Got the results of a recent Support Master hearing the other. I've been trying to get my child support payment lowered since the end of 2008, but the Philadelphia Family Court has rejected my pleas. I have been through hell, including spending time in prison thanks to judge Joel S. Johnson, also known as "Lock 'Em Up" Joel (more about judge Johnson here
.) By refusing to reduce my support payments, the system has made it impossible for me to see my daughter. I simply can't afford it. And so, she is now a 7-year-old girl with no father.
A special thanks to Anita N. Botchway, the "Support Master" who heard my case. She decided to set my income to what it was 10 years ago when I was working in a law firm in New York City. My current income in barely a fraction of what it was then, as evidenced by the tax forms I submitted during the hearing. Despite presenting honest documentation of my income, despite a devastating recession -- the worst since the Great Depression -- Anita N. Botchway reached the most nonsensical conclusion I've even seen. So,
Anita N. Botchway, you deserve a very special thanks for setting my income to what it was back in the year 2000. You are now the #1 reason my daughter will have no daddy. Anita N. Botchway, you are an exceptional legal tyrant in an exceptionally tyrannical Philadelphia Family Court.
If I had completely given up on my business and got a job as a security guard, Ms. Botchway would have still set my income to what it was 10 years ago. And that's what so screwed about about this system.
Time for some background.
Years ago, when my support payment was set, I had every intention of making sure that my daughter had the best of everything, despite my rapidly declining income. The mother of my child (Mama) promised that my daughter would continue with the excellent reading and math learning at Kumon
, and she promised that my daughter would attend private school. As soon as I signed on the dotted line, my daughter was enrolled in public school, and the visits to Kumon stopped. How that for dishonest? I've been trying to get my payment reduced ever since, to no avail. Reducing my payment to a level that's fair would have kept me from taking on a huge amount of credit card debt, and kept me out of prison.
Now, frustrated as I have never been frustrated before, I am forced to start the process all over again.
The entire child support process in Pennsylvania is inherently corrupt. That's because the system takes a 10% cut of every support payment made. Therefore, the employees -- including support masters and administrative judges -- are extremely reluctant to reduce anyone's payment, as this would mean less cash flowing into the system.
I received a letter from Mama's lawyer today. Appears that she is interested in negotiating a settlement over support and custody. I am writing my reply now. I will blog again with news.
As always, thanks for reading. Your comments are always welcome.
Labels: anita_n_botchway, child_support, joel_s_johnson, philadelphia_family_court, prison, support_master