Change Is Coming for Custodial Parents
by Sylvia Fenstermacher
I raised two kids, working two jobs for almost 10 years, 7 days a week. My kids are grown now, my ex became disabled and owed over $100,000 in child support when he passed away in 2007. Now I have a 3 year old grandson and his father is already behind by $8000. We all know what the AG's office has done about that and thousands of others, that's right NOTHING!!! I got lucky and landed a job in a lobby firm which I worked for almost 20 years.
It may be too late for me and my children, but not for my grandson or any other child out there. I am now self-employed (Legislative Data Services) working with lobbyists, legislators and political action committees on campaign finance, non profit filings, and sending out invitations for fundraisers; etc...however, I am in the process of using the tools I learned employed at the lobby firm. I have been meeting with legislators and will continue to do so during the interim to encourage another Sunset Review of the AG's Office.
According to their last report they did not meet all the recommendations or actions required under their last review. The AG's Office received $27,300,000 in appropriations this legislative session for child support enforcement, its time for them to stop making excuses and start doing their job. During the last session I testified on bills dealing with Net Resources, Earnings and Disposable Earnings. If you are a custodial parent and the non-custodial parent works in the restaurant/bar service industry I have big news for you, "tips" are included as garnishable wages.
I managed to get an AG's Opinion clarifiying this. Call the Texas AG's office and ask for a copy, ask for Louisa McGee, Kathy McMichael or Alicia Keys and get your child support. Or you can hire an attorney because Sec. 158.206 says the employer becomes liable to you if they fail to collect, it also awards attorney fees and court costs. The are also liable for a $200 fine per pay period for failure to collect which goes toward child support enforcement. Go to the AG's website and go to the employer section, they receive a booklet on this and still they fail to collect "tips". My grandsons case is going to the Domestion Relations Office in Travis County for enforcement and is no longer with the AG's office. They all know grandma is on her way. Check your county for an office like this if you are not getting anywhere with the AG's office. Contact your legislator about the Sunset Process.
As a child I used to play in the halls of the Capitol Building growing up in the State of Nebraska, I moved to Texas in 1986, when I was 26, now I am 48 and know I am in the right place at the right time. Change is long overdue.