In 1998 I was gainfully employed as a pilot for a regional air carrier. I was married with three beautiful children whom I love dearly.in 1999 we filed for divorce after a rocky 4 or 5 years. I take half of the responability for the failed marriage. I moved out at the request of my ex-wife. Understanding that there is always 2 sides to a story, this is my side of what transpired after my departure with some details minimized in the interest of getting to the point of this.
At first I visited my kids a couple days a week and made sure they had money tgo live on. A couple months after, she was evicted from the home we had been renting, and refused to let me collect any of my belongings, then after a request to have my kids for a weekend told me in an email that she would never let me see my kids again and accused me of abandoning my family. She moved into confidencail housing through a state agency that accepted women from abusive situations even though I was never abusive in anyway, nor had she ever claimed so. I then learned that she was able to get into the program under the guise of "financail abandonment". For all practical purposes she and my children disapeared. I was unable to locate her in order to serve divorce papers. After 4 months I was served and learned about the Confidencail housing which was now being paid for by section 8. During this time I kept a joint checking acount open and made ruitine payments for her and the kids to live on.
Temporary orders were entered, including visitation and support in the same amount ($2000) per month which I agreed to. However I was still not privy to where my children lived. The proceedings went on until the divorce was final in Feb. 2002. During this time she became increasingly vindictive. During that period I saw my children less than 5 times, refusing to let me have them for visits. Later I was told by councellers that my children were victims of alianation of effection at the hands of their mother. I was told by several attorneys that it was difficult to prove and could cost up to $60,000 to fight in court. If I had a way I would have paid with no hesitation, but simply had no more money. She turned the kids against me, filled my young girls with hate and discontent. We attempted councelling ordered by the court at my request, which all failed, do to her un-cooperation.
All of our resouces were spent on legal fees that she built looking for hidden monies that were a figment of her imagination. During this time she repeatedly contacted my employer making faulse accusations and undermining the security of my employement in conjunction with health issues due to the stress created and her continued harassment I was terminated in 2001. I was unemployed, the stress created a blood pressure issue and then 9/11, I have never been able to return to a cockpit since, my career was gone.
Feb the divorce went to trial, I lost my attorney, since I had no more money, recieved virtually nothing while she got any remaining assets. Approximately $50,000. I was ordered to pay $900 per month child support and $1000 in spoucal maintanance for an additional 5 years, all based on my wages as an airline pilot which I had no more future and was making about $1600 per month doing telephone sales.
It is now I am a handyman, and project manager for a new company struggling to get ahead. I have been in car sales, rental sales, and a retail manager. Not until a year ago have I been able to come close to making enough to support myself and pay my child support. The industry I am in now is in a recession and I take home about $1200 - $1400 a month until the market picks up. I have not had a relationship with my daughters now for 8 years and just recently has my oldest turned 18 and has come to me to seek a relationship against her mothers will.
I have attempted to get my support reduced and she claims to be indigent and unemployed. I can not afford an attorney to fight this and all other resourses have dried up over the years. I was denied a change in support again, however I have to pay $1000 now since maintanance stopped earlier this year. However $1000 a month leaves me $200 to $400 to live on. I have had an agreement with Support enforcement to pay half of my wages and I will simply be paying the rest for many years after all my kids have grown.
In october the Snohomish county prosecuter has decided that the state will hold me in contempt for not paying the full amount. I have been in court 4 times now for contempt hearings, and am compelled to pay $1000 a month or be put in jail even though I simply do not have the money to pay. I have again been denied a change in child support with no explanation from the state.
This is the disturbing part of this story. My ex-wife was living in free housing and moved her later to be husband in. They were married within a year of when we were divorced, but kept it hidden from me and the state. For about 2 years she and her husband apperently lived in free housing paid for by the State of Washington while her husband made $150,000 a year. And she was no longer entitled to spoucal support which is close to $50,000. She later divorced her second husband in circumstances very similar to our divorce, right down to the confidencail housing. I have learned that she is gainfully employed, and recently left full-time employement at Costco to a better paying job which is now confidential and is said to be working a lot of mandatory over-time. Her 90 year old father has recently attained a protection order against her due to her vindictive nature and the stress she causes her own parents. Last year she premeditatedly had an altercasion with her sisters husband, had my daugher record it and had him arrested for domestic violence. The arresting officer was a personnal friend of hers and based his arrest on the video recording. The recording was then lost before the defence could see it. But misteriously re-apeared the day of trial. The video was then viewed and found that my ex-wife and daughter had purgered themselves, made false statements, and the officer made a false arrest. This situation is currently being reviewed for crinimal and/or civil action. My daughter was coerced into making a false statement.
I have paid support to my children but due to the circumstances have not been able to pay the amount ordered. I have given them extra monies on the very rare occassions that I would be allowed to see them in a parking lot for a 5 minute visit as well as gifts and groceries and a new laptop for my daughter about to enter college. I have had to see my oldest daughter in secret, when her mother found out, she was kicked out of the house and moved in with me for about 4 months until this february when her mother begged her to come visit, promising she would go to councelling etc... I have not seen her since. While my daughter was with me she told me of the mental abuse her and her sisters undergo. She told me about her mother making her harass me, and make phone calls to support enforcement to change MY mailing address every month just to mess with me, and the state let her do it. She told me that her mother knows the Snohomish County Prosecutor and has told him lies and faulse statements about me in order for him to serve her vendata. I have a public defender who has no interest in the case and seriously lacks communicative skills, and advises me to go along with what the prosecutor says "because he has the power to put you in jail"
For 8 years now I have been buried financaily, my credit is destroyed, I am relying on friends and family to help support me. Her own sister and brother-in-law help me with child support just to keep me out of jail for contempt.
There are many REAL deadbeat dads that should be compelled to take responsability. I understand the intent of the laws. But there are serious flaws when the system can be manipulated for one persons vindictiveness. This had been planned by my ex-wife and I have come to learn that this has been a developing patern for several years before we even met. But the system has allowed this to happen, and if it has happened to me then I know that it has happened to others. I am doing the best that I can, but it is far from fair. And in this case taking away privilages, and threatoning jail is inexcusably unproductive and compounded by appethy and personal agendas.
In any other context, this would be extortion. A criminal offense. And the prosecutor to go along with it has no interest in the truth or justice. And if he truely has a personal agenda is guilty of "Malicious Persacution Under The Color of Authority" a little known federal crime.
As for me, for now I am a week late in paying my $1000. I am living in a hotel since last month I could not pay my rent. I don't know if I am going to jail since my court appointed attorney won't return my call. I'm 48 years old with nothing to show but experience. She has moved on, has a life and collects on mine and her latest score. Travels, and is sending my daughters to Japan this summer, but I am not supposed to know that. It has been 8 years of stress and poverty, I would just like to know when I get to start my life again.