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Child Support: 28 Years Late!

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Momlogic's Fiona: Today I stayed home, with my nose glued to the window, waiting for a check that was 28 years late!

postal worker delivering check

You see, my mom and dad got divorced when I was five -- I stayed with my mom and my dad agreed to pay a certain amount of money each week that would pay for dance classes, school clothes, riding lessons or whatever I needed. Well, that didn't happen. Thank God my mom had a career and was able to give me all that on her own!

28 years went by before I would ever talk to my dad again. He moved to another state, got remarried and never had any more children (probably the best decision he ever made -- he's obviously not very paternal).

When I was 27, I was told that my dad was coming in town for the family charity event and I would have to see him. GULP -- I mean, I had already lived 27 years without his support -- he missed my dance recitals, my horse shows, my emergency appendectomy, my high school, undergrad and grad school graduations ... even my wedding!

So you can imagine that the thought of having to look into his eyes and say "Hi Dad" was a little awkward. He's lucky I'm forgiving and accepting. Seeing him again was fun -- and we still talk a few times a year and see each other every once in a while. He's still not paternal and forgets my birthday, which just so happens to be the day before his, but I guess no one's perfect!

In his old age he must really be feeling guilty, because about a month ago my mom got a phone call from the courts -- ALL the back child support had arrived! My mom laughed and had the check sent straight to me! Now, I get to pay off credit card debt, put it towards a down payment on a house and maybe even take a vacation! Should I call my dad to thank him? I thanked my MOM!

What do you think of Fiona's story? Comment in the momlogic community.


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141 comments so far | Post a comment now
Danielle Hoston December 8, 2008, 11:41 AM

That’s great news, Fiona!

I sell commercial real estate and I’ve actually dealt with quite a few cases where back child support was ordered to be paid prior to a transaction closing. This is why I highly recommend that parents obtain legal support orders as they are always recorded on the non-paying parents credit report and can be also recorded as a lien against real property (at least in California).

I would urge you to take a look at your tax consequences prior to cashing your check. Child support is not taxable but if the check was written in your mother’s name and then she wrote a check to you, you could have some ramifications. It could be nothing but seek the advice of an accountant first. :-)

-Danielle Hoston
ML Financial Expert

Dr. Leah December 8, 2008, 3:24 PM

Fiona: How incredibly generous of your mother to turn that check over to you. She likely denied herself much to make sure you had the necessities after your dad decided that parenthood was not as much fun as he had imagined or whatever “issue” caused him to morally, ethically, and legally abandon his responsibilities to you.

Your mother must also be incredibly generous of spirit. “Fun Dad” has arrived back on the scene check in hand and all is forgiven and apparently forgotten. I doubt your mother has forgotten the difficult “Where’s Daddy?” questions you asked and the extra reassurance you desperately needed in the face of his deliberate abandonment.

Sadly, I agree with Danielle. It was somehow in Dad’s financial interest to pay up now. I hope you plan to do something extra special for your mother with this sudden windfall besides pay off your credit cards. Your mother sounds like a very deserving woman and a truly loving and generous parent.

vivian December 8, 2008, 7:29 PM

I had an absent, no good, non child support paying father. During my early 20’s he seemed to have a boost of fatherly love and we had our first relationship…ever. During that time he asked me to be a conservator of his estate. (He clamed he was dying) I allowed him to put my name on his bank account. Come tax time I discovered he expected me to pay the taxes on the income from the interest!! The amount was considerable. My Mother quickly intervened and withdrew ALL the money, (she has had my power of attorney for years) paid the taxes and split the remaining funds between me and my manipulative Father. She called it past due child support and told him where to go! I agreed with her and decided having her as my single mom was a good deal after all!!

Dr. Leah www.singlemommyhood.com December 8, 2008, 10:08 PM

Vivian: Sad story, but what a great “mom to the rescue” story.

Ken December 9, 2008, 6:51 AM

For me, it was my Mother who ditched her responsibility and treated me like an afterthought all my life but you never hear about Deadbeat Moms. But boy, people love to talk trash about Daddy, now don’t they? Either way, you need to call your father up and thank him for coming through with the cash, albeit 28 years late. Like the old saying goes, “Better late than never.” and really, he didn’t have to do it. You don’t have to forgive him for not being there but unless you’re still a child, you do need to show the gratitude this very large and very unusual gesture deserves.

kelly December 9, 2008, 7:18 AM

My husbands Uncle went and paid his CS each and every week in cash. Never missed his visitation.

When the last child turned 18 the ex tried to tell the court he’d never given her a dime.

The kids went to the judge and said Whoa he was there every single week. The judge made the ex pay all court costs and told her never to step foot in his court again!

So there are some caring Dad’s out there!

Paula December 9, 2008, 7:21 AM

My situation is somewhat alike. I’ve been divorced for 16 years and have never recieved child support from my ex.He died suddenly last month owing me around $50k. My youngest child is eligible to get social security for about 6 months until she graduates high school. I decided after all this time, it’s like water under the bridge, so I have taken the checks and divided them equally between my two daughters (my other one is 20) as a final gift to my girls from their father (who has never done anything for them). My 18 year old plans to buy a used car and my oldest will use hers to help pay for her college.

SweetnessesMom December 9, 2008, 7:34 AM

As was mentioned by Danielle, there could be some tax ramifications for gifts that large. The giver is “responsible” for the taxes, not the recipient. Possibly, the only thing either of the above posts needs to do is make thier mother aware that a Gift Tax return may need to be filed. Unless the above mothers have given enormous gifts to others in the past, it is likely that there will not be any tax owed.

david December 9, 2008, 7:39 AM

this story made me cry. im 54 and successful guy. I still burn from the way my father left us penny less and almost homeless.

fathers that don’t live up to their obligations should be stripped of every penny they have even if its 30 - 40 years later. if u find them take their money. lets make a law that says so.

Nandi December 9, 2008, 8:03 AM

When my daughter turned 19 my baby daddy thought he had got away with having to pay child support. He lives in a different state than me and he figured he was good. Well….we get a hot new County attorney who only pleasure in life is to collect child support and she went after him and to this day, my daughter is 23, I get a child support check every single week and will continue to get one until all 18 years of child support is paid!

Cindy December 9, 2008, 8:07 AM

This is a good story! My 1st son biological father never seen or had anything to do with him. After the 1st 2years of his life he owed like 3000 in back cs and the were gonna put him in jail. He called and said he would give up all parental rights if I dropped CS. He said he wasnt a big fan of CS! I did we havent seen or heard from him in 10years. My husband and I have another child together thats who my 1st child calls Daddy does know any different. How will I explain this when he turns 18. Its great you have a happy ending!

gonzo December 9, 2008, 8:23 AM

it’s good for her to finally be recognized by her dad ; but i think the whole situation is awful sad. i could’nt imagine what life would’ve been like without both of my parents in my life. though i did loose dad when he was only 54 yrs old , he was still my best friend , and always will be. i really feel bad for both of them.

Mark Lewis December 9, 2008, 8:47 AM

My ex wife owes me over 65k in back support for two children I’ve raised by myself… once in ‘98 she came in front of a female hearing examiner, who asked her why she wasn’t working. She didn’t like my ex wif’s response that she didn’t feel like working. She ordered her on probation and to get a job within 30 days or face jail time. Ex went out to A-plus mini mart… got a whooping 30 bucks a week for a year. She kept the job to the day the probation ended and that was the last help I got from her. Now if she receives a summons for court… we waltz down to DSS and go on welfare prior to the court date… nothing I can do to he at that point… so I’m SICK AND TIRED of hearing about all those “DEADBEAT” dads…

Debra December 9, 2008, 8:53 AM

You should use some of it to take a vacation with your mom whether she wants it or not. While she obviously does not need the money, she would treasure the fact that you wanted to share TIME with her.

STACCEE December 9, 2008, 8:57 AM

I DAUGHTER’S SPERM DONOR FATHER NEVER DID A THING FOR HER EITHER WHILE SHE WAS GROWING UP. NO BIRTHDAY GIFTS, VISITS, CHRISTMAS PRESENTS , GRADUATION FROM HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE HE WAS A NO SHOW NEVER PAID A DIME IN SUPPORT.
YET HE MARRIED A WOMAN THAT TO TIS DAY STILL HATES MY DAUGHTER EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS 2YRS OLD WHEN THEY MET AND MARRIED. I SHOULD SAY THAT SHE ALSO HAD A 2YR OLD CHILD TOO WHEN SHE MET HIM. SHE TOLD HIM THAT HE SHOULD GET A BLOOD TEST TO MAKE SURE MY DAUGHTER WAS HIS. I SHOULD SAY ALSO THAT HE PAID OVER $10,000 TO ADOPT HER DAUGHTER. I WAS LIVID AS WE HAD LIVED TOGETHER FOR OVER 4YRS BEFORE HE LEFT ME WHEN I WAS PREGNANT.WELL I RAISED HER BY MYSELF AND SHE GRADUATED COLLEGE AND IS NOW A COLLEGE PROFESSOR AND HAS A PRIVATE SCHOOL FOR KIDS WITH AUTISUM. HE DECIDED TO TRY AND COMEBACK INTO HER LIFE A FEW YEARS AGO AND SHE FORGAVE HIM MUCH TO MY ANGER AND SUSPICION. WELL HE BROUGHT UP THE IDEA OF A BLOOD TEST TO HER ALTHOUGH NOW HE WANTED A DNA TEST SO HE WOULD BE SURE AND WOULD LEAVE HER SOMETHING WHEN HE PASSES AWAY. SHE WAS HURT AND TOLD HIM TO GO TO HELL, BUT AFTER A FEW MONTHS SHE DID GET THE TEST AND IT SHOWED THAT HE WAS HER DAD, NEEDLESS TO SAY HIS WIFE WAS UPSET BUT YOU WOULD THINK THAT AFTER 30YRS SHE WOULD GET OVER IT. WELL MY DAUGHTER HAS NOT SPOKEN TO HIM SINCE AND HE HAD A STROKE THAT HAS ROBBED HIMOF HIS SPEECH AND HE USE OF HIS RIGHT SIDE. NEEDLESS TO SAY HE WANTS TO SEE MY DAUGHTER AND HAS TRIED THROUGH ONE OF HIS RELATIVES TO GET IN TOUCH WITH HER. SHE SAYS THAT SHE FORGAVE HIM ONCE AND SHE WILL NOT LET HIM HURT HER AGAIN. NOW HIS WIFE IS TRYING TO BAD MOUTH MY DAUGHTER BY TELLING PEOPLE THAT MY DAUGHTER OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED OF HERSELF FOR NOT BEING THERE FOR HIM WHEN HE REALLY NEEDS HER. WHAT A JOKE.WHY SHOULD SHE , WHEN HE WAS NEVER THERE FOR HER DURING HER GROWING YEARS WHEN SHE NEEDED HIM.

Brandon December 9, 2008, 9:00 AM

You would think that in an age where women “claim” to be equal, that they would accept equal responsibility and consequences for their actions. If a woman has complete say-so over what is produce by her body, then she shoud also have complete responsibility for what is produced by her body. If the man has no say-so over whether or not the child is born, then he has no responsibility for it either. The courts in America however, are p***y whipped and the legal system shows favortism toward women, so s***w them!!! Few men actually want children anyway. Biology drives us to have sex. Legalize prostitution where it can be regulated and cleaned up and men will no longer have to lie to women to get what they need. You will then reduce divorce, unwanted & useless children, domestic violence, child abadonment, etc. Women are the ones who want the children, they just want someone else to pay for them.

knowing December 9, 2008, 9:06 AM

Um yes he DID have to do it; law. It was in the courts and it is his responsibility. The mom didnt have to send it though since she raised but it is good when the parents do save it for their kids or spend it on their kids, but a portion is also for the housing and food costs. It should have came sooner! Finally a story where the courts did their jobs!!!!!

MOMMA-N December 9, 2008, 9:08 AM


Ummm…that is fabulous news, however, as a single mom, I wonder if it ever occured to you Fiona that maybe some of the the money could go to help payoff some of the debt your mother incurred over the years….As a single mom, I would do the same as your mother did, I would hand it to my daughter and tell her to do great things with it. But just wondering if that ever crossed your mind. I too am the one making sure my daughter gets to participate in all the things that childhood brings her way, however I do not have a “career”, I have “drive”…and so the story goes for lots of single moms…Kudos to you and your family, even your father, who at the very least after all these years matured enough to realize what responsablities he should have taken care of, and in this case, not too little too late eh??

Jen Donnelly December 9, 2008, 9:11 AM

First of all, “Doctor LeaAAHH” is obviously in need of a Doctor’s care herself. It is clear from her first post that the poor “Doctor” is obviously bitter and projecting her unresolved issues upon the author of note, Fiona. When LeaaaaHhh states…
“…“Fun Dad” has arrived back on the scene check in hand and all is forgiven and apparently forgotten.” it is sadly apparent that the good Doctor is extrapolating anything remotely reflective of her own personal trauma. This is never a good sign, especially in a health care professional. For example, adult Fiona would never have written: ” he missed my dance recitals, my horse shows, my emergency appendectomy, my high school, undergrad and grad school graduations … even my wedding!” If all were ‘forgiven and apparently forgotten’. And Ms. Doctor’s sarcastic usage of the phrase, “FUN DAD” is further confirmation that Leeeahhh’s comments are far more indicative of her own trauma/drama than they are of Fiona’s experience. Sorry Doc, but I get the feeling that you are one of the myriad PSSyyCHoloGical “proFessionals” out there who abuses your credentials to manipulate vulnerable people to further your own personal agenda and acerbic maladjusted “cause”. I enjoyed Fiona’s story and agree that her mother is a remarkably loving and generous person. However, Dr. Leeeeah’s portrayal of Fiona as some simpleton going for the quick fix is unfair to her and pathetic. Fiona wrote as AN ADULT. She also made sure to include many details of praise for her mother. She did NOT reliquish her past 27 years of life to snuggle up to her supposed ‘fun dad’. She simply reported her experience as objectively as anyone could in that predicament. Fiona very consciously relayed how gracious her mother is and I feel it’s hostile of the doc to belittle and underestimate Fiona’s judgement as she has.
In summation, I say:
Doctor: See A Doctor!
And Fiona: Thank you and Congrats to you and your Good Mamma. Best Wishes to you both!

Robyn December 9, 2008, 9:14 AM

Ken…are you crazy? Just because there are also deadbeat moms doesn’t mean that this woman’s father made a “very large and very unusual gesture”. He simply did what he was supposed to do years ago. I haven’t seen my father since I was 3 (51 years ago). He was supposed to pay my mother $40 a month for child support and never paid her a dime. I hear he has been married several more times and I have at least 4 half-siblings. I hope I never see that loser and appreciate the man whom my mother married years later that I consider my father. Even more important than the money is communication…..My mother, struggling to make ends meet, left a lasting impression about parenting…and about my sperm donor.


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