Apr 022013
Child support

Destitute, homeless woman forced to pay child support to CEO ex-husband. Photo by nirots/freedigitalphotos.net

A homeless, destitute mom is being forced to pay child support to a CEO and corporation owner for a child not living with him for three years, legally.

The owner of the trucking corporation located in Oneida County, New York is receiving child support payments from his former ex-wife and the mother of his son after the son enlisted in the Marines three years ago in 2010.

The son is presently stationed in Camp Lejeune, has completed an Afghanistan deployment in 2011 and according to New York State legal aid services, it’s all legal!

The NYS Child Support Processing Center in collaboration with the federal government is allowing this CEO to legally collect monies from this destitute woman.

The child has been a Marine since graduating high school in June of 2010. The former housewife and mother could not afford to hire a lawyer so the federal government took the money out of her retirement fund. Her financial accounts were ‘frozen’ until they were depleted for arrears and eventually closed due to insufficient funds.

Previously, the father was ordered to pay her the child support during the six years she had physical custody after they divorced. But in 2009, due to the recession and unable to find work, she was forced to move out of state to be with family for financial support.

She gave her son the option of moving south with her or moving in with his father. The son chose to move in with his father for the remainder of his schooling. He was halfway through the 11th grade when he moved in with his father. It was at this time the father took her to court for child support. The total duration he purportedly lived with his father was one and a half years due to his anticipated departure to the USMC upon his high school graduation.

Being unemployed, the ex-wife did not hire a lawyer when she was taken to court for child support. She thought no rational judge would order child support for a financially stable CEO and owner of a trucking corporation from a homeless, unemployed former housewife and mother.

She was wrong, ordered to pay child support

Albeit minimal, the family court judge ordered her to pay monthly child support payments. Unable to attain steady employment, she was forced to pay the child support from her savings, which she faithfully paid until her son was technically emancipated in June of 2010.

Immediately after his high school graduation, the son moved to North Carolina and is currently serving his country as a Marine.

The father deliberately failed to notify the child support unit of the residential change when the son moved out, thereby continuing the ex-wife’s obligation to pay child support according to the justice system in New York State.

She originally tried to rectify the injustice when she called both the child support unit and free legal aid. She completed the paperwork sent by the child support unit but didn’t have the legal counsel to follow through with the request. From previous experience, she did not want to file a petition without the knowledge and guidance of legal counsel. She is not well versed in legal jargon and needed help.

At that time, she was told she did not qualify for free legal services as she was not a resident of New York state. She then followed up with a phone call to the free legal services in the state she was residing in, only to be told the case was in New York so she did not qualify for that state’s services either. There was nothing she could do without hiring a lawyer, which she did not have the funds for.

She had no choice but to ignore the monthly bills requesting payment for child support. She refused to pay for her emancipated child.

In February of 2012, the federal government put a freeze on her banking accounts for non-payment. She contacted the state’s representatives, U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, De Anna Stafford and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi who directed her to the same legal services who refused her assistance the first time. Brindisi’s liaison, Marissa Falitico was a tremendous moral supporter, but again, without the help of legal counsel, her options were limited. There was nothing she could do as she didn’t have the funds or legal knowledge to send the “modification packet” back to Oneida County Child Support Unit.

The federal government, in collaboration with the child support unit, not only seized all her funds from her bank accounts for past due bills, but also took over a thousand dollars from her retirement account.

Out of desperation, she called again for legal counsel in January of 2013. This time the representative Ester Weingarten from LSCNY, Inc. told her that since the past due amounts were paid (from her retirement fund), the case was “frivolous” and they would not represent her. Weingarten also mentioned via email to the mother that “ … it was NOT the father’s legal obligation to tell anyone that your son did not live with him anymore. a moral obligation perhaps but not legal” (sic).

And the child support obligation continues … apparently being poor and illiterate in legal jargon in New York State is a crime. “Ever Upward!”

Where is the justice??