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Sep 03 2015

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ENOUGH IS ENOUGH- The Injustice that is our Child Support System

By STEVEN RAY HERNANDEZ  STEVEN RAY
EDITOR
EDITOR@SBNEWSPAPER.COM

Before We Start, Here’s Some Facts You Need To Consider:

  1. Every child needs both financial and emotional support from both parents.
  2. Every child needs both parents in their lives.

Now let’s get down to it:

The other day, I had the unfortunate experience of reading one of the most insanely sickening text message-conversations I have ever witnessed in my life, which prompted me to write this column.

The text messages, which came through on my buddy’s phone (we’ll call him David for the sake of privacy), read a little something like this:

David:  Can I take the little one to the beach this weekend?

His daughter’s mother:  I haven’t received any payment this month, when are you sending me money?

David:  I told you I was in between jobs and my first check doesn’t come for another two weeks.

His daughter’s mother:  Ok, well you can pick her up in two weeks then.

Now, by most human standards, this would seem like a jaw-dropping outrage to anyone. Unfortunately, for David (and especially for his child) there was no outrage, there was no emotion, and instead of ensuing an argument, he just replied, “Ok.”  You see, for the last 4 years, this had become a reoccurring problem for David.  The minute he missed a payment or two, he was continuously denied visitation of his daughter. By this point,  I could tell David was broken, and felt like no other options were available.

“Ni modo, what can I do?” David said to me as he put down his phone.  “If I call the child support office, all they are going to do is give me a 1-800 number for advice and then hound me for all my information to make sure it’s up-to-date.  But if I miss a couple of payments, I’m going to jail. It’s not fair. Only thing I can do is take her to court, but that takes money for a lawyer that I don’t have,” he added.

Now, as much as I wanted to comfort David and give him some good, friendly advice, he was right; there is nothing he can do. And that, my friends, is where the lop-sided injustice of our Child Support System continues to fail our children.

I’ve seen- first hand- a father spend over $10,000 in lawyer and court fees trying to fight the visitation rights of his child, only to have the judge give the mother a simple “Warning.”

One year later, that same individual was jailed for falling behind in child support by $6,000. If only part of that $10,000 he spent fighting to see his child could have some credit towards his child support bill. Apparently, the child support system could care less about the emotional well-being of that child, so long as they get their interest payment every month.

Bottom line is this folks: YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT BARGAINING TOOLS.

Just because the non-custodial parent misses a payment, does not make them a bad parent.  And this should not affect how often they get to see their child. That mentality is flat-out ridiculous by all accounts.

With that said, let me try and break-down the #1 problem within this Child Support System that has seemed to serve as somewhat of a virtual wrecking ball for families across the state of Texas over the past few decades.

It’s Like This:

There are 2 very simple rules/orders that need to be followed once a child support case is initiated. One rule is for the Custodial Parent (most often the mother) and another rule is for the Non-Custodial Parent (most often the father).

The rules are as follows:

  1. Non-Custodial Parent- Pay your monthly child support responsibility.
  2. Custodial Parent- Allow visitation to the Non-Custodial Parent as issued by the court.

Now, seems pretty simple right? Well, not here in Texas.  Here’s where EVERYTHING unfolds in this treacherous so-called “justice” system we have.

If the Non-Custodial Parent doesn’t follow their rule, the only thing the Custodial Parent has to do is pick up the phone and report him/her to the attorney general and a hearing is called, and quite often the Non-Custodial Parent is taken to jail.

But, if the Custodial Parent doesn’t follow their rule, and denies visitation, the Non-Custodial Parent’s ONLY option is to hire a lawyer.  If they call the child support office, they will not help in any way, shape, or form with the sole exception of offering a 1-800 number for advice.

This, my friends, is a cold stone FACT! Literally, nothing can be done unless you come up with the money for a lawyer first, which we all know becomes very pricey.  Imagine you are a parent who is not seeing your child, and now you have to decide whether to pay your child support, or use that money to hire a lawyer to try and see your child. Either way, it’s a lose-lose, for everyone, but most of all, for the child.

*Side-note- even if the parent is paying their child support, but does not regularly pick up their child, they should be able to get in trouble for that as well.

Look, here’s the bottom line folks:

If parents continue to let the relationship and bad blood between each other get in the way of their parenting, the only one who is going to lose in all of this is the CHILD. Stop being selfish!

If the other parent is not paying their child support, fine, they will eventually have to suffer the consequences of not handling their responsibility. But do not make things worse by keeping your child “hostage” until a payment is made.  Again, this is by all accounts, RIDICULOUS!

Let me finish by reiterating what I first said at the beginning of this article.  Every child needs both financial and emotional support from both parents and every child needs both parents in their lives, plain and simple.  In the end, all that matters is that both parents follow their court ordered rules and both parents handle the domestic matter in an adult-like, civilized manner.  I’m sick and tired of seeing children suffer day in and day out simply because their parents can’t see eye-to-eye.  I’m telling you people, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2015/09/03/enough-is-enough-the-injustice-that-is-our-child-support-system/

7 comments

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  1. Sean C Julian

    Under the current system of family law, fathers typically lose their children in return for financing the destruction of their own families. When the system fails to work as promised, fathers are blamed and put in jail. However, the system is at fault, not fathers. The system makes it far too easy for mom to expel dad, keep the children, and force him to pay for her decisions using the police power of the state.

    The current system of family law is creating what might be called “state-mandated” or “state-imposed” matriarchy (or simply “state matriarchy” for short). Historically, matriarchies fail, but in a theory, a matriarchy can be made to work with sufficient use of government force and money.

    In a state matriarchy, the children belong to the mother but the state is responsible for supporting those children, either indirectly, by forcing absent fathers to support those children (child support), or directly, by using tax monies (welfare and other government programs).

    The ideological foundation is modern feminism, which opposes both traditional marriage and to fathers’ rights but favors expanded welfare and child support enforcement programs.

    In addition, if for some reason the father cannot be forced to support the children, the state does so using tax revenues, aligning taxpayers against fathers–after all, if he does not support the children, the taxpayers must. A divorced or unmarried father thus becomes public enemy number one.

    The feminists provided much of the anti-male and anti-marriage ideological impetus for the state matriarchy, but they could not have created it without the help of judges and elected officials. How did they get judges and elected officials to help? By portraying women as poor helpless victims abused and brutalized by ruthless men, like the hapless heroines of old-time melodramas. The politicians and judges fell over themselves running to their rescue.

    The dominant cultural narratives of the state matriarchy are two: the noble, virtuous single mom and the “deadbeat dad.” In these cultural narratives, single moms are bravely struggling to raise their children, saintly victims of circumstance and scumbag dads who abandoned them. (In fact, most single mothers today are single by choice.) Her counterpart is the “deadbeat dad” who walked out on his family and now refuses to support them. (In fact, most divorced dads are legally expelled from their families against their wills.)

    If these narratives do not work, a third one is hauled out: domestic violence. According to this narrative, husbands routinely batter their wives as a way to impose patriarchal dominance.

    The system is unfair to children, depriving them of their rights to a father. It cannot deliver on what it promises. In theory, it promises women the social and sexual freedom of being single while retaining both their children and the economic benefits of marriage. After all, if mom has the children, she can demand support from dad in the name of the children.

    That is a promise made by the state to women on behalf of men. The state does not ask men what they promised women; it simply jails men if they fail to deliver on the promises it made to women on their behalf.

    Some would reply that single moms do not have it all that great. Look at all the child support that is not paid, how many divorced moms struggle. Why, being a single mom is practically synonymous with being a victim. That is simply another argument against the system–it makes victims of single moms because it cannot deliver on what it has promised.

    Victim moms, jailed dads, fatherless kids. That is what the state matriarchy delivers.

    I have no problem with society expecting fathers to meet their responsibilities to their children. However, society in turn must protect fathers’ rights to the care and custody of their children.

    A society that fails to protect a father’s rights loses the moral authority to demand he comply with his responsibilities.

  2. N.K. Clark

    The government makes billions of dollars off of children by way of the child support system. Women (some men) now feel entitled to cash just because they have (custody of) a baby. Children are not paychecks nor should they be used to transfer wealth from one individual to another. And they most definitely should not be used as bargaining chips. The government gives too much power over another human life just because they happen to be parents. Not only is the system unconstitutional, it is biased against fathers. These are some of many issues with the current child support system in America. Join the fight for reform!

  3. Caroline

    Also… Those parents refusing visitations to let the other parent due to non-payment should also be fined or given jail time. There are parents that do have struggles financially. But there are also parents that want to see their children. A bond between a parent and child is priceless. And shame on them for interfering.

  4. Caroline

    Yes, I agree. Enough is enough. But to be corrected, it takes upto 6months of non-payment before any real action is taken (possible jail time). First few months, delinquent notices are sent. Sometimes, the OAG isn’t on top of things and more times passes. So, it’s not like the paying parent misses ‘a couple’ payments and goes to jail as you’re making ut seem. I know, I’ve gone tgrough this with my ex.
    Also, I’m in agreement with there being consequences of the non-custodial parent refusing to see their children. Personally, I think they’re support payment should be raised. Only cause what the other parents is failing to do, the custodial parent has to pick up the slack, per say. Either that, or fine them or even jail time.
    It’s about the child, yes..but, when the the other parent keeps their visits accordingly, it does eliviate some of the financial stress (& stress in general) vs. one parent doing it alone.
    In the end, it isn’t fair, for the child, period!

  5. Dissappointed

    Well, just to add injury to insult I spent well over $25,000 in attorneys fees trying to get visitation. I (Father) raised my daughter till she was 6. Mom was out having a good time. The court started taking child support away from her as soon as they found out where she worked. I asked numerous times to not get child support because I earn a decent living. Court said it was not up to me. Mom decided to counter sue and custody was returned to her. I always allowed visitation when I was raising her but as soon as my daughter was returned to Mom. She began calling the Police every time it was my turn for visitation. Thank you Harlingen Police, San Benito Police, Primera Police, Cameron County Sheriffs, Texas Rangers, and CPS. I never was arrested for anything because I always recorded everything, thank God, but I too was told to go back to court. She filed a CPS case against me and CPS sided with me saying that Mom was creating instability and causing emotional harm to the child and dangerous to her overall well being. Still have a copy of original report. Hence the $25,000 in attorneys fees for 3 appeals that were filed for failure to comply with the court orders. The final blow was when Judge orders me (Father) to stop bothering Mom and let her be a Mom. If I disobeyed his order he stated that he would have me arrested for contempt. All on court record. I filed a complaint with the State Judicial System and I was told it was his discretion. Sad, Sad day for all Children. Word to the wise if you are in my situation. Your child will grow up and look for you. Make every attempt to see your child. Record everything. Save all your records and pictures so you can show your child that you indeed tried everything. To hell with the Judge. Try to hold me in contempt. Mom has moved to San Antonio before I could file appeal number 4 and she has kept moving so I can’t have her served. Smart move on her but when My Daughter comes looking for me, I will show her the truth. That I really LOVE HER WITH ALL MY HEART and I TRIED EVERYTHING. She is 11 now. I found her enrolled in School in San Antonio, so here I go again. Cameron County Court. You suck! I want to Thank all the Attorneys that pitched in and tried to help me. Most of that $25,000 was ad litem fees, filing fees, civil process fees, and mediation fees. The best attorneys money could buy couldn’t stand a chance against a mother crying on the stand.

  6. Nayeli

    It is heartbreaking that things have to be that way, and it does make you feel helpless that you can’t do anything about it.
    Some parents just need to grow up and realize the damage they do to their children. I’ve had problems like this. Where a family members or someone I know tells me, don’t let him see the baby if he doesn’t give you money. But I always knew that wasn’t completely right. My sons dad came to see his son maybe 10 times in these 3 years of his life. Sadly he didn’t care to give me money or see his child, he chose drugs and his friends over his son. So I had to put a stop to this and tell him he couldn’t call me or see his son anymore. it is heartbreaking.

    But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. If you really wanna see your child you got to do anything you can. Even if it take money, lawyers, whatever.

  7. John Mier

    Does the Office of the Attorney General handle custody and visitation disputes?
    Federal regulations do not allow the Office of the Attorney General to use child support funding to provide legal services for custody or visitation disputes.

    The Office of the Attorney General does receive limited special funding to provide assistance to parents with custody and visitation issues. Information about these services and basic legal information regarding child access and visitation issues is available by contacting the Texas Access and Visitation Hotline. The statewide toll-free number, (866) 292-4636, is answered in English and Spanish, Monday – Friday from 1-7 p.m. The hotline has a corresponding website, http://www.txaccess.org, where parents can download sample materials and tools for assistance with child access issues.

    This is from the website: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/faq/cs-parents-frequently-asked-questions#visitation

    As one who works for the Child Support System (in another state), the System may be part of the injustice, but the original sin, if you will, rests with the parents.

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