Friday, July 30, 2010

Felony Charges for Past Due Child Support

from Randi James

Most women I know, including myself, receive child support. Additionally, most women that I know, do not receive the court-ordered amount of child support. So what happens? We get by by whatever means necessary. As for these fathers, at least as far as Florida Child Support Enforcement (CSE) is concerned: At 30 days, CSE can suspend the father's driver's license...emphasis on "can."

What does that really do?

Well, it won't stop him from driving if he wants to or needs to drive. It will get him to paying some fees if he wants his license restored, but the child support "problem" has to be taken care of first. (This is all based on the fact that he has a license, because he might not).

How does he take care of the problem if there is past due child support? Isn't it past due because he couldn't pay it?

I'm glad you asked. In Florida, he can go on down to the CSE office and make a payment arrangement.

What did you say?

A payment arrangement, you know, like when your electricity bill is late and steady accumulating but you need to keep the power on so you make an agreement to pay a little something-something in installments?...Something like that. The father agrees to pay the debt by making an arrangement. Yes, I know this is odd because he already has an arrangement to pay child support on a monthly basis.

And so the full child support amount isn't getting paid on a regular basis, what does CSE do?

I'm glad you asked. The answer is, nothing. Yes, that is indeed what the CSE representative told me...they don't do a damn thing. As long as he's paying something, there's nothing further they are going to do....except...garnish his federal tax return come the following year. Oh yeah! You will get a lump sum payment of the debt (maybe not all of it, but most of it...granted you didn't receive any cash assistance, because then the State will get paid first) next year. Oh yeah, that's if he doesn't owe any other debts, like student loans...and of course his other babymamas. If so, you'll have to split the profits debt, or maybe you'll just have to wait your turn. This is all assuming he files a tax return though.

I have heard of few men who have gone to jail for child support debt/arrears/arrearage. The men that I have known to do so were found on the street, or something similar, doing something else (illegal, or not non illegal), and the popo ran their name on their license and found other stuff, and hence they were arrested and brought in under child support charges either in addition to, or in place of, whatever the popo originally stopped them for.

So how do these fathers resolve the situation after getting arrested?

I'm glad you asked. The fathers can pay a purge to the court. I'm not quite sure what that means because I have no direct experience with that--but from what I've heard, the father presents in front of the judge and then pays like $100, and it is all over with. No, the child support debt isn't erased*, it's more like he's making a good faith deposit on it.

One more thing, child support debt can go on the credit report...all three bureaus. Unfortunately, from what I have observed, many credit granting institutions really don't give a shit.

Back in my youth, I used to think it was all cool that fathers were sent to jail for failing to pay their child support. There were just so many fathers doing it. I mean, it was seriously like the thing to do...NOT pay your child support BUT continue fucking around and making more babies with different women. I thought the only way to stop this madness, short of a male birth control, was to throw their asses in jail. And then one day I woke up and realized,

How the hell are they going to pay their child support in jail?

But you see, I'm referring to poor men. Or maybe not poor men per se, men who do not have a job, or are unemployed, maybe that's a better description. You must remember that non poor men, men with jobs, men with good ass jobs, don't pay their child support, too, sometimes. And it is on purpose. Some men work under the table, to avoid paying...some men change jobs frequently, to avoid it...some men move out of the state, to avoid...and some men just refuse to work...This is who I imagine that jail is supposed to be for. It is supposed to serve as their wake-up call.

Now the menz groups like to turn all this on its head and say that mothers are the largest group of folk not paying their child support. What kinda mothers are these? Were these mothers formerly employed and are now just acting like the menz? Or were these mothers stay at homes who, because of circumstances (ie court battle and loss of custody) are now just getting [back] into the workforce in low-paying jobs? There is a difference.

The menz always say to women,

Why do yall bitches get pregnant from these no good ass mofos with no jobs and expect them to be supportin your chilluns?

I ask the menz,

Why do yall mofos be getting bitches pregnant who want to stay at home with their children and not work outside the home?

In the meantime:

Marshall woman accused of failing to pay child support

Friday, July 9, 2010

PAT NOLAN, Staff Writer

A criminal summons has been issued for a Marshall woman for failing to pay child support

Billie J. Weathers, 39, is charged with two counts of nonsupport, a class D felony.

According to the probable cause statement, Weathers was ordered to pay $325 per month in child support for two minor children As of June 30, the total due exceeded the total of 12 monthly payments.

If convicted, Weathers faces up to four years in the Department of Corrections, or one year in the county jail and/or up to a $5,000 fine per count.

Charges contained in reports provided by law enforcement officials are not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting charges must be presented before a jury, whose duty is to determine if the accused is guilty or not guilty of the charges.

*Speaking of erasing debt. I have seen the family court system erase child support debt for various reasons (none of them good, likely not even legal). It is a very interesting (to say the least) experience watching all that money that was owed to the children, go down the drain, like it never existed. Money you could've used to buy socks and hairbows and shit, fieldtrips and deodorant and shit, or even piano lessons and braces and shit. I have seen child support arrears negotiated for other things ie you agree to waive the arrears, and the father agrees to "give you" full custody (since custody is now "shared" in Florida since 2008, read: Gender Bias in Florida's Court System, Shared Parental Responsibility), and other shit like that.

Additionally, in Florida, interest can be added to child support arrears...obviously adding more debt to what the father already owes. However, I have seen family court judges not allow interest even though State law says so.

My advice to women concerning child support (if you're on the receiving end) can be found here. Look ladies, the child support system isn't as simple as you think it is. It has morphed into an agency that's goal is to meddle in your home life and possible split your children half, or wholly away from the name of fatherhood. Please take my word for it.

Read Also:

DHHS, Responsible Fatherhood, the Family Court: Your Tax Dollars Being Wasted On an Illegal Hype

Legislation to Help Deadbeat Dads Get Back in Control of Their Families

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