Friday, March 12, 2010


While many people know I was married before to a not nice person, what most people don't know is that I had two children. They are 15 and 16 now and I have not seen them since they were 3 and 4. I fought and lost. I was devastated and thought my life was over. I got out of the marriage with my life, but not my heart.
Fast forward to a few years ago. I got a letter in the mail "attempt to locate." I called to find out what was going on. (This was shortly after we closed on this house. Around the same time, I had also received other things in the mail with my previous last name. Some of which were medical bills from ER visits due to the abuse.) Imagine my shock when I was told that I was to be paying child support. I had never been notified about this and was already thousands of dollars in the hole with it. This order was never part of the divorce. This came years later.
To argue this meant going back to New England to file in person (was told it could not be done over the phone) an appeal, then go back for the court date, etc. We did not have time or money to be driving back and forth especially with a nursing infant. (Bethany.)
So, even though I was already way behind and could have at the very least fought and won the contest with proof that I had never been served with the original court order, I started paying the child support. I knew I would never catch up, but I could at least do my best.
Never catching up and having a current address, there was a state transfer to Indiana. Indiana was going to take over the collection of child support. So, I was served with yet another notice over a year ago about the transfer and where to send payments. Still not caught up and over $10,000 behind (interest, penalty, arrears all building up on a weekly basis makes for things to add up fast) I got served Wednesday with a contempt charge from all of this and have to go to court in April explaining why I "should not be punished" as it is put on the paperwork. From all the research I have done, it looks like there is a strong possibility of me spending six months in county lock-up.
I called the pro-bono place yesterday and although they were open, I was kicked over to voice mail. Then was told that the voice mail was full. I call back today and they are closed. I will be showing up in person first thing Monday morning.
Right now, I have not told my children anything. What am I supposed to say? "Mommy's going to jail?" I hope I don't. I pray I don't. But I need to plan as if I am. What am I supposed to tell them when the time comes and they ask why? "The guy that Mommy married before Daddy, the same one who beat me, tortured me, raped me, shot me, and tried to kill me got custody of your half sisters because he had money and now years later decided to go after me for child support" as if they need to know all that.
I don't know how I am going to deal with all of this. Right now, I fluctuate between terror and panic.


K. Wilkerson said...


I admit that I'm nearly certain that I never even knew you were previously married. On the contrare, it sounds George was a much better husband to you. I can't imagine the thoughts that are running though your head, the fears, the anxiety and the concern. May I encourage you to turn to Ps 55:22? When you put your burdens in the hands of God and pray for wisdom, courage, humility and direction he is sure to listen. I think that you have made the very wise decision to contact an attorney. For now, I encourage to place your burden upon God, you know that you are important to him. He tells us that all the stars in the sky are named, if he know everyone of them, and the number of hairs on your head, how he must feel about the anguish you are going through and want to help. As hard as it would be, I would try to this to the back of my head and enjoy the time with the man who loves you and with your children. Then on Monday go down and wait for Legal Aid to open.

I hope that this brings any sort of comfort.

file transfer software said...

I think that you have made the very wise decision to contact an attorney. For now, I encourage to place your burden upon God, you know that you are important to him. He tells us that all the stars in the sky are named, if he know everyone of them, and the number of hairs on your head, how he must feel about the anguish you are going through and want to help.

Laura said...

My heart goes out to you, Kim. Truly does.

As I child I watch some of this happen to my Mom and marvel at the gracious, nurturing woman she never, ever stopped being.

I know you will take care of this as you have in the past and I do hope justice will see what is right. And I hope those two girls are okay and have fared well.

George rocks the Husband Bus. May he continue to keep you strong and feeling secure.

Gosh I have some thoughts on what maybe to broach with your three young ones. I've had to tell my own kids that my father was not a nice man, but kept it in the general without the details. That you are fighting a legal battle can be explained, but assure them you are trying very, very hard to remedy it all.

Laurie ( said...


I am keeping you in my prayers. As others have said, I encourage you to give this burdon to God with faith and trust.

Here are the last section of Psalm 16. I pray it often and I'm praying it for you right now.

I bless the LORD who counsels me; even at night my heart exhorts me.

I keep the LORD always before me; with the Lord at my right, I shall never be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure,

For you will not abandon me to Sheol, nor let your faithful servant see the pit.

You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.

Sasha said...

Wow, Kim, that's heavy.

I don't know what I can say, but wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you.

If it would help to have a character witness at your hearing I'll be happy to be there.

Lisa A. Goff, writer, stained glass, homeschooler said...

Wow, I have no words . . . You are in my prayers.

Cyfaill said...

Yikes! I'll be holding your family in the Light (Quaker for praying for you) all the way over here in Wales.

Michelle in Illinois said...

wow Kim, I never knew and I'm sorry you didn't tell me so I could be there for you to talk to. I will tell you this much based on my own experience (granted from the custodial parent's point of view)... they are not likely to lock you up. My son's father was over 10k in arrears and they never locked him up. They did end up taking his state tax returns, put a lien on his car (he didn't have a home or they would have done that), and they took away his passport so he could not leave the country. He still can't leave the country to this day, and all this was done without my knowledge or consent. It was automatic when he hit a certain amount.

If you can show you have been making payments, and I highly recommend they ALL go through the court clerk, not by personal checks through you to the father, it will look good. I know of a father who was making payments directly to the mother by personal check and when they went to court, they didn't recognize his payments as child support, but instead as "gifts" to her, and he had to repay it all as "arrears" so be careful with that too.

Considering this is your first time there in court for this, I doubt they will lock you up. I've seen far worse and they did nothing. If you can show you are doing the responsible thing (which you can and are), and that you are willing to pay what you can (which based on your living situation and income, etc) they will more than likely set an amount, add to it for arrears and call for a future court hearing to see if you are complying. I'm curious how they set an amount as it is, without knowing your current income situation... Indiana has guidelines when it comes to payments and a whole worksheet thing. I'm also curious, is he going to show up in court? And lastly, I'm curious if you will then push for visitation so you can see these children you have missed out on seeing all this time since you are going to be paying child support now and he will know where you are anyway.

Good luck and many many prayers.

sarsie said...

You're not going to jail. You do need to do whatever you need to do to make sure you are in court. you explain your situation, show that you have been paying consistently. I have known way too many people, in my family law job as well as personally, that were way more than $10K in debt that never went to jail, and you won't either. Make sure that you are clear that you are doing what you can, that you never knew you were supposed to be paying, and that you have X number of children to take care of. no judge is going to throw you in jail. As for visitation, I wouldn't do that until you get the c/s thing under control-you don't want it to look like you are trying to see your kids as some kind of vindictiveness. Hugs and prayers, Kim.

Ashley said...

I had to come look after your FB post. I hope things work out to where you are able to set up payment arrangements and get to see the girls. I think your kids are young enough that they might be able to understand on simple terms. Still totally rough. I wish you the best of luck!