Close the D.O.R.
For those non-custodial parents who are truly invested in their child/children and their well-being, dealing with the D.O.R. or better known as the Department of Revenue can be a stressful, tough task! Every parent has the responsibility to take care of their children yet there should be a better system in place to enforce child support. Lets be clear, no system is perfect, but when a system is blatantly biased toward the custodial parent, there needs to be a re-evaluation of how child support should be reviewed.
The objective is to make sure that single parent homes have enough income to make sure that the kid(s) are clothed, fed with a roof over head and a bed along with any other necessities that have to be supplied. The problem comes when the Department of Revenue does not follow the State Guidelines for the correct amount for child support. This is exactly what happened to me beginning in 2013 and still going on today . When my ex-wife and I were having problems she filed for child support…no problem. At the time I was working in collections and my income sometimes would vary based on overtime and bonus, so the pay stubs that were reviewed showed that I was making about an 2500.00 a month.
The D.O.R. determined that I should pay 1000.00 a month for ONE child and an additional 100.00 a month for “back child support” of a mysterious amount of 3000.00 despite the fact that I was paying house hold bills and highly contributing to the home while we were separated. My job then began selling off parts of the company and downsizing, thus eliminating overtime and reduced bonuses significantly. This in turn decreased my income and when I notified the D.O.R. of the change, they advised me to wait to receive the form for modification of child support review and that it can take up to 30 days.
Unfortunately a bad car accident and lack of car insurance (due to affordability issues), caused the loss of my car and license and I had to work during their minimal hours of operation, I waited the 30 days for the form as opposed to going to the D.O.R. office. I didn’t receive the form and this process went on for several months. I filed for divorce in October of 2015 therefore when I finally had the form in hand and had filled it out and got it notarized, the D.O.R. said that it could no longer be reviewed because it would be reviewed in the divorce, which it was.
During this process, I was fired from my job after 4 years with the company and my next job was project based, meaning I only was able to work when work was available. Thus, if we were overwhelmed with work there was unlimited overtime and when there wasn’t work I was forced to stay home with no pay. This caused me to have more back child support tacked on and the Department of Revenue scheduled a hearing for me and my ex-wife. It was then determined that I would pay an additional 200.00 a month to catch up. A year and a half later, the company that bought out my job at the time reduced my pay by 4.00 an hour and because I knew that I could not afford to live and or pay child support on that salary, I left the company and moved to a company making a little more than what my previous job had reduced me to. When my divorce was finalized the judge lowered the amount based in fluctuated and indeterminable income information based on my project based job and tacked on more back child support causing the amount to still be 940.00 a month for ONE child.
I then requested another form for request to modify the child support based on my reduced income in May of 2017 and I received a letter 4 months later in August stating that I was again denied for modification of amount with no explanation when the state guidelines clearly show that I should be paying 200.00 less per month. I don’t have a problem with paying child support, it just should be the amount the state law guidelines show. How can there be some fairness and balance when it comes to the D.O.R.? I’m sure there are thousands of men like me in Florida and other states with their own horror stories and there needs to be something done to shore up the many flaws in this system.