In May of 2010, my eldest daughter called from Pennsylvania and said, "Dad, I want to come back to live with you in
Virginia". "I thought I could handle mom but I can't. I want to go to college and she will sabotage me every single step of the way". "she has kicked me out for the 3rd time this year and I am having a hard time keeping up with school." Of course I said yes and we agreed she would finish out her junior year and as soon as school was over, I would come and pick her up.
In the meantime, I called DCSE and asked what I needed to do in this situation? I was told to fax a request for a review. I faxed, I called, I wrote, I called, faxed and wrote to no avail. I was told they had 180 days to perform the review. I was told not to bother filing for custody because my daughter was almost 18 and Juvenile Domestic Relations (JDR) would kick it out because she was 18. So I waited. I received a notice of possible license (drivers and otherwise) suspension, credit report, jail and garnishment. I called, the 800 number, the case worker .... I called them all. I received a request to move the case from circuit court to JDR in the mail shortly after? Which made absolutely no sense but I agreed, signed and sent back. By this time it was November, the 180 days was up and there was still no movement except to garnish my wages. I was paying current and back support (from July 2010) to my ex wife for a kid that was in my custody. I don't make very much money and the amount they were garnishing was exceeding 60% of my gross salary.
Two of my three kids lived with me, my poor wife was supporting a family of 5 by herself in Fairfax County ...Ouch! We already had 1 kid in college and the 1 that came back was a senior applying for college, which meant graduation
pictures, expensive senior field trips, lunch money, graduation fees, school supplies, college app fees, college deposit fees, dorm supplies, books, tuition and let's not forget behind the wheel because her mom didn't feel like getting her drivers license in PA where it's free. So we were not faring well at all.
Out of desperation, I contacted Frank Wolf's office for assistance. We received an e-mail back from a DCSE supervisor who specifically stated "Well, these things go faster with an attorney, maybe Mr. Baxter should
hire an attorney". Of course, that's exactly what Mr. Baxter who makes 23K a year should do, he should pay his ex wife $6,000 a year to sit on her behind in PA, pay to support the kids living with him and with all of the extra dough, hire an attorney to the tune of $3-400 an hr to force DCSE to comply with their own guidelines. Excellent idea!
Then tax time rolled around. My ex wife claimed the daughter that was living with me on her taxes, then I found out that PA where my ex wife lived was trying to take my federal taxes. They had no order? Then I found out that Virginia was trying to take my taxes as well. My poor current wife had to send a lot of documentation to the IRS to prove that we did
have custody of my daughter, she had to mail the taxes and file as "injured spouse", the same for Virginia.
Seven months in at this point, no movement from DCSE and our life is h**l, it was time to hire an attorney. Our attorney told us this would be a simple matter, we would get all of the overpayment back. $6,000 in attorney fees
and 1 year later, we had our 1st court date. My Ex of course phoned in and did not have any financial paperwork of course but she verbally guessed at an income amount which was going to be accepted by all until I objected. I was able to have the monthly amount reduced since the daughter that was living with me was emancipated at this point (isn't that nice?) and a continuance for 3 months later.
In the meantime, my daughter had settled on VCU as her college of choice. We got the FAFSA's finalized late in the summer due to the tax debackle and applied for student loans very late in the game. With my daughter safely dropped off at college, we received denial letters for student loans because.... yes you guessed it, child support arrears. Ironic isn't it? I
owed money for a kid that lived with me and that kid was denied a college loan. Niiiice.
I contacted Rep. Frank Wolfe's office again and the DCSE supervisor credited out our account and changed the monthly amount to the number agreed upon 3 months earlier in court. I appealed the student loan denial, mailed a bazillion documents of proof I did not owe that amount and reApplied, success! Finally!
On Sept. 27th we returned to court for what is hopefully a final time. When running the numbers for the past 1.5 years since I picked up my daughter, it was determined that I overpaid my Ex $5,244.50. After my youngest daughter emancipates this June, I will have a credit balance of $2,760 on my account, that I will not be able to collect. I also have racked up $7,500 in attorney fees.
And last but not least ....... 2.5 weeks after the courts final declaration, I received a bill from DCSE. I checked my credit report and they have reApplied some arbitrary amount of $695 to my credit report. I don't even know where $695 comes from? They had previously zero'd out my arrears and reduced the monthly and it was being garnished every pay period .... sooo WTF, sorry for the language.
And the saga continues ......
Someone needs to stop these people, they are either crooks disguised as imbeciles or they really are imbeciles? Its difficult to say!