Journey to Indigence
(Fort Worth, Texas)
I am a non-custodial mom. When my ex and I divorced it was agreed that our two kids would stay in their home with their father. There would be no child support and we would share the expenses. He got the house and I got the business. The business was my livelihood and as it was a new business and I was working many hours this seemed to be the best for our kids. I was never more than a few blocks away.... I rented a duplex within walking distance from the kid’s home and a year later purchased a house even closer. Our kids could literally walk back and forth and they did. The divorce was settled in a conference room and filed without any hassle.
Two years to the day of our divorce my ex filed for child support. I begged him not to do this suggesting the lawyers would get all the money and it would place a huge financial burden on me because my portion of payments would be based upon the gross income of the business. We all know.... that a new business might show a lot of money going through it but that does not mean in goes into your pocket. This was my situation and after 3 years, 4 Judges, 4 attorneys and a traumatic trip through our broken family law system here in Texas I AM BROKE. He makes $15,000 a month.... I make $1,500 a month. I now have bad credit, child support arrearages, no savings, live in an apartment and after my child support garnishment from my weekly check I AM FORCED TO LIVE ON $250.00 A WEEK.
I work 45 to 50 hours a week and when my 11-year-old son comes over (which is often) I stress that I don't have enough money for food for him. I never thought I would be in this situation for a moment. I found the Texas Family Court System heartless and unjust. Even the Judge told me that she hates the decisions she has to make but "that is the law".
My question is...How is it in the best interest of my children to place their mother in such an indigent life style so their father can add $544 a month to his $15,000 a month. I am forced to work many many hours and there is no time to see my child. I think he would be better off to have his mom, not my $125 a week. I have a good relationship with my kids and they even see and know what has happened to me. They don't really want to believe that their father is such a bitter person that he would place his kids mom in this situation. Our Family Laws need to be changed. The entire process through the court system was never about the best thing for my kids. It was about MONEY. THE MONEY THE ATTORNEY'S GET, THE MONEY THAT THE COURT GETS, THE MONEY I MAKE. NO WONDER NON-CUSTODIAL PARENTS DISSAPEAR OUT OF THEIR KIDS' LIVES. THE TEXAS FAMILY LAWS GIVE PEOPLE NO CHOICE. I have to decide every week if I am going to see my kid or make extra money. Shame on you TEXAS Family Law and Greg Abbott. You did not help all the kids....just the very poor ones.