You do not need glasses, you read that correctly. My former employer (of almost seven years including my contracting time) fired me when the Hamilton County Fugitive Warrant Unit came to their business to arrest me. A Hamilton County judge signed a warrant for my arrest because I was in contempt for being indigent and not able to pay court costs. This in spite of the fact that I entered a foreclosure notice that demanded $4500 at trial in my defense. Court costs were about $667. Is that a legitimate reason to have a Father fired from his job, because he was too poor to pay court costs?
Up until that point, I had paid over $40,000 in child support and medical support orders on time for 3 1/2 years. Ten weeks post employment termination; I’m still fighting the State of Ohio for unemployment benefits. Ohio maintains my termination was justified despite the fact that in almost 5 years of full-time employment (I previously contracted for 2 years) I was never written up for any company infraction, and I had never received a bad review. Not only that, I had been given a raise every year as well, but my termination was justified?
Twelve weeks post termination, I have had no income, paid close to $600 in overdraft fees, my water and utilities are both scheduled for disconnection, I received my first official foreclosure notice last week, and Ohio has just raised my child support from $900/mo to $1080/mo plus $26/mo ‘processing fee’, $260/mo for medical coverage (that terminated due to non-payment of premiums) on my daughter. Adding the numbers, my current child support order amounts to approximately $1440/mo for one child whom I have 50% of the time. My mortgage is $1285.00/mo and I have no income. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that my 7 year old daughter was born with a birth defect. She has a medium to large sized hole in her heart. She has had a cardiologist since she was a few weeks old. Not wanting to operate, the cardiologist was taking a, “wait and see” approach. His hope was the hole would close on its own as she grew, like it does with some other children. It didn’t. A few months prior to my termination from my previous job, he (after more than 7 years of waiting) decided that out of my daughter’s best interest, surgery can no longer wait and he must proceed to operate. It won’t happen because now I no longer have medical or dental insurance and she needs braces as well.
How is this in my daughter’s best interest as Ohio deceptively maintains?
The truth of my story is as simple as this. My original child support order was set so high that I went bankrupt. It was never proven in court that I had the ability to pay. A magistrate simply looked at my gross income and ordered me to pay $900/mo in child support despite the fact that I have my daughter 50% of the time. When they ordered me to pay $667 in court cost incurred through my divorce, I didn’t have the money. I didn’t have the money because Ohio was taking all (and more) of my disposable income and calling it “child support.” When I couldn’t pay, a judge issued a warrant for my arrest so that I could be incarcerated for my “contempt.” The magistrate sentenced me to thirty days incarceration and the judge added 30 more for a total of 60.
After the police came to my former job to arrest me, my employer fired me. The state of Ohio refused to pay me unemployment and said I was responsible for my own termination. Instead of paying me unemployment, Ohio raised my child support from $900/mo to $1080/mo. I can’t find a job in this economy and have no income.
After three more months of being a “deadbeat”, Ohio will indict me for felony non-support. They will suspend my driver’s license and seize any money I put in a bank account. They can place a lien on my home, but I’m in foreclosure anyway.
My daughter’s heart surgery will not take place now because I have no medical insurance. She’s almost 8 years old and weighs 36 pounds. Many children who have holes in their hearts have severely stunted growth.
I do not care what punitive measures Ohio takes against me in their quest for Title IV Federal Incentive Matches on my child support. However, when you start punishing my daughter for it, that upsets me. Watching my daughter suffer for Ohio’s actions does hurt me. Ohio claims it is in my daughters best interest that she not have her much needed heart surgery and she go without braces too? Will it be in her best interest to have other children make fun of her because of her teeth and if she cannot annunciate properly? Will it be in her best interest when she grows to only 4 foot eight or nine inches?
Thank God, I am one of the lucky non-custodial parents. My story is a “happy and good” story when it comes to the horrors regarding Ohio’s decimation of the lives of Fathers, Mothers and their children in their quest for matching federal dollars.
To our readers around the world, I am being one hundred percent sincere when I say the following. If you are one who has compassion, please do not waste it on me. I am truly thankful that I am lucky enough to have been spared the living hell many of our members live day in and day out. Have compassion on them, the ones who truly deserve it.
To Ms. Barbara Riley, the Director of the Ohio Jobs and Family Services, the decimation of over one-million Ohio non-custodial parent’s lives must stop. Even more so, the destruction of their millions of children’s lives must end as well. The lies must stop now Ms. Riley. You have insulted us with your untruthful reasons regarding why Ohio has stopped its annual “Deadbeat Dad” roundups. You took the very words of criticism I used in those emails I sent to you and Ms. Kimberly Newsom-Bridges and released them to the press as ODJFS’s own words. Ms. Riley, I have the emails to prove that I am being truthful in my assertion.
The lies in Darke County Ohio must be stopped as well. I will not sit silently as another innocent Ohio Father who cannot even see his children, is incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. It is time that Ohio Attorney General Marc Dan begins investigating the practices of the Darke County Child Support Enforcement Agency.
Ohio Council For Fathers Rights