Need help concerning my child and her support


#1

Hi all. Hope everyone is having a great day! What i have here is a big ole mess going back 10 years. It pertains to my daughter and her child support. Basically, this is the scenario:
Back in 2000-2001 my ex girlfriend (we were never married, have 1 child together, born in1995) moved from Delaware (where i met her while stationed in the military) to Greensboro, NC to “be closer to me for our daughter”. Because we didnt work out and her getting pregnant on purpose to try to bring us back together didn’t work, she basically hates me and has drug me thru the child support system regularly always saying she needed more money. At that time she refused to work anything more than a part time minimum wage job at the mall even though she had an accounting degree. I was an aircraft mechanic and made decent money…enough that the style-of-living adjustment put me at 80% responsible and the mother at 20%. I took all this in stride because i wanted what was best for my daughter.
…then the BS started. In October-November of 2000, my ex decided to move back to Delaware in the middle of the night without any warning or notice. Since she never changed her child support order to NC, the existing one from Delaware continued the whole time she was living in NC and then once she was back in Delaware. Again, i was ok with this because i wanted my daughter to be taken care of.
Did i find it interesting and irresponsible that my ex decided to buy a fancy new sports car shortly after getting a huge child support order amount??? Sure i did. Did it bother me that her car payment was within $5 dollars of the support order amount ($405 per month)??? Absolutely! But what could i do? When i asked the judge how that was fair, she said that Ms. Couture could spend “her” money how ever she wanted as long as she took care of our child. Did i think it was fair that she “claimed” she paid daycare expenses when i found out that our daughter went to daycare for only a few weeks before being pulled out after she had enough receipts to turn into the courts??? No way!!!
Make no mistake, my ex had a professional coaching her how to work the child support system for maximum benefit!!!

OK, now to my delima. In 2001, i lost my job as a mechanic. After 10 years of working in the heat and cold and being greasy all the time,i decided to change careers and do something that i liked more than turning wrenches. I had been a volunteer firefighter since 1994 and had a decent amount of EMS experience too. So i went back to school and became an EMT. Now mind you, an entry level EMT makes about half of what i was making as a mechanic, but i wanted to do what made me happy as a career so that i didnt hate going to work every day. So i submitted my first ever petition to modify my child support based on my reduced income. I thought the process would be easy since my ex had so much success getting everything she ask for the multitude of times that she dragged me into court…
I was sadly mistaken. Turns out that if the judge “thinks” you have changed jobs to get ur child support reduced, she will tell you that she will continue the existing child support amount based on what your “potential” salary could be, even if you have changed careers. I left the courtroom crying because of how unfair i felt i had been treated.
So it turns out that in NC they can only take 45% of ur paycheck to send to child support, but they tack the rest onto an “arrears” balance and they did so for 7 years. It wasnt until 2008 when i finally graduated college and then got a got a job that paid roughly what i made as a mechanic (roughly $20 an hour) that my child support was right again.
During those 7 years of going to school while working full time, my ex “disappeared”. Her living 8 hours away made it even harder to see my child. Her parents never knew where she was and refused to help in any way. The last time i saw my daughter was in 2001.

Sorry to get off track, but i wanted folks to know where I’m coming from…

…bottom line is, when my daughter turned 18, i got a support order modification stopping my support…but continuing my “arrears” payments at the same amount until i have paid her the $32,000 in back child support. :frowning:

 Now heres the real kicker...when my child was 16, she found me on Facebook. Turns out her mother told her that i wanted nothing to do with her and that i had never supported her in any way...told her i NEVER paid child support!!! Luckily, i had statements from all those years of paying child support and my daughter knew her mother was lying. She also refused to tell her how to spell my last name (its french, so not that common where I'm from). My daughter wanted to come live with me for 2 years prior actually finding me, and that only happened because a "friend" slipped up and told my daughter how to spell it. 
 Once we connected it was great! She even came to live with me her junior year of highschool before returning to Delaware her senior year due to her grandfathers failing health. I didnt mind because i knew he didnt have long to live.

So heres my question…is there anything i can do to stop this unfair amount of supposedly back child support?? Could i maybe sue her for alienation of affection between a child and parent for her keeping her from me all those years? I dont want anything from my ex, but i feel i have more than paid my share over the past 2 years (over $10,000) after our child turned 18. My ex has always been a gold digger and she is still one today, living off the child support of her multiple “baby daddy’s”. I’m tired of supporting my ex instead of my daughter. Our daughter moved to California 1 month after she graduated high school, yet her mother has yet to give her 1 damned dime of that “back child support”.

Please help…I’m at my whits end over all this and its now affecting my current family. Thanks in advance! Any and all advice or info is greatly appreciated!

Channing


#2

It certainly sounds like you have been dealing with a difficult situation from both a custody and child support standpoint. I cannot speak to how Delaware law treats child support, and based on your post it sounds like your child support orders have all been issued by Delaware Courts. This forum is designed to provide information related to North Carolina family law issues, and as such I do not know Delaware law. I would suggest you consider having a consultation with an attorney in that area to see if there is anything you can do. Often, attorneys can conduct a consultation over the phone which would enable you to get some advice with out having to travel to Delaware.