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Raleigh woman fights Family Court with signs

Posted October 12, 2009

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— Frustrated after years of dealing with delays in the Wake County Family Court system, Tonya Boykin has posted her problems on signs in front of her Raleigh home.

Boykin originally filed her case in 2006, but it has been postponed repeatedly. She said she is in danger of having her utilities turned off and losing her home which she shares with her two children.

“It’s like a vicious cycle, and you're so torn down and you're just screaming inside to ‘please stop, just stop it,’” Boykin said.

One of the signs Tonya Boykin has hung in front of her Raleigh home. Raleigh woman posts signs against Family Court

Boykin has placed three signs on her property. Some of the signs attack District Judge Christine Walczyk.

Walczyk said she can't speak about the specifics in the case, but Wake County Chief District Judge Robert Rader said the system has improved since it started three years ago.

“The time from filing to the time of disposition of the case has been decreased drastically,” Rader said.

Rader said the county has decreased the caseload in Family Court from about 750 cases per judge, to around 400.

Family court judges have case managers, who oversee cases in an effort to prevent long delays.

Rader admits that, while delays still occur, officials set strict time-lines for these cases and try to adhere to them.

“We can't just snap our fingers and resolve it all. It takes time, following the law, the legal process to work through the various issues,” Rader said.

For Boykin, time is running out.

“I want to be able to take care of my kids. I want to move on with my life, and I want some peace in my home,” she said.

Boykin said she should be getting $3,300 in child support, instead of the $900 she is currently being paid by ex-husband Herculano Patino.

Patino said he is paying the court-ordered amount.

“Neither of the parties were completely happy with the judgment entered by Judge Walczyk. Both parties have pending motions regarding that order," said Debbie Sandlin, Patino's attorney.

Sandlin said a court date has been set for February 2010, but she would like it sooner as well.

12 Comments

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  • scrapdriver Oct 15, 2009

    Many years ago I too was a divorced mother but I am one of the lucky ones who's "ex" was "Man" enough to want to provide for his child without my having to go to court over & over to get him to support his child. A woman takes care of "their" child/children while a lot of these fathers could care less. The courts make it hard/expensive for a woman to get the support her child/children needs. There is no excuse for a case like this to continue to be postponed. "The Children Suffer" Does this father care about his kids or does he "hate" his exwife so much that he doesn't think about how it affects his children? "MAN UP" mister and take care of your family!!!!!

  • kathybprice Oct 15, 2009

    I don't think the amount of money is the issue of this story.
    But if the husband makes a good salary he should pay support accordingly.
    If the court operates on a strict time line as Judge Rader said why has this case been ongoing for almost four years? This is too long for this family to suffer!

  • r u crazy too Oct 13, 2009

    Whole lot of information missing here, like their estimated incomes. But asking for $3300 a month for two kids is a little steep for most folks. But, the article says that's what she WANTS, not what courts say she's entitled to get. And I thought most child support was based on guidelines set up by the court system. Dang lawyer will tell you anything to sucker you in!

  • ccrump Oct 13, 2009

    I have been though this from the other side. The process of a marriage ending is painful. The courts and the lawyers do nothing to mitigate that pain. In fact I know of the lawyer she mentions, and have knowledge that she does not care what she does to the opposing spouse in a divorce.

    The courts in these cases are not about truth, but about perception. And the lawyers do the best that they can to set the perception in the courts eyes in favor of their client, no matter what it does to the other person. The courts with 400 cases per judge do not have the time or inclination to actually know what is going on with each case. It is just not possible. This system is very messed up, and people like this woman get hurt or worse by the process. Look at the suicide and violence statistics around divorce, and you see the human cost of this process.

  • kewlmom Oct 13, 2009

    Ha! She's complaining over $900, when I only get $275 for two kids. Thankfully my husband and I make enough that we can get by with it. I am glad my hubby doesn't mind using his money to support my children, when their own father can't get off his bottom to get a job.

  • katizs Oct 13, 2009

    $3300 a month for 2 kids is asking a lot unless he made A LOT of money before they split, I am a mother of 3 and have some of the same issues. It isn't just in Wake County, we are in Johnston County and the same thing has happened here - we have a court order for him to pay a certain amount and he has refused to pay for 2 months but because by law they have to wait for him to fall an entire month behind, they do nothing about the case. We go to court and he knows he doesnt have to worry about making up the payments - it is a bad system and usually the one that needs the money is the one that is hurt the most, but as the mom trying to make the best for my kids, this mom also needs to stop crying and do her best to get a job and support them on her own - I have and it is the best thing I could have ever done instead of depending on government to do something

  • fuzzmom Oct 13, 2009

    OMG you people are scary! First of all, maybe the amount is not based on her income. Maybe it's based on extraordinary expenses like medical needs of the child/dren or private school or daycare. Never mind judges are allowed to deviate from the guidelines. Second of all, maybe it's not just childsupport. Maybe it's alimony. Furthermore, who said she was on public assistance? Only people on public assistance have problems payin their utility bills? Who said she didn't work? Maybe she does work and doesn't make enough to care for the child/ren alone. Meanwhile, why should she have to? Why is it okay if some don't get anything that she shouldn't get what the law allows????? Isn't this about the children?????

  • tealsatin Oct 12, 2009

    Hmmn.... not all of the story here... How much 'taxpayer asistance' does she receive a month?... I am guessing $1000/month for food 'vouchers'... and $900 in CS. Payments to the custodial spouse are set by state guidelines, and the judge is bound by those guidelines. $3300/month? His/Her salary would have to be close to $70K/year to expect a payment like that...

  • funlvngrl Oct 12, 2009

    I was very pleased with Wake County Family Court. But Wake County Child Support different story they are so slow. But be happy you are getting something because they are lots of moms not getting nothing. Be happy you get your what you get and get a job to support your kids.

  • chance Oct 12, 2009

    She should be LUCKY she's getting at least $900. My son's father owes me $35,000+ and because he is out of state nobody does anything but the basic mailing of paperwork and only when I call them. I've been told they would have to extradite him because he's out of state ... and they won't do that. NOTE TO DERELICT FATHERS: Just move out of state!! I've supported my son 100% and have learned to live with the fact his father will never pay and nobody will ever do anything about it. The pathetic part is seeing pictures of his father living the high life on myspace and facebook. Oh well ... what goes around comes around. :)

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