Life as a Child Support Case Manager
I will first mention I did not grow up hoping to become a child support collector, I just fell into this line of work a number of years ago, partially because to be honest I just needed a job, partially because when I was a young mother the court would not even consider issuing a child support order because my ex did not even bother to show up in court (and I know some of you are shaking yours heads and saying yup me too) and partially because I watched as my daughter fought the system and her ex trying to get child support for her son. My mother was lucky, when she and my father divorced I was 16 years old and the court, upon the divorce, issued an income withholding order immediately for child support for me and my sibling. My mother was lucky because my father had been at the same job for years, as a matter of fact my father retired from that very same company. My mother was one of the lucky ones, she never had to fight to get her child support. That is who I am, that is why I know what it is like to never receive the assistance from an ex , I know the stress of trying to make it from week to week and from court date to court date. I know how it feels when no one listens. I know how it feels to bear all of the responsibility for your child. I know the anger. I know the frustration.
The fight you have had to undergo for your rights, for your child’s rights should never have had to be a fight. But we do not live in a perfect world where everyone does the “right” thing. While you may feel the state is not helping you, I would remind you that the state is trying to help millions of custodial parents and the state cannot be everything to everybody……. that’s where we come in. When you feel you have been lost in the shuffle and that you are not being heard, that no one is trying for you, that no one is fighting for you – that is when you may make the choice to look to a private agency to assist you. While we cannot make promises we can tell you that we will do everything in our power to help you.
So here we go –
When I first receive a new case, I read through all of the documentation that you have provided for us ( I do mean it when I state I read ALL of the documents you send). I know it is a hassle to get all of the paperwork we request but it is needed to work your case. My next step is to research the non-custodial parent, I will look for a current information; If the non-custodial has just disappeared then I dig deeper. I may need additional information from you such as, do you recall the type of work the non-custodial did, do you recall a family member name and general location? This type of information can possibly lead to a positive outcome. Remember, we are a team and communication is important.
Once I have located the non-custodial comes the fun part. It can be very difficult dealing with a person that does not want to deal with this issue and for most of my non-custodial parents that is the over whelming issue that they simply don’t want to deal with it. They got behind because of a job loss or jail time or simply because they did not take the situation seriously and now they just want to bury their heads in the sand and hide from it. Some feel that they are the victims and they are angry because to the way they were treated by the court system. Some will blame you, the custodial parent. The hardest cases to deal with are the ones that will not even speak with me. I have regularly been hung up on, I’ve been called every name under the sun, I have been ignored, I have had to listen as the non-custodial has told me their side of the story, I have had to listen as they explain how the situation got so out of control, I have had to listen as they complained about how the custodial parent won’t let them see their child. I have listened to every imaginable lie and excuse and have even had threats made directly to me . I get to know my non-custodial parents because I have looked into their lives, because I have had to deal with them for years, because I know when they lose a job or a pet or a spouse or a parent. I can be privy to some of their most personal issues such as a heath issue that will soon take their life and have had to go back to a custodial parent and let them know that the non-custodial has a terminal illness or has passed away.
My job is to make sure that SCI is the liaison between the non-custodial parent and getting your child support. Over my time as a case manager, there have been many highs and lows. We consider it a victory every time we are able to help a parent owed child support whether they have been with SCI for years or are brand new. We strive to help every parent that comes to SCI and value the friendships we have made with our clients over our 23 years in the business.