You didn’t really think The Foreigner was going to take that lying down, did you? He applied to get his support reduced, and it went up instead.
He’s legally entitled to a hearing, and he demands one.
I get a notice in the mail for a hearing by phone.
The day before the hearing, a DCS coordinator calls me and asks me to walk him through the paperwork. I am very frustrated – I have mounds of legal paperwork to deal with to rid myself of The Departed – I don’t have the time and energy for this. I vent.
He pays me so little and now we have to waste our time with this, I say. I pay far more than this. I always have. I don’t even understand where that $25 number came from, now you say $75 a month but if that’s right it always should have been more. I just thought if I left him alone with that sweet deal he’d leave me alone.
He listens. He asks more questions. He suggests I mention some of this at the hearing, and suggests how I might phrase some of these things for the judge. He says, in passing, these payments don’t look right to me. But he doesn’t really know, he’s just there to coordinate the hearing, he says.
I’m confused and frustrated and just want to be left alone, I say.
We all dial into the hearing. There is a judge, and she starts talking. We each take turns speaking when she asks a question.
She is sympathetic to The Foreigner’s assertion that the bookkeeping hasn’t been done properly, and she agrees it should have been done properly.
In fact, she says, looking at it, it looks like perhaps we should go back to 2008 and make sure all the payments are in order. These payments you’ve been making may not be right, and we should get this all straightened out. If there’s been over- or under-payment, then we should add or subtract that from future payments. But we’d need a formal review and another hearing.
Would you like to do that? she asks him.
No … no, he says. I’m not asking for that. I just mean going forward.
Would you like to do that? she asks me.
Actually, yes I would, I say.
He starts to argue.
She says it’s not his turn to talk.
We are granted a continuance so the Division of Child Support can do all the back calculations, determine the full amount of arrears, and calculate his new payment.
The hearing coordinator calls me the next day, to let me know the name of the person I need to work with to get all the receipts collected, and what exactly the judge will want to see. To expedite things and make sure it’s all done properly.
I’m a neutral party, he says, just here to help the process run smoothly.
Thank you, I reply.