Friday, September 04, 2009

Soldiers lose in family court

I have added to my comments below about a female soldier facing an adverse family court situation. Somehow she got a NY Times editorial to favor her.

Meanwhile, many thousands of other soldiers, mainly men, are getting screwed in family court. I just talked to a marine who told me about his situation, and he is outraged about how unfair the system. He has not gotten the visitation that he was supposed to get.

One aspect of his story was one I had not heard before. He said that child support is automatically deducted from his paycheck. He moved to California, and his deduction was doubled just because California has a higher guideline than his previous state. But then the bureaucracy made an error, and decided that he was not paying child support. He discovered this when he was on a military base in Japan, and his passport got canceled as a penalty. Then his child support deductions got doubled again.

He eventually convinced the bureaucrats that it was all their mistake, and he got his passport back. Now here is the unusual part -- they refused to refund his overpayments that they wrongly withheld from his paycheck! He got a letter from the state of California saying that they were going to hold the money until his child support obligations have ended! That is, he won't see the money until the kid turns 18.

The ridiculous part of this is that he is a US marine with his child support being withheld from his paycheck. He could not fail to pay the child support even if he tried.


Anonymous said...

is there an actual statute on the books allowing DCSS to hold onto the extra $ until he's discharged his support obligations. Which I assume are current from what I read here. Or is this yet another case of the CA family law system making unappealable rulings as they go along? What a mess, here's a guy who puts his life on the line for his country and he gets this.

George said...

I have no idea. I would have said that no govt agency has authority to hold an overpayment, under any circumstances. If you overpay your income taxes, you are entitled to a refund. IRS cannot just hold your money just in case you underpay your taxes the next year.

The situation is even more ridiculous in this soldier's case, as the overpayment was a govt mistake. I would have said that agencies are obligated to remedy their mistakes. But apparently not.

Anonymous said...

This happens to military women also. Just going through this with a family member. It's too sad, the other parent is alienating, unemployed and a drug user, but family member won't be able to get custody because of being military.