My story, In 1990 I was engaged to my future wife and mother of our 3 children. During that year we had a falling out and separated for about 5 months. During this time she received child support directly from the state and then they in turn came after me for what she was given. I didn't have a problem with that.
To make this part short, we ended up back together, got married, raised our children who are now all in their 20s. After 12 years my wife and I divorced and we went our separate ways. We settled everything on our own and never went through the courts. I signed over my rights to our house, vehicles, savings, investments, everything.
Neither of us had legal custody of the children and we parted ways very peacefully and still friends. She moved to Conn. and I moved to Texas. During this time the old child support debt which i believe was around $3000 at the time just plain got lost in the shuffle of life.
A little later on I quit my job to take care of my father who had parkinsons disease and was basically dying slowly. I was out of society for at least 8 years. I sold stuff on ebay to make some money during this time. In Feb of 2011 my father finally passed away.
So, I decided to move back to Virginia, find work and reinsert myself into society. And that is just what I did. I stayed with relatives and eventually I got my Va drivers license, and after a lot of searching I finally got a part time job, got a vehicle, a place to live. I also filed for disability at this time because I have degenerative disk disease and my back can only handle so much. I am still waiting on that.
Then one fine day in august of 2011, I get a letter from DCSE telling me I owe them $5000+ from the child support my now ex wife had received 22 yrs ago. Ok, no problem, I owed it and I knew I had to repay it.
So, I call them and ask them what I need to do and I was then told that I had to pay them $600 up front and sign a payment agreement of $430 a month until the debt was paid, at which time I informed them that there was no way I could afford $430 a month because I am partially disabled and am only able to work about 20-25 hours or less a week and barely even bring home much more than that but that I am willing to make good on this debt. They would not work anything out with me. They wanted what they stated and that was final. They were very rude and nasty with me. I mailed them money twice after that anyway.
Then, In September of 2011, I get a letter stating that if I didnt sign this payment agreement that my license may be suspended. I sent them a letter back stating once again that it was impossible for me to pay that amount but that I am willing to make some kind of arrangement and enclosed yet more money as a show of good faith.I never heard anything back from them.
The following month my wages were being garnished and not just a little but almost half of my entire income...If I made $500 for the pay period they took $240 of it. Needless to say this has made it impossible for me to live and at the very moment I am at my sisters writing this report because I have no power at my house because I was not able to pay my electric bill.
Then I found out in December from my insurance company when I went to renew my insurance that my license had indeed been suspended since "SEPTEMBER!!!!" I never received a letter from them or DMV stating that my license had been suspended.
So, then I physically go down to the DCSE offices to try and work something out because none of this should have even happened over a 22 yr old debt that I am more than willing to pay and have now paid through garnished wages nearly half of.
I sit down with the worker and explain to him that I am having a hard time understanding that they have been garnishing my wages, the debt is getting paid, and yet for some reason my license is still suspended at which time he says its because I didnt sign the payment agreement.
So I said HUH???? This office has received nearly half this debt and suspend my license because I couldnt sign a payment agreement that I would not have been able to honor anyway? Then I ask him, does the 2 grand plus thats been paid not count for anything? He tells me yes it goes towards the debt being paid but as far as my license goes, No $600 down and an agreement of $430 a month and Im SOL and my only option is to go to court and petition for a restricted license.
Meanwhile, I am now driving around with no license, and no insurance. No electricity to which I have well water that runs off of an electric pump, so no electric means no water. Trying to put gas in my vehicle so I can get to work and buy food to eat with no money. Because they are taking nearly half of everything I make which isnt much in the first place.
I understand there are deadbeat dads out there, I am not one of them. I raised my children, I did what I was supposed to do. I also know that each of these people that owe back child support have to be dealt with on a one on one basis anyway. Why would you take from a man more than he has, when he is willing to give you what he can?
And whos brilliant idea was it to use suspending your license as a tool to retrieve back child support? Very good thinking...your chances of getting money from dead beat parents might have been 10 or 15 percent if that...so yeah, lets suspend the license so they cant get to work at all and now drop that 10 or 15 percent to "0.00 percent". or now make them drive illegally because they have to eat and pay bills or be homeless and run down the road with no insurance so that when they go out here and get in a head on, the now stricken person that had only liability is now in a wheelchair for the rest of his life is completely dependent upon the state for all his medical needs because the other guy that had no insurance because he had no license and shouldn't have been driving but had to drive because he has no choice, to survive.
This is not right and in my case...it is doubly so. Something has to be done. All I was trying to do was reinsert myself back into society and be happy again after all I had been through with my father. I was really looking forward to friends and family and just life. And now I feel like a criminal every time I drive. I cant afford food, gas, elect, not because I dont make enough, but because DCSE unfairly takes way to much from my pay and none of it had to be this way. I was more than willing to pay this debt reasonably. Half of everything I make, which isnt much, is not fair or reasonable. Im so glad I live in America where state governments can do whatever they want to poor people like me!!!!!