the Colorado courts seem to be one big cluster fuck. I was criticized today for handling my case pro se and yet being ignorant of the fact that I need to file a notice to set hearing. sorry, first time I've done this, and the fact that I'm trying to correct an issue with a fraudulent financial affidavit filed by my ex and my increased child care expenses is no matter of concern for the Child Support Enforcement Services unit of Colorado Springs, who seems more concerned about placing an unfair burden on the non-custodial parent than with making sure my children are provided for.
there just isn't enough time in the day to get the law degree I apparently need to wade through the paperwork and represent my children on a shoestring. the instructions under the section for modifying child support on the judicial court's self-help site make no mention of a notice to set hearing, but if I delve deeper under "all domestic forms" there are indications that a notice is required. happily, after a couple of dozen emails/phone calls enquiring into my case and why it seems to be stalled, I encountered someone who could point out to me that vital bit of information. the self-help center is inaccessible to me, living in another state, when they don't answer their emails and apparently don't have a phone number for people like me to call.
summer is almost upon me, and with it the overwhelming task of placing my children in child care full-time while I work, with inadequate funds, an overdue amount for child care for my pre-school daughter, and the apparent apathy of the courts, Child Support Enforcement Services (so called) and my children's father. if I can't pay for child care, I will lose my job. if I lose my job, the Colorado courts will impute to me my previous wages without the decuction of child care expenses to earn it, as they did in February, and my ex-husband will happily spend his trust fund money on weekly rock climbing sessions and karaoke outings (if you don't believe me, you can read his myspace page), while I wonder how to feed my children. he'll buy them video games and other toys, with no concern for whether there will be electricity or batteries to keep the games and toys running.
so here I am, two weeks out from the phone call required to schedule my motion to modify, and who knows how long after that will be the hearing, then the time required for the decree to make it to the enforcement office, then the time to notify the employer of the garnishment. for me, if I'm lucky, the measure of time from now 'til then will be simply be hundreds of dollars further into debt. for some women it would be a lost job, maybe the loss of a home so they are forced to rely on the charity of friends and family.
if a custodial parent ever says "he takes care of our kids", sit up and listen. that man deserves respect, because he's made a choice to parent his children. no one is making him him do it. parents who only do what the courts dictate are doing much, much less than what it takes to raise a child... like my ex-husband, the man I unfortunately chose to father my children.