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Ohio CSEA, financially devistated.. and it doesnt seem to ever end...

Started by hardtimeohio, Nov 24, 2008, 11:12:18 PM

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Hi! I am new to the boards and have been reading off and on here for a short bit. I was served today with a court summons concerning child support and I am really not certain how to handle this. Yes, I know, get an attorney... but I was hoping maybe someone had a similar experience and how they worked through it.

A bit of history...

I was with my wife for 10 years up and until December of 2005 when she had an affair and almost immediately decided to move out of our home and into her own place with her affair partner. We have two boys now 9 and 11 at the time, one of which I adopted.

We were struggling financially at the time and I was self employed. Six months later we were divorced, I had lost the house, most of my possessions and my income has dropped significantly since this all began.

During those six months and up until early August of 2006 my Ex constantly harassed me on the telephone, followed me around and tracked down where I was (stalked me), constantly confronting me on my whereabouts and who I was with, constantly threatening me with what she would do If I did not follower her wishes.

What was I doing? I stopped sitting at home sobbing over everything, started going out with family and friends both male and female, made an extra effort to be a better parent and on occasion I would have a few drinks.

The first weekend in August of 2006 I had my boys for the weekend. I asked her to please, for once, leave me and the boys alone instead of constantly calling. She had phoned my home and my cell some 45 times over two days. I should of filed charges against her but I did not wish to do her any harm, even though she has caused enough in my life.

The next night I went out with a female friend and had several drinks, more than I should have. The Ex decided to ring my cell until I answered and demanded to know my whereabouts and who I was with. I ended up giving her a piece of my mind and probably used a few more curse words than I should have.

The next day I wake up and begin my work.. I get a call from the sheriff department wanting to question me on charges filed against me. I went to their office, was questioned and when I realized I was going to be arrested I shut up. The charges were Telephone Harassment, Aggravated Menacing and Unauthorized use of a computer. She claimed that I called her, threatened her and her fiancé (affair partner) with bodily harm and that I had broken into her computer and deleted files.

There was no evidence that I had even called her home anytime, no phone bills, no proof of anything except for a few nasty emails that I had sent her in the past asking her to leave me the f alone. During the case the judge ordered that I turn in all computer equipment and forbid me from being online. I was also ordered mental health and drug and alcohol assessments, which I made it through just fine (I do not have a problem with either; I was accused of being an alcoholic and being suicidal and a danger).

The problem with all of this is my business is entirely based around me using computers and the Internet. I am a web developer and run/manage several sites for clients. During those two months without the equipment, data and the legal ability to work cost me most of my clients and my income. Grand total expense including lost wages and legal defense is about $8000 in total, including losing my apartment.  I had to move into my parent's home since I had no income and no money.

The charges were bogus with the exception of me cussing her out that evening and sending her a nasty email or two asking her to stop harassing me, not so politely. Yes, my own fault. But still. The computer charge was a felony and the courts used that to get me to plea bargain / claim no contest to harassment charges. It would of cost me 1000's more which I did not have (nor the ability to earn it) to just defend the felony case, regardless of guilt or innocence.

I also have a Daughter from a previous marriage which there is an existing child support order on.

Before the court case even began I was already in arrearages with Child Support because they backed up my starting date to a few months before our divorce. After the case was complete I was jobless and several more months behind on my child support. I knew the CSEA would be of no assistance but went to them anyway, hoping they would be of assistance considering what the Ex has done left me financially devastated. The told me nothing can be done until after 36 months have past since the order started.

For the next year or so I worked for a small internet startup which looked very promising in the beginning but ultimately close its doors in December of 2007. My pay was very erratic; it was either monthly or every other month. Child support harassed me that entire year even though when I did get paid I would pay a great deal of that money to child support, paying several months at a time. I also went back to child support several times that year asking to have my obligation reevaluated; they refused because of 36 month law.

2008 has turned out to be the worst year ever, I'm sure it's the same for everyone.  I still work at home, living at my parents. I cannot afford a place on my own. I have been trying all year to find a REAL job and I am being turned down left and right. My last attempt was a multi month interview process which ended up with a trip to San Francisco for the final interview, which I did not get that job either.

I am living off of contract work and other work I can get. My current child support obligation is about 10k per year, my current income is about 18k per year. When the child support order was set, I was making over 45k a year.

Again, I have went to child support several times this year asking for assistance, and over and over I am told its not been 36 months and there is nothing they can do.

I am doing what I can to make my payments. Whenever I do get money I set it aside and take a lump sum down to their office when I can. There have been a few times when it has taken me 5-6 weeks to get enough to make a payment.

Now, my daughter. She turned 18 in march. She lives over 3 hours away with her mother. Child support sent me a letter indicating she was living with her mother and is still in school so my support would not end until March of next year.  Fine, if she is still in school and living with her mother, I have no problem paying her mother child support (like I have a choice).

Over a few months period she literally moved in and out of her mother's home few times, to her grandmothers, to her mothers, then back to grandma.. Whatever suited her at the time. A few months back her mother kicked her out of her home because she was running around all hours of the night. She moved into her boyfriend's home and has been there since.

As of now, I am 1000 behind on my Daughter and 2000 behind on my two boys. The past two months I have had extra and I have paid 1800 in support, its not like I am not trying my hardest. I let my cell phone get shut off and decided to let my insurance and tags laps on my car (it broke about same time) so I could have extra to pay on support.

So.. I waited a month to see what my daughter was going to do, if she would move back into her mothers home or not. She is still living with the boyfriend so I contacted Child Support and requested they investigate the situation and emancipate her.

At first they told me that if she is attending school and her mother is offering financial support that the order would continue until she turns 19. Then they said if she was in school that support would continue until she is 19, regardless of where she is living, if she is planning on getting married. Then, they do not even know my Ex's proper address or even what school my daughter is in to find out if she is even in school.

Today, I receive a summons to court FOR MY 18 year old daughter's child support case. They want a lump sum judgment for $1000, they claim that I am willfully failing and refusing to obey court orders. They wish to find me in contempt and fine me up to $500 and 60 days in jail, in addition they wish to place a must seek job order.

For starters, I HAVE a job. I just do not make enough to continue to pay the amount of support they require of me. I have been trying to find a real job making a better income, its just not out there now.

I also find it peculiar that immediately following my request to investigate my daughters situation that I am being taking to court for my daughter by the CSEA.

Also, during the time I was requesting information regarding my daughter, I also asked again about having my obligation re-evaluated. Last week, after two years of requesting assistance they finally send me paperwork I need to request a hearing, when all the times in the past I was told that there was nothing they can do to assist me.

As it stands now. I do not have any transportation. I live at my parents, and I am doing the best that I can to pay my support and as frequently and as much as I possibly can.  I just do not know what to do anymore. I'm hoping that perhaps someone with some legal knowledge could offer some advice.

It is to the point that it is affecting my health. This year alone I have stressed so much over money, my support and getting my life back on track. My BP and sugar is totally out of control, not to mention I could probably use a heavy dosing of AD's (but they are to expensive).

I apologize for such a long post.



Through several hours of research and going over the documents i have received from the CSEA over the past few months I have uncovered many inconsistencies, failure to keep accurate records, failures to properly notify me of changes in my child support and downright lying and denial of my rights.

One discovery i have made was concerning the request for an administrative hearing of my child support.

As i mentioned in my previous post, for over two years I have asked the CSEA for assistance at least a dozen times concerning my child support obligation. Since my income dropped to zero for several months and for the past two years my income has been less than 50% of what it was when the original support order was granted. I had repeatedly asked the CSEA for a review hearing to consider adjusting my obligation. I have been told repeatedly by the CSEA that they can only allow an administrative review once every 36 months, and that i would have to wait until that time.

Sometime this year a new case worker was assigned to my case. As i previously stated, two weeks ago after i requested assistances again she had sent me Form JFS 01849 (Rev. 8/2008), "Request for an Administrative Review of the Child Support Order". This form permits me to request a review of my support obligation for both if A) It has been 36 months since my last review or B) If it has been less than 36 months and i meet one of several conditions. Which, i do meet the requirements of B).

At first i thought why did it take over two years before they decide to send me the requested documents to assit me in this case and I wrote it off as maybe it was something new. Then i did some googling and found the exact same document, the oldest dated i could find thus far is 07/2005, it only took me 30 seconds to locate this document.

The 07/2005 revision of this document is basically the same form i received recently. It has provisions for requesting a hearing for both A and B above with requirements for meeting B, which i do now and I did back then.

So since August of 2006 the CSEA case worker has lied to me, intentionally witheld crucial information regarding my case which could of potentially eliminated some of the financial problems i am having now paying my support and denied me my right for an admistrative review hearing. Regardless of any possible outcome of any such administrative hearing, i was denied the right to even request one.

From my calculatings using forms found on the net, I have been overpaying my child support by 10-12k over the past few years.

My question is, do i have any legal grounds concerning this? This seems somewhat criminal to me and denying my rights to request a hearing should have some legal standing.

I will be consulting an attorney next week concerning this and many other issues. I was hoping for some input before hand.

Thanks much.


I'm so sorry you've gone through this. I really hope the attorney can help you sort this out.

I often wonder about Ohio CSEA myself (we live in Ohio). My son is on the opposite end of the system. He filed for CS from his exgf (she gave him custody) in 2003. You say you were only 1 or 2 thousand behind? Son's ex is over 15 grand in arrears. She's been to jail for 30 days only once, in 06, and IF she works it's only for a couple months, tops. Our county does nothing to enforce. She hasn't even lost her license. They find her in contempt, sentence her to 30 or 60 days, suspend it on condition she pays, and it repeats itself after a year or more. It's been suspended twice now, but the case is now closed. I have seen cases where they do the same to fathers.

I really commend you for at least trying to keep up. And how do they reward you for that? While a person who only works when threatened with jail gets away with it. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting a different case worker. In our case it seems to be the assisant prosecuting attorney who lets things slide.

On another note, do you see your kids?

Let us know how things go with the consult.


Hi. Thanks for the response janM.

Yes I see my younger children very often and can get them nearly anytime i request. They live just 5 minutes away. Visitation with them has never been an issue. My older daughter which this case concerns i do not get to see to often. She lives over 3 hours away in southern Ohio. I used to get her regularly until she started high school, got involved in a lot of school activities, boys, etc. I never pressured her to much about visitation as i remember when i was in school and how much i enjoyed being involved in the same things she was in. I do wish i would of got to see her more though.

I just do not understand this entire thing. I work very hard, even my ex will attest to my work ethics. I live at my parents, now i do not have transportation, i cant afford to do a thing with or for my children outside of child support. There are no jobs in the area that would earn me more than what I am earning now. If anything I would earn less and have less for them to take for child support.

If they would have not been negligent in handling or even allowing me to request a hearing we would probably not even be here right now.

I will post back when i do get my legal consultation.

I dunno.