Not Helping At All??!!!
by Susan Lottig
(Spring, TX USA)
I have been trying to collect my monthly child support regularly from my exhusband for over 10 years now. He is behind over $21,000.00 and should pay $1,000.00 monthly.
Since he is self employed the Attorney General's office will not garnish wages. He has the money to pay but often does not for several periods of time. Everytime we go to court they allow him it seems like...just another 6 months and resets the case continually. This has now been going on for over 10 years. Initially, I was under the empression that it was the Law in the State of Texas if you did not pay your child support owned, especially over a period of time, and with such a large amount acrued you would sentenced to some jail time. When we finally got the date to appear before the Judge, they took both of us into a room, sitting right next to each other and asked me what I wanted to do. Did I want to put him in jail? That was very difficult for me to have to say sitting next to him and later while still in the building being verbally harrassed and no one even paying attention. I do not feel that it is my place to have to request that when it should already be the law. Isn't that the whole reason why we are coming downtown to go to court? Even after that hearing they continued to allow him more time with resets.
One time they told him that he would have to have Attorney the next time we came back to court and ofcourse he didn't and they just once again gave him another 6 months reset to hire an Attorney after he had already told. How can he pay for his private attorney when he can't even pay his support? Right?! In November 2010, we appeared before the Judge in the final hearing (so I thought) and the Judge had sentenced him to his jail time and licence suspension, etc. but only ordered
$5,000.00 for him to pay as the amount for his arrearage which was $19,000.00 at the time and allowed him 3 more months and the court date was once again reset to Feb. 2010.
They told me that I did not have to appear for that hearing since it was already ordered by the Judge to seek his punishment if he did not comply. And he failed to comply once again. That day he made a one time payment of $1,000.00. So, I thought like they had explained to me that he finally now would be committed to the county jail for the 180 days and his license would be revoked on that day, Feb. 24, 2010 as stated in the papers on Nov. 20, 2010. And guess what...the case was reset to May 17, 2010. This case has gone on and on and on!!!!!! I am really disappointed with the State of Texas Attorney General's Office. Then, to top it off, I received a Certified Letter on Feb. 25, 2010 informing me of our next court date which is May 17, 2010 and the last paragraph of the letter reads as follows:
The Attorney General, pursuant to Texas Family Code Chapter 231, represents only the interest of the State of Texas and does not represent your interests. The interests of the State of Texas may be different from your interests.
You may hire a private attorney to represent your interest if you desire.
Now, just where did that come from??!!!
I have 2 daughters now 10 and 13. My exhusband is and always has been financially capable of making his payments on a regular basis but often chooses not to. (He says my parents have plenty of money) He lives in a two-story home and has owned a 4 wheel drive truck and a mustang sports car, a boat, and travels often playing softball and gambles alot. So, just where is the best interests at that is suppose to be for my 2 daughters? And the State of Texas??