly as many problems with them..., isn't that strange? He ended up paying extra each week for over a year to get caught up, and it turns out he did that longer than he had to so ended up ahead! That was particularly good for us because when his ex wouldn't let the kids come to Michigan to visit, per the divorce agreement, we called and they got right on the stick and told her that if she did not let the kids come to visit, she would not be receiving her check! She shaped right up.
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skipos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-07 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
78. Why do so many people have children they can't afford?
This isn't directed at you directly, but KIDS ARE EXPENSIVE. If you can't afford them, don't have them. Condoms and births control pills are a great investment.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-01-07 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
82. Sounds like an argument for just not having kids at all
That's what I make per year, and it actually goes pretty far because I only have to support me. I couldn't imagine supporting a family on that salary, though, I'm sure many people do.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-01-07 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
87. My Son turned 18 on Friday, I am done!
Edited on Sat Sep-01-07 06:06 PM by sarcasmo
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-01-07 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #87
88. Hopefully if he needs help
you'll still be there, though. Most 18 year olds aren't financially self-sufficient.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-02-07 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #88
89. Done with the Court system. Does that sound better for you?
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Night_Nurse Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-26-08 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
100. Mothers pay child support as well - I am one of them n/t
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
105. We never had to wait "months" for a "hearing"
Edited on Tue Jan-26-10 06:49 PM by noamnety
I'm confused about that statement. We'd call and make an appointment with Michigan Friends of the Court when there was a change in our financial status, it was just a quick meeting in a cubicle. They'd pull out their handy little chart, and it was a done deal.

Sounds like in your scenario, the dad had a couple months of unemployment, but eventually landed an even better job than the one he lost - a job earning over %50k a year. He's making way more (almost double) than the average michigander and found a job damn quickly considering the economy. Perhaps he should take some time out to count his blessings.
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Chucky_The_Freak Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-07-10 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
106. To all of those who want to jail someone over the almighty dollar
I would just like to say....

THANK YOU for: providing a roof over my head, providing a place where the people are all of like sentiment regarding the situation we are all in, PAYING FOR IT THROUGH YOUR WELL SPENT TAX DOLLARS.

Now, with that being said, let's all go out and have those dead beats arrested!!

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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-10 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #106
110. Mike Cox is that you?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
107. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-01-10 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
108. Deleted message
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Lions_fan Donating Member (122 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-10 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
109. Hello
New to DU and i live in Michigan. The Friend of the Court is an agency i'm very familiar with.
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