Thursday, January 8, 2009
I'm happily divorced (might sound terrible, but it is oh-so-true) and have been since my son was six. Although it has stopped and started more than once and the amount has decreased by about 70% since it began, the child support my ex is required to send to help care for our child has been regular and consistent for about three years now. Until today, that is.
My ex's obligation is $150 per month. But because I had to hire the county attorney for court to find out why child support simply stopped for two years back in 2002, only $113 makes it to my mailbox (payment for the attorney is taken directly out of the support payments). Today's check - a late payment for January - was a whopping $88. Turns out the great state of New York is now charging an annual $25 administrative fee to distribute child support to the custodial families that need it. Whose brilliant idea was that?
$25 may not seem like a lot, but it really translates to a month's worth of haircuts or school lunches or a much-needed prescription or well-visit co-pay. For a custodial parent struggling to make ends meet and keep roof overhead and food on the table, that $25 could actually make a big difference. That may not be my reality, but it is for too many.
Seriously, whose brilliant idea was it to charge children to access money that belongs to them anyway?