My question involves child support in the State of: Georgia
In considering my problem I believe it involves several issues of law, I have quite a mess. My ex-husband and I have been divorced since 2006. I remarried in 2007Ex-husband has always relied on his parents to handle all his business affairs, but in 2010 both of his parents passed away very suddenly and within days of each other, leaving a 48-year-old man unable and unwilling to handle his own affairs. He was named executor on his parent's will, and was an only child so the will was very simple but my son (who is also an only child) was not named as an heir; in retrospect I believe Ma & Pa were too sick to think about providing for their grandson. We had always had a cooperative co-parenting relationship and when he asked me to help him settle the estate I agreed. I did everything except record the transfer deeds, which he was supposed to have done but has not.
After his parents died the ex just fell apart, got laid off his job, has not worked since and has made no effort towards finding work. He paid support sporadically until the money ran out and has stayed current on his child support only because we agreed to trade a car from the estate in return for 14 months of child support. When he ran out of things to sell from the estate his utilities were cut off and he lived for several months with no power, water, or phone. I convinced him to see a doctor for his depression and I suspect, bipolar disorder, and the doctor put him on medication which he took for a short time and stopped. In short, his mental status has always been iffy, and he can be very unstable at times, has admitted to the doctor and to other people suicidal and homicidal ideation, especially towards me the ex-wife. He has point blank told me that he can not and will not pay his child support because "you can't get blood out of a turnip" and "he's not going to give me money to go out and run the roads." I relied on the support money for groceries and school expenses. However, he does own property, one house that he bought himself and is paid for and another 10 acres with 2 houses on it that he inherited. I have proposed to him several alternatives to child support such as placing the inherited property in a trust for his son, a life estate to me with himself and his son as remaindermen, payment of support by yearly promissory notes on a portion of the property so that I could have ownership of one of the homes to rent out to generate income for support, all of which he initially agreed to and then backed out. He sees all of this negotiation as a ploy for me take away his property.
He has had very little interaction with his son since his parents died, so he is in contempt of all actions named in the divorce decree. In November he left the county, abandonded his property and his son, moved in with some friends, and has left the property for me to look after. He is hiding from a bench warrant for failure to appear on a charge of DUI of prescription medication. This most likely would have been dismissed because his blood test showed he was not intoxicated or over the prescribed limit of medication. He also had a good lawyer who agreed to represent him pro bono because he was friends with the lawyer's father, but he just didn't show up for court.
I made an appointment with Child Support Enforcement; they told me that since he was not working all they could do was incarcerate him but they could only keep him a short time and would have to release him whether he paid or not, and still I would not get any support. Given his signs of instability, most likely when they let him out of jail I would be in danger.
I have also made several attempts to contact my lawyer to file a contempt order on the ex, he has yet to return my call.
He has abandonded his 9-year-old son, abandonded his property, states that he would "kill me dead before he let me get my hands on it," has not paid taxes and yet expects me to maintain and look after a total of 12 acres, and I do so because it means a great deal to my son. And, if the man is just going to throw the property away by neglect I would very much like to have it and could use it to generate income for my son and keep it intact so my son could inherit it, but the ex will not negotiate.
My son is growing up and is beginning to understand what is really going on despite my efforts to put his father's actions in a positive light. It appears that my options are pretty bleak: Put the ex in jail and then explain to the boy why and then have to worry about what he is going to do when he gets out, or keep putting up with the ex's bully tactics, or walk away and forget about all of t which I really, really don't want to do because after all this drama it is looking like I am needing a good divorce lawyer and somewhere for my son and I to live in peace.
Isn't there anything I can do considering the fact that I have paid utilities, maintained the property, am owed child support, and desperately need a place for my son and I to live? When the ex left his home he left the back door to his house wide open, abandonded his clothes and personal items, left bills unpaid, and even left his property deeds and other important papers behind. Most importantly, he has abandonded his son whom, as I learned from this website, is showing the symptoms of parental alientation. The boy is underachieving in school, shows very little interest in anything, cannot watch a movie about kids and dads without leaving the room to hide his crying, and it just breaks my heart. My current husband has gone many extra miles to help get this straightened out but is quite understandably sick of the situation becoming angry and it has put a strain on our marriage that I'm not sure can be fixed.
Thank you so much for any advice or encouragement that anyone could provide.