Adventures in Child Support

I normally receive child support every month, and have for about 16 years. It’s done automatically, through direct debit and direct deposit and, have to give him credit, it’s always there.

This month, it’s late. And here’s why:
In 2001, I applied for a review and modification. The whole thing, from start to finish, took three years.

In 2008, I applied again for a review and modification. In June. My son’s father chose to protest, again, and so a hearing date was set. For February, 2009. Almost eight months after I filed.

They said a decision would be made within seven weeks. It took seven months.

I know I’ve said this before, but imagine, say, a divorce action where the judge tells the couple, “You know, I’ll have to get back to you on this; I’ll let you know in a few months or so.” Right. Although I’ve met some judges who might just do that.

The first week in August, I received a copy of the proposed modification, dated August 4th. This said the new support amount would go into effect, retroactive, to September 2008. Of course, he could appeal. It also said that a judge would have to sign off on the proposal before it became official.

It just arrived, two days ago, in the office of the attorney general. It took, I kid you not, SEVEN WEEKS to be sent from one office to another in the SAME TOWN. I think they used the Pony Express, and the pony died. Or the carrier pidgeon got lost. I mean, seriously, what the heck??

And how did I learn all this? I called a phone number from the DSS website; they directed me to call another number. They gave me a third number, where I had to leave a message; someone did call back in a short time, leaving yet ANOTHER number for me to call.

That number was the local office of the attorney general, which has no jurisdiction over the case because it originated in another county, so I was given a FIFTH phone number to call. I’m still waiting for a return call because, naturally, after listening to all the menu options, I had to leave a message.

I think we should throw them all out and start over, fresh, with people who are actually competent. Well, except for the last lady I talked to who was very nice, and went above and beyond to see that I got the right phone number that time. She has a brain. We could put her in charge of the new system. And give her a raise.

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